Month: August 2005

Browser Tip of the Day: Pasting wrapped URLs in Firefox

Tip of the Day: Pasting wrapped URLs in Firefox
This must be on everybody’s pet peeve list: Somebody e-mails you a URL, but it’s long (it seems they all are these days) and wraps in your e-mail client, so when you click to open it you only get the first line, which is completely useless. In 2005, you’d think that most e-mail clients would be smart enough to get this right, but many of them don’t. For Firefox users, thankfully, there’s a fix on the browser side, but for some reason it’s not enabled by default nor available on any screen in Preferences. As the power users reading have probably already guessed, it’s in about:config.
The trick is this: type about:config into your address back and hit enter. After boggling at all the arcane options now available to you, find editor.singleLine.pasteNewlines (use the Filter box at the top to skip to it quickly). Double-click on it and change the value to 3. That’s it!
[via Download Squad (Windows)]

Rotating logs with apache under windows

Mike had a question about rotating the apache logs under windows (with Uniform Server as he was struggling to get it to work. Looking at google and various other locations it seems to be a common problem but very few people had the solution (or the whole solution).
What I found that is if you edit the httpd.conf stored in the usr\local\Apache2\conf directory and add the 2 lines

#rotate logs set here
CustomLog “|w:/usr/local/apache2/bin/rotatelogs.exe w:/usr/local/apache2/logs/access_log 86400” common

just before the <directory /> section then the logs will get rotated every day. Change the 86400 to 61 for once a minute (61 secs to be precise) to test it first.
The .exe on the end of rotatelogs is important (and that seems to be the bit missing from every other page) and naturally the logs directory and the path to rotatelogs.exe needs to exist. The files will start access_log and will have the date and time stamp at the end of the filename.
I include the line starting with a # as a comment but this line is not strictly needed. You will need to stop and start apache for this change to take effect. If any of the paths are incorrect, you will probably find that the welcome page for the web server appears but no other pages on the website will work. If that is the case, then check your path statements to the exe file and to the log directory.
One disadvantage of this is that the rotatelogs.exe file fires up in a dos box (on my machine) but this can be minimised out of harms way but it would be nice to not have this on the machine. I think running apache as a service might solve this problem, but the advantage of uniform server is that the whole thing can be run from a removable disk with no installation required.

large idtheft taking place.

Surprisingly I’ve not seen that much blogging about the SpywareInfo » cws-id-theft website where trojan software downloaded by CoolWebSearch can result in all sorts of personal information being uploaded to a file ranging from credit card/bank numbers/social security numbers etc.
Now the process of ensuring a pc is spyware free is not just restricted to running spybot or your application of your choice. It is getting more and more likely that you would have to inform the various companies that hold personal information that your data may have been compromised. Just think for a second how many companies this could include if you use your pc to do banking/pay bills/apply for a job……..
Its looking more and more likely that the only way to ensure you have a safe pc is to reformat it and start again.


I knew it was going to be a naff day when I managed to knock the new toilet roll off the top of the cistern into the toilet this morning, thus wasting an entire roll of bog roll and the rest of the day didn’t improve much either.
I don’t think I managed to get any decent work done today. This morning I decided to try and do some more programming on the microsoft training course and got as far as the online labs only for the website to come back with an “error – please contact support” message. I then spent the next 2 hours chatting with support trying various things, none of which made any difference. The only thing that I did get working was the screencapture of this process using Microsofts media encoder. This tool is great for doing screencams to send to support people and for some reason I had been getting weird error messages saying that the input stream was invalid, but this morning it worked!
I’m still waiting to hear back from Microsoft on the reason the web page doesn’t work though.

So this afternoon I decided to do some more job hunting and started to apply for a job with verizon wireless as a techie. However, part of the way through they wanted to know the date that I received my mcp qualifications. Trying to access the Microsoft site I found that they had now integrated their logins with their passport scheme and so I didn’t have any username or passwords that worked (my combination was pre passport). On the phone to Microsoft Support and I realised that using the cordless phone (the only option down in the basement) disrupts the wifi signal and I can’t use the internet and be on the cordless at the same time. Eventually I get sent a new username and password for the website, based on my mcp id, so it was a good job I could still find my mcp card which had the details on it. However, by the time I had got all of this information the verizon site had timed out due to lack of use and I had to start again as a new user even though I had originally gone through the username/password signup on their site – it doesn’t actually save these details until you hit submit a resume.
So I finally managed to apply for the two jobs and I thought I’d take a self assessment test before doing the Microsoft desktop support qualification exam (which starts to bring my qualifications uptodate). The microsoft website shows the self assessment test as being available until the end of august yet when you click through to the measureup site it expired end of May. Not only that, but half way through this process I somehow managed to get the passport site to say click the *logouticon* to log in to the website. Anyway, if you ignore the date information and continue on to register when you finally get to start taking the test your 30 questions are generated and the next page says “error ‘80020009’
Exception occurred. /test/Display_Question.asp, line 526” I then got on the phone to Measureup and walked them through the problem and an email has been sent to the developer so hopefully by tomorrow morning I may be able to take the test.

Be an author.

Chris has a very good article about Luna where you send them a word document and they produce it into a book. In Chris’s article, Pretty Pink Ponies Edition… » For those about to rawk, We publish you! – Part 1 he has screenshots of some web content he produced as a book and the quality looks really good. The prices are not bad either and luna only take 20% of any markup you make on the book. For 2p per page black and white, its cheaper than most photocopiers (but not as instant). I’m looking forward to his next couple of articles and I’m tempted to create a book for this website as a historical record but I’m not sure how much use a book containing hyperlinks is really…….


I’ve just come across gregarius which is another self hosted web based rss reader. This one looks pretty good and includes a decent search facility. It’s an alternative to feedonfeeds. I’m not sure which one I prefer at the moment. Although gregarius looks nice, has ajax for its user interface it seems to be a bit slow and the read/unread methods are clunky.
You can get unread messages in a view but unlike fof there are a lot of clicks needed to mark certain posts as read. With FOF I used to view all unread posts and if I had to stop reading due to time constraints then I’d click the link which said “select all to here” which would select all the posts from the top of the page to where I had clicked and then a “mark as read” button would be clicked and all those posts would disappear from the unread view and I’d be left with the rest to read when I next got some time.
With Gregarius it looks like you have to either have all unread posts marked as read or individually select each post to be read by clicking on the edit icon, clearing the unread checkbox and then checking ok. Repeat for 100 posts and thats a lot of clicking!
Update I have the double click plugin installed now but thats still a lot of clicking and you have to watch you dont click on a hyperlink within the body (which could be a pain if the entire body is hyperlinked such as in photostreams.
Be warned that an import of opml will overwrite any existing feeds that you have in gregarius!

Firefox optimisation tips. – Firefox 1.0 Tips and Tricks has some good tips on optimising and stopping some new popups.
The only thing that I would change on the user.js file is set the privacy popups to 1 instead of 2 (so they are treated the same way normal popups are) and also add the line
to the file – this stops windows from being resized.
I’ve not actually come across any flash based pop windows yet so I’m not really sure if I’d want it set to 1 or 2 but as 2 denies all popups, there might be a case where I want a popup to occur and this would block it.

Synctoy impressions.

Mike linked to Synctoy’s release and I downloaded it yesterday and started playing.
I did have one peculiarity in that the second time I did a sync after removing the usb disk and plugging it in again it decided to sync some files again (even though nothing would have changed). This has, so far, been the only time it happened but I’m very impressed with the developers as they saw my comment on Mikes blog about this and then emailed me to ask for more information on the problem. Totally unexpected as this is a powertoy, not supported by Microsoft AND my comments are not visible on Mikes homepage.

I really like the product and at the moment have 4 syncs set up.
2 synchronise the download locations of firefox and thunderbird to my usb disk. Therefore when a new extension is available, I download it to one place, normally on the main computer but it could be on a laptop or remote computer if an extension is released whilst i’m using a different pc) and then when I synchronise the usb disk back home, the latest extension is updated back to the home pc. Now I don’t have to worry that I have all the files needed to install firefox (or thunderbird) at a friendsfree client’s house.
The 3rd synchronisation contains all the gpx’s I download for geocaching. These files are retrieved via email within gsak and I can sync these to the usb drive for use on another pc automatically using “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\SyncToy\synctoy.exe -R” after the download withing gsak.
The 4th synchronisation is an entire copy of the usb drive onto disk. This way I have a backup copy in case I loose the disk or it gets corrupted.
I will be adding some more functionality to synchronise the gpx files onto the SD card used in my pocketpc for caching out in the wild and possibly to synchronise mp3 files from my pc to the creative zen (if thats possible – not had chance to try that just yet.)