Getting Adobe AIR to use the default browser under Ubuntu

Adobe AIR logo smallI’ve searched high and low for a good native Linux Twitter client, but there’s nothing out there that can really compete with TweetDeck. At least not in terms of functionality. TweetDeck is based on Adobe’s AIR platform and as a result is quite heavy on resources. But the biggest problem I had with it was getting it to open links in my default browser. It disregarded my setting and used Firefox to open all links. Twitter is far less fun if you need to carefully copy paste every link to a new tab in your browser. As it turns out, the issue is with AIR, not just TweetDeck, and it took quite a while and a lot of help for me to find a working solution.
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More Eee-PC Firefox speed tweaks

swiper_foxI wrote about how Firefox can be really slow on the Eee-PC a few months ago, and offered a simple tweak that helped me back then. Since upgrading to Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) however, that configuration setting didn’t help nearly as well as it did before. Apparently, there were a few more things slowing the browser down. So here’s a couple more things to try.
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Does Blackbird sound like a bad idea to you too?

I ran across this new ‘browser’ this morning. Blackbird is a rebadged version of Firefox for the African American community. It offers features like ‘Black Search’, ‘Black News Ticker’ and ‘Black Bookmarks’. This sounds like a walled garden to me, and basically like a very bad idea.
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Firefox slow on your netbook too? disable ipv6!

I was about to write a post about how Intel’s Atom processor wasn’t quite fast enough to run Firefox 3. It used to be painfully slow on my netbook, until I found this great little trick. Apparently, Firefox grinds to a halt while trying to find ipv6 internet addresses that are unavailable on most networks.

Luckily, the author of Tech Explorer found out about it and wrote a post about how to disable this ‘feature’. It made Firefox about a hundred times more responsive.

Now if only Adobe would bring the Linux version of their Flash Player up to speed… Version ten is a major improvement, but still not being able to watch YouTube video’s fullscreen is a big bummer.

Roy | October 31, 2008 | English,Gadgets,Software | Comments (14)
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Idea: Folding vertical browser tabs

I have no idea whether anyone has thought of this already, so please don’t sue me. Folding vertical browser tabs. The idea is to be able to fold and unfold tabs, thereby dividing the horizontal space available. This would enable you to not only browse more than one website at once, it would also make copy-pasting stuff easier. Or looking up stuff in a dictionary whilst reading a page that uses fancy words. And it would allow you to fully use the screen real estate on large displays.

The image is a very very crude (it took me only 10 minutes to make) mockup of the idea, based on Firefox. It has four tabs, with two of them ‘active’ (unfolded) and two ‘inactive’ (folded). Click the small version to see a higher resolution one. It should give you an idea of that I mean. Let me know what you think.

Roy | October 22, 2008 | English,ideas | Comments (14)
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One week of Chrome

I’ve been using Google’s new browser for little over a week now. I need to have Firefox and IE running when I’m doing web design stuff, but for actually browsing the web, I’ve been using Chrome. And you know what? I just made it my default browser.
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Browse photos in 3D from Firefox!

Piclens displaying Picasa gallery

How cool is this? A Firefox plugin that raises the bar for all other image browsers. Installing it will add a small ‘play’ button to images on Flickr, Picasa and tons of other sites. Clicking that button open the PicLens screen where you can intuitively browse through the gallery in 3D. Very easy to set up, and a surefire way to impress your friends.

Firefox tip: keep popups resizable

Firefox javascript settings

One of the first things I do when I install Firefox is go to the advanced javascript settings and unselect “Move or resize existing windows”. There are tons of pesky sites out there that resize your browser window through irritating scripts, and this keep them from doing so quite effectively. As with all technologies though, there are occasional sites that use similar scripts for good. Some open popup windows for images and adjust their sizes to fit the content for instance. With the javascript setting I described above, this leaves me with a non-resizable popup of the wrong size. Usually a very small one with large contents. Grrr…
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Roy | October 25, 2007 | English,Software | Comments (5)
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Weird Firefox font render bug

Firefox font render bug

A colleague of mine was checking Dutch user interface design website when this strange bug happened. In every title in on the page, the all ‘t’s were dropped to the next line. It was gone after a simple refresh of the page, but it was fun while it lasted. I didn’t know how to make Archie better until I read about “Informaion Archiecure (ttt)”. 🙂

Roy | July 31, 2007 | English,Internet | Comments Off on Weird Firefox font render bug
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