It's probably just a little sad, the way I rely on Firefox. It is my interface to the rest of the planet, and over the years I have collected links and bookmarklets and lots of neat things. It's like my own personal Swiss army Knife for the web. I could probably recover in time if I lost it all and had to start over. Let's hope I never have to.
I have kept the same install of Firefox going for at least 4 years over quite a few computers. I have only used Windows 98 and XP, but I see no reason why you can't adapt this to your own OS.
There are two folders to be backed up in my fast and dirty backup of Firefox. The first, and easiest to find, is in C:\Program Files. There should be a folder there called Mozilla Firefox. Right click on that folder and select copy. Right click again and hit paste. After a second or two you should have a brand new folder named Copy of Mozilla Firefox.
Now for the tricky part.
The folder you are now looking for may be in different locations depending on your setup. It is most definitely somewhere in C:\Documents and Settings\. In my case, it is located in C:\Documents and Settings\(username)\Application Data with (username) being the name you log into Windows with. The folder you are looking for is named Mozilla.
Do exactly the same copy/paste operation as you did before. It is important this time that you do not have Firefox running while you do this. If you get the error message, simply rename your new folder 'bad Copy of Mozilla' and come back later.
Now let's say you have a brand spanking new computer and a familiar install of Firefox. Go ahead and install a fresh new Firefox in the usual way. Then, rename the two folders you just made to something like 'new Mozilla Firefox' and 'new Mozilla'. Put the folders you backed up on a thumbdrive or whatnot, transfer them over to the proper place, and rename them to 'Mozilla Firefox' and 'Mozilla'.
There may be more efficient ways to do it, but this has not failed me yet.
A question was posed on a forum lately, "Why do you hate Windows?". I really wanted to answer for myself but at the same time I was a bit put off by the harshness of the "H" word, I mean, after all Windows has been really good to me and does what I expect after some time spent in the practice. I understand how to make anything I want to work, be it hardware or software, and I seem to have no problems due to my clean living (read boring lifestyle and complete lack of curiosity).
I am somewhat guilty of taking a free ride on the system as it were. I have never purchased a new computer and therefore have never technically paid a "Windows Tax". I do not expect to maintain this nice run of luck forever, which has a lot to do with my interest in Linux. I do like to know where my next meal (or operating system) is coming from.
This Laptop I am using now came with what I assume was a legal version of Windows 2000, but I never made use of it and in fact have been using it as my primary machine under Linux for a few weeks now. I have performed some pretty complicated tasks that would have been much simpler under Windows, because of my familiarity with specialized software. Everyday tasks seem to be completely platform-neutral.
I do have a problem with Windows. I really would like to have a basic trust on the core OS level, and then be able to use a little common sense when it comes to installing additional components. At the very least I would like to turn on security updates without any mind games. A compromised computer is a risk to everyone and maintaining such should not leave one wondering if he has sold his soul in the process.
My friend Dave tells me to hate the game, not the player. If the business model the folks behind Windows have chosen requires protection of any kind, I will choose to play along up to a point and after that I will change venues. I will not hate a thing which has worked well for me, but I will use the understanding I have developed to make use of whatever tools are available.
I do not hate Windows. I have been using Windows since about version 3 or so and I have always been happy with it. I have learned how to remove viruses or even better how not to get them in the first place. My web surfing habits keep me out of dangerous neighborhoods. The most alarming things I have picked up in recent years have been a few advertiser cookies.
I am always years behind the cutting edge in the hardware/OS department and somehow manage to get my work done. I have very recently upgraded to Windows XP Pro but anything I have done since then could have easily been carried out in W98. You run what you brung.
Anyway, I am typing this out on my dedicated Linux machine. I am not real sure why I need a dedicated Linux machine. Maybe it is to learn something new, or maybe it is for future proofing my operations in case things go really bad. I do have XP booted up on another laptop. I needed it earlier to run camera software but once again it is older technology. I have been using this laptop almost exclusively ever since I got Linux working. Not because it works any better, but simply because there is no reason not to.
In my opinion, Linux is interchangeable with Windows for the average user. If an individual is already accustomed to clicking on the Firefox icon to "do the Internet thingy", they will see no difference in Windows and Linux. Unless the person wants to print something.
I really do not know if Linux supports current printer technology well. My printer was not supported out of the box and instead of fighting it, I switch to Windows to print. The inconvenience would be a deal breaker in most circles.
In my opinion the battle for the desktop makes for an interesting study, but I do not forsee Windows usage falling much in the casual home environment. Some may migrate to Apple, but I expect most folks tp stay with the familiar. Linux will continue for the curious.
Theere is simply not enough time in the day to convert everyone.