March 30th, 2007


Putting the bullet in the Firefox WMP plugin's head.

Are you sick and freaking tired of Firefox crashing and burning when you merely look at a page that contains an embedded Windows Media Player movie? I am. Today I got annoyed enough about it to do something drastic. I was trying to look at news on GTA IV, and two pages in a row had WMP plugin content, and crashed Firefox twice in a row.

Crashing software makes Ben an unhappy camper.

Unfortunately, fixing this is not easy. What I wanted to do was just disable the WMP plugin entirely. Sounds simple, doesn't it? You'd think there'd be some kind of dialog box under the Tools menu to manage plugins, but noooooooo... So it was time to pull out the chainsaw and tear into the guts of this dumb beast. Here are my notes as I went:

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So, that was pretty pathetic. Though I got it to work, the only truly good thing to come of it is that in the process I found a cute tweak to make acrobat PDF reader load way faster, and quit bugging me about updates.

Oh yeah - I was worried that this might screw up YouTube or Google Video. Now, it shouldn't, because both of those use Flash, not WMP. And I'm happy to report no problems with either one post-change.
  • Current Music
    Sad Kermit - Hurt

PicoTux: Linux webserver in the same volume as two sugar cubes.

The picotux 100 is the world's smallest Linux computer, only slightly larger (35mmx19mmx19mm) than an RJ45 connector. Inside, there is an ARM7 CPU at 55 MHz running uClinux kernel 2.4.27 and Busybox 1.0. Two communication interfaces are provided, 10/100 Mbit half/full duplex Ethernet and a serial port with up to 230.400 baud. Five additional lines can be used for either general input/output or serial handshaking.
ronin single JVM temp email server receives 4.5-6 million emails a day - diskless.

I really just found some code examples and the SMTP specs and wrote things basically from scratch. From there, I was able to get an email, parse it, and put it right into memory. This bypassed the old system's step of writing it to disk all the way. From wire to user, mailinator mail never touches the disk.

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