Mozilla Update :: Extensions: New Tab Homepage

Ah, New Tab Homepage brings happiness to this Firefox user. I rather got to like the lightweight Epiphany browser during my mini-itx odyssey. When you opened a new browser tab in Epiphany, it loaded your home page. The supposedly more advance Firefox never did this.

New Tab Homepage fixes this, and doesn’t add any other tab-related cruft that I couldn’t use.

bad and wrong things about Firefox and Thunderbird

I just installed Firefox and Thunderbird. They have some major suckage points:

  • there’s no site navigation bar
  • typeahead find doesn’t work in “View Source”
  • e-mail file attachments have been moved to the bottom of the message view, eating screen real estate
  • clicking a link in Thunderbird opens a new Firefox window; it should use an existing one

Mind you, what do you expect when they name their products after a crap movie and cheap wine?

thunderbird icon
A logo that looks like a levitating disembodied blue haircut?

HSBC must really hate Linux

HSBC Canada Bank discriminates against Linux users. On April 18th, they “upgraded” their online banking facilities. Before this, they were slightly clunky, but worked just fine on almost any browser and computer I’d care to try.

Since Sunday, though, this is what I get when I try to access my bank details using Mozilla 1.6 on any of my Linux boxes:

To access internet banking, please use:
* Internet Explorer version 5.0 or above; or
o Netscape Communicator version 4.72 or above (version 6.x currently not supported)

So I mail them about this, and get this reply:

We apologize for the inconvenience; however effective April 18, 2004, when we launched our Personal Internet Banking update, the browsers that our Internet Banking will support are as follows: Internet Explorer 5.5 and up, Netscape 6.2.1 or 7.1.

I dutifully install Netscape 7.1 on my notebook, and what do I get?

To access internet banking, please use:
* Internet Explorer version 5.0 or above; or
o Netscape Communicator version 4.72 or above (version 6.x currently not supported)

And this is with the real bloated-as-life Netscape 7.1
[Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030624 Netscape/7.1 ] browser.

Things got really weird when I tried Mozilla 1.6
[Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040113] under Windows 2000 — and it worked just fine.

My usual browser identifies itself as [Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040406]. Looking at HSBC’s browser-sniffing code (eww!) I find that it’s looking for Windows or Mac more than it cares about the actual browser.

I’d best go tell Evan, who maintains the very useful Banks ‘n’ Browsers page, that HSBC must really hate Linux. They really don’t need to give me yet another reason to switch banks.

okay, so maybe it wasn’t so bad

So did actually work for us, but only under Mozilla on Catherine’s eMac. The process was actually quite painless, and their user interface is nice — if if works with your browser.

It’s strange that they claim that their system works with Linux, yet got into such a terrible mess with me.

Anyway, that’s our taxes filed. I’ll try not to spend all of my refund in the one shop.

mozilla tab coolness

If you have multiple documents open as tabs in the one Mozilla window, you can bookmark the group of tabs if you right-click over the tab bar, and select Bookmark This Group of Tabs.

Next time you open that bookmark, you’ll get all the pages opening in the one window, exactly as they were. Neato mosquito!

browser shrink-to-fit printing

I just printed one of my bank transactions. All the content fitted nicely on one page. But Mozilla, for no good reason, decided that it would print a second page with no content beyond its headers and footers.

I hate it when this happens. Mozilla shouldn’t print trailing whitespace. And if a printout uses only 10% (say) of the last page, the job should be re-run at a slightly smaller scale to make it fit.

It’s not hard to do, and it would save a lot of paper.

the woeful TEXTAREA widget

So I’m typing this into Mozilla, which contains full-featured mail and HTML editors. Yet, why am I stuck with a primitive editor in my forms? Why can’t I spellcheck, do file management and format text?