May 03 2014

Firefox 29.0

Category: Internet,SoftwareTeknovis @ 16:11

I just updated my Firefox to version 29.0.

The things I like are:

  • The user interface seems cleaner, and more polished!

The things I do not like are:

  • The “Firefox” or “Application” button is missing from the top left! I do not see any reason why the “Hamburger” button on the right is better! It is more difficult to see, and it is less convent!
  • My favourite theme Silvermel no longer works. Instead I am using Dark Fox.

However, I think that a lot of the changes will be very positive for less experienced users!


Jul 23 2012

Firefox 14.0.1

Category: Security,SoftwareTeknovis @ 21:51

I updated to Firefox 14.0.1 over the weekend. It does not contain any new user features, but there have been several security enhancements. See the Release Notes for the complete details.

In particular, I like the following two enhancements:

  • HTTPS is now used for all Google searches. That should prevent network administrators from eavesdropping on searches ;) Image searches are particularly fun ;) See Rolling Out HTTPS Google search for more details.
  • It is no longer possible to spoof the HTTPS icon using the favicon on a fraudulent site. I think that this was really necessary to protect ordinary computer users. I also like the way that the real domain name is highlighted to prevent fraudulent URLs. See Site identity UI updates for more details.

For more general reporting on the upgrade see Firefox 14 arrives with “secure search” and Firefox 14 Hides Your Searches from Prying Eyes.

The only downside the the upgrade has been that my favourite theme, Silvermel, no longer works :( Hopefully this will be rectified soon!

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Aug 30 2011

Firefox 6.0

Category: Reviews,SoftwareTeknovis @ 17:54

I started using Firefox 6.0 about two weeks ago. (I realise now that it was less than four months ago when I started using Firefox 4.0 according to Firefox 4. What happened that Firefox 5.0 was so brief?)

The feature that I find most interesting is the new Panorama (see Firefox Features or Firefox Panorama: The Web browser’s next big innovation). I am still getting used to it, but I am hoping that I can use it to de-clutter my Task Bar.

The most controversial aspect in my opinion is that the Startup page reverts to “Show my windows and tabs from last time” by default. I really wonder how many people will be caught-out because they were browsing sites they should not have been when they became interupted, so they closed the browser not realising that Firefox will restore everything when the browser is restarted! It could be very embarrassing!


May 06 2011

Firefox 4

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 21:54

I started using Firefox 4 today. It has been a good experience so far!

Perhaps the most noticeable difference so far is that the user interface is very different. I was going to revert it back to the previous layout, as described in Three annoying things about Firefox 4 (and how to fix them). However, then I decided to leave it. I guess that somebody put a lot of thought into the changes, so the least I could do was try them for a day :)

By the end of the day I had decided that the new layout was better ;)


Jul 22 2010

Firefox Tabs

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 17:18

I came across three interesting settings for my tabs in Firefox today:

  • In previous versions new tabs were always added to the right hand side of the tab bar. I found this very useful, because if I read my tabs from left to right it was a sort of First-In, First-Out queue. However, I could not understand why the new tab location seemed to be a bit random in the latest version :| After some searching I found Why to embrace Firefox 3.6’s new-tab ethos, which explains the logic bethind the new tab location :o After reading this I decided to try it for a while longer, and at least I now know how to change this behaviour if I change my mind!
  • You can enable a very nice graphical tab switcher as described in Enable Visual Tab Switcher in Firefox 3.6.
  • You can enable thumbnail previews of tabs in Windows 7 as described in Unlock thumbnail previews for Firefox 3.6 on Windows 7.


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Jun 16 2010

Firefox Configuration Settings

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 18:04

I have been installing and configuring Firefox a lot of times this week! It is becoming a bit repetitive!

I think that nearly all of the default settings are perfect, and I just change a few of them. Probably the most important of these is that I add more accept languages.

I then install the following add-ons and plugins:

Lastly, I make the following changes to the configuration file (See About:config for instructions on doing this):

I can now reference this online myself :)

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Aug 13 2009

Kellogg’s On-line Promotion

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 20:03

I recently tried to avail of a Kellogg’s promotion. The promotion involved collecting 3 unique numbers from 3 different cereal boxes, entering these number online, and then printing a voucher for the free box of cereal.

It all sounded wonderfully simple, but it turned out to be a disaster! In fairness, it is not all Kellogg’s fault, because it chose two other companies to fulfil the promotion. Coinks was responsible for redeeming the collected numbers, and converting them into rewards. Couponstar was responsible for providing the printable vouchers. It is really this company that I am faulting!

In theory this should be a very simple process. Simply generate a PDF file that the user can download and print. However, Couponstar take a very different approach to this simple task. Its motivation is that it prevents users from printing the same coupon multiple times. It appears that this company has never heard of a photocopier!

Therefore, the complex process that I had to follow was:

  1. I tried to avail of the offer from my house, but I was unsuccessful because Firefox and Ubuntu are not supported :(
  2. I used another computer, and then discovered that virtual printers are not supported (I was trying to print to a PDF file).
  3. I went back to my Ubuntu computer and started a virtual machine in VMware. Virtual machines are not supported either :(
  4. I then tried to avail of the offer from a Windows computer in work. The application downloaded and installed. It then displayed a message saying that my vouchers would be printed shortly. The only problem was that it did not specify on which of the company printers (in separate parts of the building) my vouchers would be printed!
  5. Ultimately, it did not print on any of them. Perhaps this is because the software could not communicate with the server, because it never asked me to specify my proxy settings!

At this stage I gave up!

I have written a letter of complaint to Kellogg’s :o Unfortunately, I had to send it using a form on its Contact Us web page. I wish that the email address was listed there so that I could use my favourite email client instead of having to use a small text area :(

I will update this blog if I get a response from Kellogg’s.

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Jul 17 2009

A Frustrating End

Category: WindowsTeknovis @ 16:33

I have recently been trying to use the Home and End buttons regularly when I am viewing large documents within Windows. However, it has been a bit frustrating, because their behaviour seems to vary depending on the application that I am using them within :(

For example, they pan to the beginning or end of a document within Firefox.  Whereas in Notepad++ they move the cursor to the beginning or end of the current line.


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Jul 01 2009

Firefox Default Browser

Category: WindowsTeknovis @ 19:28

The other issue (besides Removing Windows Media Player Icons) that I spent a lot of time trying to resolve over the weekend was setting Firefox as my default browser!

I have several Windows 2000 Workstation computers that are setup identically, and I use roaming profiles so that I only need to maintain a single profile. Firefox is configured as my default browser, and the option to Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on startup is enabled (see Default browser).

Everything worked perfectly, except on one computer! This troublesome computer would always ask me if I wanted to make Firefox my default browser the first time that I ran it in a single login session! This made me think that the problem must be somewhere in the Registry under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT. However, I could not understand why I was only prompted the first time I ran Firefox.

I eventually found a very explanatory article called How Does Your Browser Know that It’s Not The Default? that describes how Firefox associates itself with protocols and file types. I could see the values of the relevant keys in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT changing when I ran Firefox. I was surprised that these values could be changed using a normal user account!

The thing that I did not know until I read the article was that HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT is actually created dynamically when the user logs in by merging the computer’s settings in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes and the user’s settings in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes. This is described in more detail in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT Key.  So Firefox was not configured as the default browser in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes.

Ultimately, the solution was very easy :o I used the Add/Remove Programs setting in the Control Panel of the Administrator account as described in Setting default browser manually.

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Jun 23 2009

Firefox Printing to Adobe PDF Writer

Category: WindowsTeknovis @ 18:52

I noticed recently that any time I tried to create a PDF file from Firefox using my Adobe Acrobat PDF Writer the resulting PDF file was unreadable because the fonts were illegible :(

I had some time this evening to look into this problem, it it seems that it is a known issue with older versions of Adobe PDF Writer: Font glyphs incorrectly displayed with certain printer drivers.

Maybe I should look into an alternative PDF Printer, because I hate the way that Acrobat embeds itself so much into my operating system!

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