Mozilla Firefox – Reset Your Profile, Recharge Your Browser

One of the best features in Firefox is one of its least-known. Many, many people complain of Firefox feeling slow and bloated over time, and in a number of cases, they’re not wrong. They just don’t know that surfing the web can be analogous to playing Katamari Damacy, where simply browsing can accumulate cruft until you have this big ball of metadata that slows you down.

If you find your Firefox experience is sub-par and a little more pokey than you’d like, you should try resetting your profile before moving over to another product. You should know that your preferences, extensions, and themes will be reset/removed, but since you’re planning on installing Chrome or another browser, I’m willing to bet that’s ok (and you should back your profile up before you do this, just in case). Your browsing history, bookmarks, and form info will be saved, and that’s the important thing.

To reset your profile, open up Help->Troubleshooting Information from the Help menu, and click the reset button. This simple procedure will cure most things that ail you performance-wise with Firefox. You should also read our support article on Resetting Your Firefox Profile, which will give you the the full scoop on what happens when you click.

There, doesn’t that feel better?

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teacher by ibekev
teacher, a photo by ibekev on Flickr.

I spent the last two weekends in a classroom. nine hours each day, learning about things I’m interested in.

it’s been a hard year so far. I’m averaging about 65 hours a week at work, and I’m not even screwing around. it’s busy, and I’m exhausted, and I could use a break in a huge way.

instead of catching up on a little sleep, I get up on Saturday and Sunday at 5am to do my homework. I get to class at 8am. I listen. I learn. I participate. I’m still tired.

I’m also happy, because learning is what drives me.

my dad is a teacher. always has been, always will be. one of the most important lessons he’s passed on to me is that I should never, ever stop learning, because we can always, always better ourselves and pass that on to others to make things better for them.

he practices what he preaches. I can only hope I can do half of what he’s done to help people in the life I have left.

thanks, dad. you may not know of all the gifts you’ve given me, but this is one of them, and I cherish it.

Decelerating Deadsquid

deadsquid.com turns 14 this month, and there are some changes afoot. I’ve been running a bunch of ISP-ish services – everything from dialup access to mail and web hosting – since 1995, and am tired of it. I like having my own server to do my own thing, and have been happy to help friends and family out by hosting their content, but the services I offer aren’t comparable to what can be had commercially at a very (very!) reasonable cost. So, to that end, I’m shuttering the dedicated server everything runs off of by the end of April.

Thanks to everyone who has used deadsquid.com over the years to vent about Ingenia, keep in touch with friends, play Expert CTF, check your mail, and post your thoughts and photos. I’ve enjoyed it, but I’m not paying anywhere near as much attention to it as I should, and it’s hard to justify the $1200-1500/year it costs to maintain. If you have a website still hosted here, I’ll be in touch shortly, and will help however I can to move it over to a provider who will take much better care of you.

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Mozilla Firefox Extended Support Release

Just a quick note that the Mozilla Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) is now available. The ESR is based on Mozilla Firefox 10, and is intended to be used by organizations that deploy Firefox in a managed desktop environment. You can read more about the Windows, Mac, and Linux installers from the Mozilla website, and additional information can be found in the Firefox ESR FAQ. Organizations who use the Firefox ESR are also strongly encouraged to join the Mozilla Enterprise User Working Group; a discussion group focused on sharing information related to Firefox deployments.

white chicken chili

…because the other day got up to 36-ish, it seemed like the best way to celebrate was to make chili at 11pm. it’s a staple recipe I got from lee when I was living in NYC, and it’s worth sharing. probably not in 36-degree weather, but I’ll leave that up to you.

NOTE: if your herbs/spices aren’t fresh, you are missing out.

you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp butter. yes, butter.
  • 2 tsp diced garlic
  • 1 large white onion, sliced thin (or sweet vidalia)
  • 2 celery stalks, ends trimmed, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes (can also mix 50/50 with thighs for a richer flavour)
  • 3 cups chicken stock – bonus points for using fresh, but they’re a pain in the ass if you don’t plan in advance
  • 1 can white kidney beans
  • 2-3 fresh jalapeño peppers
  • 1/2 cup fresh, chopped cilantro

Chicken seasoning

  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp (good) chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper

Garnish

  • 1/2 lb old cheddar cheese (aged 2yrs or more)
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips (we prefer the blue corn chips)
  • sliced baguette, to wipe up the leftover goodness

In a large (4qt) casserole pot (you can use a sautée pan, too, it just means more clean up), melt butter over medium-high heat. Sautée diced garlic for 2-3 minutes; reduce heat to medium, add celery and onion, and sautée until tender (abt 5 min). Reduce heat to low, add white kidney beans (pro-tip, turn can upside-down and shake vigorously for 10s or so before opening to loosen the settled and sticking to the bottom beans) and chicken stock. Stir occasionally, ensuring mixture doesn’t boil strongly (slow boil/simmer is what you’re aiming for). The mixture will look watery. Don’t worry.

In a large mixing bowl (I prefer a large ziploc bag, as it simplifies things), combine chicken seasoning ingredients and mix well. Add cubed chicken to mixture and mix, ensuring chicken is well-coated.

Heat skillet/large fry pan on medium-high (about 300F). Add olive oil to skillet, and allow to heat (but not to smoking). Add coated chicken mixture to skillet and cook until done, turning often and breaking up clumped pieces often. Add cooked chicken to simmering stock mix.

Bring stock and chicken mixture to a slow boil (don’t go above medium heat, you’ve got time), and cook for approximately one hour, stirring often to help reduce the liquid. While the stock is cooking, broil or grill the jalapeño peppers until the skin is well-charred. Remove the charred skin, cut the peppers lengthwise, remove the seeds, and dice (note that you may want to use gloves for this, and you do not want to rub your eyes.) Set aside.

After the hour is up, reduce chili to a simmer, and add diced jalapeños to mixture (this is an optional step). Add the diced chilis to taste in small increments; you can increase the heat pretty quickly, and don’t want to add it all in one shot and potentially ruin things.

Simmer for an additional half-hour, and add diced cilantro to mixture. Simmer for an additional 15-30 minutes, and the mixture should thicken up nicely.

Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream and grated white cheddar. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Crunchy baguettes on the side are also recommended.

Done. Serves four-six.

Adobe Security Updates for Flash, Reader, and Shockwave Plugins (plus bonus Silverlight & Java updates)

On June 14th 2011 Adobe released updates for its Flash, Reader, and Shockwave plugins to address critical security vulnerabilities in those products. Also getting in on the update fun recently was Microsoft, with a new version of Silverlight and Oracle, who released an update to Java last week that addressed 17 security vulnerabilities.

If you use any of these plugins, you should update them as soon as possible.

If you are unsure of what plugins you have installed and whether they need to be updated, you can visit Mozilla’s Plugin Check. Plugin Check is a web app which helps you identify what plugins you have installed, whether they need to be updated, and where to get the updates.

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