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Ping (networking utility)

$ ping -c 5



Adobe Flash Player


Some sites that need it:

BitTorrent client


  • Dropbox is excellent. I use it for storing my most frequently needed stuff. It just works. It copes easily with big files which are quickly synched only according to the parts of them that've changed. On MSWin it installs easily. It keeps itself up-to-date, but you can hover your mouse pointer over the tray icon to see the installed version number.
  • File requests allows others to add files into my Dropbox.
  • From my Dropbox folder, rm -R .dropbox.cache/*
  • My Dropbox folder can be placed anywhere you want, and it provides an install-and-forget smoothness of functionality. There's a web interface, if you need to get at your files from someone else's machine, but you wouldn't want to use it often. The online help is first-class, and sharing files from your dropbox is easy.

How do I move my Dropbox folder to a new location? - you have to select the root folder, and allow Dropbox to create a new Dropbox folder therein, and populate it…

Sometimes, having rsyncd my personal folders to a GNU/Linux or MSW platform, then allowing Dropbox to run I get some of my local files re-labelled like this:

phones (linux-bhao's conflicted copy 2015-11-28).txt

and a copy is downloaded from my online Dropbox. This would be difficult to diagnose if I wasn't competent with gVims diff. The local (renamed by Dropbox) copy is always the one that is correct. I'm not exactly clear yet why Dropbox does this. Most worrying is when a .git/index gets this treatment, thus breaking the Git repository until I've manually restored my locally renamed file to over-write the one that Dropbox downloaded for me, having decided that was more appropriate.

Secure Shell


OpenSSH is not a single computer program, but rather a suite of programs in the OpenBSD operating system that offers an alternative to unencrypted network communication protocols like FTP and Rlogin. While OpenSSH is not actively maintained for operating systems other than OpenBSD, a dedicated team occasionally releases a version that can be ported or used in other operating systems. This has allowed OpenSSH and its derivatives to account for an almost 88% market share as of July 2008.

This is a filesystem client based on the SSH File Transfer Protocol. Since most SSH servers already support this protocol it is very easy to set up: i.e. on the server side there's nothing to do. On the client side mounting the filesystem is as easy as logging into the server with ssh.


Historically, Telnet provided access to a command-line interface (usually, of an operating system) on a remote host. Most network equipment and operating systems with a TCP/IP stack support a Telnet service for remote configuration (including systems based on Windows NT). However, because of serious security issues when using Telnet over an open network such as the Internet, its use for this purpose has waned significantly in favor of SSH.

Watch ASCII Star Wars - from Simon Jansen.


Google Chrome

You can find your IP by typing “ip” into the search bar if you have chrome.

my build-up

Options > Basics > Open  (also Home)  Instant on
Signed into iGoogle, then to Accounts for Sync on
Clear Browsing History > the beginning of time
Theme > Puk Puk
Options > Sync  Signed in
Chrome Web Store > LastPass, Xmarks Bookmark Sync, AdBlock, NavigUp, OneTab, Print Friendly & PDF
Settings >
	Advanced sync > Choose what to sync > Passwords, Bookmarks & Open Tabs off-ticked
	Appearance > Home button & bookmarks bar off
	Default browser
Calendar and Countdown
Google Calendar > Gear icon > Offline (Enable) > Install
RSS Feed Reader, then Removed
Apps > Chrome Web Store > Adblock for Youtube™, Google Drive,
  Google Input Tools (by Google) > Français,  SuperSorter
mysms - SMS from Computer > Sign in with Google (again)
Google Keep - notes and lists
Cloud To Butt Plus
Settings > Clear browsing data
Removed AdBlock
Adblock Plus

Open SEO Stats
PageSpeed Insights

Windows keyboard shortcuts

  • doesn't seem to have anything for losing the top bars completely, for seeing more of Google Maps…
  • nothing to get rid of the download notification bar
  • tabs - move around them using Ctrl with these keys: 1-9, Tab, Shft+Tab, PgUp, PgDn
  • Esc = Stop page load
  • Ctrl+L = Go to address bar
  • Ctrl+G or F3 Finds the next match for your input in the find bar
  • Ctrl+Shift+G, Shift+F3, or Shift+Enter Finds the previous match for your input in the find bar
  • Ctrl+F5 or Shift+F5 Reloads your current page, ignoring cached content
  • F6 generally highlights the current url, ready to be copied

LastPass with Xmarks

I've switched to using this combination since Sept 2013, and I find it very convenient, allowing me to quickly login to my bookmarked sites from Firefox, Google Chrome, from my Android phones, or from any web browser anywhere. I think it's worth the $20/yr.

Xmarks Sync


Firefox Extension

Firefox LastPass Password Manager has informative review comments. You should get the up to date version. Once installed, don't let LastPass remember it's own login password - that's really insecure. Just keep that one password saved somewhere else, and make it not guessable.

Hotkey Ctrl+Alt+H is also used by Evernote Clearly's Highlight functionality, so I changed the assignment in LastPass to Ctrl+Shft+Alt+H.


Sites that won't autologin

You need to fill in your login details, but just before sending them, tell LastPass to Save All Entered Data (an option in the icon's list), which it will, and you save that (as another editable item in your Vault). Next time you visit that site, click on the LastPass icon and you'll see it's offering those saved details as AutoFills, which you can send for login.

Mozilla Foundation



General ''about:preferences#general''
   Sync ''about:preferences#sync''

Firefox Portable:

  • Once extracted, you'll need to run it once to build up the contents of FirefoxPortable/Data then delete the contents of profile folder.
  • Identifying the most recently used copy: If (as I often had) you've more than one copy of your FirefoxPortable buildup, and you want to know which is the more recent, look at the timestamp of formhistory.sqlite (other config files like places.sqlite, key3.db, cookies.sqlite, and cert8.db have their timestamp changed just by firing up and shutting down FirefoxPortable.

Get it:

Mozilla Archive Format, with MHT and Faithful Save:

SQLite Manager:

  • If you want to look inside or edit an SQLite database, this could be your friend:
  • It opens in a new window, then you need to: (Alt) Database > Connect, and navigate on your system to the database file. I used it to understand what was going on inside my Ditto.db. It can also seen into Flashpaste.db, but not FSViewer.db.

Undo Closed Tabs Button:

3D View

Gives a quick insight into how a web page is built up. It's got at by a button hidden away in Web Developer Tools.

Tilt: - is the original Add-on.

the cache

Reload a page (overriding the cache) Ctrl+F5 (or Ctrl+Shft+r).

How to clear the cache

Tools > Options > Advanced > Network

Or you can see stats about your Firefox cache by navigating to: about:cache.


all cookies are stored in a single file: the cookies.sqlite file
Options > Privacy > remove individual cookies

- gets a list of cookies organised by website


How to allow Java on trusted sites - how to respond to Activate Java Platform SE 8 U - allow it, if you trust the site.

Java Plugin: about:plugins tells me I've got Java(TM) Platform SE 8 U25 (and where the dll is located).

the Profile

Firefox keeps all your personal settings in one Profile folder, which makes it very easy to move around. It was my preferred browser for this reason, with all of my passwords encrypted in Firefox under one strong master password.

You can edit Firefox's configuration files directly by navigating to about:config.

Recovering important data from an old profile - for example precious form-fill info, or passwords.

using too much RAM


RAMBack lets you flush many of Firefox's caches, allowing you to distinguish caching from leaking


  • The MyBookmarks Add-on provides another way to view (and export) your bookmarks. Enter about:mybookmarks into the Awesome Bar (yes, that's what they've called it…) to produce a single Save-able page with all your bookmarks concisely laid out in quickly readable form.

Bookmarks are stored in places.sqlite. On MSWin Ctrl+Shft+b, then:

  • Backup/Restore to a time-stamped *.json
  • Export/Import them as a univerally readable *.html

Live Bookmarks

Live Bookmarks are a folder collection of bookmarks that originates from a web feed, such as one that Wordpress automatically produces, like this: Navigating to that address in Firefox shows the feed, and asks if you'd like to Subscribe to it as a Live Bookmark, and where to save it.

I'm choosing to save all of mine in one parent Bookmarks Folder, because then I can use the Brief Add-on to show me all the feeds in that folder (options > Feeds > [highlight the folder where the Life Bookmark folders are saved] > OK).


Neatly blocks executable content from running, unless you allow it. FAQs. It has the disadvantage that it switches off a lot of things in ways that can be hard to figure out,but I find that gives me insight into how the web is working.

things I've had to allow

  • - for videos at
  • - for logging into
  • - for WOT - Safe Browsing Tool
  • Disqus - to be able to properly read Comments
  • - for logging into
  • - to be able to browse for an attachment at <>
  • - for my gmx mail access
  • - for HostPapa's Customer Care
  • Lulu -
  • - for Mozilla Thimble
  • NetDNA Content delivery network - for VirusTotal Sign in, and more
  • - for SoundCloud
  • - for Subscribe to LastPass and Xmarks Premium
  • - for Mozilla Thimble
  • - for my gmx mail access
  • - for

Web Developer Tools Ctrl+Shft+i/k brings up the Console, which is the Toolbox.

A good intro.

Responsive Design View

If you want to |check how a website looks in a certain screen size: Ctrl+Shift+M. If you find that key-mapping conflicts with an Add-on, you can disable it.


I use this for my gmail, gmx, and fastmail IMAP accounts because:

  • it's an uncluttered interface that I have control over
  • I can sort gmails how I wish
  • gmx mails are quicker to access
  • emails are opened in tabs, which makes looking at several together easy
  • attachments are easier to deal with
  • it's super easy to change the account that I'm sending from
  • saving individual emails to disk (I prefer html format) is simple

Thunderbird Portable:

  • If you've already a thunderbird profile ready from a previous installation of Thunderbird, run ThunderbirdPortable.exe once to Cancel “Mail Account Setup”, then quit Thunderbird Portable - doing this builds up the Data folder, and the profile folder is inside it, at ThunderbirdPortable/Data/profile/Mail/Local Folders. Delete that folder's default contents and copy in your existing profile. Done.


  • expanded sender/recipient details in emails - is a setting I prefer.
  • Tags colour messages if you hit 1-9 on one. 0 takes off tags. They're easy to Manage - just right-click on a message, and Tag Toolbar helps you get started.

IMAP is very well supported, with just one or two tweaks needed to get proper co-ordination of Sent & Drafts folders:

Tools > Account Settings > (yourchosen_emailservice) > Copies & Folders

Number of address lines in compose window can be changed: Tools > Options > Advanced > the General tab > Config Editor, which finally gets about:config, in which you can change (from the default value of 3) mail.compose.addresswidget.numRowsShownDefault.



Enables access to various about: dialogs from the View menu.

Still need to right-click near top to enable Menu Bar, then can go to View > ViewAbout (which is faster than Tools > Options > Advanced > the General tab > Config Editor).

Zombie Keys (Multilanguage Keyboard)

Enter accents, diacritics, diaeresis, umlauts, ligatures etc. with keyboards of various countries (us,uk,ie,fr,it,ru,de,sv) - via easy to remember shortcuts or menu.

On my Logitech Ultra-Flat Keyboard in Arch Linux, grave accents are just, for example, ` followed by e for è.


Accessing Gmail's (default) Sent Mail: In Gmail's settings, need to have Show in IMAP enabled, and in Thunderbird need to right-click on your gmail folder heading, select Subscribe…, and on-tick Google Mail > Sent Mail.

Account Settings

  • Copies & Folders > When sending > “Sent” folder on trohib is the default, but that appears as [IMAP]/Sent in Gmail (in a browser and on Android).
  • Server Settings > [ Server Name > Port > 993 ]

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • To get at Options, when the menu bar is hidden (which I prefer): Alt brings it back up, then Tools (Alt+T on GNU/Linux) then O then again for Options then Enter (there is no other shortcut).
  • Ctrl+R = Reply (to sender only)
  • Ctrl+Shft+B = Address Book (like Bookmarks in Firefox)
  • Ctrl+Shft+F = Find in folder
  • m toggles message read/unread
  • (Shift+)j = (not) junk
  • s toggles starring
  • f/p goes to next/previous message

Profile backup

is really easy, and one of the great features of Thunderbird. On my netbook, my profile was here: C:\Users\jo\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\xnss9y17.default. If I delete the contents of that *.default directory, Thunderbird just rebuilds it, effectively creating a fresh install of Thunderbird, but you can equally replace the contents of that *.default directory with a profile you've backed up somewhere, and Thunderbird uses that profile, with all the email settings and personal preferences that are in it. This makes Thunderbird a very portable tool. Having set up once on my MSWin netbook, I can copy the profile over to a new GNU+Linux setup.

cross_platform/wan_programs.txt · Last modified: 2016/09/22 16:15 (external edit)