Mozilla Firefox Cache and Advanced Configuration

We can directly access the contents of Mozilla Firefox Cache by typing about:cache in the browser's address bar.

There are 2 cache sections inside: Memory Cache Device and Disk Cache Device. The first one is the most useful cache section. Just click List Cache Entries, or access directly typing in the address bar the following line: about:cache?device=memory. That's the way to obtain a complete listing of cache objects read by Firefox.

This cache listing in Firefox is useful to locate the full paths to images, videos or Flash content, that was actually read by Firefox, but whose original source URL was unknown. For example, if we want to save some content which was enclosed inside a Pop-up window, with right click disabled, we could still get such content from the cache of Firefox, and so on.

Advanced Firefox Configuration Options

By typing about:config in Firefox address bar, we will enter a configuration menu or configuration options listing with a lot of the browser configuration stuff.

Once we have accessed this Firefox configuration menu, we have a very useful filtering option which can be used to locate things to configure. We can change almost anything in Firefox using these configuration options.

For example, using accessibility.typeaheadfind.enablesound we can activate or deactivate the Firefox sound error emitted when, in the Firefox search field (Control + F), we type something that Firefox cannot find in the current webpage. We should modify the option value, changing it from true to false.

Most of these advanced options can be configured by typing "true" or "1" to enable, and "false" or "0" to disable.

These Firefox configuration options may admit numeric values different from 0 or 1, such as a pixel value, a time in milliseconds, a size in Bytes... That's only a little bit of deductive logic, taking into account which kind of option is modified by such numeric value.

Here are a couple of examples with different values:

browser.cache.disk.capacity = the maximum amount of disk space that can be used by Firefox. = URL with the default location to store downloaded files.

browser.history_expire_days = the value represents the number of days that Firefox History would be kept.

You just have to read these advanced options to understand what are they used for: Firefox option names are fairly descriptives by themselves. Or it is just a matter of trial and error. Don't be afraid of testing or of breaking Firefox. Every Firefox configuration option can be fixed again by uninstalling, erasing the options folder and reinstalling the web browser.

Is your web server down? How to check it

Check server down

Did you ever wonder how to check whether a web server is really down? If you cannot connect your web server, you have to check that the problem is in the web server itself, and not in your Internet connection. Otherwise, you could be just wasting the time of your web hosting support.

Fortunately, down for everyone or just me is a very useful online tool that will quickly perform a server down check.

What to do if a server is just down for you

But, what if the server is only down for you? Don't worry, because that is just not possible. Here are some possible causes:

  • You may have a DNS server down, so your system wouldn't be able to resolve the web server Internet address.
  • You may be experiencing some local network problem. If your network Internet connection is interrupted, you won't be able to connect any other web server at all.
  • The server may be responding, but it could be sending a blank HTML document as the default web page. That may be caused by a bug on your code, but your webserver would pass any ping test, as the server is actually not down.

That's why I suggest you to perform a ping or trace route check of the server, as it will give you just information about whether the server is down or not (getting rid of web browser webpage rendering issues). Here's the example code for Windows:


If your web server has a static IP, try to take note of such IP address, as using an IP address instead of your domain name for pinging purposes will avoid any DNS server down issues.

Domain Name Servers (DNS's) resolve domain names: that is, they translate a domain name such as into an IP address like A DNS server failure is easy to identify, as your web browser will stall trying to resolve any new domain name, and you won't be able to connect any web server.

Take into account that, even with your primary and secondary DNS servers down, you may still be able to access access again recently resolved domain names, as there is a DNS cache on your operative system.

I hope these tips will help you telling a web server down from a DNS, routing or specific connection problem!

Minimizing windows, showing your Windows Desktop and restoring windows fast

Restore windows fast

In the following lines I will explain you the fastest way to open a new Windows application from a desktop shortcut: using some of the Windows key shortcuts you won't waste time minimizing and maximizing windows one by one.

The Windows keyboard shortcut "Windows + D" will minimize all of your open windows, allowing you to access the shortcut icons on your desktop. Pressing "Windows + D" acts like a window visibility toggle, and will restore the layout of your previously open windows. Nevertheless, this won't work if you click any of your desktop shortcuts (that is, if you open any new window). In such situation, your minimized windows won't be restored by a new key press of the "Windows + D" shortcut. So this is an useful shortcut, but it isn't the quickest way.

On the other hand, there are a couple of Windows keyboard shortcuts that will allow you to view all your desktop shortcuts, open a new Windows application, and then restore the size and position of all your previously open windows.

The minimize keyboard shortcut "Windows + M" doesn't work like a window visibility toggle: you won't be able to restore the position of your windows by clicking "Windows + M" again. But the advantage of using this shortcut is that you can restore the size and position of your windows by pressing the Windows maximize keyboard shortcut "Windows + Shift + M".

So the typical scenario to quickly open a new Windows application using shortcut keys is as follows:

  • Press first the "Windows Key + M" shortcut to minimize all your open Windows.
  • Any shortcut icon on your desktop will be visible now. Click any shortcut to open a new window.
  • Finally, restore the visibility of your previous windows maximizing them again, thanks to the "Windows Key + Shift + M" shortcut.

Windows Key Shortcut List

Windows key shortcuts

Did you know that the Windows Key on your keyboard has more functions than just showing your Windows Start menu? It can be pressed in combination with other keys, accessing this way some useful and time-saving default Windows keyboard shortcuts.

  • Windows Key + E = (Explorer) open Windows file explorer (such as clicking on "My Pc" button, with the directory tree open in the left pane).
  • Windows Key + M = (Minimize) minimizes all your open windows.
  • Windows Key + SHIFT + M = (Maximize) restores the size of all your application windows.
  • Windows Key + R = (Run) open Windows "Run" program window.
  • Windows Key + D = (Desktop) show Windows Desktop.
  • Windows Key + F = (Find) open Windows search menu.
  • Windows Key + L = (Lock) blocks your PC.
  • Windows Key + U = (Utility) open Windows Utility manager (such as accessibility utilities).

Remember that all these keyboard shortcuts are enabled on any Windows PC by default. In fact, they are an easy way to save time when accessing common Windows functions.

Interrupt Windows Shutdown

Interrupting Windows shutdown

Did you know that it is possible to interrupt Windows shutdown? Imagine that you accidentally clicked your shutdown button, and you need to stop this process and continue working with Windows. Well, this simple trick could save you some long Windows reboot sequence.

There is a Windows shutdown.exe command option that will stop any undergoing shutdown process. You just need to run the following command:

shutdown.exe -a

Of course, you should be very quick to type this command before the shutdown process is completed (it will work as long as your keyboard remains responsive during the shutdown process). In practice, that would be impossible. So your best option is to create a desktop or a keyboard shortcut to interrupt the Windows shutdown sequence, as we did with the fast Windows shutdown.

Notice that you won't be able to interrupt a Windows shutdown timer: you can just stop a standard, user-initiated Windows shutdown. If a computer virus kills any of your main Windows processes (such as Sasser virus did with lsass.exe), that would start a Windows shutdown countdown that cannot be interrupted. So the main utility of the interrupt Windows shutdown parameter is to prevent a situation of: "Oops! I didn't want to exit Windows yet!".

A trick for super-fast shutdown: Windows turned off at once

Super fast shutdown

Have you ever wanted to perform a super-fast shutdown on your Windows PC? Imagine that you could shutdown Windows just by clicking on a desktop icon, or using a keyboard shortcut. So you could just run the shutdown process, turn off your monitor, and continue with another important task - without having to wait till your PC is completely turned off. Well, that's possible thanks to the Windows shutdown command plus the appropriate shutdown parameters.

Windows Shutdown Command

Windows provides a shutdown command (named shutdown.exe) which could be used to turn off your PC from the Windows command line. Calling this shutdown function with the appropriate parameters will start a super-fast shutdown process that won't be interrupted. The only line of code needed to shutdown Windows is as follows:

shutdown.exe -s -f -t 00

This is the explanation of the shutdown parameters:

  • -s starts the Windows shutdown process in order to turn off your PC.
  • -f forces exiting any running Windows process, without any warning: no blocked application will interrupt the shutdown process.
  • -t 00 specifies that the shutdown process is delayed 0 seconds: Windows will be shutdown immediately.

That will quickly shutdown windows, exiting at once any program. So the shutdown process won't be stopped by any unresponsive application: with these parameters you will override any annoying "finish program not responding" Windows prompts. Just run the shutdown command and leave your PC.

On the other hand, if you still have some unsaved changes on any application, it seems that you will be given one last chance to save your progress, thanks to a "save changes?" Windows prompt. You can start this super fast shutdown process without fearing to lose any application data.

How to create a quick Windows shutdown button

Let's save even more time creating a quick Windows shutdown button. Don't type by hand the whole shutdown.exe command with those parameters: store the shutdown command line in a batch file following these 2 simple steps:

  • Open your favourite text editor and paste the Windows shutdown code inside: shutdown.exe -s -f -t 00
  • Save this file as a ".bat" file (for example, fast-shutdown.bat)

You have just created a super fast shutdown button: now you can quickly shutdown Windows just by double clicking your shutdown ".bat" file!

A keyboard shortcut to quickly shutdown Windows

Can you imagine an even faster whay to shutdown Windows? Well, there's still a quicker way to start this unstoppable, lightning-fast shutdown process: you could turn off your PC using a keyboard shortcut.

Once you have created a .bat file that contains the shutdown.exe command with the appropriate parameters, associating this file with a keyboard shortcut is very easy:

  • Right click your .bat file and create a shortcut
  • I always place this shortcut icon on my desktop, so I can quickly shutdown Windows with a double click
  • Right click the recently created shortcut icon and select Properties
  • Inside the shortcut tab, click on the keyboard shortcut field
  • Press the keyboard shortcut that you would like to use to shutdown Windows. (As you don't want to accidentally shutdown Windows, select some complex combination that would be unused by most applications, such as CONTROL + ALT + SHIFT + F12)

And that's it! You have learnt how to perform a super fast Windows shutdown process through a keyboard shortcut. Run this command to quickly turn off your PC, leave at once (don't worry about closing running applications, because Windows shutdown will force the exit), and save your valuable time!