Thursday, March 09, 2006


"Extensions" are a touted feature of Mozilla's Firefox web browser. While I admire the philosophy of keeping the main program lean, and adding features as you want them, I have never had occasion to add an extension.

Until now.

The Flashblock extension to Firefox blocks Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Shockwave, and Macromedia Authorware content from appearing. The overwhelming majority of animated ads these days are Flash or Shockwave things, and blocking these swirly nuisances makes surfing a lot better. Pages load faster and they are more pleasant to read.

Flashblock replaces what would have appeared with a box that borders the area containing the Macromedia content. Inside the box is a "play" button, in case you want to see the content.

Installing Flashblock is a snap. It's only 48 KB in size. You click on the install link and restart Firefox when prompted.

If you have Firefox set to block automatic installation of extensions, as I do, there is a FAQ that gives clear guidance on how to deal with this. It's easy.

After you restart Firefox, you can confirm that Flashblock is installed by clicking Tools > Extensions. The Extensions window also lets you specify selected sites whose Macromedia content should be permitted, via the Options button. And if you change your mind, this same window has buttons to disable or uninstall the Flashblock extension.

Suddenly, reading Yahoo web mail and is much more enjoyable.


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