Switch to Firefox
I've been telling a lot of people about a new internet browser called Firefox, and I want to recommend to everyone that you ditch Microsoft Internet Explorer and start using the Firefox browser. Your initial period of adjustment will be amply rewarded with better functionality, security, and ease of use. "Tabbed browsing" is a great feature not offered by IE, which greatly improves webbrowsing efficiency. Give Firefox a try and I don't think you'll be sorry. Versions are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Of course, it's 100% free, and open-source.
Below I have listed where to get the program, as well as where to get extensions and which ones I consider essential.
You can download Firefox here. The latest version as of this writing
is version 0.9.3 . I have experienced no major bugs with it. It
crashes much less often than IE.
Extensions are small programs that integrate into Firefox and add features. Firefox is simple and small by design--you add what you want and leave out what you don't need, unlike bloated programs such as IE.
The extensions page for the latest version of Firefox is here, and is
also available under the Tools:Extensions menu in Firefox:
Download and install Firefox first, then get the extensions you want.
There are other, older extensions pages. Some of these extensions
will not work with the latest version of Firefox, and some will. You
may have to experiment.
Other extensions pages:
This is a list of the extensions I use, and consider essential. Most
are available on the first page listed above. The others are
available on the older pages. If you have trouble getting them to
auto-install, try going to the "homepage" link for the extension and
installing from there. Hundreds of other extensions are available,
so you have lots of options to choose from. If you find something
really good that I have overlooked, please let me know.
Dan's Must-Have Extensions:
Dictionary Search - highlight words and get definitions with a few mouse clicks. Many useful options, such as Wikipedia search and translation options.
Googlebar - adds Googlebar search and highlighting capability
Bug-Me-Not - bypass annoying registration pages on websites, including web newspapers.
Tabbrowser Extensions - Adds many options. Drop-down history of closed tabs very useful. I think this extension is better than "Tabbrowser Preferences." You may have to go to an older extension page to find it, but it does work with 0.9.3
Create Shortcut - Allows you to create a shortcut icon on the desktop.
Sort Bookmarks - Sorts your bookmarks folder alphabetically.
Single Window - Forces new pages to open in a new tab instead of another window.
Adblock - blocks pop-ups and internet ads. Essential.
BlogThis - Allows posting directly to your blog (useful if you use Blogger). Another extension is available for LiveJournal.
Sage - RSS and Atom feed aggregator. Simple to use. If you don't know what these terms mean, start learning. This tech makes it a lot easier to keep up with the changes to your favourite blogs and websites, if they offer an XML feed.
Mini-T - allows tabs to be rearranged by dragging and dropping.
All-In-One Gestures - allows page navigations via simple gestures with the mouse. No hunting and clicking buttons.
Plain Text Links - allows any web address to be highlighted and opened in a new tab, even if it is not formatted as a link. For example, you could open "lewrockwell.com" in a new tab--no cutting and pasting.
TinyURL Creator - Allows use of TinyURL service to shrink giant URL's into manageable size. Very useful when sending links to friends and posting to lists.
Add Bookmark Here - Adds a menu option to each bookmark folder to add the current page as a bookmark in that folder.
Show Old Extensions - shows extensions you have on your system for versions of Firefox before 0.9.3. Useful since some of these will still work, and newer versions are not yet available.
Allow Right Click - enables right-click menu functionality, even if web page tries to disable it.
Tab X - adds a close button on each tab.
Focus Last Selected Tab - Changes focus to last tab used when closing another tab. Without this, default is usu. to the last tab on the right. Useful when following links and opening lots of tabs.
WebmailCompose - Essential if, like me, you use YahooMail or a similar webmail service. Without this, clicking on an email address will open IE (thanks to the evil machinations of Microsoft). This causes the link to open in Firefox.
Always Remember Password - causes your computer to store and auto-fill password info for sites that normally won't let you do this, such as Yahoo Mail.