Lenny's Old Old Blog: September 2004

for embarrassing posterity

Our Favorite Firefox Extensions

Thursday, September 23, 2004

People who vote for John Kerry this November will do so because they do not like Bush, and then they will wait and see if they actually end up liking Kerry. People switch to Firefox from Internet Explorer because of viruses, adware, and other nasties that plague IE, but stay because it has really sweet features.

One of these is extensions: little (or sometimes big) pieces of software that add something to the overall browser. There are hundreds of these that anybody may make, but here are the ones I use. Feel free to add a comment with your own favorites.

Mouse Gestures
A flick of the mouse anywhere on the page does common actions, like back, forward, refresh, close, and so on.
Web Developer Toolbar
This provides some useful things for making web pages. Most of these features exist in the form of bookmarklets, so I don’t use it much (that and I do not make web pages that often.)
Link Toolbar
Some handy navigation, like next or previous in a sequence of pages.
Who isn’t a sucker for cute things? This adds pretty pictures to menus.
BugMeNot extension
Automatically fills in login forms from BugMeNot (a very cool website that I won’t discuss now, but is worth checking out if you don’t know what it is.)
miniT (drag+indicator)
Probably the ugliest name in extensions but insanely simple and useful, this one lets you move tabs.
Nuke Anything
Remove anything (read: ads) from the page until refresh.
Another Web nerd one: read the HTTP headers with the other page info, or as they come in.

There’s something for everyone! Anything I missed?

Update: more extensions as they come in: (added to the list after original writing)

Terrible UI, but it gets the job done. I bulk imported my hosts file (with a bit of regex-search-and-replace jiggering).
Show Image
Adds the option to the context menu to try to load an image if it failed to load the first time. Rarely useful, but it is only in the menu when needed, so it is not extension clutter.
Web form spellchecking. I just ran it over this post.
Context Search
Instead of "select text, right click, search web" using the default search engine (Google,) it opens a menu offering all of your search plugins. Use Web search plus instead.
Show Failed URL
When error pages are enabled, shows the originating URI instead of the real URI (chrome://... garbage.) I had previously been using a home-brewed bookmarklet (Get failed-load URI.) Note that this does not actually change the URI of the error page, so my Google cache +FL bookmarklet still works.
User agent switch
Defeat browser detection. Bugs
Popup Allow
Hold Caps Lock and view a popup that would otherwise get blocked.
User scripts (requires geeky prowess.)
Swiss Army page manipulator. Platypwned.
Customize Google
Bunch of Google Greasemonkey scripts compiled into an extension.

Like Putting on a Hot Shirt from the Dryer

Monday, September 13, 2004

The astute reader will have noticed the Fresh Links item in the right-side navigation menu of this site. I am going to stop using the brief link-list form of post I introduced a few months ago with the last redesign. It was an ugly hack that only half-worked, so instead I am using del.icio.us to manage my bookmarks. This probably means more links, though you must now visit another site (sorry) and its visuals are pretty unappealing, to say it gently.

This change is really for myself, since it is much easier to manage. If you value my taste in websites, go ahead and check it out. If not, be happy that those links are gone from in between the essays and notes.

In Memoriam

Sunday, September 12, 2004

You could see the lights yesterday from Long Island, and I got a better view coming home through the city from Lehigh.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Hitting Home

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

First Lieutenant Ronald Winchester, son of Mrs. Winchester, a gym teacher at my school, died in Iraq on September 3.

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