Thursday, April 14, 2011
restoring rss icon to firefox 4 location bar
I recently upgraded to firefox 4, and while I'm loving the increased speed, it has required some customization, most of which I learned about from this lifehacker post. Today I was linked to a friend's blog, and sought to add it to my google reader feeds. lo and behold, when I looked to the location bar for the rss icon, I found it wasn't there. further investigation showed that the blog did indeed have feeds enabled, but it turns out that they've changed the behavior in the switch from FF 3.x to 4.

img credit: technophilia

Apparently, not enough people used it the behavior was removed and the built in solution is disabled by default.

Alexander Limi of the Firefox user experience team writes:
The RSS feed icon wasn't removed, it was moved into the bookmarks menu. Even among our very advanced users, this button has the lowest percentage use of all our buttons, and is not used anywhere near enough to justify being in the main UI.
It's annoying to have to do it, but fortunately there are ways around the matter:
  • One solution involves using the built in customization tools (right-click on tool bar, choose customize, drag icon to desired location and click done). While this works, it's unsatisfactory because unlike the old icon/behavior, it is always present and taking up space, even on sites without feeds.
  • A better solution that restores the 3.x functionality involves installing an extension -- RSS Icon. I'm using it myself currently and it works as expected. Note that per the dev,
    This addon DOES NOT look for links to rss/atom files in the body of a document.

Good luck and happy browsing!

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amr's brain blurted out at 11:28 PM   Permalink   
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011
clean install of xp on dell mini 9 from usb drive
A few months ago I started experiencing problems with my Dell Mini 9 such that it eventually wouldn't boot at all. I wouldn't call myself an expert, but I do have a bag of troubleshooting tricks up my sleeve. I tried a few things but then decided the best course of action would be to do a clean install. The mini is my night time and travel computer...anything of value I do when using it gets saved to the cloud so the only thing I had to lose was time. CDs with the ultraportable version of XP and drivers came shipped with the machine, and I had a usb CD/DVD drive so I figured I was good to go.

The install proceeded as expected until the GUI setup phase. I received an error message: "Please insert Windows XP disc because the file ASMS cant be found." Some research revealed that I was not the first to experience this problem; it seems that after the initial text install phase that the system loses the ability to communicate with the external drive, as the appropriate driver is not yet installed. Unfortunately the easiest suggested fix (changing the path manually) did not work, and there was no other convenient way to transfer the files.

One solution would have been to use a linux live cd to copy the files, but I decided that any fix involving the CD/DVD drive was probably not the best plan of action. Instead I chose to install from a flash drive, based on the instructions found here. In brief, this required that I create a bootable flash drive, copy the Windows XP install files to it and boot from that. There are alternative methods, but WinSetupFromUSB is much more user friendly software, with a convenient GUI.

Once Windows was installed, I needed to install the drivers, but once again my external CD drive let me down. I ended up downloading them on another computer and copying them to the mini via my trusty flash drive. The list of drivers I needed and recommended install order were found in this thread. I did not need all the files for my particular build, just the following, which I installed in this order:
  1. R192574.EXE - Intel (R) Mobile Chipset
  2. R192572.EXE - Intel Graphics Media 945GSE/GM965
  3. R197393.EXE - Realtek LAN RTL8102EL
  4. R197392.EXE - Realtek ALC268 HD Audio
  5. R197390.EXE - Broadcom Arcadyne Wireless LAN
  6. R192597.EXE - Synaptics TouchPad
  7. R192570.EXE - Wireless Select Switch
  8. R200081.EXE - JMicron JMB385 Card Reader
  9. R192569.EXE - Battery Meter
I realize this is the first generation of Dell's line of minis but it seems like a pretty major oversight to require this much effort just to do a clean install. The average customer would have just become frustrated and sent it in for repair, needlessly increasing the workload of Dell Technicians. Hopefully the problem has been resolved in the newer generations of hardware.

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amr's brain blurted out at 1:46 AM   Permalink   
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I couldn't get it to work. Screw it. I tried. I really did. Dell and Micosoft can go to hell. Downloaded Ubuntu, burned a cd, and installed it on my mini9. I am FREEEE BROTHER!

By Anonymous Josephus, at 5/11/2011 11:46 PM  

@Josephus I'm sorry to hear that but I hear your pain. It has worked twice for me now (the solid state hard drive failed, which apparently is another common problem) and the warranty replacement they sent was not imaged correctly, so I ended up having to reinstall windows AGAIN.

I'm glad Ubuntu's working out. I hear Windows 7 works really well on these systems too (and doesn't have the installation problems) but I'm just not willing to pony up the $$ to try.

By Blogger amr, at 5/12/2011 11:57 AM  

amazing works for two weeks iv been trying to repair this dell mini 9. finally this was the only thread that worked!! thank you!!! things that did help were using the winsetupfromusb 0.1.1 which did the formatting and everything smoothly. install is happening and finally. thank you tons bro!!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/19/2013 11:18 AM  

@Anonymous - I'm glad it worked out for you (and, fyi, i'm not a "bro")!

By Blogger amr, at 4/20/2013 11:34 AM  

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Monday, March 01, 2010
offline google calendar for thunderbird users
like many, i've been sucked into the google bubble and regularly use gmail, google calendar, google reader and blogger. unfortunately i do not have a smart phone so my big issue is what do i do when i have my computer, but no internet access? i do still have a paper calendar, but it's pretty time consuming to put in every single event, so i generally use it to record things when i'm away from a computer, and then add to my google calendar when i get back into the cloud.

to resolve this problem, i looked into ways of accessing my google calendar data while offline. the official fix (using google gears) was unsatisfactory, as it only provides read only access. ideally i would be able to add events while offline, to be sync'd automatically once back online.

a little digging came up with a solution which hopefully has been around long enough for me not to run into any problems. i already use thunderbird to manage my work and offline gmail email, so it did not involve too much extra effort. the details were reported in a comment by Mike on March 26, 2009 on this post at it seems to be working well so far, so we'll see how it goes!

You NO LONGER need to have the Provider addon installed in Thunderbird to have bidirectional Google calendar support. Just the Lightning addon. Google Calendar now supports CalDAV and it’s very easy to enable bidirectional updating of your Google Calendar from within Thunderbird. Follow these instructions, remembering that Sunbird is the actual name of the Thunderbird calender.

Remember, you’ll want to make sure you have the Google calendar box checked in left hand column of the calendar view in Thunderbird to have the Google calendar show. Also, very important. When adding an event from Thunderbird, you must specify which calendar you want the event to show up on. By default, this is set to the “home” calender. Click the drop down to select your Google calendar. This must be done or the event will not sync back to Google Calendar. Also, I set my Lightning calendar refresh to 5 minutes, which allows for faster updating of the calendars.

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amr's brain blurted out at 1:43 PM   Permalink   
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I just been trying this. I cannot however make appointments when offline. Lighting states an error occurred. I can however read my appointments.

Is yours working ok?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/27/2011 1:06 PM  

Hi Madrunner,

As far as I know it is working correctly, although I have not had a need to make appointments offline in several months. When I originally installed this fix I tested it and it did work ok so I wonder if there was an update that broke it. I can't right now but will do a test.


By Blogger amr, at 1/27/2011 5:15 PM  

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Saturday, August 01, 2009
Fix for IE8 corrupt search provider bug
I experienced this bug from the time I first downloaded the IE8 beta in Nov 2008, but it wasn't a huge problem as I don't use IE for anything except the Windows Update site and the now defunct yahoo launchcast. I waited in vain as the production version failed to fix the bug, as did an uninstall/reinstall. What DID work for my XP Pro SP3 machine is the fix described here:

1.Make sure IE 8 is closed then navigate to registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

2.Add a new “Expandable String value” inside the above mentioned key with a value name of “AppData” and a value data of “%USERPROFILE%\Application Data”.

3.Reopen IE 8 and see if you still get the error message.

Note that this is also the fix suggested by Michael Agens in post #8 (who as you will see is NOT the MS employee in the thread).

I hope this helps someone!

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amr's brain blurted out at 4:01 AM   Permalink   
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Sunday, September 30, 2007
and you call yourself a football team
i was reading the paper the other day, after yet another abismal start to the season only to notice that Duke had put an ad in the paper for a kicker. i knew they were bad, but this is a new low. Scrapper Nation has documented this occasion, complete with a pic of the actual ad that was placed.

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amr's brain blurted out at 4:43 AM   Permalink   
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

For the first time since 1995, the Boston Red Sox are the division champs. Unfortunately the Yanks had an amazing second half to resurrect their season and have claimed the wild card, so they are still a threat. I guess no one told Papelbon it was okay to wear shorts!

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amr's brain blurted out at 11:09 PM   Permalink   
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Hello amr,

Privacy of individual images in some posts.

You have replied in a query in Feb 007 that a post cannot be made private.

Is this applicable even now, or any hack is available to manage making [not necessarily the post], more correctly, image on a post private?

I deal with sexual health and sex education. Relevant images would be useful [essential], but I am shaky about posting them.

Should I write to Google feedback to review and inform me?

[Below I have pasted the content policy excerpts verbatim though you thoroughly know it or possibly as a staff may have contributed to the policy doc. You may skip this.]

"We believe Blogger increases the availability of information, encourages healthy debate, _ _ _ _ _We respect our users' ownership of and responsibility for the content they choose to share. It is our belief that censoring this content is contrary to a service that bases itself on freedom of expression."
[I would add like to add 'EDUCATION' along with the word 'expression'.]

"Image and video content that contains nudity, sexually graphic material, or material that is otherwise deemed explicit by Google should be made private."

is also mentioned in the content policy.

Please give me appropriate guidance.

Best regards,
Dr. Ashok Koparday
Medical Director,
Samadhan India
Consultant in Sexual Medicine
You may wish to see one post, with the text and relevant image, as a sample.
The link below will take you there straight.
This might take your precious time. However, I cannot continue till I receive authoritative guidance. Hope you understand!

By Blogger DR. ASHOK, at 10/15/2007 7:07 AM  

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ESPN - Mosley acknowledges using steroids from BALCO - Boxing
ESPN - Mosley acknowledges using steroids from BALCO - Boxing

It's unconscionable that in this day and age professional athletes think they can get away with claiming that they are not at fault because "[they] didn't know what the hell it was". These guys train hard and pay good money to push the boundaries and get whatever edge they can. There's no way they let anyone give them anything or put anything on them without knowing exactly what it was....

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amr's brain blurted out at 11:05 PM   Permalink   
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007
if the brits can do it
...why can't we?

img credit: Phil Noble/Press Association

Gay Britons Serve in Military With Little Fuss, as Predicted Discord Does Not Occur

By Sarah Lyall, for the New York Times

Since the British military began allowing homosexuals to serve in the armed forces in 2000, none of its fears — about harassment, discord, blackmail, bullying or an erosion of unit cohesion or military effectiveness — have come to pass, according to the Ministry of Defense, current and former members of the services and academics specializing in the military. The biggest news about the policy, they say, is that there is no news. It has for the most part become a nonissue.

i've started perusing the nytimes more frequently to augment the horribly inadequate hourly cnn trawls. to be honest, although i am greatly concerned about our involvement in iraq, i've never really thought about more than the troops in combat. Don't Ask, Don't Tell became public policy when i was but a wee middle schooler (1993), more concerned with winning games and doing well in school than anything else.

With the extended tours of duty it is impossible for us to maintain troop levels for too much longer without putting everyone at (even more) risk. Why is it that in 2007 we're more concerned with what a soldier does in the bedroom on their own time than their ability to fight for our country?


amr's brain blurted out at 12:15 AM   Permalink   
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