Ever notice that Firefox tends to be a memory hog? If not, you’re obviously not a Firefox user. According to this article from Lifehacker, the Memory Fox program will “keep an eye on your browser’s memory usage and notices when Firefox starts edging toward user-preset resource limits. When it does, the extension springs into action, automatically flushing your memory to recover space and keep your browser from slowing down.”
This addon looks promising especially for those with older computers without a lot of memory. (Public access computers anyone?)
Firefox automatically checks for updates to addons, but not for plugins such as Java, Silverlight, and Flash. If you’d like to know if these are up to date on your system just run Firefox and head on over to http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/plugincheck/. If anything’s old, you’ll be provided with a link to download and install the update.
I’m not going to get into public access policy issues here but I’m a firm believer in the fact that there is absolutely no reason any library to keep any browsing history on a public access computer. That being said, turning off things like the browser history or clearing it out regularly, can either slow down the browsing experience and take staff time respectively. So, why not take advantage of Firefox’s private browsing mode. According to Mozilla.com, here’s what private browsing does and doesn’t do:
What Private Browsing will not retain
- Visited pages: No pages will be added to the list of sites in the History menu, the Library window’s History list, or the Smart Location Bar‘s address list.
- Form and Search Bar entries: Nothing you enter into text boxes on web page forms or the Search bar will be added to the list of entries for Form autocomplete.
- Passwords: no passwords will be automatically filled in during the your Private Browsing session, and no new passwords will be saved.
- Download List entries: No files you download will remain in the list in the Downloads window after you turn off Private Browsing.
- Cookies: Files created by websites, that store information on your computer, such as your preferences when visiting that site (when a website has a “remember this” checkbox, it is using a cookie) will not be stored. For more information on cookies, see Cookies.
- Web cache files: No temporary Internet files or cached files from web pages will be saved until you turn off Private Browsing.
- If you create new Bookmarks while using Private Browsing, they will not be removed when you stop Private Browsing.
- If you save files to your computer while using Private Browsing, those files will not be deleted when you stop Private Browsing. However, any files you open in an external application will be cleared from the system’s temporary folder, and none of the files you download will appear in the Downloads window list.
It can easily be turned on and off under the Tools menu but why not permanently turn it on for your patrons? To automatically start Firefox in private browsing mood just follow these three simple steps:
- Run Firefox and type about:config into the address bar.
- Type browser.privatebrowsing.autostart into the Filter field at the top of the page.
- Double click the entry to set its value true.
From this point forward, Firefox will automatically start in private browser mode.
Mozilla Labs has released their new Test Pilot add-in for Firefox. For now it installs a small icon in your status bar that will flash when new tests are available. Additionally you can suggest tests for new Firefox features back to the program. Right now there isn’t much to do but I’ve got it installed just waiting to see what they do with this.
admit it, you shop online. Yeah, you go to several different sites to look for the best prices but you stop after a couple because you just want to order the darn book. Well, what if your browser could tell you, automatically, if that item you’re looking at could be purchased for less at another online store?
Invisible Hand, an add-on for Firefox, will “shows a discreet notification when the product you’re browsing can be bought for a lower price elsewhere. It gives you a link directly to the product page at the competing retailer.” Invisible Hand works with more than 50 retailers in US and UK, most importantly for us librarians, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.
Did you know that you can change the look and feel of firefox with Personas? Just head on over to getpersonas.com, install the add-on and then start choosing your themes. In fact, it’s so simple, you can see what a persona will look like by just hovering over it in the gallery. Like the results, just click and make it permanent. Here’s just a few examples:
You’ve got the perfect set of add-ons installed on your copy of Firefox. Then, you find yourself setting up another copy on a different computer. Easy to install but finding and installing all those add-ons again will be a bit of a pain. Instead of that tedious process, just install the Mozilla Firefox Add-on Collector on both installations. This way you can back up all the add-ons from one copy of Firefox and reinstall them on the new copy en masse.
Additional features include:
- Recommend Collections
Subscribe to an Add-on Collection and get notification when it grows. If you’re creating the collection, there’s space to tell why you like an add-on and give some context for customization.
- Share Add-ons
Ping friends about good finds. Choose “Publish to” and they get news about add-ons in a ready-to-go format endorsed by the source (that’s you!).
- Sync with All Sources
Announce new Add-on Collections and give links that stay current, thanks to Auto Publisher. Sync devices and keep all your browsers stocked with your latest collection.