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Posts Tagged ‘freeware’

Gentle Reader, I am somewhat surprised. That little piece I posted a couple of days back regarding fixing Mozilla's latest brain-fart has produced a ton of private messages—especially since I posted the screenshot below—asking how I did this or that, to restore functionality to the browser. Given all the rather contentious subjects I write about, I never would have figured that as innocuous a subject as this would generate much, if any, in the way of private mail. But it did. Maybe folks are worried about appearing ignorant of techy stuff? I dunno.

So okay, being the helpful, yet at the same time lazy, chap wot aye yam, I figured I'd "answer" all those mails at once, by posting a more detailed run-down on how I got the latest Firefox looking like a real browser again…

[Click picture to enbiggen]

But first, a moan.

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Egads, The New Firefox Is 'orrible!

Not as 'orrible as the ever-decreasing functionality of the latest few versions of Opera, mind; but it's not nice.

For anyone who didn't fall instantly in love with the new, extra-flashy, swoopy Firefox 29 "Australis," this add-on will restore some degree of sanity. Amongst other things, it makes the add-on status-bar available again, via the context ("right-click") menu, brings back those nice, tidy, unobtrusive square tabs, and gives those of us who prefer to use the menu-bar instead of the Big Orange Button the choice to remove said button. Nice!

Oh, and for those who are wondering where the hell the title-bar went, it's restorable via a button at the bottom-left of Firefox's regular customisation facility.

Sanity restored.
Daz


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It's absolutely ages since I did a freeware post. And I've been meaning to do this one for, as it happens, absolutely ages. It should be, I hope, highly useful for those who write and comment on blogs and message boards a lot, using basic html or BB code for things like bolding, italicising, quoting and creating links.

If you regularly use such code, and especially if you dislike it when you bugger up (Ah, the joys of the missing closing-tag!), or just plain don't like the way typing formatting-tags slows your typing down, I've got two freeware utilities to help you out.

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After being constantly annoyed by the way freethought blogs' new layout puts half the content and comments off the right-hand edge of my browser, forcing me to constantly use the much-hated horizontal scroll-bar, I found an easy way to correct it in Firefox. And being a nice sorta chap, I thought I'd share it.

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This article is, by necessity, aimed at Windows users. I used to have Ubuntu too as well, but lack of hard-disk space led to me deleting it, so I can't check stuff out on there any more.

If you're a Firefox user, you might have noticed that there's been a problem, of late, with that browser and videos. The commonest symptom seems to be that the audio track stutters if you scroll the page—even on a separate tab—whilst playing a video, but I've seen reports of page-freezes, stuttering of the page-scroll itself, and other things, too, whilst playing video.

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The address bar containing an RSS icon

A recent post by the Inactive Activist reminded me that I'd planned on a few freeware-related posts, so here's the first of them. A pretty short one to start with.

I love RSS, and it was something of a blow when Mozilla removed the RSS icon that used to appear in the address bar (now known, somewhat grandiosely, as the 'Awesome Bar' ) when you visited a site that offered the service. It's part of a trend I've noticed, roughly since they stepped up the frequency of updates and new versions, that they often take the route of telling the user what the user wants, rather than offering a choice to make the customisation.

Anyway, this handy addon puts the RSS icon back where you want it, so you don't have to hunt around the page looking for subscription options.
Daz

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Another Anti-Google Post

As long-term readers may know, I have a bit of a history of being annoyed by Google. (To be found here  here  here and here.) Whilst there's not much I can do about their seeming desire to take over my entire online life, I have made it something of a mission to at least keep some control over how their search results are displayed, and to keep their annoying 'helpful' features out of my face. In terms of the latter, I was doing pretty well, but it involved several different tweaks which had to be combined.

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Spell Chequers

Originally posted, 21 May 11. (I’ll post summat new soon, I promise!

Divided By A Common LanguageAs the subject of browser spellcheckers has come up in several conversations lately, I thought I’d give a quick run-down, for each of the major browsers, of how to install the relevant dictionary for your preferred language, so that words like ‘honour/honor’ get treated correctly. After all, there’s no point in having a spellchecker if it defaults to a brand of English that doesn’t agree with your local variant.

As far as I can tell, none of the following, except Safari and Internet Explorer (there’s always an ‘except’ for Microsoft’s particular piece of awfulness), are system-specific, though there might be minor variations in wording. Certainly Firefox—the only one I have available to test on a Linux system—is exactly the same on Ubuntu as it is on Windows.

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More Google Rubbish

Another feature to remove from Google’s ever-more cluttered search pages!

This one, however, starts with something that many (including me) won't consider quite as trivial as my previous post on removing Google features…

At some time, though I don't remember doing so, I must have joined google's +1 scheme. It requires you to provide your real name. What I didn't realise at the time was that it would then use my real name instead of the nym I'd provided when I created the Google account, whenever I used that account to make comments.

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Originally posted, 15 May 11. I’ve made a few changes to this one, rather than post it as-is, because Google’s ever-increasing desire to mess with our heads had led to them changing a few things; especially as regards Instant Preview, as the Greasemonkey script I originally offered didn’t work with the all-new tweaked version.

Daz gets annoyed by trivial shit again…

Google, over the years, have added various ‘helpful’ features to their search page. Now, I’m all in favour of being helped, but their idea and mine of what help I need seem to be somewhat at odds. The things I would really want would be exclusion of pages containing certain phrases from the results, or methods of narrowing my search within the results of the previous search. What I’m presented with are annoying drop-down lists, and ‘instant previews’ that pop up distractingly. These things can be turned off, but if you’re remotely fastidious about cleaning out cookies and other junk-files, you’ll find yourself having to edit search preferences on a regular basis. Yes, some people might find these things useful. Fine, but surely the obvious option would be for the extras to be turned off by default, rather than on. Anyway, that’s my obligatory rant out of the way. Here’s how to turn off some of the added-extras permanently.

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