Now that I’ve upgraded to the Windows 7 RC (bye bye, Vista!), I’ve completely changed the look of my desktop using the customization tool Rainmeter. No icons on the desktop, just a simple clean workspace with some nice little features in the sidebar. I’m loving it so much that I fixed up Alanna’s computer the same way, customized to her needs.
Have you switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox yet? If not, why not? Firefox is faster, more secure, and, through add-ons, completely customizable. These extensions can change the look of the browser, increase performance, and just do some cool tricks. I switched a while back, and I just keep finding more and more to like about it. I’ve spent the last few days tweaking my toolbar to make it streamlined for my daily use.
I’ve got a few basic navigational buttons, my address bar, Google search, a few favorite bookmark icons, and a drop down menu containing all the elements of the “Menus Toolbar.” This was done through a variety of add-ons. Here are a few of my favorites
- Adblock Plus – Absolutely essential! Adblock makes browsing the Internet an almost ad free experience. More than a pop-up blocker, Adblock gets rid of pretty much all the junk that clutters up most webpages. After getting used to AdBlock Plus, you forget what the internet truly looks like until you turn this extension off.
- Boost for Facebook – If you’re a Facebook junkie like me, you’re going to want this one. It automatically logs you in, allows you to poke with just one click (no annoying confirmation pop-up), and when you point your mouse at a picture, it shows you a full size preview without having to click. You can even adjust the look of the pages if you feel the need.
- Fasterfox Lite – Firefox is already a fast browser, but Fasterfox speeds up your browsing even more. I prefer the Lite version because it doesn’t have the bandwidth eating prefetching feature.
- Personal Menu – This extension moves the big “Menus Toolbar” to a small button. Great for saving space on the toolbar!
- Tab Mix Plus – Tab Mix Plus enhances Firefox’s tab browsing capabilities. You are able to undo closed tabs and windows, duplicate tabs, monitor activity in loading tabs,
- Webmail Notifier – Does exactly what you would expect. I use Gmail as my primary email client, and this handy litttle extention puts an icon in the right-hand corner of the status bar that lets me know whenever I have a new message.
So, are you a Firefox convert yet? I resisted for a long time, but after making the switch, I can’t imagine surfing any other way. Download it here. If you’re already using Firefox, what are your favorite add-ons?