Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to make the new Firefox look like the old Firefox

One of the great things about Firefox is how customizable it is. In fact, you can even make it look like the old Firefox if you want. Do you miss the Add-ons bar, small icons or tabs on bottom? No problem. We'll show you how to get them back.

Install the Classic Theme Restorer Add-on

  1. Open the Classic Theme Restorer Add-on page.
  2. Click the green Add to Firefox button to install it.
  3. Firefox will download the add-on and ask you to confirm that you want to install it.
  4. Click Restart Now to finish the installation. Your tabs will be saved and restored after the restart.
By default, you will get the orange Firefox menu in the upper-left corner and square tabs.

Use the customize screen to drag things around, turn on extra toolbars and use small icons

The Classic Theme Restorer gives you lots of extra options on the customize screen.
  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.
  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Extensions panel.
    • A special tab will open which allows you to drag and drop items in or out of the menu and the toolbar.
      CTR Options
      • Buttons: Choose "Small" to get the classic small toolbar buttons.
      • Show/Hide Toolbars: From here you can re-enable the Add-ons bar or add an extra blank toolbar that you can customize.
      • Mode: Here you can choose to show text labels under the toolbar buttons or to have just text button (no icons).
      • Customize mode is more powerful. You can even move or remove the menu button or address bar if you wish.
  3. When you are done, click the green Exit Customize button.
For more about customizing Firefox, see Customize Firefox controls, buttons and toolbars.

Restore tabs on bottom and other options

Open the Classic Theme Restorer settings panel.
  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.
  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Extensions panel.
  3. Find the entry for Classic Theme Restorer and click the Options button next to it.
  4. In the Classic Theme Restorer options window, you can choose Tabs not on top in the first (Main) tab.
    Tabs on top option
  5. When you are done, click OK to close the window and save your changes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How to Automatically Mute Ads on Spotify

It's nice that music-streaming service Spotify offers a free, ad-supported version, and most of the time we don't mind listening to an ad or two for the privilege. But those audio ads can be a serious buzzkill when they interrupt your party music. Here's how to automatically mute ads in Spotify and keep the flow in your playlists. P


Blockify  is far and away the best Spotify ad blocker for Windows. It sits in your system tray and mutes Spotify (or your computer, your choice) whenever it detects an audio ad. It'll unmute Spotify when the ad finishes playing.P
How to Automatically Mute Ads on SpotifySEXPAND
Better yet, though, Blockify can do more than just mute ads: It also adds customizable hotkeys to Spotify, so you can skip tracks, play, pause, shuffle, and change the volume with keyboard shortcuts. It also allows you to play a substitute MP3 from your Music folder when it mutes an ad—that way, you don't have any empty space between songs. When it detects an ad, it will mute Spotify, play a random MP3 from your Music folder, and then move to the next track on your Spotify playlist when that song is over, which is a really cool little feature.P


How to Automatically Mute Ads on Spotify
On OS X, you can mute ads just by downloading and running Smutefy. Smutefy sits in your menu bar, mutes Spotify whenever an ad plays, and unmutes it when the ad is over. There's no other configuration necessary, though you will need previously mentioned Soundflower installed for it to work. It also has a manual blocklist, so if any do come up, you can block them from showing up again just by clicking an option in the menu bar.P
Update: It looks like Smutefy has been abandoned, but you can still mute Spotify ads with SpotiFree, a simple AppleScript that works in a similar fashion.P
Of course, it's also worth mentioning that the best way to avoid ads in Spotify is to pay for the $5 per month "Unlimited" upgrade. If you're going to block ads all the time, you're probably better off supporting the service, but we understand that sometimes you just want to make it through a playlist without being interrupted by out-of-place music. Use with care!

How To Edit Your Hosts File

On occasion you will need to edit the hosts file on your machine. Sometimes because of an attack or prank, and others so that you can simply and freely control access to websites and network traffic.

hosts files have been in use since ARPANET. They were used to resolve hosts names before DNS. hosts files would be massive documents used to aide the network name resolution.
Microsoft kept the hosts file alive in Windows networking which is why it varies very little whether used in Windows, OS X or Linux. The syntax stays mostly the same across all platforms. Most hosts files will have several entries for loopback. We can use that for the basic example for the typical syntax.
The first part will be the location to redirect the address to, the second part will be the address that you will want to redirect, and the third part is the comment. They can be separated by a space, but for ease of reading are typically separated by one or two tabs. localhosts #loopback
Now let’s look at accessing the hosts files in the different operating systems…

Windows 8 or 8.1

Unfortunately Windows 8 makes it annoying to open apps as administrator — but it’s not too difficult. Just search for Notepad, then right-click on Notepad in the search results list, and choose to run it as administrator.
Once you’ve done so, open up the following file using the File -> Open feature.
Then you can edit as normal.

Windows 7

To access the hosts file in Windows 7 you can use the following command in the Run Line to open notepad and the file.
notepad c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
Once notepad is open you can edit the file. In this example we will block Facebook. To do this just enter in the following after the # mark.
Now that you have edited your Hosts file make sure to save it.
Now notice if we try to access Facebook in IE we can’t get to the page.
We also were not able to get to it in Google Chrome… (check notes at the end). Also for more info on editing your Hosts file, check out The Geek’s article on how to create a shortcut to quickly edit your Hosts file.


In Ubuntu 10.04 and most Linux distro’s you can edit the hosts file directly in the terminal. You can use your favorite editor or even open your favorite GUI text editor. For this example we will use VIM. Like Windows 7, Ubuntu’s hosts file is located in the /etc/ folder, though here it is in the root of the drive. In order to edit the file you will need to open it as root which is why we use sudo here.
Now that it is open we can edit it to redirect Facebook into nothing. You will notice that with Ubuntu there is also a section for IP6. For most needs you will only need to edit it the top section and ignore the IP6.
Now we can save the file and try to go to Just like in windows we will see that we are now redirected to a site that does not exist.

Mac OS X (Any version)

In OS X, accessing the hosts file is very similar to Ubuntu. Begin in terminal and use your favorite editor, even is you wish to call a GUI text editor, it is easier to do so from terminal.
The file will look a bit more like Windows, only with a little less explanation. Again we are going to redirect Facebook.
This time it seems that is a loopback and will direct you to the computers Apache test page.