Many Pctipsbox readers use Firefox because it suffers from fewer security holes than IE and most people don’t need .NET features so I’m publishing in my free column today the following steps to remove Assistant 1.0 from Firefox:

Step 1. Check whether the .NET Framework Assistant is installed. You may or may not have Assistant 1.0, even if you installed .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, so check this first. In Firefox, pull down the Tools menu and select Add-ons. In the Add-ons dialog box that appears, if you don’t see .NET Framework Assistant, the add-on is not installed. In that case, you don’t need to do anything further (except close the dialog box).

Step 2. Remove or disable the add-on. If you do find the extension, I recommend that you remove it to reduce your vulnerability to possible security flaws. Choose one of the options shown below.

• Best option: Install the Microsoft fix. On May 6, with little publicity, Microsoft posted an update for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. Installing this update enables Firefox’s Uninstall button for the add-on. To install the official update, visit Microsoft’s download page. More »

1. Enable pipelining
Browsers are normally very polite, sending a request to a server then waiting for a response before continuing. Pipelining is a more aggressive technique that lets them send multiple requests before any responses are received, often reducing page download times.

To enable it, type about:config in the address bar, double-click network.http.pipelining and network.http.proxy.pipelining so their values are set to true, then double-click network.http.pipelining.maxrequests and set this to 8.

Keep in mind that some servers don’t support pipelining, though, and if you regularly visit a lot of these then the tweak can actually reduce performance. Set network.http.pipelining and network.http.proxy.pipelining to false again if you have any problems. More »

For Firefox users, Windows Update usually becomes the only time we are forced to run Internet Explorer. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Since Windows Update requires an ActiveX control in order to run, it’s impossible to exclude Internet Explorer completely, so you will need to install IETab first, the magical Firefox extension that lets you open a web page with Internet Explorer within Firefox in a couple of clicks.

Once it is installed, you will need to replace the Windows Update shortcut in the All Programs menu. To do this:

  • Press Start. Select All Programs.
  • Right-click on Windows Update menu item and select Properties.
  • In the properties window, enter “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” http://update.microsoft.com in the Target field. Make sure you enter the correct path for your Firefox install and if the path contains any blank space, enclose the path in double quotes. More »

Some quick tips to get your iPhone skills slicker than the guy or girl next door. To rearrange the icons on the home page, tap and hold any icon until all the icons start to giggle. Now you can drag icons about, including on and off the Dock or between pages. Click the Home button to lock the icons again. The Dock is limited to four icons but, if you set the Home button’s double-click to call up your Contact favourites, you can remove the Phone icon from the Dock.

If you manage to crash your iPhone 3G playing with third-party apps, hold both the power and home buttons for 10 seconds to reboot the phone. Recalcitrant apps can be uninstalled using Installer.

Apple originally charged for custom ringtones but now you can create your own in GarageBand, while Windows users can follow the video tutorial at . SendSong supposedly lets you add any track in your iPod playlist to the custom ringtone list under Settings/Sounds/Ringtone, but we couldn’t get any love from it. More »

A download manager is a computer program designed to download files from the Internet,unlike a web browser, which is mainly intended to browse web pages on the World Wide Web (with file downloading being of secondary importance).

Download Manager Features

* Pausing the downloading of large files.
* Resuming broken or paused downloads (especially for very large files).
* Downloading files on poor connections.
* Downloading several files from a site automatically according to simple rules (file types,updated files, etc. – see also Offline Browser).
* Automatic recursive downloads (mirroring).
* Scheduled downloads (including, automatic hang-up and shutdown).
* Searching for mirror sites, and the handling of different connections to download the same
* file more quickly (Segmented downloading). More »