Must-Have Firefox Extensions
Plugins and extensions—they're what made Photoshop such a bonanza from the late 1980s onward, and they gave it the market push to triumph over competitors who preferred to keep their tools and development completely in-house. It was a great idea—make your own product more valuable by letting other people enhance it for their own benefit—and it worked famously. In the graphics world, everyone's got 'em now. But, in the browsing world...well, it takes an open-source project to apply that kind of functionality across categories.
Firefox did it, and it's one of the innovations that has helped Mozilla claw its way up from the bottom of the stack in the browser wars. Even though Internet Explorer still comes bundled with Windows, and Safari with Mac OS, and Konqueror with KDE, users across platforms opt for Firefox with greater and greater frequency. It's not just the tabbed browsing, or the built-in pop-up blockers, or the standards-compliance or the built-in search box—it's also the add-ons.
The Mozilla Project's plugin-based architecture turns a solid application into a customizer's paradise. The projects available on the Mozilla Add-ons site now stretch into the thousands, which gives the end user the opposite problem of the no-choice straitjacket of certain other browsers. The embarrassment of riches means too much choice, and figuring out how to narrow it down is no mean task.
The extensions come in a variety of flavors—from add-on applications to interface tweaks to toolbars. Here are a few that most users will find very handy. They extend functionality, enhance privacy and give users a leg up on taking their favorite content with them wherever they wish to go.
Web pages are great things. The democratization of media that the Internet brings us means that everyone has a Web site, and it's a great thing. There's only one problem with everyone having a Web site: everyone has a Web site—even people who think it's cute to have their own personal radio station running any time you log on to one of their pages.
I may be a curmudgeon, but as much as I care about the teeming masses of humanity on-line, that affection does not extend to being willing to tolerate someone else's attempt to soundtrack my corner of the universe. It's been the case for several years now that if you wanted to surf around on MySpace or thumb through your Aunt Estelle's family photo albums on her personal site, you had two choices: endure the autoplay music, or turn your speakers off.
Not anymore—not if you surf with Firefox. Sun Chun-Yen's Stop Autoplay extension automagically toggles off all autoplaying media, and it allows you to blacklist Flash media providers if they get on your nerves. With Stop Autoplay installed, instead of embedded media assaulting you before the page finishes rendering, you are presented with a little red box with a Play button inside it. If you are inclined to listen to the embedded media, you have the option at your fingertips. If you're not, it won't bother you. It's a beautiful little plugin. It's simple, elegant and “just works”. It also can help save you from vicious attacks by coworkers who don't like the autoplayed music either.
Protecting you from your boss (who actually expects you to be working when you're on the clock) is the noble quest undertaken by another add-on, Panic. Panic sets up a hotkey that, when pressed, will close all open tabs and open a tab containing the URL of a page you're actually supposed to be looking at. Note that it closes the tabs, it doesn't hide them. Once you press your user-definable hotkey, they're gone. Sure, trudging through the browser history to re-find that amazing article on “Linux Home Automation: the Ultimate Internet-Controlled Gun Cabinet” can be a drag, but when it saves you an unpleasant conversation with your boss, it's worth the price.
On a related note, there is an extension that protects you from inconvenient questions from young children, nosy roommates and casual snoopers at neighborhood coffee shops. If you've ever heard the words “Mommy, what does 'stud' mean?” or “Daddy, what's burka porn?” from a five-year-old who has apparently appeared at your elbow from a neighboring dimension, you know what I mean. The Net sucks you in, and sometimes someone walks up behind you and starts reading over your shoulder—or worse, reading the names of the other tabs you're saving for later—and you don't notice them for a few hours...um, minutes.
Enter TabRenamizer, an extension that lets you protect your privacy by renaming the tabs in your open browser windows. It integrates seamlessly with Firefox, sitting as a menu option in the Tools window that lets you set it either to rename all future tabs or to rename all open tabs randomly. You also can rename an individual tab selectively by right-clicking on the tab title and selecting the now-present rename this tab option from the context menu. This gives you a renaming dialog so that you can give the tab any name you want.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
- Returning Values from Bash Functions
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide