Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How To View The Contents In Firefox Cache Locations

Do you know how many cache locations Firefox uses to store web pages and images?

It turns out there are three locations, known as device’s that makes up the cache used by Firefox. They are Memory cache device, Disk cache device and Offline cache device.

In case you are unfamiliar with the “cache”, it is a location that Firefox uses to store web pages, images, etc, that’s used to speed up loading and displaying web pages. So instead of downloading a page from a web site server, if the page has not changed, Firefox will check it’s cache and load the page if it exist.

Now, you may not care much about what’s in the cache, but if you are having problems and need to check the content of the cache, Firefox provides a command that will display all locations.

All you need to do is type the following command in the location bar (address bar) and press enter.

about:cache

You will then see the following page with information about the three cache locations and how much space is in use.

What’s useful about this information is that it shows you how much is in use and the maximum allowed storage, in addition to listed the directory location of the each cache (except for the Memory cache device). You will notice Firefox reports the size as KiB which stands for Kilobytes.

To view the contents of a cache, click on the List Cache Entries link.

To see more information about a link, click on it’s URL. (To view the link actual web page or image click on the link on the second page.)

You will notice for the Memory cache, that images and your profile images (chrome) are stored, while the Disk cache is a mixed of pages, images, etc.

You can separately clear the Disk and Offline caches by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+DEL and selected which items you want to delete.

But you can’t clear the Memory cache. To do that you need to close Firefox and re-open it.

Instead of doing that, if you are troubleshooting a problem you can force Firefox to bypass the cache and reload the page by pressing CTRL and F5 or press the SHIFT key and click on the Reload button on the navigation toolbar.

While Fireox’s cache is not glamourous, knowing how to view it’s information can sometimes resolve strange problems with displaying web pages and keep you surfing the Net trouble free.

How to using tabbed bookmarks in Safari and Firefox

A friend of mine was commenting today on a common scenario that a lot of us run into. When you’re actively working on a project, you often times have several tabs open in your browser solely related to that work: some API documentation, a couple versions of a site you are working on, a google spreadsheet, a project resource/status page, and things of that sort.

When you change gears to work on something else, you might have another entirely different set of pages that you keep open all the time. If you juggle several projects at the same time, it can be a nuisance (not to mention a waste of time) to constantly be closing and opening all those windows throughout the day.

This isn’t new news, but Firefox and Safari both have a really convenient and often overooked–feature built into their tabbed browsing and bookmarking functionality that makes managing groups of commonly viewed documents really simple.

In Safari, just create and fill a folder in your bookmarks menu for each group of sites. When you open the bookmarks menu, in your project subfolder there will be a link titled Open in Tabs. Clicking that will open the entire folder’s bookmarks at once, each in a tab of the active window.

Firefox makes it even easier. Just set up your tabs the way you normally would, then click on Bookmarks->Bookmark All Tabs. Firefox will create a new folder in your bookmarks menu and automatically import all of your current tabs to the folder. When you open the bookmarks menu, in your project subfolder there will be a link titled Open All in Tabs. This works just as you would expect, conveniently loading all of the documents in the bookmark subfolder.

How to Use ISO Files in Windows XP

If you are running Windows XP, there is no standard support for ISO files. These files however are quite common as an alternative to installation CDs
or DVDs. An ISO file is basically an image of a CD or DVD. You can use CD Burning software to create a CD from the ISO file.

But in many cases you might not want to write a CD-ROM or DVD from the ISO file, you simply want to access the contents while the ISO file resides on your hard disk. There are software solutions available for this, which create a virtual CD or DVD drive. You can then mount the ISO file as a drive and access the contents of the ISO file.

Most of these software solutions however are commercial software, which means you need to pay for them. If you do not need the fancy user interface, you can also use a virtual cd-rom tool created by Microsoft. It is called the Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel, and can be downloaded from the Microsoft website.

The downloaded file (60KB) is an installer, which you need to execute to extract the actual software. It will simply ask for a location to extract to, so select a path and click the Unzip button. Once done, click Close.

extract files 300x187 How to Use ISO Files in Windows XP

In the folder you selected for the extracted files, you will find 3 new files, a TXT file, a SYS file and an EXE file. Basically you now follow the instructions in the TXT file. We have outlined them here with some screenshots.

1. Copy the VCdRom.sys file to your C:\Windows\System32\Drivers folder (change the C: to the drive where Windows XP is installed).

2. Next, double-click the VCdControlTool.exe file. This will bring up the control panel window.

3. Click the Driver Control button.

4. Click the Install Driver button. Now browse to the C:\Windows\System32\Drivers folder and select the VCdRom.sys file.

install virtual cdrom driver 300x218 How to Use ISO Files in Windows XP

5. Click the Open button.

6. Next, click the Start button, and then click the OK button.

7. Click the Add Drive button to create a virtual CD-Rom drive.

8. Next, click the new drive so it is selected, and then click the Mount button. This will bring up a file selection dialog box.

mount iso file How to Use ISO Files in Windows XP

9. Locate and select the ISO file you want to access, and then click the Open button.

The ISO file is mounted and you can access the content through the selected drive letter using the Windows explorer.

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