Being an IT Professional and general purpose nerd means I
waste spend a lot of time aimlessly browsing the internet furiously finding answers on the internet. So here are a few things I use to save time.
First of all, get away from Internet Explorer. You’ll need to in order to install the extensions I’m about to introduce anyways. Chrome and Firefox are my preference, and between the two my recommendation would be to pick the interface you like best (just make sure you don’t get any Sneaky Software with it). I personally use Firefox.
Tree Style Tab – I get
interrupted pleasantly surprised by phone calls and emails constantly. To keep things orderly, I use Tree Style Tab to group tabs together to be able to move between ideas or themes quickly. It does take up screen real estate though so a high resolution helps.
Flashblock – Loads a placeholder instead of the actual flash content. That way I get to decide what is and isn’t loaded.
Ghostery – Shows what entities are tracking your activity, potentially over multiple websites. And of course it will let you block them as well.
Adblock / uBlock – Some people might gasp at the idea of blocking ads. That’s why the website is free after all! I bet those people also explode with righteous indignation when you change the tv channel in the ad break, and they smack the Photo News out of your hands when you are skimming for people you know because you aren’t giving the ads the requisite attention. I bet those people are also great fun at parties. You can whitelist websites you want to support, which is a nice thing to do.
NoScript – Prevents websites from running scripting, unless you allow them to. Translation – websites load faster, and safer.
So there you go, how to browse like an IT Professional (well, this IT “Professional” at least). A word of warning though! This will make some websites load completely wrong. Though by whitelisting the right website in the right extension you will get back to how the creator intended the site to look. You will also use more system resources running these extensions. I think it is a small price to pay though. Trying to save money on hardware at the cost of performance is truly a false economy, but that is a conversation for another day 😉
If you try it out, I’d love to hear how you go. Leave a comment or flick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.