Readers offer their best tips for getting Firefox add-ons to work, using the Kindle Fire with a Chromecast, and opening folders full screen.
Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons—maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in—the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favorites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments, email it to tips at lifehacker.com, or share it over at our user-run blog, Hackerspace.
Use Old Versions of Firefox with Incompatible Add-Ons
Etudes uses a simple strategy for broken Firefox add-ons:
If you’ve updated Firefox to the latest version and found that your favorite add-on isn’t compatible with it yet, you can regain access to it by downloading a second, older version of Firefox for use specifically with that addon. This page lists the most recent version if Firefox before your current version, with a link to its download.
On a Mac, when you drag it to your Applications folder, be sure to click “Keep both versions.” The older version of Firefox will be called “Firefox 2” and all of your add-ons are already installed on it. (On Windows, you could use something like the Pale Moon builds to keep the two apps separate).
You can still use the latest version for your main browsing, but if you need the feature that add-on gave you, you can jump over to the archived older version.
Use Chromecast with the Kindle Fire
The Kindle Fire is an android device (although heavily skinned). So it should be able to use Chromecast right? Correct! Booyah!
Step one: Allow for third party apps in the settings of your kindle fire.
Step two: Download the 1mobilemarket APK and install it on your Kindle device.
Step three: Open the 1mobilemarket and search for YouTube, Play Music, Chromecast, and Play Movies. Then install each one.
Step four: All done! Open up the Chromecast app, sync it with your device and you are ready to go!
Disclaimers: YouTube is a little weird and you may have to start a video in landscape then press the Chromecast button for it to work. Netflix works great. Google Play Music has not worked at all for me. And Google Play Videos has not been tested.
Open a Folder Full Screen for Photo Browsing
Here is a way to make sure a folder not only opens maximized, but fullscreen. You know how there is F11 to press? Well why bother, when Autohotkey can do it for you? For me it’s a big help with picture folders.
In this case, Win and Home keys are the combo that makes it happen. But change is AHK’s middle name— you can have just about anything else you want. “c:\a-folder” is just an example; it can be any folder you want opened in fullscreen.
The sleep line is a near necessity. If it’s not there or if its value is too low, line 4 might not get acted upon, the first time you try the script, possibly even the second time, or so I’ve noticed on my system. You might need to set it higher still, depending maybe on how many other things your computer has going on at the time.
Related tip: Within that folder, right-click a blank area and choose “Customize this folder…”, optimize the folder (and subfolders if you want) for pictures. Now, there should be an extra option in the View menu, called “Hide file names”. Give it a checkmark and the folder’s look will become a lot cleaner.
Stop Syncing Album Art to Troubleshoot Device Problems
Jeff discovers a weird quirk with his Ford Sync system:
I recently started using a flash drive instead of an iPod for my Ford car with Sync, and it was having problems where it just wouldn’t index the whole drive—half the songs would just have “Unknown Artist” and “Unknown Album” and it couldn’t read the tags. After a lot of fiddling, I figured out the issue:
For some reason, if a file has embedded album art that takes up a certain amount of space, the Sync system just doesn’t like it. So I popped into MediaMonkey, checked the box that said “Remove Album Art From Tags if Over 200kb in Size” in the syncing settings, and re-synced my flash drive. Everything worked like a charm. I don’t need album art anyway, since my car doesn’t show it.
I’m sure this would affect other devices too, not just Ford’s Sync system. Pretty handy troubleshooting tip that’s worth a shot! Photo by Michael Sheehan.