Archive for January 2012

Forgotten your (Phoenix) BIOS password?   2 comments

Lost/forgotten/missing the password to your Phoenix BIOS-based laptop? I’ve got the answer.
You need to run it from a MS-DOS environment, but to save you time you can grab a bootdisk below.
Acer in particularuse Phoenix, but some other makes use them on their lower-end models
While the toolset can be used for nefarious purposes, if it is, it’s not my fault :)
Oh yes, you’ll need 7zip to open it..

Link to my Skydrive:

MS-DOS Bootdisk Links:
USB Hotwo


Posted January 15, 2012 by benryanau in ICT

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MS Skydrive – File/Access Statistics?   2 comments

There are a few things missing from MS Skydrive. One useful feature missing is the ability to see download stats on your (and perhaps, other’s) files on Skydrive. Similar to the statistics most blog engines have on blog hits. Some key stats per file might include total hits, # last week, referring URL, downloader’s MS Live ID.

It’s typical of Microsoft to half-develop something to the point that it’s an average product with heaps of potential.. then leave it that way. Usually announcing down the track they’re “going in a different direction”. Take MS MyPhone, MS Photo Tools, MS InfoCard.. maybe if they get far along enough with SkyDrive, they’ll keep it.

So why not ask them to keep improving SkyDrive… here!

Posted January 12, 2012 by benryanau in ICT, Microsoft

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Making Firefox Remember Passwords – SIMPLE SOLUTION (FF 9.0.1, FF10.0, FF12.0)   39 comments


Hi all,

Single post to hand over a quick and direct solution for making new versions of Firefox remember all passwords. (Applies to FF9.0.1 AND 12.0, future builds may require an updated fix).
It’s 99% effective – it works on all those sites that tell FF *NOT* to save passwords via the “autocomplete”=”off” directive. Won’t work on some sites using special methods to block saving.

(1) Download the omni.jar below FOR YOUR VERSION OF FF,
(2) close Firefox, and replace C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\omni.ja with my version.
(3) DELETE THE STARTUP CACHE FOLDER  Find it at C:\Users (or Documents and Settings \<UserName>\AppData\Local\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profilename>\startupCache>
(4) Restart Firefox

From my SkyDrive..

Firefox 9.0.1
– Just the omni.jar file.
Full pack
– For those who want to maintain the default version, and inspect or recreate what I’ve done. You need ActiveState Python to DIY rebuild.

Firefox 10.0

Omni.ja – Just the omni.ja

Firefox 12.0

OmniJarv12.0 – Just the omni.ja

Firefox 15.1 – Just the omni.ja

I took some tips from raymond’s blog and used ActiveState Python (my version wouldn’t work for some reason) and Mozilla’s to de-optimise, replace the nsLoginManager.js file inside with my edited version, and re-optimise. I’ve edited the nsLoginManager.js to return autocomplete= false for both the usual section and another suspect autocomplete section I didn’t like. Can’t hurt.
While there’s an extension for this which I haven’t tested, and bookmarklets can be a workaround, I think this approach is the easiest.

Tested working without any (noticeable) bugs. Probably needs redoing on future releases of Firefox, but we’ll come to that when it happens.

Oh yeah. Paypal still won’t save. I suspect they’re using an active defence against password saving, maybe by presenting some kind of unique login page for each session and fooling FF’s password autocomplete logic. I don’t have the skills to fix that, and I doubt Mozdev’s would be interesting in helping. Paypal *really* don’t want us to save passwords.

PAYPAL TESTED WORKING!  But.. here’s a trick for Paypal.. you might have to type the first few letters, but double-click your auto-filled username and the pass will autofill!

I’ll prattle on in another post about my earlier attempts and maybe a bit more detail on what I actually did, and how I’ve tried to analyse Paypal’s stubbornness… but this should help someone, somewhere, given there was no 1-2-3 easy way to do this until I posted the jar file.
Okies,  give us some feedback! Particularly if you find any bugs.



  • UPDATE FOR v15.1
  • <<UPDATE: New update for Firefox 12.0 – link above!>>
  • New version (v12.0) attempts to suppress the login prompts.. not sure if it works yet!
  • Ensure you delete the StartupCache file – this is just a FF internal cache that rebuilds itself if deleted.. it speeds up load times a few secs but also interferes with changes like this one..
  • PAYPAL Now works! It works for me, I can tell you that!

Firefox and saved passwords – editing the omni.jar?   4 comments

Till I migrate all my MS Live Spaces content across (sigh).. first post.

Thought I’d make a note on an issue I found recently.. and am still working on. You used to be able to force Firefox to remember *all* passwords (which is fine if you’ve secured your PC), this was done by commenting out a part of  C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\components\ nsloginmanager.js. It’s a section of the Password Manager that looks for pages requesting the “autocomplete=off” feature.

Except a while ago, that nsLoginManager.js edit trick stopped working. The file you had to edit disappeared from the build somewhere round FF4.

So, with a bit of poking round it seems they rolled a heap of files into a single JAR file including NsLoginManager.js. Ok, sure, we’ll just edit the file in there as described here ( )

Hmm that doesn’t work as advertised.

Seems Mozilla ‘optimised’ the JAR file in a slightly non-ZIP standard way, to improve IO performance. Vista nor 7-zip can edit their omni.jar file.

But, there’s a workaround.. I just haven’t gotten it to work properly yet. The general idea is to extract the contents with Explorer to FF’s program directory (where they ‘used’ to be). Then you can edit the files, and leave them in place (rename the omni.jar file to activate changes). Make sure you copy the  JAR’s chrome.manifest file out and replace the existing one, I think this is a pointer to the omni.jar itself. I tried unzipping the files, no luck.  I’m editing *.manifest files to redirect just a portion of the omni.jar, testing on next reload of FF.

There’s a big s**tfight between some developers of apps like Winzip/7zip etc and Mozdevs on this point. I wish they’d work it out.

Anyhow it might cost a bit of performance, but if I can get omni.jar to unzip and work it’ll fix the problem.

Damn the Mozilla guys for using an ‘undocumented feature’ to improve performance.. and damn the popular compression app authors for not being broader in supporting more obscure features in the ZIP standard.


Posted January 11, 2012 by benryanau in ICT

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