One good thing about Ubuntu is that it’s webbrowser is Firefox (Opera is also available).

I always used Firefox when I was running Windows, and liked the tab feature and the extensions available for that web browser.

There are a lot of these extensions available, but I’ll just list the few I use every day. Look around and see what you like and try them. Most (but not all) work on the Linux version of Firefox.

My main problem with Firefox using Windows was that Firefox kept eating my links, and I would have to reload them from Yahoo links. What a pain.
But Firefox has an add on for bookmarks.

I still have the main places I use on my “bookmark” on the top of the toolbar, but now I can get lots of stuff that I check maybe once every month or two under Two ways to do this: Hit the at the top of the toolbar right next to Bookmarks and go down the long, long list of topics, or if I want to search for something I can hit control at the same time as B, and it pops up as a sidebar, complete with search bar (which is nice because I have 366 links).

Another extension I use a lot is for PDF download. Hit the link, and it will open a box asking: You want to read it or save it?

I usually download the PDF to your desktop and open it when it’s finished downloading.

This is nice since some of my medical magazines and one newspaper comes as a pdf download so I can save them to file and read later when off line.

Another extension I use is Downthemall. This lets me download longer files at leisure, which is nice when you want to download  a bunch of PDF files, zip files, program files or  mp3 downloads.

What’s nice is that if there are several files on the same webpage, you get a list of links and choose which ones you want to download. And you can keep them paused until you want them to download, so you aren’t using up your bandwidth while surfing the net. You even can open the “DTA MANAGER” under tools and finish the rest of your downloads days later.

Firefox has several RSS feed add-ons HERE. I use bloglines, which doesn’t have an extension, so I am just pointing out that it is available.

Another extension people love is Foxytunes. It is supported by several Linux/ubuntu players. If you like on line music, it is something to keep in mind.

But not all the stuff I read are web pages or PDF files.

Another magazine I get is Patient Care, and it comes via email as a flash program.  Don’t ask me how to add Flash or Java: The flash program got loaded automatically at sometime or another.

But now, when I pull up the magazine, I can read it on line, but if I want to read it off line, I simply download a zip of the magazine  via “downthemall”, and after I unzip it, I can open it with Firefox.

However, not all paid for magazine readers are that easy.

I get Popular Mechanics on line. It uses Zinio reader.

so I googled “Zinio Ubuntu”, and found that I could run the Zinio reader program using WINE.

What’s wine? something that runs Windows programs.

You download it using Auto matrix (which I covered in an earlier paper) and there it was…wine.  Open  Applications, Systems Tools, AutoMatrix, search for the word WINE, load wine, let it load, and voila, it’s there.

Then I went here and followed the instructions…I even downloaded all the stuff this post suggests might be needed. Then I took everything off my computer and downloaded it again. It’s still not working.

So I guess I’ll have to download Popular Mechanics on our office computers, which use Windows, and read it there…. at least until Zinio discovers there are a lot of geeks out there using Ubuntu and gets us a Linux download.

In the meanwhile, if the typhoons stop causing brownouts and internet outage, I plan to do some more digging into see if it will allow me to read my Windows based medical books that I have on CD.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. 

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