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Tech Thursday #2 -- The Joys of Firefox

Some of you may have heard about how Firefox was attempting to set a world record... or perhaps you were watching when Firefox received the Colbert Bump, and you're wondering what all the hype is about? Or maybe you've been using that internet browser that came pre-installed on your computer, and you're not sure why you would want to use anything else?

I made the switch a couple years ago after getting completely fed up with Internet Explorer (which will henceforth be referred to as IE), because it kept shutting itself down every time I used the scroll wheel. At the time, I was simply looking for something that worked, but since then, I've been impressed with Firefox's upgrades and new features. Some of the best include:

  • Tabbed browsing -- yes, I know IE does this too, now, but Firefox was first, and does it better too.
  • Spell-Check -- this is pretty self-explanatory
  • the "awesome bar" -- like an address bar, only better!
  • Search bar -- one click searches from google, wikipedia, worldcat, imdb, etc. (very, very, very useful on the reference desk).

But the best thing about Firefox, for me, is the ability to install extensions that add functionality, or simply make my online life a little bit easier. My favorites include:

  • Foxmarks -- syncs bookmarks between Portable Firefox (stored on my flash drive and used at work), my laptop, and my desktop
  • Split Browser -- as shown below, I can have two (or more) websites open side-by-side, so I can be working on a blog post and searching for images and links without having to switch tabs

The other reason that I love firefox, however, is that it can be installed on a thumb/flash/jump drive, and I can take my bookmarks and browsing history with me wherever I go (most days at work, I end up working at 3 or 4 different computers, so this is essential).

p.s. I'm sorry the book posts have been so sporadic lately -- let's just say that it's been a very long week.


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