Watch Foxtel Now on Ubuntu Chrome

Thought I’d try out Foxtel Now to see if it’s worthy of the money they are asking. Whilst it is a significant improvement as far as quality and usability, it’s annoying to discover it won’t work in Ubuntu out of the box and you still can’t get the one package you really want (eg sports) without having to pay for a basic package, so no improvement on the pricing model despite their advertising efforts to convince you they are competing with Netflix.

Foxtel are using a simple javascript check to determine if your browsers operating system is Windows or Mac and will redirect you to /app when it’s not the correct os or version. To thwart this, simply change your user agent to a Chrome Windows one via these instructions:

How to Change Your Browser’s User Agent Without Installing Any Extensions

Happy Foxtel Now’ing on Ubuntu Chrome.

NBN – iiNet – Speedtest

I quite clearly don’t have 25Mbps but have to go through the motions to prove that I can only get 11Mbps at most on my NBN connection.

There was no way I was going to do this by hand 3 times a day, for 3 days on two computers as requested (instructions here: https://iihelp.iinet.net.au/support/node/14495) so I wrote a little batch script to do most of the work for me. I am by no means a batch script expert so this is a bit quick and dirty. Feel free to create a PR against this script or fork it if you can do it better.

Hope this is useful for someone else, it’s saved me a bucket load of time: https://github.com/Kwozzie/nbn-speed-test-semi-automated-logger

Windows 7 stuck on personalized settings for: Windows Desktop Update

After doing a number of updates, I wasn’t able to log back in as the domain administrator on a Windows 7 (64bit) machine. A dialog with the text “personalized settings for: Windows Desktop Update” was displaying but not progressing, suggesting a problem with the user profile.

A number of articles point to the KB980408 update as the source of the problem. Solutions from http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_other-windows_update/kb980408-install-problem-setting-up-personalized/f0f44072-db4e-4615-b2c2-649f00ec946a and http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/w7itproinstall/thread/1bd30165-0adb-4285-bc93-816a0ee31850 didn’t solve the problem.

What solved it for me was restarting the machine and logging in as a different login with administrative privileges, deleting the problematic user folder from c:/users/, logging out, and then logging back in as the problematic user. On first log in, Windows had a flag that the login/account was only temporary. This was easily fixed by following the advice in this article.

On a side not, if you’re looking for help on a stuck Windows 7 Update – I’ve found that the antivirus program can be the cause of the problem. My PC’s mostly run Avast antivirus, going into the settings, there is an option to load Avast after all other windows services. This seems to fix the problem.

Thunderbird – RSS showing snippet rather than html page

Having image/html troubles with Thunderbird? RSS account showing brief description instead of the full html web page? This may not be the only solution but it was the one I discovered worked for me and was from my own actions that caused it.

Did you happen to change your email settings to display messages as simple HTML at some stage? If so, turn it back to Original HTML. Hey presto! Thunderbird’s RSS reader displays the full web page again and also, displays images in your email again.

For more information, see http://kb.mozillazine.org/Images_in_messages_do_not_appear

Damn J’s in Thunderbird emails (smiley faces)

Mozilla Thunderbird 2

This has been annoying me for ages, smiley faces for Microsoft Outlook showing up as J’s in my Thunderbird emails. So here’s the fix:

  1. Go to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\res\ and create a ‘fonts’ folder.
  2. Create a file named fontEncoding.properties. You can right click in the fonts folder, then click create new ‘Text document’, then rename it.
  3. Open the fontEncoding.properties file with your favourite text editor.
  4. Add the following, save, close, then restart Mozilla Thunderbird:

# Symbol font
encoding.wingdings.ttf = windows-1252
encoding.wingdings2.ttf = windows-1252
encoding.wingdings3.ttf = windows-1252
encoding.webdings.ttf = windows-1252

Big thanks go to http://blog.tcg.com/tcg/2008/03/j-instead-of-sm.html

Mozilla Thunderbird 3

Try this: https://github.com/richq/smileyfixer/downloads
Thanks to Bojan for posting the link. 

Mozilla Thunderbird >3

This problem has been fixed now. Upgrade Thunderbird if you are still having issues.