Keyboard shortcut for bookmarks toolbar in Firefox

Firefox provides the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + B for opening or closing the bookmarks sidebar. Strangely, there is no keyboard shortcut provided to show or hide the bookmarks toolbar. This is irritating since I prefer to use the toolbar over the sidebar.

This functionality can be obtained by installing the Hide BookmarksBar addon. In its Preferences you can set the keyboard shortcut you want. I like to set this to Ctrl + Shift + B, the same as in Chrome.

Tried with: Hide BookmarksBar 3.3.1, Firefox 41 and Ubuntu 15.04

uBlock Origin addon for browsers

I recently switched to an older notebook and my Chrome and Firefox browsers were quite slow on it. Using the Task Manager in Chrome I noticed that one of the main culprits was AdBlock Plus which was hogging memory.

Searching for a leaner alternative to ABP I switched to uBlock Origin. (Confusingly, there is also a uBlock addon, which is a fork of this.) Just install the addon and you are set! It uses many lists that are maintained online and the blocking is automatic. If you need to turn off blocking or change a configuration just click its button in the toolbar.

I clearly noticed a 50% or more reduction in memory usage with uBlock Origin compared to ABP. The improvement in actual usage was also clear.

Tried with: uBlock Origin 1.1.1, Firefox 41 and Ubuntu 15.04

How to add source code to flashcard in Anki

Syntax Highlighting for Code is an addon for Anki which enables you to add source code or pseudo-code to a flash card question or answer section. This is necessary for source code because Anki centers all text and that makes any source code text you add to a flash card impossible to understand!

This addon also automatically adds the appropriate syntax highlighting colors to the text. There is a huge variety of languages that it supports for this highlighting.

  • This addon depends on Pygments. Note that installing the latest version from PyPI using Pip caused errors with the bytes package. So, I installed the older version from Ubuntu repositories:
$ sudo apt install python-pygments
  • This addon used to be available from the Anki addons webpage with the code 491274358. It is no longer available there. But, we can install it from its source code. First, we get the code:
$ git clone https://github.com/tmbb/SyntaxHighlight.git
  • Copy the contents of the above directory to the Anki addons directory. On my system, this is the directory ~/Documents/Anki/addons

  • Close down Anki and start it up again.

  • Before you add any source code to a flashcard, indent it correctly in an external editor. Copy it to the system clipboard.

  • In the Add dialog, you will find a yellow lightning button and a languages dropdown beside it. Choose the language for syntax highlighting from dropdown. Click the lightning button and the source code from your system clipboard is processed through Pygments and the output HTML code is pasted to the flashcard. You can see that it looks great! πŸ™‚

  • This addon adds line numbers to the code by default. To turn it off, go to Tools -> Syntax Highlighting. Switch it off in the options.

Tried with: Anki 2.0.33 and Ubuntu 14.04

Open in Chrome addon for Firefox

When you are using Firefox, you might sometimes want to open a tab in Chrome. The Open in Chrome addon makes this simple. Just install the addon and to open the current tab in Chrome go to Tools > Open in Chrome > Open current tab in Chrome. The first time you use it, you need to indicate where to find the Chrome binary, but after that it just works. This addon could possibly be used to launch other browsers or tools with the current URL too.

Tried with: Open in Chrome 1.5.3, Firefox 29.0 and Ubuntu 14.04

Thumbnail Zoom Plus extension for Firefox

HoverZoom is a neat little extension I use on Chrome. Thumbnail Zoom Plus is a great alternative to this if you are using Firefox. It has all the same features and works on the same websites. Just hover the mouse on an image to see the fullsize version of it, if it exists.

Settings I use with this extension:

  • Set the Delay before display to 0.5 sec.
  • Set Default zoom to 100 percent.
  • Disable Show picture using all available space.
  • Turn off all keyboard shortcuts.

Tried with: Thumbnail Zoom Plus 2.7, Firefox 29.0 and Ubuntu 14.04

How to download and play subtitles in Raspbmc

XBMC, and hence Raspbmc, can automatically show subtitles when the subtitles file has the same name as the video filename and is placed in the same directory. What is awesome is that you can download and play subtitles for any video file right from the comfort of your XBMC!

XBMC 13 (Gotham) and later

XBMC 13 added native support for subtitle downloading. Go to Settings > Video > Subtitles. Scroll down to Default TV service and Default Movie service. When you enter, you are given a list of subtitle websites and you can pick which you want for TV and movies. More details can be found here.

XBMC 12.x and older

First, you need to install the XBMC Subtitles add-on. To do this, go toΒ System > Settings > Add-ons > Get Add-ons > XBMC.org Add-ons > Subtitles, choose XBMC Subtitles Add-on and install it.

Downloading subtitles

Next, play any video file. While it is playing choose the Download Subtitles option. This is available in XBMC remote apps like Yatse. Else, choose whatever option makes the video playback scroller appear. There on the set of icons below it on the right side, pick the first one.

Either way, this takes you to the Downloading Subtitles widget. XBMC will query subtitles databases online and show you a list of the best matching subtitles for your video file. Pick the one you want and press OK. XBMC will download the subtitle file and restore playback of the video file with the subtitles enabled. It is as easy as that! πŸ™‚

View Raspbmc web interface addons

Raspbmc web interface addons

You can control your Raspbmc from the browser of any computer connected to the home network. This remote control is but one of the many web interface addons that can be added to your Raspbmc.

If you install any other addons which provide a web interface, you can view and access these addons from the browser. If the IP address of your Raspbmc is 192.168.0.10, you can view its web interface addons at: http://192.168.0.10/addons

Tried with: Raspbmc RC4

User Agent Switcher addon for Firefox

User Agent Switcher is a pretty useful addon for Firefox. It can be used to switch the user agent string sent in the HTTP GET request to any custom string you want.

Most popular websites display a different UI for iPhone or Android user strings. So, I typically use this addon to switch to the iPhone user string to try this minimal UI.

This addon adds an entry in the Tools menu. Since Firefox hides most toolbar menus by default now, accessing this menu is a pain. Instead, I prefer to use the button that is provided by this addon. This button can be added to the addon bar, from where it is convenient to use.

Tried with: User Agent Switcher 0.7.3

DownThemAll!

If you use Firefox as your primary browser, then having a good download manager is a must. The built-in downloader of Firefox is all right, but there is much more a download manager can do to make your life easier.

I have been using the DownThemAll! addon as my download manager for a long time now. It is actually meant to download all or many of the content files on a webpage. But, I use it because it can accelerate downloads by downloading multiple pieces of the file at the same time. I can also use it to pause and restart downloads. It also displays some cool-looking graphs and detailed statistics while it downloads files.

[ The OneClick button on Save dialog ]

I also like to configure it so that it appears in the right-click context menu and in the Save dialog. In both of these places, it can be further configured as dTA OneClick, which means it starts downloading when I click it without asking me where and how to save it. The OneClick feature takes the settings from the previous download and runs with it. This saves me from going through one more dialog, which is quite useful if you always save files to the same directory.

Tried with: DownThemAll! 2.0.13

Ghostery

As we move from one website to another, we are being constantly tracked by social networks (like Facebook or Google+) and advertising networks. This is why the advertisements displayed on webpages seem to know your sex, age, interests and location. This is also why websites now show the articles or pages that were read there by your Facebook or Google+ friends.

If you find such an invasion into your privacy creepy, try the Ghostery addon for Firefox. (It is also available for all other browsers).

Configure it by clicking on its icon in the addon bar and choosing Options. Choose to block all 3rd party elements (3pes) and cookie-based tracking. If this hampers the functionality of a website, you can selectively turn on some of them later.

Once you have blocked all tracking, visit any website and Ghostery will block all tracking from it. It will display the tracking networks it blocked in a purple overlay window (see screenshot above) and also display more details in its icon on the addon bar at the bottom.

Tried with: Ghostery 2.7.1 and Firefox 10.0.2