I must admit I am a computer customisation-addict. From the time I first started working on computers I realised that it was possible to do most things better than the standard set-up allows for, and I install programmes frequently – and also uninstall them when they don’t work out (I use a custom uninstaller ZSoft Uninstaller :))
I am also an add-on addict, which is why I prefer Firefox to any other browser, it is simply the most customisable, and has a huge array of add-ons to do anything you want, it only takes you to imagine a better world, and if you search the add-ons you will find someone will already have made it for you.
When I was in Bangkok recently I was diagnosed with nascent cataracts, which I suppose is not surprising given my age, and the amount of time I have to work at the computer. For a long time I have found reading books a real strain, but now even reading online is becoming problematic.
So the best add-on I’ve come across in a long time is iReader for Firefox, which can sift out the article you are trying to read and make it presentable and clutter-free. It also increases the font-size. Now on my desktop that is useful, but on my netbook it is essential.
Most websites, even modest ones, have a navigation bar or two which takes up to a third of the screen, blogs are often less than half the screen-width, and often I find that the text is too small, and needs to be adjusted, which sometimes pushes the text or other items off-screen. The not-so-modest sites often have distracting flash gizmos trying to catch/distract your attention and are a thorough nuisance to read.
With iReader all these problems are overcome, it essentially puts up a lightbox with the article in it, and darkens out the rest. Compare the following screenshots of the same article on The Buddhist Channel:
Article without iReader
Article with iReader
I think even if you don’t have cataracts you can see the advantage from these small screenshots. iReader is presently somewhat limited, and I can think of several features that not only could, but should be added, like the ability to choose the font and set the size, but nevetherless this simple add-on has helped me so much I decided to write about it.