Archive for the ‘firefox’ Category

How I manage my website logins (using Firefox)

December 14, 2013 1 comment

This blog post describes how I manage my many website logins (usernames, passwords). I am very interested in how I can improve my current approach. I want it to be highly secure and highly convenient. Please feel free to add your comments and suggestions!

I try to use secure passwords for all of my web accounts, i.e. long random combinations of “special characters”, mixed case letters and numbers. They are usually so secure that I definitely cannot remember them.

So I let my web browser remember, manage and auto-fill my website logins. I use

The approach works well and I never have to memorize my passwords. But my worries are:

  • Is Firefox Sync data as secure as Mozilla claims it is?
  • What can happen if malicious hackers gain access to the Firefox Sync servers?
  • Is the Triple-DES encryption with cipher block chaining that is allegedly used for local password storage in the Firefox profile secure enough (especially given this long-standing bug)?
  • Is it a bad idea to let Firefox even remember my online banking, Paypal and other sensitive passwords?
Categories: firefox Tags: , , ,

My standard tools on a Windows workstation

June 11, 2013 Leave a comment

If I have to work on a Windows machine, these are the tools I usually install and use:

Free/Libre/Open Source

Free/Libre/Open Source software (“FLOSS”) with OSI certified Open Source license


  • Latest JDK
  • Intellij (Community Edition)
  • 7zip
  • Eclipse (Platform Runtime Binary + plugins required for my work)
  • Apache Tomcat
  • Apache Maven
  • Git (from
  • Cygwin (with openssh, wget, nano)
  • Firefox (with Adblock, Secure Login, Firebug, Uppity)
  • Filezilla
  • LibreOffice
  • Pidgin
  • Gimp
  • Gvim
  • Wireshark
  • OpenVPN


  • Notepad++
  • PdfCreator
  • Infrarecorder
  • CamStudio
  • Link Shell Extension

Closed source

Binaries currently available for download without license fees:

  • Adobe Reader
  • Sysinternals
  • Deskpins
  • MWSnap

Firefox NoScript and

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

I blogged a while ago about the great browser testing service

Recently I have been getting error messages like “You are already using another session” (when signed in at or “You are already using the service from the same IP address (…). Please log in.” (when not logged in). It looked like somehow the site had stopped working for me.

Today I figured out (with some help from the friendly staff at, that the NoScript extension that I use in my Firefox browser was causing the problem, apparently due to the fact that uses changing IP addresses on their site (for their virtual browser VMs, I guess) and JavaScript related server-side URLs that identify the host (the VM) by IP address only (and not via a permanent hostname or domain). That seems to have confused NoScript (or maybe just confused me) and somehow important JavaScript was not run which caused the bogus error messages.

So the errors finally stopped when I selected “Allow all this page” in the NoScript menu:


A visual history of HTML5

July 19, 2012 Leave a comment

I like this visual history of HTML5

Categories: firefox, html

Set Firefox “New Tab” page back to about:blank

July 11, 2012 1 comment

Recent Firefox versions show a fancy “top sites” overview page every time the user opens a new (empty) tab. This is supposed to allow quick navigation to your most often visited sites.

If you (like me) don’t like the lag (and related security issues) that this adds to opening new tabs then set the new tab behavior back to showing a blank page:

  • Open “about:config” in the address bar
  • Acknowledge the warning to be careful
  • Search for “browser.newtab.url”
  • Right-click, Modify
  • Change the value from “about:newtab” to “about:blank”

Only after writing this blog post, I noticed that there is a Firefox help page that explains the same procedure.

Categories: firefox

Tested on all major browsers

January 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I just tested my personal “résumé” – British folks would say “CV” – website at successfully on IE8, IE9, Firefox 3.6 to 9, latest and older Chrome versions, Opera 10 and 11 and Safari 4 and 5.1. It works on all browsers and looks fine.

You might wonder if I have all these browser installed? No, I don’t. I used the amazing service that runs all the various browsers in virtual machines “in the cloud”, and embeds the UI in their website. Cool stuff and currently free for everyone to use!

One caveat with is a tool called IETester that they use to emulate the ancient IE5.5 and IE6 browsers. Its seems to have bugs related to PNG graphics which prevented reliable testing. So if anyone out there still uses IE5.5 or IE6: Please visit and let me know if you can see the photo of me on the page with the transparency effect.

On the newer CSS3 capable browsers, my site now sports drop shadows and rounded corners, using border-radius and box-shadow.

I also tested W3C standards compliance (HTML5, CSS3) and all my pages did pass those tests as well, except for some stuff caused by bugs in the CSS3 validator at What a nice way to end the computer oriented part of the day …

Categories:, firefox

My /etc/apt/sources.list (for Debian squeeze)

October 11, 2011 Leave a comment

My sources.list entries:

# local repo (manually downloaded debs, etc.):
deb file:/usr/local/packages ./

# The closest Debian mirror is at Dalhousie University, Halifax:
deb squeeze main contrib non-free
deb squeeze-updates main
deb squeeze-proposed-updates main
# See for mirrors closer to you

# Security updates (not mirrored)
deb squeeze/updates main

# Official backports repo for squeeze (I install the Linux kernel from it)
deb squeeze-backports main

# Debian multimedia, a must-have for mplayer et al.
deb squeeze main non-free

# Repo that provides latest Iceweasel (aka Firefox)
deb squeeze-backports iceweasel-release
Categories: debian, firefox