Tuesday Jan 24, 2006

Getting Firefox 1.5 and the Java plugin working on Mac OS X

This has been bugging me since I installed Firefox 1.5. Following a tip from a colleague at Sun I removed AdBlock and Java worked again, eg:

I later reinstalled AdBlock and it still works. I wasn't wise enough to check the precise version I uninstalled but I do know it was out of date as when I checked the extensions prior to removing it I spotted a new version being offered.

So, either older versions of AdBlock interfere with the Java plugin (install a newer version) or you have to uninstall and reinstall AdBlock.

As some background, this all works through some clever hackery which allows the Mac OS X Java plugin to work with other browsers. Originally this had to be installed in "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins" but Firefox 1.5 now includes them in "/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/plugins". I deleted my /Library copies. See bugzilla bug 303161 (include Java Embedding Plugin (JEP) with Firefox).

Monday Jun 13, 2005

Putting Apple's Intel switch into perspective

With Jonathan welcoming Apple's decision to switch to x86 hardware I found myself discussing this with a very good friend of mine, JP, who has worked with Macs for a long time.

JP's not the most public person so I was surprised to see his first ever blog entry looking back at the history of Apple, Macs and why software, not hardware, is the key. He writes:

I can't be sure why Apple chose to switch - whether it is tied in with Movie Stores, or IBM complacency, or even a bid to beat Microsoft. Perhaps it is really a complex and subtle mix... to be sure it is a tough call. I do remember that one of the important rules in business is to make a decision - even if it is the wrong decision. Jobs could have stuck with IBM... only to later regret it. Whatever, I am pretty sure Jobs has picked the only possible time to make this switch - Apple has public recognition, a respected OS, money in the bank and a small but strong installed base. It'd be harder to do at any other time.

From a processor snobbery point of view I personally love RISC chips with their orthogonal, copious and windowed registers. I find the x86 instruction set clumsy and hard to navigate. It's all very, well, 1980s. But then it still runs code from then too. Hold on, isn't upwards binary compatibility one of the (many) excellent features of Solaris? - perhaps I shouldn't be too dismissive of the same feature in processors.

As for the Apple-Intel deal - very interesting. I'm looking forward to running Solaris on the new boxes.

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