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A blog by Tim Booth of the NEBC. I'll be using this blog to pass on some of my tips for users of the Bio-Linux system (see the first post), and maybe some other useful nuggets that come my way.
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Some Firefox favourites

Posted 01-30-2009 at 07:43 AM by avarus

The idea of this blog is primarily to give some helpful suggestions to anyone moving from Bio-Linux 4 to Bio-Linux 5, and one big change is the desktop environment (which has changed from KDE to Gnome). The new version looks and behaves a little differently, and for anyone who uses the system as their regular PC the small features can add up to make a more satisfying or a more frustrating experience depending on your personal taste.

I like to have my computer working just the way I want it, and I've been trying out some tweaks to get things just right. In this post I'll suggest some ways to set up your Firefox browser that I find make it work better for me.

Firstly, I've been asked what happened to Iceweasel. To all intents and purposes, Iceweasel is a Debian branding of Firefox and aside from the name the program works identically. Now that Bio-Linux runs on Ubuntu, the more recognisable name and logo has returned but all your settings, bookmarks, plugins, etc. should continue to work just as before.

One little feature I like in Firefox is that you can copy a URL to the clipboard then middle-click in the browser window to open it. This is disabled in Ubuntu, as it alarms some users, but you can get it back very simply - see this post

Firefox also supports a wealth of Add-ons. Three that I find particularly useful:

BioFox: Gives you quick access to all sorts of on-line Bioinformatics tools. Why hunt down your own services when Biofox collects them all for you in one handy toolbar?

Ageing tabs: This may seem like a gimmick, but having the unused tabs in your browser slowly fade can be very useful. If you have, say, 10 tabs open and are currently using three of them the relevant 'hot' tabs immediately jump out at you.

Mouse gestures: Not everyone gets on with this, but I find it a very natural way to control the browser. Pull new tabs into existence, dismiss them with a sweep, zoom in with a flick. You won't quite be like John Anderton but you can at least hold your own with those smug iPhone users.

And if you write your own web pages these two are a must:

Firebug: The ultimate web analyser with on-the-fly editing etc. etc.

Colorzilla : Lets you find the colour of any pixel on a website. Very handy if you want to have seamless graphics or matching font colours.

That's enough Firefox. Next time, getting to grips with the clipboard.

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