alex in a nutshell

February 20, 2008

Firefox 3 solves Russian Fonts problem

Filed under: — Alex Salamakha @ 7:27 PM

I’ve recently posted a quick fix to Firefox’s problem with displaying Russian fonts in OSX.
Here is another fix: Install Firefox 3 beta. It works. And it’s a better browser too. Don’t forget to read on how to get your old Firefox 2 extensions work with Firefox 3.

February 10, 2008

Setting up home media centre with PlayStation 3

Filed under: — Alex Salamakha @ 9:13 AM

I’ve been using my old 21″ Philips CRT TV for the past eight years and have been reluctant to replace it because I didn’t think the technologies offered were mature enough and I couldn’t justify the price of the replacement.

However, the time has come. LCD TVs are now descent quality, sharp picture, and reasonably priced.

Sony Australia offered free Playstation 3 (40GB) with any Bravia TV 40″ and above. It was a very sweet offer to resist and I became a happy owner of two fine Sony products.

Since I’m not a gamer, I didn’t care for PS 3 gaming features, but I did care about its media centre capabilities.

It does everything I need. First of all, it plays DVD, BlueRay and DivX. Also, it has a very easy-to-use interface. But wait, there is more. There is a fantastic (and free) program called TVersity, which I run on my desktop and use to stream video, music and images from my desktop to the TV via Playstation 3.

Think about presenting snaps from your latest trip to your friends on a 46″ LCD in your living room instead of printing the pictures in a photo lab and then passing the album around. Kicks arse!

How about playing music in living room from a massive music collection stored on a huge hard drive somewhere in the basement?

How about flicking through your entire collection of movies with your remote?

So, there are three things you need to do when you get yourself a Playstation3:

1) Get a proper remote for your Playstation 3.

2) Get a HDMI cable to connect PS 3 to your LCD panel. Just make sure you get something cheap, don’t fall into the trap of buying $400 Monster cables because they are “better quality”. HDMI is a digital standard, it either works or it doesn’t. I’ve got mine for $13 and very happy about it. If you don’t believe me, read this article in PC World.

3) Install TVersity. That’s about all you need in order to set your media centre up.

Gaming. I’ve played games on PS3 during past 6 weeks of owning it. Once. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, graphics is superb and real on large LCD panel, however, I much prefer playing Wii console on that old and semi-retired 21″ Philips CRT TV with my daughter. It’s so much more fun!!!

Getting old extensions work with Firefox 3

Filed under: — Alex Salamakha @ 8:35 AM

I’ve been complaining about Firefox being a memory hog earlier, so I decided to try new Firefox 3 beta 2. It’s been a lot less aggressive in its memory consumption and is quite stable, which is a fantastic result for a beta. On the down side, most of my add-ons stopped working. I can live without many things, but I can’t live without Yahoo del.icio.us and Web Developer add-ons.

Luckily I’ve found this neat trick to enable your old Firefox 2 extensions in new Firefox 3:

1. Navigate to about:config address
2. Right-click and select New >> Boolean
3. Name it extensions.checkCompatibility
4. Set it to false
5. Restart Firefox

All your old add-ons will try to work and most of them will. At least both Yahoo del.icio.us and Web Developer add-ons work just fine for me.

UPDATE: this no longer works for Firefox 3.6. Click here for the solution for 3.6.

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