Category Archives: Software

Pidgin Received Unexpected Response from AIM and ICQ

Today, my Pidgin IM client started giving the error, “Received unexpected response from”, when connecting to the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) server. Apparently, it can also happen when connecting to ICQ. Fortuantely, the fix/workaround on Windows and Linux is really easy.

  1. Go to Accounts
  2. Modify the AIM or ICQ account
  3. On the Advanced tab, clear the checkbox labeled Use clientLogin
  4. Save

Are you using Adium? It may also have this issue on the Mac. If you’ve solved it, post the steps in a reply.

Update: Alternatively, in step 3, you can clear the checkbox labeled Use SSL

Firefox Fonts Too Big or Small on Kubuntu 9.10

So you’ve recently installed or upgraded Kubuntu to 9.10 Karmic Koala and installed Firefox. To your horror, you find that all the menus and labels in the browser’s interface are either HUGE or tiny relative to the included KDE applications. Here’s the quick fix.

  1. Click on the K menu
  2. Select System Settings
  3. In the Look & Feel section, click the Appearance icon
  4. In the left panel, click the Fonts icon
  5. At the bottom of the Fonts settings, the Force fonts DPI drop down list control is set to Disabled by default
  6. If you want to make Firefox’s fonts smaller, select 96 DPI; to make them larger, select 120 DPI
  7. Click the Apply button
  8. Restart Firefox

If you’re using Ubuntu with the Gnome desktop and run into this problem, there should be a similar DPI setting for either fonts or the display. Let me know how you resolved it on Gnome.

Delete Items in Firefox’s Form Auto-Complete History

There are many articles about completely clearing Firefox’s form auto-complete history. However, I’ve often mistyped something into a form and then either had to live with those typos always showing up or lose my complete form history by clearing it. There is a better way!

Although you can’t easily edit or modify the characters that are stored, you can remove individual items in the form history with just a few keystrokes.

  1. Go to the form that has the field with the auto-complete history entry that you want to delete
  2. Type the first few characters of the value you want to remove. You’ll see the value appear in the drop down list below the form field as usual. In this example, I want to remove the misspelled entry, “knwoledge”.
  3. Use the down-arrow key to highlight the history item to be deleted. Don’t click it with the mouse.
    Select the entry to be removed
  4. Press the Delete (Del) key, instead of Enter, and the item will be gone
    Press the Delete key to remove the item

Yea! No more garbage in your form auto-complete history.

This method is also useful for security and privacy purposes to selectively remove data, such as credit card, Social Security, bank account and other identification numbers, that you don’t want lying around in Firefox’s form history.

Update: From the comments, use Shift+Delete on Mac OS X.

Can’t Save PDF Form in Acrobat Reader

Have you downloaded a PDF form that enables you to fill in the fields using Acrobat Reader? Many government forms such as federal and state tax return documents have this feature. Have you ever filled one in only to find that you can’t save all of the data you just typed in? That’s got to be one of the worst “features”, ever. What’s the point of being able to save the file without the data? Here’s a workaround.

The next time you see a PDF form that shows a message such as,

“You cannot save data typed into this form. Please print your completed form if you would like a copy for your records.”

do the following:

  1. Install a PDF printing tool such as the one included with the full Adobe Acrobat package or a free one such as PDFCreator.
  2. Fill in the PDF form as you normally would
  3. When you’re done with the form, print it
  4. Rather than using your default printer, select the one from the PDF tool you installed in step #1

Voila! Now you’ll have a PDF of the filled-in form to save for your records.

Ubuntu 9.04 Screen Resolution/Monitor Out of Range (nVidia Driver 180)

After installing Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty and enabling the nVidia 180 driver (onboard video is a nVidia GeForce 6150 LE), I restarted the system and was greeted by the normal login screen. However, after logging in, my screen (Dell 2407WFPHC) went blank with a monitor message that the resolution was out of range. It appears that many people are running into this problem. The following fixed it for me.

  1. Open a terminal window
  2. Go to the X11 directory (cd /etc/X11)
  3. Make a backup of the current xorg.conf file (e.g., sudo cp xorg.conf xorg.conf.backup)
  4. Use your favorite editor to open xorg.conf (e.g., sudo vim xorg.conf)
  5. In the section “Device”, add the following line:
    Option “UseEdid” “False”
  6. The “Device” section should now look like the following:
    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Default Device”
    Driver “nvidia”
    Option “UseEdid” “False”
  7. Save the xorg.conf file
  8. Log off and restart the X server (from the login screen, click on Menu and select Restart X server)

That’s it. Now, when I log in, I’m able to see the screen and select a resolution using the nVidia X Server Settings tool.

Note: In the nVidia X Server Settings tool, if when you click the Save to X Configuration File button, you get an error message that it can’t save, run nvidia-settings from a terminal window using gksudo (for Gnome, e.g., gksudo nvidia-settings) or kdesudo (for KDE, e.g., kdesudo nvidia-settings). If, instead, you get a “can’t parse xorg.conf”, just rename /etc/X11/xorg.conf to something else so nvidia-settings can create a new file.

Can’t set your screen to the native resolution of your monitor? See the companion post, Ubuntu 9.04 nVidia Driver Screen Resolution Problem.