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>> The Firefox browser is amazing. You can make it do almost anything you want if you know where to look. I'm Tom Merritt, Editor from cnet.com. On this edition of Insider Secrets, I will show you how to hack Firefox to serve you better. A lot of times the tricks I'm about to show you are considered advanced. Now, the page where you make the changes may appear complicated, but the tricks themselves are not. I'll show you how to pull up the config page, that's the one that looks complicated, and share a few of my favorite tweaks. Then you can go and explore and find out a few of your own. First, go for Firefox browser. Type in "about:config." That brings up the scary page. This page has the configuration for almost every behavior in Firefox. You double click on any line to change the values and change the way Firefox works. The only tricky part is knowing what those things mean. Here a few examples. The tab width is set on Firefox, so if you open enough tabs, they scroll off the side. I find this annoying. You can change the default width of the tabs so more of them fit on one page without scrolling. Type "browser.tabs.tabminwidth" into the filter. You'll see a value of 100. That's 100 pixels as the minimum width of tabs. I changed mine to 60. Now, as you can see, more tabs fit in before the scrolling starts. If you want to turn off tab scrolling all together, make it zero. Next up, the prefetch feature. This nifty Firefox fun treat downloads pages it thinks you're likely to click on next, thus, appearing to speed up your browsing. It also uses up your processing power, your bandwidth, and makes it appear you visited sites you haven't, kind of creepy. Type "network.prefetch-next" into the filter. Double click on the entry and it changes the value to false. No more prefetching, although it may slow down your browsing, so be warned. Another big complaint about Firefox is that it sucks up all your ram, your memory, but you can stop that. Type in "browser.cache.disk.capacity." You can adjust the value drown to minimize ram use. Remember, though, the farther down you adjust this number, the slower Firefox will work, so the more ram you have, the more memory you have in your machine, the higher number you can risk here and still save on memory. Another way to the speed up Firefox, Shut Down Images. Page will load lightening fast and guess what? No ads. Type in "permissions.default.image." The default value 1 means images always get loaded. Change it to a 2 and no images get loaded. It sure is spartan. If you change the value to 3, the browser will only load images from the same server the page comes from. No sneaky third-party image tracking. There are hundreds of other settings you can play with here. You could find a whole list of them at Mozillazine.org. I also want to thank Lifehacker.com for a posting that inspired me to mess around with About Config. That's it for this edition of Insider Secrets. I'm Tom Merritt for cnet.com. Get to hacking.
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