Firefox Hangs

Although Firefox is considered very safe and stable, it sometimes hangs. In the past, when it hung, my solution was to remove the whole ~/.mozilla/firefox directory. It worked every time (reinstalling Firefox doesn't help). Of course, I would always backup my bookmarks.html and other files under the chrome sub-directory first. Then I had to reinstall the add-ons when I got a working firefox. It turned out I shouldn't have taken such a drastic action. Continue reading »

Set mailto handler in Firefox

In order to click "mailto:" links on Web pages to launch an email program, Firefox (or Iceweasel on Debian) needs to be told which email program to use. To do this, type "about:config" in Firefox's address bar, type in "mailto" in filter, look if "network.protocol-handler.external.mailto" preference has value "true". By default, it's true. If not, set it to be true. Then check if "" exists or not. By default it's not.

Regular Web sites coexist with Drupal sites

This site is primarily powered by Drupal, i.e. it is a PHP site. However, we have a few Web directories that serves regular HTML pages. Since I installed Drupal in document root, access to these directories becomes an issue. The main problem is that directory index file resolution is broken, because Drupal changed the default directory index file from index.html to index.php. So a Web request to these regular HTML directories results in an error. What's more, this error is very misleading, instead of saying "404 Page not found", it says "403 Access denied".

Running Windows Vista on Debian Linux with VirtualBox

All of my laptops are now running Debian based Linux. It works great. Linux handles all my daily works well. However, there are occasions where I need a Windows machine. For example, I recently need to deliver a lecture on a system that runs only on Windows. Also, in the past, we developed a system that works only on Windows, and I still need to demonstrate it from time to time. Of course, the solution is to run Windows on a virtual machine on top of Linux. In the last couple of years, I have been using VMware for this purpose. However, I was not very impressed by its performance. I remember last year during a presentation, the virtual machine was so slow that my demonstration was negatively impacted by it.

Open source edition

Putty as a Chinese Telnet client

How to display Chinese characters correctly on a Telnet client running on a non-Chinese version of Windows machine? Web browsers today support whatever character encodings, this is not so with Telnet client. If you make a Telnet connection to a Chinese server with Windows telnet client, you will most likely see strange characters on screen.

Solution: PuTTY.

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