Firefox 3.0 Beta 1 Coming Soon?

Supposedly, Mozilla’s on the brink of releasing a first beta build of Firefox 3.0, the next version of my favorite browser. I probably won’t be among the early adopters, mostly because I have over 50 extensions that won’t work with the new version yet, and because if there are any bugs, I can’t have them interfere with my workflow. Hopefully, by the time FF3 is released as a final (probably not this year, by PC World reckoning), most of my extensions will have been made compatible. It wasn’t the case with version 2, but I can dream…

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Mozilla Makes Another URI Handler Fix

Firefox was updated to 2.0.0.8 recently, and I noticed that one of the eight patches is another URI handler fix. The 2.0.0.6 update also included a URI handler patch, when Mozilla rushed out that update after the first onslaught of protocol handler bugs. While the bugs are still a Microsoft problem, the Mozilla developers isolated cases when the Windows operating system would mishandle URIs and blocked them using their program, so users of Firefox won’t be affected by the vulnerable handlers. Ultimately, Microsoft needs to patch this on their end, but Mozilla’s taking steps to protect their users is something…

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Happily Folding and BOINCing Away…

Since the other day, my computer has been happily Folding and BOINCing, in tandem, all quite well. So far, I’ve completed 82 frames of the 250 assigned in my [email protected] work unit, and have already submitted two for [email protected], with credit pending. Each Spinhenge unit took around 4,000 seconds of CPU time, though I have no idea how long [email protected] has been actually computing. All I know about [email protected] is that it takes anywhere from 20-60 minutes a frame, depending on what I’m doing (what programs are running, or if the computer is idle). I’ve definitely been leaving it on…

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BOINC Follows [email protected]

So, I decided that wasn’t enough. I found and downloaded the BOINC program from Berkeley and found three more (so far) projects to contribute to: [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] [email protected] is pretty self-explanatory – it analyzes telescope readings for signs of life. [email protected] and [email protected] are less obvious. [email protected] also folds proteins, but for a different reason than [email protected] [email protected] assists in nano-magnetic research. So just think, it could be my computer that discovers the secret to 100 TB hard drives next year. 🙂 Update 20:57: I have also added [email protected], a project that searches for three-number sets in which…

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I’m Officially [email protected] (and @Work)

Lured by a recent article in PC World news, I have installed the [email protected] program from Stanford University and begun simulating folding proteins. So far, I’ve completed about 1% of my first work unit, so nothing much has been accomplished yet, but I’ve given the program permission to use about 80% of available processor power, and it estimates completion in a little over five days (!). That means, unfortunately, more like ten or fourteen days, since this computer is off more than half the time, but progress is progress. Being part of a One Petaflop (yes, I said “Peta”) computing…

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Cross-Platform Site Development Made Easy

Web site Browsershots.org takes screenshots of websites in basically any browser you can think of, on any OS you can think of (Really, what are the choices? Win, Lin, and Mac.). The wait time can get somewhat long, however, and the shots only cover the first screenful, but for testing in browsers you can’t possibly get for yourself, it’s a must-have development tool.

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Google Desktop Reviewed

I just tried out Google Desktop and was rather disappointed. It comes preloaded with a monstrous sidebar that takes up about a quarter of the screen. You can set it to auto-hide, but even with that, it won’t if there are dialogs open. And it claims to index chats. That’s not true; it indexes chats in a cursory sort of way that’s buggy (often splits chats into multiple events) and incomplete (only indexes chats from after the program was installed). It most certainly doesn’t index chats archived in Gmail. It’s also a major risk for disk usage. Google Desktop creates…

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PHP Upgrade, Painstakingly

I upgraded PHP from version 5.2.1 to 5.2.2 last week, and boy did it take elbow grease. I had to fart around in the login settings on my computer, since I installed PHP under a different account that was no longer available on the Welcome Screen. I hate Windows. For some reason, I could only see my PHP installation from the account it was installed under. I had to log in two accounts and make sure my install settings were the same. That was weird, but at least it didn’t break. Now I have two PHP INSTALLER EDITS – REMOVE…

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MySQL Upgrade, with a Small Issue

I upgraded MySQL on my computer a week or two ago, and had an almost flawless install. The only problem was I had to go back to the old my.ini. No biggie; just rename the files. But boy did it make my heart race when I saw there was a problem. I store all my homework (well, almost all) in a MediaWiki installation, run by the MySQL server instance I was upgrading. When I saw all the errors caused by the new configuration file, I thought I would lose all my stuff. Good thing I found a fix. I wish…

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MediaWiki Upgrade, but One Thing Didn’t Work

I upgraded MediaWiki from 1.9.3 to 1.10.0 on May 10. I like the new features. Only problem: page restrictions were moved from a column in the page table to a separate table in the upgrade. The upgrade script, though this will be fixed in a later release, made `wikidb.page_restrictions.pr_expiry` equal to NULL instead of “infinity”. Problem? Shouldn’t be ordinarily, but Special:Protectedpages didn’t work; the entries from pre-1.10.0 didn’t display. I just changed them all manually using phpMyAdmin, but it’s fortunate I have a small wiki. Maybe I should learn SQL to cope with possible future errors…

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