Resetting Firefox

I just survived my first Firefox Reset and lived to tell about it.

I was experiencing some weird cross-site stuff for one of work's web tools, and decided to give Firefox's Reset a try. It actually worked!

My concern was that, because it deletes all your add-ons and customisations, I would lose them. Fortunately, I also use Firefox Sync already. So that meant, after Firfox had cleaned itself up, it re-downloaded all my custom goodness and re-installed it.

One caveat: you do have to Restart Firefox after Sync has done it's bit to re-install Addons. After that, everything is as it should be. Hurray.

The steps to Refresh Firefox are:

  1. Go to about:support
  2. Press the Refresh button in the top right
  3. Wait for Sync to finish (you can check how it's going by looking in about:addons to see if your Extensions are all there yet)
  4. Restart Firefox (either from the addons page, or by pressing Alt-F2 and typing restart)

Loading SSH keys at KDE startup

It's really handy to have all my SSH authentication be passwordless, but in a secure way. In openSUSE, the ssh-agent is started for you automatically, but you still need to add your identities manually (and enter passphrases when you do this). That's a bit of a pain to do every time you login.

Here are some simple scripts and steps I use to set up my KDE session so that it will automatically load my SSH identities when I login.

4-bit Rules of Computing, Part 2

Here is the third part of my blog series expanding on my 4-bit rules of computing.

In this installment: Rules 5, on comments. Rule 5 is a bit contentious and I've taken too long in writing my thoughts on it — which is probably telling. Nonetheless I still want to press ahead and get these words out. I also wanted to include Rule 6 with this post, but I'm taking my own advice and breaking the post into two, because it really was getting quite long.

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Meta: Setting up Nikola blogging

Tonight I thought that I'd sit down at my home server, Tesla, and do a bit of blogging. This server's recently been rebuilt after a bad run-in with a hard-drive problem and I had not got around to putting my blog onto it. Instead I was blogging with work's laptop.

After spending an hour cloning and installing my blog repositories and the necessary software through trial-and-error, I thought it best to write down what is necessary to bootstrap my blogging environment, and save myself some trouble in the future.

Ideally I will make a script to get most of this going soon … but in the meantime, you are treated to a meta-blog.

Hacking Minecraft with Python

I'm having a play with Minecraft and Python, using the mcpipy library, a Minecraft server called CannaryMod, and a plugin-in for that called RaspberryJuice.

You can do all this out-of-the-box with Raspbian on a RaspberryPi, but I wanted to set up my home computers also. Here's a quick run-down of the steps I followed.

What are those J and L characters in email?

Do you receive email with a mystery "J" or "L" in them?

Fabulous! Thanks very much Mike J

What the heck are they? It's actually not much of a mystery: they are automatic emoticons inserted by MS-Outlook when someone types :-) or variants.

Outlook substitutes the string for the letter J or L, and formats that character with Windings, which in that font maps to the smiley or the frowny glyph.

I guess if you look at J and L sideways, and pretend only half their mouth is working, it kinda makes sense for a J to be a smile and an L to be a frown...?

Well, anyway, now you know.

Rotate screen KDE shortcut

We have a few spare monitors laying about at work, and I just grabbed one with a rotating stand, so I can switch it between Landscape and Portrait. This is nice, because it's got more pixels than my laptop's built-in screen, and it's also larger.

It's also very handy when viewing pages that are narrow and tall.

All I need now is a way to quickly switch the screen's orientation without digging through a GUI. This looks like a job for xrandr and KDE's Global Keyboard Shortcuts

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