Like I said in my last blog post, I am out of a laptop. I am having it repaired by HP, thank goodness it’s still under warranty. But I have been advised that it might take up to 8 weeks before I can get it back. OMG, in my programming world, that is utter and complete disaster! That’s 3 weeks longer than my summer class! *cry*
But. I am trying to keep my head up, trying to think positive. I bought a 2GB flash drive from CDRKing for P380 ($10). Yes, I’m such a cheapie haha. They have 4GB (P700 or $18) 8GB (P1,280 or $32) drives but I’m so poor couldn’t afford the extra thousand pesos, hehehe. Oh but if you want to buy me a present, I’d love the 16gb flash disk at P2,480 or $62, hehe!
Anyways, 2GB is totally fine for me. It’ll hold my data fine and with room to spare. The next prob I encountered in my laptop-free state is finding a computer to start some surfing. The Rizal library is the best place, in my opinion, it’s cool (sometimes too cold!), comfortable (plushy seats) and free (and there are many desktops available)! There’s even a private lounge for graduate students. There’s wifi, too, but oh darn, why do I keep reminding myself I do NOT have a laptop?? Urgh.
So it’s free, the RL desktops. But security is tight. There are very few installed applications, the only available browser is an old copy of Internet Explorer, and flash isn’t even installed. And you can’t install anything else. Have I mentioned I hate IE?? I like the new tabbed version but I’m a Firefox fan!
Thank goodness I remembered about PortableApps.com, I once downloaded one of their suites, just because the installs were clean and small. But I forgot later on when I started using the normal installers again. Portable applications do what they say, they are meant to run on your USB flash drive, you can choose whichever computer you want to use, and you don’t have to install anything. That’s really useful for me, like right now, I’m using Firefox and everyone else is stuck using IE. Heheheh.
Using Firefox from my flash drive is very convenient. I can move from one computer to the other without losing my settings or cookies. I can also save my passwords in Firefox so I don’t have to keep typing in my passwords. I am paranoid about keyloggers, hehe, we’ve already had a few instances where students got to infiltrate our professors’ account through keylogging. But actually I don’t save passwords in Firefox (though I can, that’s the point) because I am also paranoid about losing my USB drive and having somebody pick it up and see all my passwords in Firefox (I hope you know that saving your passwords in Firefox is very risky because anyone who uses Firefox next will be able to view it). So I use another portable app, KeePass. I’ve got one master password to log in to KeePass, and then I have there all my encrypted entries of all my passwords from my different accounts. All I have to do is copy the password to the clipboard and paste it onto the password field. No typing involved. :-) Of course, that’s *still* not hacker-proof, someone who REALLY REALLY wants your password can sniff it off the network using many freely available programs, but I’m not *that* paranoid, hehehe.
Yesterday I was happily browsing with Firefox but I encountered another problem. No flash! I tried to get the flash plugin, but alas, it asks to be installed, and the desktop I was using would not let me. Grr. Today I searched for a solution, and yay, I found one!
Following a commenter’s advice on AcidLabs, I downloaded the Adobe Flash installer, then downloaded the Universal Extractor, then extracted the files from the Adobe Flash installer. I got two files from there: flashplayer.xpt and NPSWF32.dll, and copied them to this directory: F:\FirefoxPortable\Data\plugins and restarted my browser.
Voila! Now I can happily browse flash-based websites in my lovely Firefox browser! Hehehehe. Hopefully this will help some of you out there who might be experiencing the same problems, I know a lot of my fellow (financially-challenged) graduate students are. Hehe. Happy (safe) browsing!