Charles Moore's Mailbag

iCab Strengths, WaMCom Tips, Importing Bookmarks into Safari, and Print Preview

Charles Moore - 2004.04.09 - Tip Jar

A WaMCom Tip and More Versions of Mozilla 1.3.1 for OS 9

From David Deckert

Charles,

I've been using WaMCom since last summer. (Download WaMCom here.) Like some others, in one situation I'm in that curious sweet spot of being able to use a relatively fast Mac (dual 1.25 GHz) but not yet OS X. WaMCom is ideal here. If you have a low-end G3 or better, WaMCom is still fine (but give it some RAM).

WaMCom does have its foibles, but the page rendering, tabs, and blocked popups allow the 8.6-9.2.2 user a glimpse into the modern world. IMO no 8.6-9.2.2 user should be running any version of Netscape 6-7 or "official" Mozilla, again for the reasons mentioned.

Anyway, here's a tip: WaMCom will eventually munge some of its files in the Mozilla folder (located in Documents).

The symptoms I've noticed are: URLs in the address field will fail to autocomplete, and hitting Return won't tell the browser to go look for the page - it isn't so much that it fails to add the www. and .com to what you've typed, but that it never attempts anything. A temporary work around is. of course. to enable the Go button. But unlike Netscape 4, you shouldn't have to use this button.

Another symptom is that cmd-W fails to close open tabs. There may be one or two others I've forgotten. Keeping a backup copy of the Mozilla folder handy allows instant recovery.

Another benefit of using this browser over official versions is that once you download the (admittedly large) .sit file, you are ready to go - that long installer associated with Netscape is avoided.

It would be interesting to know if the bugs I've mentioned are due to the WaMCom port or merely the not-yet-finished Mozilla 1.3.1 code base.

I have also learned of two other OS 9 versions of Mozilla 1.3.1 (Japanese efforts, but I think English compatible) but haven't tried them yet. I only have direct download links, which worked last time I tried them:

-David

Thanks for the insight David. Valuable information to have.

Charles

Glad to See Good Mention of iCab

From Cary McKeown

I was pleased to see iCab get some well deserved respect in your site's recent postings re IE and other Mac browsers. Also nice to see I'm not the only one disgusted with the pathetic anemic excuses other browsers for download managers and the typical lack of save as options and offline browsing support.

I know it's not perfect and in particular needs a massive update to its standards support, but it's still my favorite browser. Camino, Safari, and FireFox all have their good points, but nothing that gets them past second place for me. And when it comes to user interface, they all need to be "more like iCab, less like Aqua" as I've told them.

Third place, for its compatibility with MSTCPIP and MSHTML. etc., though I haven't used it in maybe a year or more, IE.

After their previous Mac beta, Opera needs to make a big splash before I'll bother trying the new version.

OmniWeb needs to get the Mac and put Aqua and NeXTstep behind it. Looked at narrowly enough, it's probably the best overall in it's combination of features and interface ala iCab with modern standards support ala the rest - but I can't stand it.

-M

Hi Cary,

I love iCab. I alternate among the others, but iCab I always have running, and I tend to default to it when I just want reliable performance, and especially for downloads. It's not the fastest, but it's the most solid, IMHO.

If you haven't tried Opera 7.50b, you should take a look. It's still pretty rough, but fast and has tons of potential.

Charles

WaMCom Tip

From Mike Richardson

Hi Charles,

If there are Classic IE users who say some of their sites won't load in the Mozilla WaMCom browser, they should try the UABar add-on for WaMCom.

This adds a bar where the user can spoof their browser to make it appear as if it is another browser such as IE. This will get around some sites where the author has regrettably decided to lock out non-IE users. Most of the time, WaMCom will load the site just fine!

UABar can be installed by going to http://uabar.mozdev.org/source.html and clicking on "Install xpi here". The dialogs will walk you through installation.

Thanks,
Mike Richardson

Great tip, Mike. Thanks.

Charles

Browser Tips

From Metroxing

Some of your readers might be interested to know this "security" trick that works with Mozilla, Camino & FireFox but not with Safari or IE:

To me, cookies are pointless with the OS X keychain fill in feature that I can activate for on a site-by-site basis. It would be okay if cookies were just set at the login, but a lot of sites track every single page you visit so turning on "Ask me to set cookies" is annoying because you're stopped at every page, and most sites don't let you enter with cookies off.

But old trick here still works. Navigate to User/Library or User/Library/Application Support folder and look for Mozilla or Firefox or Camino. Replace cookies.txt, and for those fanatics like me, also replace history.txt with folder (files) called: cookies.txt & history.txt

When your browser window is active, all that current cookie info is active and acts like all is dandy. Once you quit the browser, it can't write over a folder file, so your cookies and history info is deleted.

(Unless you like to backtrack a lot, there's no reason not to set history to zero days, and everybody not running OS 7, dial up, and counts their storage in MB (not GB) should set cache to zero.

Now, when you quit, nobody knows where you've been.

When I last check Safari only lets you delete the cookies.txt but history & cache are cryptic.

IE has one useful - only in IE can you print out FedEx online labels. With the other browsers you can get as far as the last page - then nothing. It looks like it's in JavaScript - hard to believe IE is more compatible. Tried complaining, but basically if you're 1% of the user using the 1% browser, what do they care. UPS doesn't work for Mac IE. At least the USPS works now for all browsers.

KC

Cool. Thanks, KC.

Charles

Safari can Import IE, Netscape, and Mozilla Bookmarks on the Fly

From Brian Warren

Greetings from Haines, Alaska...

Safari can import IE, Netscape, and Mozilla bookmarks on the fly. To access this feature, you must enable the Debug menu. The simplest way is to use the terminal: Quit Safari and then enter in this:

defaults write com.apple.safari IncludeDebugMenu 1 (change the 1 to a 0 to disable it)

After that, just launch Safari and access all the "hidden" features of the debug menu.

If you have terminal fear, there are plenty of freeware apps that can do this and more. (such as Safari Enhancer: http://www.versiontracker.com/php/dlpage.php?id=17776&kind=1&db=vt3)

Print Preview: Agreed, IE has a simple, easy-to-use print preview. Safari does have that too (sort of). In that with Panther all default print dialogs have the preview button that gives you a print-preview of your document using, what else, Preview. Not as "on the fly" as IE's work, but you get to see it before committing, and I imagine that's what most people want.

take care,
Brian

Hi Brian,

How's the weather in Haines? Snow is finally melting here in Nova Scotia.

Thanks for the browser tips!

Charles

re: Internet Explorer Print Preview

From Jeremy Morgan

Kit and Chuck,

Firefox has a print preview feature that lets you adjust from landscape to portrait, and printer settings. That's a compelling reason to switch away from both IE and OS 9 :-P

-Jeremy

Thanks Jeremy.

Charles

Import IE Favorites into Safari

From Jason Reid

In regard to Paul O'Keefe's letter: TinkerTool has an option to "Reimport Internet Explorer favorites on next launch".

Thanks for the tip, Jason.

Charles

Print Preview

From Eric Matthieu

Charles,

For those, like Kit Archie (Miscellaneous Ramblings, 29 March 04), who still use IE for its print preview capability, iCab 2.9.7 has it built right in, with the ability to tweak scale, colors, images, fonts, headers, and footers. Netscape 7.x has this, too, but with far fewer options. In both cases, it's right above the print command in the file menu.

For anyone using Epson printers, you can also do a basic print preview through their driver software in OS 9. After telling a program to print, just click on the "change to preview mode" button to the left of the print button in the Epson software (looks like a sheet of paper with a magnifying glass over it). The Print button now says Preview... From which you can not only view what is spooled but block selected pages from getting printed. Great for eliminating unwanted pages while saving paper and ink.

FWIW, I haven't purged IE from my hard drive, but it seldom gets used. I split my time about 50/50 between Netscape 7.0 and iCab 2.9.7.

Eric

___

Thanks for the tip, Eric. Always glad to hear of another reason to use iCab.

Heck, I still have IE on my hard drive. No point in dumping it, but I might use it for a particular website twice a year. In OS X use iCab, Safari, and FireFox mainly, fairly evenly split. In OS 9, I use iCab 98% of the time.

Charles

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at Applelinks.com and a columnist at MacPrices.net. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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