You too can improve Firefox

Google Chrome is too dominating, this is not good for the web. So I’m switching back to Firefox, but it can be pretty ugly by default in places.

I like to apply the following tweaks to make it pretty again:

Increase the Address Bar font size

Edit userChrome.css to make style changes to the Firefox UI. My Profile is located at %appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<Gibberish>, use the previous link to find the location on your system. Inside your profile create a chrome folder and inside that create a userChrome.css. Add the following line:

#urlbar { font-size: 13px; }

The possibilities are endless but this does the trick for me. Restart Firefox after saving the file.

Remove unwanted buttons and the searchbox

Right click on any of the toolbar buttons > Customize... to bring up the Customize Firefox screen. Remove unused buttons and the search box (search via the address bar instead) by dragging them to the Additional Tools and Features panel —  or the hamburger menu panel to access them with a click.

Make the tabs square again

Firefox tabs have this rounded look to them, which I find displeasing: install the Squared Australis Tabs addon to add square corners instead.

Hide the menu bar

Did you know you can access the menu bar by pressing the Alt key on your keyboard? The menu bar is visible by default but it is not frequently accessed, so press Alt+V or bring up the View menu bar menu and untick the Menu Bar and optionally the Bookmark Toolbar items.

Hide bookmark toolbar item names

You can blank out the Name of a bookmark to have it display just the icon in the toolbar, which tidies up those frequently accessed sites.

January 6, 2017 at 11:54 AM in Web

How to signup for Flickr without disclosing your mobile number

I was looking to setup a Flickr account and noticed that it requires you to enter a mobile phone number to sign up. I prefer not to disclose this information to third parties so I looked for a solution. Unfortunatley, a lot of information is out of date as Yahoo! (which owns Flickr, and which is the service you sign up to so you can login) turned off third party signups back in 2014. However I found a way…

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September 7, 2016 at 12:55 PM in Web

Switched to secure connection [updated]

I’ve switched this site to HTTPS, a secure connection, using a ssl proxy service provided for free by Cloudflare, for reasons. Let me know if you come across any issues.

For those using WordPress, changing the settings Site Address and WordPress Address to HTTPS may make your site unavailable. FYI, the solution I settled on is to install the WordPress HTTPS plugin. Then I set the Site Address to HTTPS. Finally, I cleared the cache. All is working fine now.

Update (06/02/15):
I’ve moved away from Cloudflare as my DNS provider and as a side-effect this means I’m no longer HTTPS for now. Sorry.

January 27, 2015 at 10:05 AM in Web

Clear writing

The best way to write a clear blog post is to paste your draft into a text-to-speech engine such as tts-api.com and listen to the output. If you can’t easily understand what is said then that will most likely indicate problems with your sentence structure.

November 13, 2012 at 4:48 PM in Web

Piratepad Beta

This is a online document creation tool that you can work on in realtime with other people with chat. Good for notes and documentation or getting feedback where the other party can make amendments in realtime. (click frog to start)

via Piratepad Beta

March 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM in Web

Fork webpages

I’m looking for something a bit unusual. Say you are following the instructions for installing a software package (rl example: http://library.linode.com…/webmin/installing-webmin). Now you find out the instructions are outdated, or incomplete.

How do you keep your notes/additional instructions together with the original? Now you have two problems, your instructions and the original can be updated independently. What happens when the original is updated, or a new version of the software is released?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could fork the webpage and update it (or even submit a pull request to the maintainer)?

Is there any practical way of working this way – or will I be stuck with a notetaker / blog / bunch of outdated textfiles?

A lot of questions – maybe one of you has the answer.

February 17, 2012 at 11:47 AM in Development, Web