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  • Matt 8:01 pm on January 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: browser, Firefox, market share   

    It’s official, Firefox 3.5 has surpassed Internet Explorer 7 and is now the most used browser on the web.

  • Matt 11:13 pm on February 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 7-Zip, Audacity, Firefox, GIMP, InfraRecorder, , Open Office, Open Source, PDFCreator, Pidgin, Software, Thunderbird, , VirtualDub   

    Software for Tough Economic Times 

    During these tough economic times I thought it would be a good idea to create a list of commercial software and their Open Source (FREE!!) equivalents.


    Microsoft Windows = Linux

    While I don’t really expect everyone, or anyone, to go out and change their OS, there are a couple of Linux distributions out there that are up to snuff for the novice user. There are many different flavors (distributions) of Linux, but my personal choice would be Ubuntu. If you know someone who is new to computers and only wants to do email and internet, I would really recommend Ubuntu Linux. It’s virtually unbreakable. In addition, there are literally thousands of free programs available for Linux that are easily installed using the Synaptic Package Manager.


    Microsoft Office = Open Office

    Open office offers equivalent programs that save in the MS Office formats (Office 2003 format):

    MS Program = OO Program
    Word = Writer
    Excel = Calc
    Powerpoint = Impress
    Access = Base
    Visio = Draw
    Equation Editor = Math

    Photoshop = GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program)

    From gimp.org:

    GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
    It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
    GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.
    GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows andMac OS X.

    In addition to it’s own impressive set of Plug-ins and Scripts, GIMP also supports many of the Plugins, filters and brushes made for Photoshop.


    AIM, Yahoo, MSN/Windows Live, Google Talk, ICQ, Facebook Chat, Myspace IM = Pidgin

    Pidgin is an all-in-one replacement for every instant messaging program out there.  You can replace the menagerie of IM icons in the notification area with just one.  Pidgin allows you to set your status in every IM program and on Facebook and MySpace simultaneously.  In addition, it supports plugins including such features as ‘Psychic Mode’, where you are notified a person is about to IM you as soon as they start typing.  In order to use Facebook Chat in Pidgin you’ll need to install the Pidgin Facebook Chat plugin.


    Nero/Roxio Easy CD Creator = InfraRecorder

    From InfraRecorder.org:

    InfraRecorder is a free CD/DVD burning solution for Microsoft Windows. It offers a wide range of powerful features; all through an easy to use application interface and Windows Explorer integration.

    InfraRecorder is released under GPL version 3.


    • Create custom data, audio and mixed-mode projects and record them to physical discs as well as disc images.
    • Supports recording to dual-layer DVDs.
    • Blank (erase) rewritable discs using four different methods.
    • Record disc images (ISO and BIN/CUE).
    • Fixate discs (write lead-out information to prevent further data from being added to the disc).
    • Scan the SCSI/IDE bus for devices and collect information about their capabilities.
    • Create disc copies, on the fly and using a temporary disc image.
    • Import session data from multi-session discs and add more sessions to them.
    • Display disc information.
    • Save audio and data tracks to files (.wav, .wma, .ogg, .mp3 and .iso).


    Adobe Acrobat (Distiller) = PDFCreator

    PDFCreator allows you to make a PDF File from any program by printing to a PDF printer.


    WinZip/Windows Zip Utility = 7-Zip

    Are you tired of waiting hours for the built-in Windows Zip extractor to uncompress a zip file?  Get 7-Zip!
    7-Zip features most of the same features included in WinZip, but it’s free and has no nag screens.


    Adobe Premiere = VirtualDub


    While not as user friendly and as full featured as Premiere, VirtualDub is an incredible package of video processing and compression software, once again, for FREE!

    From VirtualDub.org:

    VirtualDub is a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit Windows platforms (95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP), licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).  It lacks the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video.  It has batch-processing capabilities for processing large numbers of files and can be extended with third-party video filters.  VirtualDub is mainly geared toward processing AVI files, although it can read (not write) MPEG-1 and also handle sets of BMP images.


    Sound Forge = Audacity:

    From audacity.sourceforge.net:

    Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:

    • Record live audio.
    • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
    • Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
    • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
    • Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
    • And more! See the complete list of features.


    Microsoft Internet Explorer = Mozilla Firefox

    Many of you already know about Firefox.  Judging by my website stats most of you use it.  Firefox is one of the pieces of open source software that absolutely blows it’s commercial counterpart out of the water.  Beginning with Firefox 2, it set the standard for web browsers left Microsoft scrambling to catch up.  Beyond being naturally faster and more intuitive than IE, it’s also extendable through plugins, extensions and themes.  Firefox extensions allow you to completely customize your browsing experience from removing every advertisement with adblock plus to adding functionality to control iTunes to the status bar.

    The most likely way that your computer is going to be infected with adware or a virus is through security holes in Internet Explorer.  More security flaws in IE are found all the time, and Microsoft is ususally the last to know.  For a more customizable and secure browsing experience get Firefox today.

    Check out my series of blog posts about my favorite Firefox Extensions.


    Microsoft Outlook (Express) = Mozilla Thunderbird

    While Thunderbird hasn’t matured quite as much as Firefox, it is still a highly customizable email client that gets more and more so every day.  Much like Firefox, Thunderbird supports extension and themes, including adblock, that allow you to create your own email experience.  You can install extensions that turn Thunderbird from a client like Outlook Express into a more flexible version of Microsoft Office Outlook.


    More to come soon!

    This is only the beginning of the list.  I’ll post more free Open Source alternatives to high priced commercial software soon!  In the meantime you can check out the home of Open Souce on the internet sourceforge.net.

  • Matt 12:00 am on November 4, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CustomizeGoogle, , Firefox, Gears, , Google Gears, Google Toolbar, Googlepedia,   

    Must Have Firefox Add-ons, Part 5: The Google Experience 

    Over the next several days I’ll be giving you my list of must have Firefox Add-ons.

    Election Day Bonus:  Enhancing Your Google Experience with Firefox Add-ons

    There are many Firefox extensions that can change your Google experience, but I think I’ve got it narrowed down to the three best.

    Google Toolbar for Firefox

    This one really goes without saying.  The Google Toolbar is probably THE must have extension for Firefox.  If you don’t already have it, get it now! This essential add-on allows you to search all of Google’s web based tools instantly, allows you to search Google applications like Google Earth, Google Desktop, and Picasa, it also automatically fill-in forms, adds spell check to every web form, and even has a built in translate feature that shows the chosen translation for any word you hover the mouse pointer over.  Like everything else in Firefox, it’s highly customizable.

    For more information go to the Google Toolbar for Firefox home page or click here to install it now.


    This feature laden extension is like steroids for Google.  This add-on removes advertising from your Google results, rewrites links from Google Images searches to point directly to the full size image, filters spam results from Google searches, adds numbers and favicons to your search results, and makes your Google preferences ‘sticky’.  What this means is that you set your search preferences in CustomizeGoogle, and these preferences are applied to all Google searches.

    Most amazingly, CustomizeGoogle allows you to ‘stream’ search results.  With streaming enabled instead of getting the word Gooooooooooogle at the bottom of the page, CustomizeGoogle automatically queries Google for the next set of search results as you scroll towards the bottom of the page, so the results appear as one long web page.  This is great for almost anyone who searches with Google.

    For more information go to the CustomizeGoogle home page or click here to install it now.

    Google Gears

    Google Gears is a web API (Application Programming Interface) that allows for a richer experience for users web-based applications.  So far there are not a ton of sites that use gears, but, as with most Google technologies, I imagine that will change very soon.  For now, if you use MySpace, Picasa Web Albums, gmail, Google Reader, or Google Calendar you want Google Gears.

    Google Gears also supports offline storage.  Some web sites, such as Google Reader, Google Calendar, or Remember the Milk, will automatically sync news, appointments, or tasks to your desktop so they are available offline.

    For more information go to the Google Gears home page or click here to install it now.


    Last, but not least, is a simple little extension that can really make a difference in how long it takes you to get your answers.  When you search Google, Googlepedia queries Wikipedia with the same search terms and returns the most relevant result to the right of your Google results in place of the advertising that would normally appear.

    Screenshot of Wikipedia
    Screenshot of Googlepedia results for ‘University of Texas’

    For more information go to the Googlepedia home page or click here to install it now.

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  • Matt 12:00 am on November 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Firefox, Magic's Video Downloader,   

    Must Have Firefox Add-ons, Part 4: Magic’s Video Downloader 

    Over the next several days I’ll be giving you my list of must have Firefox Add-ons.

    Magic’s Video Downloader

    Have you ever started watching a YouTube video only to discover it’s part 1 of 9 and wished you could download them to watch later on the plane?  Or, have you ever loved a Google video so much that you wanted to download it to your desktop?  With Magic’s Video Downloader you can do just that.  When you are viewing supported content an arrow in your status bar turns from red to green, and you just click it to bring up a pop-up window where you can start the download.

    Magic’s Video Downloader supports downloading from the following web sites:

    Video.Google.com, Youtube.com, Metacafe.Com, 220.ro, Trilulilu.Ro, Neogen – Video, 2XtremeBoom.phg.ro, Metacafe.Ro, xtube.com, redtube.com, xhamster.com, myvideo.de, peteava.ro, myspace.com, ifilm.com (spike.com), dailymotion.com, pornhub.com, gametrailers.com, mymusclevideo.com, vbox7.com, video.acasa.ro, crunchyroll.com, wrzuta.pl, supernovatube.com, 420tube.com, godtube.com, tnaflix.com, video.rol.ro, protv.ro, bofunk.com, loadup.ru


    For more information go to Magic’s Video Downloader home page, or click here to install it now.

  • Matt 12:00 am on November 2, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Firefox, , Undo Closed Tabs Button   

    Must Have Firefox Add-ons, Part 3: Undo Closed Tabs Button 

    Over the next several days I’ll be giving you my list of must have Firefox Add-ons.

    Undo Closed Tabs Button

    Ever close a tab and realize you shouldn’t have?  With this simple extension you simply click the Undo Closed Tabs Button, or press ctrl-shift-z, and voila, your tab reappears.  UCTB can be configured to remember up to 99 tabs.

    For more information go to the UCTB home page, or click here to install it now.

  • Matt 12:00 am on November 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Facebook Toolbar for Firefox, Firefox, , MySpace, Unofficial MySpace Toolbar   

    Must Have Firefox Add-ons, Part 2: Facebook/MySpace Toolbars 

    Over the next several days I’ll be giving you my list of must have Firefox Add-ons.

    Facebook Toolbar for Firefox

    Facebook Toolbar for Firefox keeps you logged in, and notifies you of any new messages, friend requests, or notifications.  In addition, you can update you status or search Facebook directly from the toolbar.  It also includes a combo box with quick links to the most used Facebook pages and a sidebar that lists your friends and has links to message, poke, or post to the wall of your friends.  Perhaps the best feature is a ‘Share’ button that allows you to instantly post a comment as well as a link to the current page directly to your Facebook.

    For more information go to the Facebook Toolbar for Firefox home page, or click here to install it now.  (You will need to click ‘Allow’ when asked in order to give the site permission to install the software.)

    Unofficial MySpace Toolbar

    Like the Facebook Toolbar, Unofficial MySpace Toolbar keeps you logged in, and notifies you of any new MySpace activity.  In addition, it includes a link to a style editor for customizing your profile and a button to quickly add a blog entry.

    There are other MySpace toolbars out there, but in my experience the others are limited and ad-laden.

    For more information go to the Unofficial MySpace Toolbar home page or click here to install it now.

    • azaz 5:58 am on September 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

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  • Matt 12:00 am on October 31, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Adblock Plus, , , Firefox,   

    Must Have Firefox Add-ons, Part 1: Adblock Plus 

    Over the next several days I’ll be giving you my list of must have Firefox Add-ons.

    Adblock Plus

    Ever get tired of web pages so crowded with advertising that they become difficult to navigate and read?  Well, then you need Adblock Plus.  This extension automatically filters out virtually all advertising.  You can choose to keep your filters up-to-date by subscribing (free) to web-based filter updates.

    Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself:

    image image

    Without Adblock Plus

    With Adblock Plus

    For more information go to the Adblock Plus home page or click here to install it now.

  • Matt 6:05 pm on November 13, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Firefox, , ,   

    It’s Here! Sirius Firefox Plugin! 

    The number on Google search driving people to this site is “Sirius Firefox Plugin”.

    Before November 6th, no such software existed.  Dusty Wilson has come to our rescue!

    While it’s still in alpha, it’s a functioning Sirius Internet Radio player that operates in the status bar of Firefox. 

    Notice: This plugin requires a Sirius subscription. 

    You can get a three day trial at sirius.com

    Thanks Dusty!

    Get it here

    • dustywilson 12:50 pm on March 3, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I just wanted you to know that the new version of the SIRIUS Player is available for download at the Firefox Add-Ons website. It’s greatly improved! Check it out. Be sure to leave comments on the Firefox Add-Ons site.



  • Matt 12:51 pm on September 1, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Firefox, , ,   

    Howard Stern Media Player 

    King of All Media Player

    This is for everyone who has been searching for a Sirius Firefox Plugin. While this doesn’t exactly fit the bill, it is a stand-alone player for Howard 100 and Howard 101. You have to register with howardstern.com in order to download it.

    Also, according to siriusbackstage.com. Sirius is to offer a high-quality internet only subscription. For $12.95 a month, Sirius will stream music to your PC at 128kbps and talk at 48kbps. Additional subscriptions will be $6.95/mo. Current Sirius subscribers can upgrade to the higher quality stream for an additional $2.95/mo.

  • Matt 12:51 am on January 12, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Firefox, ,   

    Tabbrowser Extensions and WordPress 

    Now that I’ve migrated from Blogger to WordPress my blogging world coudn’t be any better.

    Well, except for one thing. My favorite must-have extension, Tabbrowser Extensions, doesn’t play well with WordPress 2.0.

    When inserting a link or image into a new post the popup window hangs at half complete. The link or image is inserted, but if you hit cancel on the popup Firefox crashes. You can just close the popup, but sometimes it will crash. The only solution I could come up with was to replace Tabbrowser Extensions with the much less customizable, and must less functional Tabbrowser Preferences.

    This is quite a disapointment. If anyone has had any success changing some of TBP settings and got it to work with WP2, let me know.

    The one bright side of this whole situation was I ran across a great new extension – IE Tab. This extension actually opens a new tab in Firefox using the IE engine, eliminating the need for IE View.

    • michael 7:55 pm on February 26, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Matt 🙂 I have been attempting to get this extension to work for a bit. I had nearly given up until i googled the correct term and came across you. How did you get the file to install? For me it just doesnt connect to 2.0.

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