Posts Tagged ‘Firefox’

Have you ever been paranoid about your laptop (and even desktop) being stolen, lost or teleported away from the last place you thought you had it? Never fear! FireFound is here!

Click here to visit add-on page.

I was browsing the Firefox add-ons once again to see which ones worked with the new beta, and stumbled upon this one, so I took a closer look. I installed the add-on and proceeded to sign up (as soon as it restarts you will be prompted) for the service and then you can log in by following the directions given. Once you do so you can see your location by clicking on the location link, or if you’re signed up for the premium service ($1 a month) you can access the home locations feature which “are locations that you designate as safe for your computer to be in. If your location changes, but it is within range of a home location, you will not receive an e-mail alert about the change”. Under the data link you can activate data protection (which you should only use once you realize your computer has been stolen) which forces whoever is using the browser to enter a password within a time limit otherwise the data you specified will be erased. This is definitely useful if you allow your password manager to save your information (though you should never allow it to remember my bank log-ins etc…). You can download your location information of up to 30 days prior, erase that same location data, and if you upgrade, you can extend the location information log to a year. Beware that any account that hasn’t pinged the FireFound server in the past 30 days will be deleted.

Note: If the location page doesn’t display your information right away, restart the browser and it should update (courtesy of the developer Christopher Finke).

Since I’m running this program on a desktop computer, I won’t really have a chance to test it out further unless of course I somehow lose it or move. But all in all, this program sets out to do exactly what it is supposed to. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who either owns a laptop or even someone who owns a desktop and lives in a dorm. Of course you won’t be able to utilize these options unless the person who took your computer is connected in some way to the internet, but the point of this program is to protect your online data — the GPS feature seems to be just a nice plus. If you’re really worried about your computer being stolen or lost I would suggest looking into some sort of GPS device and some more comprehensive security software to install on your system. I may install this program on my laptop and wander around town a bit to to see how that works and if so I will update this post.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Firefox Logo

I was reluctant to try out this beta but I have to say that aside for some minor issues (which are to be expected considering it is a beta) this browser really has amazing potential.

I ran a couple of tests via Web Developers Notes and I have to say that I’m definitely impressed with how fast it is, even compared to the newly released Firefox 3.6.8! I’ve definitely noticed an increase in speed and I do enjoy the new streamlined look, though it is definitely somewhat of a Chrome clone. I’m definitely excited to try this browser out and hope that when it is is finally completed there will be support for some of the plugins that currently don’t work. This isn’t much of an issue though, since many of the browser’s new features do the job of many of the plugins that aren’t functional including an easy to use password manager.

For those who are having issues with the missing exit, minimize and maximize buttons on the top right of the browser window (and also missing UltraMon buttons if you so happen to be running that program) because of Personas you can always get around that by full-screening the browser and using it in that mode, or by either clicking on Firefox on the task bar to minimize or right click for other option. I usually alt+tab to the Desktop or other windows when I need to and rarely minimize so this isn’t really an issue for me. If you want to try it out, you can download it from their website here and submit feedback on your experience so that they can fix any problems you may encounter. Also, you can try playing with this very entertaining game called Falling Sand which runs a lot smoother in this version than it did in Firefox 3.5.

Update: I’ve noticed a lot of people have been visiting my page to find out about the Greasefire add-on in regards to this beta and just so you all know, there is no Greasefire yet compatible with this beta. Again, this is just a test version of what will one day be a final product so the add-on developers will probably not be making an updated version until Firefox 4 is complete. There are though some add-ons that do indeed work and can be found at the Firefox website. I wouldn’t be worried about those just yet though. Right now the purpose of using the beta is to test it out and report any issues you may have with the browser. Updating the add-ons are the responsibility of the add-on developers, not Firefox.

Using Firefox in full-screen showing that close, minimize and maximize buttons appear.

Firefox 4 before installing compatible add-ons.

I recently downloaded Iron after trying Chrome and not really liking the privacy issues. I have to admit it is a pretty neat browser for casual browsing but it lacks a lot of tools that would make it the best. Yes, it’s new, so I hope that it will eventually gain the functionality of Firefox.


1. It’s fast. Really fast. It boots up very quickly and pages load at lightning speed.

2. It maximizes the space used to view web pages with its minimalistic design. You can hide the bookmarks bar but I prefer to keep it there just for convenience sake.

3. You can drag downloaded items straight from the download bar at the bottom to anywhere you want.

4. You can use a version of AdBlock to block a good number of those pesky and often dangerous spam ads.

5. It is pretty simple and straight forward.

6. The omnibar. I really liked the idea of having one bar for both search and URL entry. I rarely enter URLs anyway so I get tired of tabbing to the search box.

7. Separate processes for each tab. That was a winner for me. My computer runs fast and it has no problem running each tab on its own. I have had times when a page would crash and the whole browser would go down. Fortunately with Iron I just had to shut down the tab’s process and continue on my merry way. This might be taxing on a slower system but worth it if your system can handle it.


1. The AdBlock feature you can install isn’t up to par with AdBlock plus by a long shot. You can’t change the options and it doesn’t block nearly as much. If the ad blocker were up to par I would definitely consider using Iron as my main browser.

2. There are no ad-ons. That means you can’t use very useful tools such as element hiding helper.

3. The back button is very messed up. With some pages (usually those that were re-directed) the back button ended up creating several copies of that page making it impossible to go back to the previous page without accessing the history by either right clicking or holding the back button and selecting the previous page. This got very annoying, very fast. That’s one thing that’s really keeping me from using Iron as my main browser.

4. For some reason my spell checker won’t work. I couldn’t find out how to fix it. I know there’s got to be a way because there are people out there without this problem but I  just can’t figure out how. It is just irritating that this feature has problems with some users.

A lot of bugs have been resolved since it was first released and I’m still pretty impressed with the product. But I did some research on how to speed up Firefox and researched add-ons that would simulate the best features in Chrome and managed to find them.

Yes, I know there are people out there who have figured this out already but I never thought of looking for a list myself so this is my method. You could also download a theme that simulates the look but it serves no purpose. There is a Chrome add-on but it doesn’t seem to work well on my computer.

1. Downloader Status bar

2. Hide Menubar

3. Omnibar

There are other things you could look for but this is good enough for me. Also, there are plenty of ways to speed up Firefox. Just look it up on Google and change the settings according to the instructions. Be very careful when changing these settings because you could screw things up. You need broadband to make use of these changes and to decrease loading time you should make sure you have a fast computer.

Here’s a very blurry screencap to show you what it looks like with these changes.


To do this just Google “How to speed up Firefox” and “How to make Firefox faster”. I would do some research and read all of the articles before making changes. Some are complicated, and some just require you to edit the shortcut’s target entry text. It is possible that some pages load a bit slower but for the most part you do get a general sense of increased page loading time.

Check out  this blog written by Maurice Cepeda, writing as Mauro Andrés, that gives you a comprehensive and relatively easy to follow set of instructions for improving the performance of your browser.

Le Blog de Maurice.

After tweaking Firefox I tested its speed with both a benchmark and some online testing sites and the difference was negligible. Sometimes Firefox was a couple milliseconds to a second slower and at times it was even faster than Iron. Until Iron has fixed the aforementioned problems, I will keep Firefox as my main browser. Yes, you can make changes to Iron with Greasemonkey, but it isn’t worth the trouble when Firefox has such a vast library of ad-ons. I love tweaking and optimizing as much as the next gal, but convenience will always win. I will probably mess around with Greasemonkey when I get bored enough but until then I don’t see any reason to use Iron as my main browser.

Functionality: 7/10

Speed: 10/10

Stability: 8.5/10

Visual Appeal: 10/10

Compatibility: 8.5/10

Innovation: 9.5/10

Average score: 8.9

Summary: In short, the browser is pretty cool to play with, but once the novelty wears off it just isn’t up to par with Firefox. But if you’re just a casual internet user and don’t care about all the bells and whistles then it’s just the thing you were looking for. It’s fast, pretty reliable, and it dumbs down browsing so even novices have an easier time finding what they want. It is a good browser — I just hope that they address the issues I covered and others that might come up, that I forgot, or that I’m not aware of.