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July 13th, 2007 at 4:00am — Rating: Firefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox no pointFirefox no pointLink

One of the things I like about Windows is when Windows is idle for a period of time, the screensaver kicks in and optionally locks the PC. If you wanted to make your own screensaver, you'd need some programming skill. Luckily, there is a screen saver for Firefox in an add-on called FoxSaver.

In my opinion, the FoxSaver add-on is another staple in moving Firefox towards the image of an OS (operating system) as opposed to being "just a browser." When Firefox is idle for a period of time, FoxSaver starts the screensaver mode until you right-click your mouse, which returns you to the current web page.

Of course, the installation of FoxSaver was simple, but the configuration of this extension is another story altogether.

When installed, an icon with the words "FoxSaver" appears on the status bar. Right-clicking on the FoxSaver icon displays three options in the context menu: FoxSaver Start, Disable AutoStart FoxSaver, and the About box.

Click on the FoxSaver Start option to run the screen saver. I have to admit that the pictures that I saw were very cool and attractive. Ok, let's get down to business...Where's that configuration dialog so I can add my own pictures?

I immediately went to the Tools drop down and Add-ons configuration screen and clicked on the FoxSaver add-on. My heart sank when I noticed that the Options button was completely disabled. I can't speak for everyone, but I would definitely be interested in managing a list of my own pictures, either locally or URL, for my FoxSaver.

The Disable Autostart FoxSaver feature turns the screensaver on and off, which can be easily accessed by left-clicking on the icon in the status bar.

The About box should just be left off of the context menu for the amount of information provided in it. I received more information from the add-on dialog box than the about box.

Another feature that I think the author should include in the future as an option is the ability to password-protect the screen saver. I'm sure a lot of users would love this feature.

Overall, I like the concept of using Firefox as a screensaver, but the drawback of telling your audience that they can't use their own pictures is limiting the architecture of having an extension to begin with. With further development, I would definitely revisit FoxSaver and review the add-on again once it was fine-tuned.