Getting Hosts File Changes to Work with Firefox 76

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You may be migrating a website to a new host, migrating an entire server’s worth of domains, or doing one of many tasks that requires you to temporarily change the hosts file on your computer in order to test a site that is on a new IP address.

Regardless of the reason, if you alter the hosts file and expect the changes to work immediately in Firefox 76, you may get an unpleasant surprise.

Today, I’m in the midst of testing a server migration, so I have a number of sites to test on the new, temporary IP addresses. I’m using Linux and Firefox 76, so I edited my /etc/hosts file, adding the new, temporary IP address for one of the sites, started Firefox, and browsed to the domain.

I got the old server.

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Firefox Screenshots: It Doesn’t Get Any Easier Than This

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I’ve been a Firefox fan for years. In my experience, Firefox just keeps getting better. I used to use the Firebug extension for developer tools, then Mozilla included native developer tools in Firefox 27, allowing me to run one less extension. The Eyedropper was added to Developer Tools in Firefox 31, which makes grabbing color codes from a site I’m developing a snap. Now, Mozilla has added Firefox Screenshots, which gave me another one of those “Oh, cool!” software-feature moments.

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Adblock Plus and the Paste Special Keyboard Shortcut

Adblock Plus

Ads on a lot of websites are out-of-control. My local newspaper’s web site is a good example. There are so many ads on the site that it takes an annoyingly long time to load, even on a 100+ megabits-per-second connection. Not only do the pages load slowly, but some of the ads’ behavior-expanding and contracting by themselves–moves the content on the page around so much that it’s difficult to read the text. I’ve had the ads cause Firefox to hang too, locking it up until the ads finish doing whatever they are trying to do. Then there are the sites with videos configured to auto-run…

I don’t see any way to remain sane without running some kind of ad blocker. I hate to do it, because I know many sites depend on the revenue generated by displaying ads to stay solvent, but without some kind of relief from all the ads, I’m not going to visit the sites anyway.

Adblock Plus comes to the rescue.

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