Monday, November 27, 2006

Patching Firefox 2.0

bon echo

In office, the standard browser we use is IE 6. Fine. But once in awhile, some of my colleagues and I like to use Firefox to browser the Internet. Mostly because it has the tabbed browsing feature.

Since we don't want the company proxy to track us down for using a non-standard browser, we overrided the User-Agent setting of Firefox so that it appears as IE.

The only problem is, when the user agent is changed, the Java plug-in will start to complain that "Java Plug-in for Netscape Navigator should not be used in Microsoft Internet Explorer". This is a known "bug". But luckily, Firefox is an open source project and someone already provided a solution. Basically, all we need to do is to patch the NS plugin API so that the original User Agent string is returned to all the plug-ins. Simple, huh? Well...

Lesson learned: Read the document carefully!

I used to compile Firefox 1.x on my Windows machine with Cygwin. But this time I want to try Firefox 2.0 with VCC. Mostly because the performance of the executables compiled with gcc is kind of disappointing. However, setting up a new compilation environment for Firefox is more time consuming than I anticipated. All becuase I didn't RTFA!

As I already have VCC 6.0 installed, I thought I was all set. It turns out that VCC 6.0 sp6 cannot be used to compile Firefox! I retried the build process and failed many times before I re-read the Build Prerequisites... yuck! Anyway, after I re-installed the VCC with sp5, the build process finally can be completed happily.

Anyway, I now have the customized Firefox running without the User-Agent problem. Later maybe I will try to re-compile the code to fiddle with more compiler optimization settings.

PS. In case you are interested, here is the .mozconfig that I use:

. $topsrcdir/browser/config/mozconfig

mk_add_options MOZILLA_OFFICIAL=1
mk_add_options BUILD_OFFICIAL=1
ac_add_options --enable-official-branding

ac_add_options --enable-optimize
ac_add_options --disable-debug
ac_add_options --enable-static
ac_add_options --disable-shared
ac_add_options --disable-tests
mk_add_options MOZ_CO_PROJECT=browser

yes... i know... i shouldn't be using the official branding options... but then, i don't like the name bon echo :P

Saturday, November 25, 2006


剛看了謝安琪的 <後窗知己> MTV. 歌詞感覺好迷離, 結局好似睇緊電影 The Sixth Sense

Monday, November 20, 2006

my first mindstorms

I finally bite the bullet and bought the Mindstorms. Well, the Mindstorms NXT to be exact. I always wanted to get the original Mindstorms RCX. But given the hardware spec, I thought it was a little bit expensive.

Now with the second generation, there is finally supports for wireless (Bluetooth) communication, a 32-bit processor, USB 2.0, and more sensors... just can't resist it... :P

Here is my first robot... the default "30 minute quick start" robot in action

Saturday, November 18, 2006


heehee haha.... 我部封曬塵既 nds 又可以出籠啦...

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Just patched the ASFRecorder so that I can use my FreeBSD machine to record some radio programs. The patches are for:

  • Recognizes more mime types

  • Supports -o parameter to stream the output to stdout so that I can pipe it to ffmpeg and convert the stream to MP3

These patches can be found on ASFRecorder homepage. I just made some modifications so that it can compile with VC++ on Windows too.

You can download the source here and the Windows executable here...

(ok... so it might not be a good idea to release such patent-sensitive source code...)