Firefox

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Firefox is a free web browser available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It has many features that other browsers don't, including pop-up blocking and tabbed browsing. Consider downloading Firefox if you don't already have it. If you have a Mac, also consider getting Camino, a truly Mac OS X native browser using the Gecko engine (the same thing that's inside Firefox). It doesn't have all the extensions available that Firefox does, but it's more Mac-friendly and really a beautifully simple browser. For some extra features, check out CamiTools, a set of extensions for Camino.

Anyway, this page is dedicated to extensions and one-time procedures that will help you get the most out of Firefox.

Searching WSO Facebook

You can add the WSO Facebook to the list of search engines in the top right of your browser.

First, click on these files: Media:Wso.src and Media:WSO_icon.jpg.

When prompted for what you want to do with the SRC file, choose "Save to Disk" and put it in your Firefox "searchplugins" folder. Wherever Firefox is located on your hard disk, there should be a folder called "searchplugins" in the same directory. On a typical Windows machine, this will be:

C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins 

And on Mac OS X, this will be:

/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/searchplugins/

Save the "wso.jpg" file in the same "searchplugins" folder. That's it. Restart firefox. Now, when you click on the icon or little triangle next to your Firefox search box, the drop-down menu should show "WSO Facebook" as one of the search engines you can use. If you're off-campus, you'll be prompted to log in first, but it will still work.

WSO Bookmarks

The Scuttle extension adds pretty buttons to your browser to make it easy to see all of your bookmarks on WSO, and to bookmark the page you're currently looking at.

Configuring

After you download and install the extension according to the instructions on the above link, you need to put the toolbar buttons on your browser.

  • Right-click (or control-click) on the navigation bar (which holds icons "back","forward"), and select "Customize...".
  • Drag the two Scuttle icons out to the navigation bar. They look like these:

Scuttle icons.jpg

  • Select "Tools" from the top menu. Click on "Extensions". In the Extensions window, Click on Scuttle and then click "preferences". Change the URL to
          http://wso.williams.edu/bookmarks

Now every time you want to share a page you are currently browsing, you can click on "Scuttle This Page" to put it on WSO bookmarks.

("Scuttle" is the name of the software that powers WSO Bookmarks. You can read more about Scuttle at SourceForge.)


Blocking ads

AdBlock is an extension for Firefox 1.0.7 and below that lets you filter out images and embedded frames based on their URL. Your experience of nytimes.com will never be the same.

An alternative for Firefox 1.5 is to define a "user content" stylesheet that blocks fishy images. Just save Media:UserContent.css into your Profile folder. Be sure to name it userContent.css (lower case)! The wiki doesn't allow uncapitalized files for some odd reason. Anyway, the location of that folder depends on your operating system.

  • Mac OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/default.xxxx/chrome/
  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\default.xxxx\chrome
  • Linux: ~/.mozilla/firefox/default.xxxx/chrome/

Of course, "xxxx" will actually be something different. Mine says 9nv. Anyway, once you do that, restart Firefox, and you should be set.

Homeland Security Threat Level

If you are the type of person who checks http://www.dhs.gov between classes, this extension could be a major time-saver. It adds a little ticker to the bottom right of your browser indicating whether the threat of terrorist attack on America is currently Severe, High, Elevated, Guarded, or merely Low. For downloading instructions, visit

https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/moreinfo.php?application=firefox&id=352&vid=1084

  • Only compatible with Firefox versions 0.7 - 1.0

Emacs key bindings

Emacs is a popular Unix text editor with a bunch of crazy key combinations for moving the cursor. Some people are used to them. If you want to romp around text fields in Firefox with Ctrl-A and Ctrl-K and all the rest, check out [1].

Other extensions

For other Firefox extensions, check out https://addons.mozilla.org/extensions/?application=firefox. There are quite a few.

Some sweet ones are the iTunes add on and the Weather add on.

Making Firefox Pretty

Besides using a theme that suits your taste, you can also download Firefoxy for Mac OS X, which will make the default ugly widgets slightly nicer. Alternatively, you can download Camino, a Mac OS X native browser built on the same core as Firefox.