Australian Election 2007

Earlier today, all Australian citizens of age went out to the polling places to vote for their representatives and senators in Parliament. I say “all” because voting in elections here is mandatory (though some people find ways not to vote). Basically, the political party with the majority of representatives voted into Parliament wins the election and that party’s leader becomes Prime Minister.

This was the first time I have to vote for the Australian federal elections and I’m a bit excited and anxious. Excited because my vote will help decide who Australia’s next Prime Minister will be. Anxious because I’m not sure how elections are done here.

It reminded me about how chaotic elections are in my home country. In the Philippines, there are a lot of security measures that needed to be met on election day to ensure that no cheating occurs. Thumb prints are taken and black tough-to-remove ink is dropped on your fingernail as a sign that you already voted (and cannot vote again). Ballot boxes need to be chained and guarded by third party volunteers at all times or risk it being stolen.

Another difference between elections here and in the Philippines I’d like to note is that the elections here are held on the weekend. That means no free day off for us which is a bit of a bummer.

The polling places opened at 8am and closed its doors at 6pm. We went to the nearest polling place from our house at around 10:15 am. That’s right. We can go to any polling place in our area and we don’t have to be assigned to a specific polling place like in the Philippines.

Anyway, there was a queue when we got to the place. It wasn’t a long queue though and it didn’t take long before for us to get to the table with the lady with all the list of names of voters in our area. We told her our names and she looked it up in her thick binder. When she found our names, she marked our names with a pencil and handed us our ballots.

Each of us got two sheets of paper. One small green one where we have to rank the Representative candidates of different political parties. We have to put a “1” on the box beside the name of our first choice candidate. Then write “2” on the box of our second choice and so on. Frankly, I’m not sure why we needed to even rank them. I’m pretty sure simple “check” in the box for our favoured candidate would have sufficed. But I guess there is a reason behind the ranking thing. I’ll find that out later.

The second sheet of paper is a long white sheet of paper with a list of all the political parties and the names of senatorial candidates for each one. We have two choices here: we can either rank (again!) all the senatorial candidates (there are a lot of them!) or just put “1” on the box of the political party you wish to support. Since I don’t want to waste any more time ranking every senatorial candidate (and I don’t even know any of them), I just did the easier second option.

After that, we fold up the two sheets of paper and drop them in their respective cardboard ballot boxes. And that was it. No thumb prints, no ink on fingers. The entire thing took less than fifteen minutes. It was that painless. It was so easy I couldn’t believe it.

But here’s the even better part. Before Saturday ended, we already know the winner of the election! Unbelievable! Specially for someone like me who grew up with elections in the Philippines. I wish elections back home was this simple and organised. But I guess doing the same thing back home would result with a lot of unscrupulous people cheating the elections. That is just unfortunate.

Anyway, if you don’t know yet, the Australian Labor Party won the election and Kevin Rudd is now the new Prime Minister of Australia.

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Published in: on November 24, 2007 at 11:32 pm  Comments (6)  

Cost of living in Australia?

I found that the most common question asked by people I know who are thinking of migrating to Australia is how much does it cost to live in Australia. Well, I don’t have official statistics or anything so the only way I can answer this is to draw from my personal experience living in Melbourne.

Back when we didn’t pack home-cooked lunch to the work, we spend around $250 per week on groceries with the cost of eating out for lunch included. A lunch meal will generally cost about $10. It’ll probably cheaper at McDonald’s or Hungry Jack’s (aka Burger King) with their $6 burger meals that include chips (French fries) and drink. At selected Hungry Jack’s branches, you even get to refill your drink again and again. In the end, it will always be a lot cheaper to cook your own food than to eat out.

To save even more, instead of shopping at Safeway (called Woolworths outside Victoria, I don’t know why) or Coles, shop at Aldi instead. Sure, the selection of products is a bit limited at Aldi but those you can get there, you’ll get there a lot cheaper than the major supermarket chains. We would first buy our groceries at Aldi then go to the nearby Safeway to buy the rest of the things on our grocery list that we didn’t get at Aldi.

This $250 does not include transportation costs, clothing and utilities. We take the train so that’s $158 for a monthly full-fare Zone 1+2 ticket each. That ticket allows us to take any public transportation within Greater Melbourne. If you live closer to the city (within the Zone 1 boundary), you get to pay less. We only use the car on weekends and it costs us about $30 per week to have it filled with petrol (gasoline).

As for our utilities, our latest water quarterly bill was about $90. During winter time, our gas bill can reach up to $100 per month. Gas (gaas) is usually necessary not only for cooking but for heating homes, you see. Electricity bills tend to rise during winter too due to our need to turn on electric heaters and less daylight. Our winter electricity bill can reach up to $200 in a quarter. However, we are still aiming to lower our electricity, water and gas usage so hopefully, we’ll need to pay less in the future. We are doing this not only to save money but of course to help out the environment. Yeah, I just had to throw that in there.

If you are renting an apartment, you probably won’t need to worry about the water bill as the owner of the property usually pays for the water. So that’s one advantage of renting. Speaking of renting, a two bedroom apartment we rented in St Kilda East (an inner Melbourne suburb, about 15 minutes away from the city by train) cost about $1,200 per month (they will quote the rent in dollars per week though). Apartments will cost more if furnished.

If you are just starting out and you need furniture, go see Fantastic Furniture. They have the cheapest furniture packages that I know of. It’s not exactly the classiest furniture around but they definitely aren’t shoddy either. For $2000, you get a double-sized bed and matress, a dining table plus chairs, living room tables, bedsides (drawers), and a 51cm TV! You’ll probably need to assemble some of the furniture yourself though but I’m sure you’ll be able to handle it. That’s partly how they can sell it for cheaper. I bought my first furniture suite from them and I found the furniture to be sturdy and durable. And they don’t look too shabby either.

For the clothes and other spendings, you will get a better idea of how much things cost here by looking at the various department store chains’ catalogues online. Here are a few of the more popular chains of shops:
Myer
Target
Big W
Kmart

Now, you have to do the math (or as they say here, maths) and figure out how much money you need to bring with you when you fly to Australia. Be sure to bring enough money with you to last you six months here without a job just to be sure. Note that the cost I quoted above was for two persons living together. Utility bills might be cheaper if you are by yourself living in a one bedroom apartment, for example. It could be more expensive if you are a family of four, of course.

I hope this helps anybody wanting to know how much things cost here.

Published in: on November 21, 2007 at 12:01 am  Comments (5)  

Half a flush

A newcomer to Australia is usually surprised that the toilet bowls here are different from those found in most countries. And no, I’m not referring to how flushed water spirals in the opposite direction here in the Southern hemisphere compared to those in the Northern hemisphere. That is a myth, by the way. If the design of the toilet bowl is the same, the flushed water should spiral in the same direction regardless of hemispherical location.

I’m actually referring to the fact that toilets here don’t have one flush button or lever but two! That’s right, you have two options here. One for the full flush (usually indicated by a full circle) and one for the half flush (usually indicated by a circle with a diameter line).

A few people are confused by the concept of the dual flush system though. They are afraid of underestimating the amount of flush they need after going to the toilet (and consequently, leaving evidence of their usage). In case you are one of the confused, the half flush is for Number 1’s and the full flush is for Number 2’s.

Kidding aside, I think the idea of dual flush toilets is pretty clever, not to mention environment friendly. It boggles the mind how much clean drinkable water is wasted flushing down toilets. With this innovation, imagine all that water saved from using the half flush instead of the full flush. Here is a quote from the Australian Government’s environment website:

Studies conducted in 1993 simulated the estimated projected water savings in Australia, over time, of a 6/3 litre dual flush system compared with other flushing volumes. The study addressed total current population, projected population, total current number of households, projected number of households, number of toilets per household, and flush volumes in current use. The results of the study showed that water consumption from toilet cisterns (litres per person per day) has fallen from 55 litres in 1982 to 18 litres in 1993.

Data from the study clearly showed that, for Australia, the amount of water used for toilet flushing in the year 2020 was anticipated to be less than the amount used in 1991. This result was achieved even with a projected population increase to 26,707,000.

We’re lucky that we have dual flush toilets here, specially now that there is a water shortage crisis. If we didn’t, we could have run out of water a long time ago. Now, if only the flushless urinals take off in Australia, too.

Published in: on November 15, 2007 at 12:15 am  Leave a Comment  

The Poser

While I was surfing this afternoon, I got an instant message from a friend in Manila, VV. Although logged into the messenger, I’ve set my status to invisible so nobody could really see that I am online. Her first message asked me if I’m online. I said yes. However, her next message had me worried. She asked for the time! If you’ve read about my previous post about being phished, the con artist also asked me for the time of day.

So when I encountered the question again today, I was wary to answer. Instead of answering, I asked her why she asked. Nothing, she replied. Uh oh, maybe VV’s account has been hacked into too. Then she said that she wanted to call her sister who lives in Sydney and wasn’t sure what the time here would be. To tell you the truth, that was suspicious too because I’m pretty sure VV would know what the time difference is and if she doesn’t she would be resourceful enough to Google for it instead of asking me. This time though, I told her the time difference, not exactly telling her the exact time. Then I asked her about her pending application to migrate to New Zealand. She replied that it’s progressing and that the NZ immigration department has requested additional documents from her. Hmm… not exactly a specific answer and so I still couldn’t tell for sure if I was really conversing with my friend.

I was still thinking up of what to ask her next when she asked me which of my email address addresses was hacked. You see, when my username and password was conned out of me several days back, I promptly informed my friends that someone else is now in possession of my email address and to ignore all communications coming from that account. Apparently, VV forgot which Yahoo account it was. I told her which one it was.

She then told me that someone is using my hacked account at that very moment and that the con artist has asked her to purchase Globe pre-paid cell phone cards and to email the codes to him. She asked the poser for a mobile phone number to send the codes to but he said there isn’t one and just to send it through the messenger. VV told me that alarm bells were ringing in her head by this time and she also noticed that “I” was becoming insistent, as if “I” wanted her to buy the mobile reload charge cards then and there. The poser is saying that I would be selling the recharge cards to other Filipinos here for a profit. VV asked him for the time and he quoted 10AM. By this time, VV has almost confirmed that it wasn’t me she was talking to. It was 1:30 in the afternoon in the Philippines and unless Earth has started spinning in the other direction, the time here in Australia should be later than that, not earlier.

My friend asked me about the phishing incident and I told her all about it. I was really tempted to redirect her to this blog to avoid having to repeat myself and just let her read about my previous entry. However, I wasn’t fully convinced that I was really talking to my friend, who knows it could still be a con artist that has gone through her email before chatting with me. If that’s the case, the poser would know a bit about me and my friend and would thus be more convincing in trying to persuade me to do something. And if it really was someone other than my friend, I wouldn’t want him/her to know more about me than he/she already did.

After narrating the phishing incident to her, she said goodbye and I did the same. It would have been nice to have chatted with her some more but I was busy with something. Besides, it’s difficult to really communicate with someone if you’re trying not to divulge too much about yourself to the other party. Sadly, the time of asking someone what time of day it is where they are has taken on a more sinister meaning and the joy of catching up with friends via instant messaging has been somewhat marred for me. Perhaps this feeling of paranoia would pass in time, but I hope I never forget the importance always being vigilant.

UPDATE: Please see this post for information on how I regained control of my compromised account.

Published in: on October 13, 2007 at 8:56 pm  Comments (6)  

Phished!

It was five in the afternoon yesterday and I was waiting for quitting time when I received an instant message from AH, a friend here in Melbourne. I was quite distracted so when she asked what time it was, I answered with the time then asked why she’s asking. I thought she has gone overseas, thus the question with the time. I asked her where she was and she replied that she’s at home and that the clock in her PC seemed wrong. I just read her blog and her last entry was of her having health problems so I rationalized that she might be resting at home and might just have woken up from a nap so she might not know the time of day. She then gave me a link saying it’s a link to her Flickr/Yahoo photo album. I tried the link and was asked to login. I tried to but couldn’t get through. I told AH and she said “sayang” (shame) and when I asked her how she was, she replied that she might have to go off-line soon because she’s talking to someone on the phone.

I was a bit suspicious at this time and noticed that the link she sent me re-directed to Geocities. I was about to change the password to my Yahoo account when a work colleague talked to me. By the time our conversation was over, I have forgotten about changing the password to my Yahoo account and went home. It wasn’t until hubby told me during lunch today that he got a text message from AH that I remembered about the incident. Apparently, someone has hacked into her AH’s account and has scammed her niece to buy pre-paid mobile reload cards and had her niece email the codes.

Most Filipinos abroad retain a Philippine pre-paid SIM card and use this to send text messages back to friends and family in the Philippines. It may not be the easiest but it certainly is the cheapest way to keep in contact with people back home. As the credits in the pre-paid account runs low, the Filipino expat would ask someone back home to buy a reload card in the Philippines and send the code back to them so that expat could use that to add credits to the Philippine mobile account. Thus, it is not unusual request for someone overseas to ask someone in the Philippines to buy them a mobile recharge card and have the code sent. This scammer seems to know this practice and targets OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) and their family and friends.

I know it was dumb of me to fall for this kind of scam, I really should have known better. In my defense, I was distracted and this scammer conversed with me in Tagalog/Filipino, so it seemed like it was really AH that I was conversing with. I believe now that this scammer asked me for the time of day to determine my location. If I answered with the current time in the Philippines, I believe he/she would have asked me to buy him/her a pre-paid card. However, since I answered with a different time, he/she would have discovered that I’m located elsewhere and that the best thing to do is to get my Yahoo username and password and then log off as soon as possible.

A couple of hours ago, we received a forwarded email from a friend stating that another Filipino friend, WG, got victimised by the same scam. It looks like this scammer is having a field day with his victim’s friends list and address book and is milking this con as much as he/she can.

As for my Yahoo account, the scammer got to it and I have already requested Yahoo to disable it. I also had to change my email subscriptions and changed my passwords for other sites like banks and other financial institutions, particularly those that send email to that account. My only consolation is the phished account was an old one that I only use for correspondence from when I was still in the Philippines and that the scammer would have limited knowledge of my affairs through what has been contained therein.

As a warning to others, please be vigilant and beware when clicking on a link, even if it looked like it came from a friend. I told another friend today that if I asked her to answer a random question before clicking on a link she sent me that she should just humour me and answer my question. I have been burned and could be a bit paranoid now.

UPDATE: Please see my next post for more information on this incident.

Published in: on October 11, 2007 at 10:30 pm  Comments (2)  

Deathly Working Conditions

On the topic of job seeking in Australia, there are two news articles headlined in The Age newspaper’s website that are of particular interest to any Filipino planning to work as a skilled worker in Australia.

Here are the links to the articles:
Death in the Outback
Foreign Workers ‘Enslaved’

The two articles basically refer to the story of Pedro Balading, a Filipino with a 457 working visa, who was hired for a job in the Australian outback. He had a university degree and was promised work as a supervisor in a farm here in Oz. When he got here, he was forced to do menial and dangerous work instead. He was allegedly discriminated against and verbally abused by his Aussie coworkers at the farm. Three months later, he fell dead on a dirt track in the outback.

To quote the article, Death in the Outback:

Together the deaths represent a disturbing pattern of exploitation and coverup. These three men – Filipinos Pedro Balading and Wilfredo Navales and Chinese man Guo Jian-Dong – were brought to Australia on a skilled migration scheme but made to do work that was unskilled or dangerous, or both.

They were harassed in the workplace and died in incidents that contravened occupational health and safety rules. Their families have been left without income or information, or any real idea how to apply for their entitlements.

Now, I’m not saying that all working conditions for migrants in Australia are as bad as what was depicted in the two articles. However, I just want to remind you, if you are interested in working here, to be extra vigilant. Don’t be lulled into thinking that working in Australia is without any risks. Do your homework and do not let yourself be abused. I strongly urge you to read the two articles in its entirety to get some ideas of what to watch out for.

Published in: on August 28, 2007 at 10:28 pm  Comments (2)  

Job Seeker’s Reality Check

We’ve been talking to friends and relatives from the Philippines and very often, they would ask as if there are a lot of jobs here in Australia. We were wondering why there seemed to be a sudden interest in Australian jobs in the Philippines. Then Raquel pointed me to the article RP to set up labor office in Sydney–official from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, dated August 20, 2007.

Here is a short snippet from the article:

Following the projected influx of Filipinos seeking work in Australia, the labor department is preparing to set up a Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Sydney in two or three months’ time, said an official who has been tasked to head the office as labor attaché.

From the article, we learned that Senator Jinggoy Estrada (I still cannot believe he is now Senate President pro tempore) wanted a labor attache posted in Australia. More details can be found from the recent Press Release on the Philippine Senate’s website titled Jinggoy wants two labor attaches posted in Australia.

Here is a short quote from the article:

In 2006, the Australia Department of Employment and Workplace Relations identified and offered at least 20,000 additional jobs for skilled foreigners that included health workers, engineers, trade persons and other professionals. Similar job demand identification programs are expected in years to come.

Well, if I was still living in the Philippines and I’ve been reading news like these, I would certainly think that finding job vacancies in Australia is quite easy. And I suppose it’s true that there must be a lot of jobs one can apply for. However, the problem is that there is also a lot of competition right now and Australian companies tend to hire people with local experience first.

That means, it may probably be easy enough to find jobs to apply for but actually getting hired is a different matter entirely.

What I do know from experience is that if you intend to migrate here, be prepared to play the waiting game, a long waiting game. After asking other Filipinos here, it seems like that it’s very common to get a job not later than three months after intense job hunting. Writing from personal experience, it took me almost exactly three months before I landed a job not in Sydney, which was my preference at the time, but in far-away Canberra (think Tagaytay, I suppose). Raquel similarly took roughly three months to get a job.

A friend of mine from Sydney spent over a year applying for a job as a computer programmer and last I heard from him, he was still looking. A recent Pinoy migrant I met recently is already in their fourth month in Melbourne and he cannot land a job as an accountant. And this is a person who had worked for a multinational company in the Philippines and graduated from a top tier university.

I’m not writing this to discourage any of you who may want to migrate here in Australia in the hopes of building a better life for you and your loved ones. I just want to present to you the facts so that you would be prepared for the worst possible scenario.

Assuming you don’t already have a job waiting for you here when you arrive, be sure to bring enough cash with you that will carry you through six months (at the very least!)of no income. You may be lucky and get a job on your first week here. Sadly, not everybody can be so lucky.

If you are planning to move here your family and children with you, I strongly advise that whoever is the breadwinner go to Australia on his/her own and seek out a job first. This way, that person can live as cheap as possible until he or she gets a job and start earning money again. After that, then by all means, bring the rest of your family here.

Additionally, I strongly advise against coming over here on a tourist visa then applying for a job. The immigration officers at the airports are very strict about this kind of thing as evidenced from a very popular TV programme here called Border Security on the Seven Network. If they catch you, you risk getting deported and banned from returning to Australia. Sure, they won’t jail you, but all that money you spent getting that expensive airfare will have been wasted and you won’t get another chance.

My last advice though is that when you do get here and you start looking for that first job, try not to be very picky. You may find that getting a job that is exactly like the job you once had in the Philippines is not quite so easy. I think the important thing is to get that all-important “Australian work experience” first. That first job may not be the best job out there but nothing’s stopping you from applying for other jobs once you are hired. At least, you’ll be earning some cash in the meantime and earning local experience at the same time.

With that, good luck and God bless to any of you wishing to give Australia a go.

Published in: on August 26, 2007 at 9:39 pm  Comments (5)  

Library Elf

In modern mythology, Santa Claus is always assisted by his own army of elves. They’re there to create toys in the workshop, wrap gifts and help Santa in every imaginable way possible so that Santa could deliver gifts to little boys and girls who’ve been good all year. I’ve always thought that Santa is lucky to have these long-suffering elves working for him, wouldn’t it be cool to perhaps employ one myself?

If you think I’ve gone bonkers with this talk of elves in the middle of the year, please bear with me. As you may already know, I’m a regular library user. I frequent two libraries, the one in the city and the one in Werribee. As such, I have various books, DVDs, CDs and magazines going overdue at different times in the two libraries and I’ve incurred fines that could have been better spent elsewhere. I’ve always lamented the fact that they don’t these libraries lack a reminder service and would only send you a reminder several days AFTER an item was due to be returned.

Well, I’ve discovered a web-based tool called the Library Elf. Create an account for free then add the libraries you use into a list and provide your library number and library account password. The tool would check for items that are about to be due and send you regular emails to remind you to return them before they are due. You can set how often reminders would be sent so you shouldn’t be inundated with email messages you don’t want. It could also list items that you have on hold waiting for you at the different libraries so that you’ll know to pick them up when you return your items. Simple but functional, the Library Elf does the job although I wouldn’t mind the ability to search the catalogues of the libraries in my list when looking for a particular book and the ability to put them on reserve through this interface would be cool too. Fingers crossed that these wish-list features show up in future versions.

Not quite Santa Claus’ elf yet but it helps me keep track of my library stuff and at least reduces the chances of incurring those pesky overdue fines.

Published in: on May 31, 2007 at 12:40 pm  Comments (3)  

Medical Costs?

A reader wrote:

Geejay,

Can you add more details for us newbies in Oz — how much do these checkups cost? Is that a public or private hospital?

How much did the checkup cost? How do people normally pay for such things? Is it from personal finances, through work medical insurance, etc?

Vince

Good questions, Vince. For the costs of a medical checkup, here is a rough guideline based off the consultation fees list for the GP I go to here in Melbourne:
Standard (30 mins) = $154.00

Of course, different doctors charge different rates. Some even allow for Bulk Billing (they have a sign outside their clinic if that’s the case). That means, if you have a Medicare card (all migrants and citizens do), the service is essentially free. The GPs that offer Bulk Billing seem competent enough so you shouldn’t be worried to seek their medical advice.

The list I have isn’t even entirely accurate. When I went to see my GP recently, it was roughly a 15-minute session and I only paid $50 for it. So, I guess the fee gradually increases relative to the length of the consultation.

You can then take the receipt afterwards to the nearest Medicare office to get a rebate. I’m not sure exactly how much money you’d get back but you can maybe check the Medicare website for more information. If you are new to Australia and need more information about Medicare, here is their Information Kit page.

For medical checkups, you go set up and appointment with a GP (general practitioner), what we would maybe call a family doctor back in the Philippines. They would have their own clinics and sometimes two or more of them come together and work from a private medical centre. Just to be clear, this medical centre is not a hospital.

Unlike in the Philippines, you will unlikely be able to just drop by a doctor at the hospital for a checkup unless its to see a specialist. Even then, you would probably be referred to the specialist by a GP first.

With private hospitals, you pay out of your own pocket whenever you wanted to be treated in one. Public hospital services are free so you may want to go there instead. The good news is that the public hospitals here are very reliable so you wouldn’t feel the need to go to a private hospital unlike in the Philippines. The advantage of going private probably is that you’ll get the attention you want because there’ll be less people going there.

I know that in the Philippines, it is common that the employer provide some form of medical benefits scheme. Here, it is not so common (if at all). When you get hospitalised in a public hospital, you don’t have to worry much because Medicare should cover it anyway.

Lastly, in case you are wondering, the abdominal ultrasound service I had on Thursday cost $190 and I had to pay it out of my pocket. I’ll probably get some rebate from Medicare later this week when I find the time to drop by their office in the city. So, yeah, pathology tests are usually expensive and you will have to pay for it yourself.

Of course, I’m only speaking from experience here so I could be mistaken in some of the things I’ve written. Still, this should give you a vague idea of what to expect.

Published in: on April 6, 2007 at 8:10 pm  Comments (2)  

Firefox Tabs 1.x Style

While on the topic of writing techie stuff, I might as well mention this little thing about Firefox that I discovered recently. As I’ve said in a previous post, I’ve been given a new PC at work because my old one got stuffed. One of the first things I installed on the new PC was Firefox.

I downloaded Firefox straight from the Mozilla website and installed that. It was then I realised that this Firefox was a bit different from the one I’m used to. Apparently, I’ve been using an older version of Firefox (version 1.5.0.9) for a while now and didn’t even know it.

I’ve been using the “Check for Updates…” menu item under Firefox’s Help menu to check if I have the latest version. Well, it now seemed to have just checked if there are any newer version 1.x updates but didn’t inform me that there was actually a version 2 of Firefox.

Anyway, the thing is, I like Firefox 1.x style tabs. Version 2’s tabs were more like Internet Explorer 7’s and I hate it. I want the close button for the tab in one place so that I can close tabs in quick succession if they are placed adjacent to each other. I also dislike the tab scrolling thing that comes on when there more than a handful tabs are open all at once. I prefer to see all the tabs even if I couldn’t read the tab names. I could still rely on the icon and the tab placement to help me distinguish among tabs I’m looking at.

Fortunately, there is a way to fix this but not through the Options dialog box on Firefox 2. Thanks to some quick web researching, I found that the Firefox settings (even those that aren’t documented) could easily be changed by typing about:config in the address bar then hitting enter.

To disable tab scrolling, all I have to do is set browser.tabs.tabMinWidth to 0 from the default of 100. Basically, this key allows you to set the minimum width of a tab. If enough tabs are open and adding a new tab would force the minimum tab width to drop below the default, the tab scrolling feature turns on. So, to have more tabs in there before tab scrolling turns on, you’ll have to set the value lower than 100. As for me, I set it to 0 to disable it completely.

To keep the close tab button in the right-most corner like it was in Firefox 1.x, I should set browser.tabs.closeButtons to 3. Setting it to 0 tells Firefox to only put the close button on the active tab. Setting it to 1 (the default) would show close buttons on every tab. Setting it to 2 would hide the close button altogether. Frankly, I don’t know why anybody would want to set this key to 2.

Well, that should be enough techie stuff for a while.

Published in: on February 13, 2007 at 1:40 am  Leave a Comment