Posts tagged: firefox

Apple discriminating… again!

Yes, yet again, Apple discriminating. Not sure if by their own will, or just because they are stupid. Nevertheless, they got warned, and their action will clarify this point.

Now, why? Not sure why (there is a page with that story but I really never read it) but Apple has a trailers page. It is a nice page, with HD version of trailers. So, why not use it. The problem is that the HD versions, that are watched opening QuickTime (or supposedly, any other similar application), doesn’t work if you are using Firefox (on Mac OS X). You get a redirect to the original trailers index page.

Nevertheless, if you change your Firefox user agent string to the Safari user agent string, then the link will work properly. This means it is not a technology problem or anything. It is just Apple filtering what user agents can watch the movies.

So, if you still want to use Firefox and Apple trailers page for this task, then install, for instance, the Firefox user agent switcher plugin.

And a final thank you to João Neves for his precious help debugging this problem.

Nine tools I can’t live without (for Windows)

First, a relevant disclaimer: I use Windows mostly for two purposes, test my Perl modules under a Windows environment, and printing some stuff as my Mac sometimes can’t find some Windows printers in the network. This said, my Windows runs in a virtual machine, and I install these tools right after installing Windows.

Browser

The first thing you need to know is that Windows does not include a web browser. It includes a tool that is mainly used to download a Web browser. Its name is Internet Explorer, and you can use it to download Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari or Opera. In my main machine, I use Firefox. There are some features that I like that are not available on other browsers. But for my virtual machine I need a tool to check my mail, and to download some other tools. Not much more.

Antivirus

Now I am cheating. In my virtual machine I do not have an antivirus installed. It is too easy to reinstall a new virtual machine, and you all know that an antivirus running is wasting some resources that can be relevant for virtual machines. Nevertheless, I want to suggest two antivirus. In fact, I suggest these two because they are the two I install when I need one (note that I do not install both, I install one or other). I am not sure what is the best. Avira seems to be lighter, AVG seems to be more professional and heavy.

Both these antivirus software have their professional paid version. This means that if you like their performance, you can buy the paid version for better protection. They also include some functionality that are common on current antivirus software, like trojan detection and web site security.

 

Connectivity

I need to transfer files to and from my Mac and/or Linux servers to the Windows machine. For that I can make the file available to download, or I can use a tool to copy files. As FTP is not that secure, the best approach is to use SCP or Secure Copy. For that, I suggest WinSCP tool. It also support FTP, but its main strength is the ability to use the SSH protocol.

A similar necessity raises when I need to connect to a Linux server from Windows. Again, I do not need this when using a virtual machine, as I can use a terminal from the host machine to ssh anywhere I want. But if you have a dual boot machine, or you just work on windows, then you will need this. Putty is the better telnet/ssh client I ever seen for Windows. It not only supports ssh, but it also supports ssh keys, making your connection even more secure.

Version Control

My main repository of code is still a SubVersion one. I am now using GitHub a lot, too, but my main tools are still in the old SVN repository. To checkout and commit from Windows I use TortoiseSVN. Not only because it has a nice and cute logo, but because it integrates perfectly in Explorer. Also, I love a recent feature, where TortoiseSVN commit message window auto-completes your commit messages with the filenames or contents of the modified files. Very cool.

Text Editor

I do not use that much Windows to have a dedicated IDE. I usually use Notepad++ for my editing needs. It knows about file encoding, it knows about end-of-line differences among operating systems, it knows how to highlight main programming languages, it is light and easy to use. It is not full of features, but I do not need them. Or at least, I think I don’t. Also, I confess I never dig much all of its potentialities.

Programming Language

My main programming language is Perl. I occasionally need some C, and some of my Perl modules link to C and C++. So, to fill my need for these three programming languages I choose to install Strawberry Perl. I never ever used Perl with so ease in Windows before Strawberry Perl. It supports more than 90% of CPAN modules, and it includes a C and C++ compilers (gcc based) and a make command. What else one needs?

Compression Tool

Windows knows (it its recent incarnations) about what are zip files. But it ignores all about rar, gzip, bzip2 or tar files. Most Perl modules come in tgz format, so I need a tool to extract them. Most people tend to use WinRar or 7zip. I am not sure why, but I prefer IzArc. It is lightweight, supports most compression algorithms, and integrate pretty well with explorer.

PDF Visualizer

If up to now I defended the use of lightweight applications, now I’m going to the other side, and my choice to read PDF documents is Adobe Reader. There are other free and more lightweight applications, like FoxIt Reader, but I had so many trouble with PDFs and PDFs compatibility that I prefer to have the application from the PDF creators. I know that doesn’t mean much, but at least it can work as an excuse.

What I miss…

There are some tools that I miss. First, I miss a decent command prompt window. One that let me select text, copy and paste easily, that let me make full screen, that let me change easily the font, and not just some stupid predefined sizes. Together with this, a decent command prompt, or shell, with better completion, better prompt configuration, better history, etc. To install cygwin is not an option. For that, I would use linux.

Also, and as I stated above, now I am using GitHub a lot. Then, I miss a Git client. I tried TortoiseGit but it didn’t work well for me. Probably it was a beta release, and now it is better. I need to test. I used the Git binary, that includes a Git shell, and mostly works. But it do not integrate well with the operating system.

Firefox vs Safari on Mac OS X

I confess I use Firefox, and I really prefer firefox user interface. But this is just stupid! I never had problems with Firefox before, and now that I have a fast machine and 8 GB of RAM Flash acts like this? OK, I know it is Flash.. but.. :-/

Also, no idea why I can’t get my Quicktime plugin to manage .mov files. It just does nothing. Check below how it behaves in Firefox and in Safari.

Firefox 9, Mac OS X Lion and Apple Trailers page

I am having some trouble with Firefox 9 (well, I had it already with Firefox 8, and after the update the behavior continues) and Mac OS X Lion, when trying to download a trailer from Apple trailers page. I have no clue about what is going on, so if you have any idea that can solve my problem, please leave a comment, or contact me directly.

First, choose a movie from Apple trailers page. Any movie will work. I chose Prometheus, just because it is one of the first in the list, and Science Fiction. There is a small bar at the left that reads “View Trailers (4)”. I expand it clicking the arrow. Before continuing, I activated the Web Console for Firefox, that shows what is going on (that is, lists the requests that are sent to the server, and the received response).

Next step, choose one of the trailers. Let’s say, the first. In the small arrow in the “watch now” button, you have two sections. One of them is named “watch” and the other “download”. Let’s try to download one trailer (or watch it in QuickTime, instead of watching it directly in the webpage). Click the 480p (20MB) link.

What happens?

Well, for most users, it will open QuickTime and start loading the video. For me, nothing happens. The Web Console just issues GET http://trailers.apple.com/movies/fox/prometheus/prometheus-tlr1_h480p.mov as it should. And logs the answer as [HTTP/1.1 302 Moved Temporarily 118ms]. And it is all. No further messages in the watch window, no QuickTime starting, nothing. Rien!

I have no clue about what is going on. If you have, please let me know (and if you say not to use Mac or to use Safari I’ll be punching you in the teeth).

Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 – First Impressions

Installed Firefox 4.0 beta 1 in Mac OS X for about… 5 minutes. For now, loved the reduced size of the toolbar (heh.. where are my bookmarks?.. ok, activated it again). Then, by default text areas are now resizable by the user. Good, as some are quite small (just expanded one at the moment), bad as it can break the page layout. And finally, some problems with my favorite chess website when moving pieces.

Thunderbird 3 – the news

ThunderBird 3

ThunderBird 3

I installed Thunderbird 3 a while ago. But before posting about it I thought it would good to test, check its new features usefulness and then, yes, post some comments on it. Today I decided to do the post. For that I visited the Mozilla website, searching for the top features for Thunderbird 3. They are described in the image above, and will be commented bellow:

  • Tabs: at the first glance I thought that tabs would change the way I work with Thunderbird. Since when Galeon, an old web browser, added tabs to the browsing experience, that I never wanted anything else. Then, when hearing about tabs on Thunderbird 3 I got excited. But now I can’t see where are the tabs experience. I can’t add a tab with other account (I was trying to put different inboxes in different tabs) or a tab for each account. But or that is not possible, or it is too hidden for finding it. The only place where I saw tabs showing on was during search…
  • Better Search: yesterday I finally discovered how to turn off the new search system. It is fancy, it shows graphics, it has a nice user interface, it does not work! Why are some mails found and not shown? Why some folders are not being indexed? Why indexes are not updated when I move a file? Last months I tried not to use the search engine because I was frustrated with it. Now, old search is back. Great.
  • Archiving: the archiving feature might be interesting if the search works, something like Google Mail. In fact, they started with that idea: never delete a mail, archive anything, we will find it. Yes, it was they tagline. Now they are using tags (folders with a different name) so you can organize your email. If Google Mail did this, from an archive to a set of archives, why is Thunderbird trying to create an archive for everything? I use for years different folders where I copy mails to, organizing them as I like. If just these folders were indexed…

OK, now I wonder: why did I update? Probably I will ask the same about Firefox 3.6. Please, Mozilla! Look into usability. Look into usefulness. Forget fancy and eye catching features that use resources and have no real use!

iFrames and JavaScript fail?

Was trying to create the typical button to “remove frames” from a site, opening the main iframe content in the full window. While it was easy to make the iframe content to change with a simple HTML link and a target property, it is not easy to make the “remove frames” button to work.

I tried a simple JavaScript function that retrieves the ‘src’ property from the ‘iframe’ object and assigns it to the document location. Unfortunately, it seems that both Firefox and Chrome does not update the iframe DOM object with the correct url property when the user clicks in one link that uses the “target” property.

My current solution would be to change the links with target property to JavaScript actions. But that is insane.

Am I doing something wrong? And, this is a bug or a feature?