Mike MacDonagh's Blog

Somewhere in the overlap between software development, process improvement and psychology

Tag Archives: firefox

Can’t open links in Firefox on Ubuntu when it’s open – Fixed!

This is a little obscure but there’s a number of people with this problem and too many “simple” answers that just don’t work. There are a number of situations that cause Firefox to respond with an error message when you click on a link from outside of the browser (like Thunderbird or any other application that try to launch a url). You get an error message saying:

Firefox is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system

The normal reasons for this are things like locked profiles etc. which are well covered here. But some users get this error message even when Firefox is open and there aren’t locked profiles 😦 The solution is to edit the way that Ubuntu invokes Firefox.

Grab a terminal and go to ~/.local/share/applications this is Unity stores it’s information for launchers in the unity dock thingy. You should have a Firefox.desktop in here, you might have several in which case the one called “Firefox Web Browser.desktop” is probably the one that Ubuntu is using by default.

Edit the file and have a look at the “Exec=” line about 4 lines down. In my case the problem was caused because this line was referring to an old profile that I’d previously removed trying to fix the problem. If you’re not sure what it should look like set it to “Exec=firefox %u“, save, exit and click links once more 🙂

FireFox extension to view your WordPress.com blog stats

The MMD WordPress FireFox extension is finally publicly listed on the mozilla site. After battling problems with xul layouts on Mac’s (which was tricky because I don’t have a Mac) I’ve finally resolved the issues that were preventing my firefox stats toolbar from being fully reviewed on the main FireFox site.

If you’ve not seen it before, the MMD WordPress FireFox extension adds a tiny toolbar that shows you your current blog hits on your wordpress.com blog(s). You can then right click to get quick access to the full stats page, new post page and view your blob. Simple but quite useful. Download and install from mozilla

MMD WordPress Extension

 

MMD WordPress.com FireFox extension v2.0

Moving from windows to Ubuntu, music, media centers, office and more

I feel like I jumped ship from Windoze to Ubuntu about 6 months before everything starting making sense in linux land.

I got fed up of my computer, which is reasonably powerful, taking ages and ages to startup, login and show me FireFox so thought I’d try Ubuntu. Installing as a windows app was so simple and it was so slick and fast that I was pretty much instantly converted and went the whole hog and now there’s not a trace of windows on my primary PC.

There were a few important things, some of which I couldn’t sort out instantly and some of which I had to wait for a few months for the next awesome and free Ubuntu release (a major one every 6 months) but now they’re all pretty much sorted 🙂

  • Media player that can sync playlists to my iPod – When I first got Ubuntu it came packaged with a media player called Rythmbox, at the time it didn’t sync playlists to my iPod, now it does. I had to search a bit for a script to transfer my ratings from iTunes to Rythmbox –  a bit convoluted but only took 5 mins and, more importantly, it worked!
  • A decent big screen media center app – it seems I’m both fortunate and unfortunate in having an nvidia graphics card. The most popular media centers (like XMBC and variants like Boxee) don’t work for me. I currently use Moovida which is good, but not perfect.
  • My various bits of hardware like my wireless printer, wireless mice, extra functional keyboards etc. – they all just worked 🙂 I also have a mini handheld keyboard thingy that didn’t just work but the fix for that is in the next release of Ubuntu in April 😀
  • Connecting to my work’s Outlook – Using Thunderbird this has now been achieved, it was quite involved so I’ll post about it as another post in a bit and update a link here when it’s done.
  • Messing around with screen settings – I flip between a dual screen setup and a large HD tv screen for media so need to change screen layout and resolution with a single button press, on windows I paid for UltraMon to do this on Ubuntu I achieved it using auto-disper for free!
  • Security, virus checking, firewalls etc. was all a bit different, so I’ll post about that separately too and update a link from here.
  • What about my favourite apps? I’ve managed to find through the Ubuntu Software Centre (a bit like an app store but free) a whole bunch of replacements straight away from LibreOffice for MS Office to loads of utilities and free games. I couldn’t really live without FireWorks and Dreamweaver just because I’ve been using them forever, but they work just great on Ubuntu with Wine (Pinta is a reasonable FireWorks alternative for Linux)
  • Development… that’s definately a whole other topic! But needless to say there’s loads of options and choices, finding one that suits you is the trick. I’ve had minor to major problems installing most development environments but an early favourite (due to my Delphi background) was  Lazarus – I’ve since moved to the much better MonoDevelop

My Blog Stats

MMD WordPress Extension screenshot

I a blog stat fanatic. I’m obsessed. It’s so bad I wrote a FireFox extension to show me the current daily hit count of my blog. I started this blog in April 2008 and since then the readership has gone up month by month:

If you look at this on a weekly basis rather then on a monthly basis some more info is apparent. This graph below shows a slow start then some action starting when I started writing about IBM Jazz. Then the next peak was some RSDC blogging in June. All was then returning to the baseline readership level of about a 1000 hits/week until I posted some Google Chrome screenshots on the morning before Chrome was released. This led to over 3,000 people turning up in one day!

Finally the daily chart. Normally this goes up and down a bit (slow weekends, mid-week peaks etc.) Unfortunately the 3k Googlers completely flattened my graph 😦 At least that peak is about to drop off the side and the normal scale will resume 🙂

MMD WordPress.com FireFox Extension v1.1

I’ve released a new version of the MMD WordPress.com FireFox extension, that fixes a bugette I had in the clickability of icons in the about box and has added a couple of new options to the status bar panel. If you have a WordPress.com blog you simply must have this extension.

I’ve also nominated the extension to become public on the mozilla firefox addons site. To help with this I really need people who download it and use it to review it. There have been over a hundred downloads so far and only 2 reviews! Add a review people, I shall send you an email full of e-karma if you do so 😀

Screenshot of v1.1

MMD WordPress Extension screenshot

MMD WordPress Extension screenshot

Please leave comments on the extension page here

RSDC US Feedback

This week we got our feedback scores from the RSDC 2008 in Florida. I had two presentations this year and got am average of 4.27 out of 5 on my RPM talk and 4.7 out of 5 for my practice based RUP deployment presentation 😀

I’ll be repeating the practice based RUP deployment talk at the RSDC UK in September CUPID – Implementing the IBM Rational Unified Process at PricewaterhouseCoopers Scroll down a few posts to see some info on the RSDC UK

As for the WordPress FireFox extension – I can see lots of people downloading it, but very few rating it or adding a review. I need those ratings to push it public on the FireFox extensions website. If you’ve tried it out leave a review and rating – please!

MMD WordPress FireFox Extension – know your hit count!

I often want to know how many hits my wordpress blog has had without loading the stats page, mainly so I can compete with a fellow blogger who sits opposite me in the office 😛

So I made the MMD WordPress FireFox extension, install it and you get a tiny status bar panel that shows your current daily hits. You can right click the panel and hit “View Stats Details” and FireFox will happily take you to your normal stats page on WordPress.com

To Install:

The MMD WordPress FireFox extension is brand new! That means it’s an “experimental” extension according to mozilla.org and so it needs people to try it out and post a review to become publicly listed on the main FireFox addon website.

You can install it here – please add a review!

The Future:

I’m thinking about adding some stuff to do with the normal browser right click menu to add:

  • Add link to BlogRoll (when hovering over a link)
  • Post link to blog (which would just open the normal WordPress posting page but prefill the form with stuff link the link, title etc. ready for you to edit)

And other suggestions please comment!

It’s FireFox 3 Download Day – World Record

Firefox 3

It’s not released yet though, to find out when it’s released in your time click here

I’m a big fan of FireFox, and an extension developer as well, so I’ve been running the betas for a long time of FF3. Today is the day it’s released, and today is the day to download it even if you don’t want to install it today!

Set a Guinness World Record

Download Day

Enjoy a Better Web

Sounds like a good deal, right? All you have to do is get Firefox 3 during Download Day to help set the record for most software downloads in 24 hours – it’s that easy. We’re not asking you to swallow a sword or to balance 30 spoons on your face, although that would be kind of awesome.

With more than 15,000 improvements, Firefox 3 is faster, safer and smarter than before.

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