Tag Archives: open source

Middle-click/Cmd+click on a Link Doesn’t Open Tabs in Firefox 6.0.2

Last night, I updated to Firefox 6.0.2 and after it was finished installing, lo and behold the middle mouse button no longer opened links in new tabs. Using a middle click (Command+click on the Mac) on a link normally opens the destination in a background tab, but it just stopped working. However, I could still use the context menu (right-click on PC, Control+click on Mac) and select “Open Link in New Tab”.

Check your extensions. Are you using Greasemonkey 0.9.10? Are you also using Tab Mix Plus 0.3.8.6? As of this writing, they’re both the latest versions at the Firefox add-ons site. Nevertheless, there’s an incompatibility that causes the middle-click to fail.

To remedy the problem, download and install the latest version of Greasemonkey 0.9.11 directly at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/versions/0.9.11 or if you’d rather wait for Mozilla to approve the version, it should eventually show up as an update in Firefox.

TrueCrypt: Free Encryption for Windows and Linux

I was recently asked how to password protect a USB memory stick (a.k.a. thumb drive, USB key, etc.) without having to buy software. TrueCrypt is a free and open source solution for securely encrypting data on any kind of drive including USB keys. In addition, it’s available for both Windows 2000/XP/Vista and Linux so you can share the secure data between operating systems.

With TrueCrypt you can either create a file of a specific size that will appear as a separate drive on your system (virtual encrypted disk) or you can encrypt an entire partition/drive. Of course, you can’t encrypt your entire boot disk because your computer still has to be able to load the TrueCrypt software to read the boot files.

A unique feature of TrueCrypt is that you can create a hidden area inside an encrypted volume that uses a different password. This hidden partition cannot be detected even if it’s analyzed byte-by-byte because it all looks like random bits. By storing your most important data in the hidden area, no one will know it’s there even if they force you to give them the password–you give them the password to the main encrypted area, not the hidden one.

TrueCrypt supports AES, Serpent and Twofish encryption algorithms.

How to Run Multiple Firefox Profiles Simultaneously

As you probably know, Firefox supports the creation of profiles so that different people can have their own browser configuration (buttons, add-ons, font size, etc.). If you’re not familiar with this feature, see How To Manage Profiles at the Firefox help site. A feature that’s more obscure is that you can actually run more than one profile at the same time.

Why would you want to run profiles simultaneously? I use the feature primarily so that I can check that pages look correct on a clean Firefox profile as well as on my heavily souped up one with lots of add-ons. You might also find it useful to have profiles with different add-ons for different tasks and then start one or more as needed.

Normally, if you start Firefox when a copy is already running, it’ll just start another window using the current profile. To start a completely separate instance of Firefox, add the -no-remote option. In Windows, you can either do this by selecting Run from the Start menu and typing in the entire command, or add the option to the shortcut that you use to start Firefox. On Linux, just add the option to the command line or if you’re using a GUI (e.g. Gnome, KDE, Xfce) adjust the command assigned to the desktop or menu icon that you use to start Firefox.

For example,

firefox -p Profile_Name -no-remote

will start a new instance of Firefox with the profile named “Profile_Name”. If, on the other hand, you want to choose the desired profile from the Profile Manager window, use

firefox -profilemanager -no-remote

Now you can start as many different profiles as you like. Have a novel way to make use of profiles? Leave a comment.

Thunderbird Run Now Filters Fail on Custom Headers in IMAP Messages

After updating from Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5 to 2.0, I noticed that a manual filter that I had set up stopped working when I clicked the Run Now button. Today, I found a painless and effective workaround for it.

This problem occurs under the following conditions:

  1. The folder is on an IMAP server
  2. The mail filter contains one or more rules that match a custom header
  3. The filter is run manually by selecting “Run Filters on Folder” from the Tools menu or by going to the Message Filters dialog, selecting a folder from the “Run selected filters on” drop down list and then clicking the Run Now button

Note: Filtering on a custom header will work on incoming IMAP mail, just not when run manually on IMAP folders.

The reason the filter fails is that the filter functionality in Thunderbird 2.0 was changed to search the local cache instead of the server and the cache doesn’t contain custom header information, only the standard headers. This change was made because some IMAP servers either don’t have search capability or their implementation is broken.

So, in order to get the filter to work again, Thunderbird needs to have a local copy of all the message headers. Bug 184490, After-the-fact Filters on custom header (eg “User-Agent” or “Newsgroup”) won’t match for IMAP messages, documents this problem and David Bienvenu, in comment #50, gave a very nice workaround for it.

The workaround simply downloads all the messages with all the headers to the local repository for offline use. Hence, Thunderbird can now see all the custom headers and filter on them. To employ the workaround, simply do the following:

  1. Right-click on the folder you want to filter
  2. Select Properties
  3. Click on the Offline tab
  4. Select the “Select this folder for offline use” checkbox
  5. Click the Download Now button to make sure your local copy is up to date
  6. Click the OK button

Now, when you manually run your filter(s), they work! What a relief it was to find this.