Online Clothes Shopping. I love the net.

One of the life-functions I have a massive loathing for is clothes shopping. Rummaging through stacks of clothing for sizes for me, then going through the un-fun process of trying things on. I’d rather attend a republican fund raiser than go through that.
Recently I needed some new jeans. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool bluejeans and cotton shirt man, and when I started my business I vowed that if I ever actually had an office and staff, I’d set bluejeans and cotton buttondown shirts as the corporate uniform.
Jeans shopping is a frustrating experience all around. Inevitably I get stuck in the “Right inseam, wrong waist!” and vice versa conundrum. If I luck out, after 15 minutes of searching, I’ll find ONE pair, wadded up under the bottom shelf for stability, that’s close enough to my size that I’ll suck it up and deal.
Well no more! Last week I ordered 3 pairs of Levis regular fit jeans from Denim Express. Cost? $27 a pair, They arrived in just a few days in a nice squooshy plastic package. They fit, have no issues that I can see, and even still stay “$40.00” on the price tag.
Shirts will be another challenge, but I’m done with jeans shopping at the local Gap or Sears or whatever.

Firefox Safemode – A recovery mechanism

I love Firefox. I mean, who doesn’t? It’s cross platform, it’s stable, it’s fast, it’s free. What’s not to like?
Even in paradise, sometimes there’s potholes. Firefox thrives on the support of it’s vast extensions library, used to add functionality and features into the baseline browser. However, some of these extensions can cause it to become unstable, giving a ‘segmentation fault’ even just trying to start up. When this happens, how do you recover from it?
Firefox provides a ‘safe-mode’ startup option that prevents all extensions and plugins from loading. You can even use this mode to clear out all sorts of information in the configuration without actually starting the browser. Recently, when I had an extension cause Firefox to segfault on startup, safe mode allowed me to turn off all the extensions and then deinstall the ones that were causing the instability, all without editing files or fiddling around on the command line.
To start safe mode, simply run the browser with the ‘-safe-mode’ option:

firefox -safe-mode 

Firefox will come up with a dialog box asking what you’d like to do with your session. By default, all extensions are disabled, but you can also reset the state of the browser back to the installation defaults (effectively clearing out any customizations or changes you’ve made).
In my case, I simply clicked ‘Continue in safe mode’, then went to Tools->Extensions, and disabled the extensions I suspected were the problem. Exiting Firefox and restarting it in normal mode, and voila! It came up cleanly, and I was able to continue my work.
I’m puzzled why Firefox doesn’t show this option on the command line (firefox -?), but does show it in the man pages. Because man pages have become an unreliable source of information particularly in the Linux world, I didn’t even know of -safe-mode until asking in an online chat room.
Regardless, this is a great debugging and repair tool to get your Firefox up and running again quickly and easily.

A Brilliant summary of the Danish cartoons

There is an outstanding roundup and summary of the details and issues surrounding the backlash against Denmark following the publication of some cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed in an unflattering light. As should come as a surprise to no one, the situation is filled with inaccuracies, lies, and misinformation on all fronts, but primarily in the details about what was actually published. Unfortunately, there’s very little a sane world can do to stem the tide of hatred and violence that seems to be following this situation, even though the theoretical ‘reasons’ for this not only should not warrant such reactions, but are based on false information spread by those who are theoretically educated and knowledgeable.
It’s a sad sad story on the state of freedom of expression and extremism in the world.

Good Programmer. Have a biscuit!

Occasionally, an application does something unexpectedly right.
I’ve switched to using KMail as my primary mail client in my continued immersion into All That Is KDE. So far it’s a capable, well performing, surprisingly robust IMAP mail client.
This morning it surprised me by doing something unexpectedly pleaseant. I was editing / writing a new mail message (new window open, everything) when I realized i hadn’t set an identity for sending mail to this particular group. I use identities so a copy of my outbound mail is saved into the same folder I use for that list). So i flipped back to the main window, went to identities, set up a new one, and went back to my new message editor. Without really expecting it to be there, i clicked the down arrow on Identity, and lo, the new one was there.
I had expected needing to save a draft and re-run the editor to have it ‘reload’ the identities, but KMail just did the right thing and had it all set up for me on the fly.
Sometimes. Occasionally. Programmers do neat stuff.