web-based ssh

SSH has come to be my most used protocol besides http. It allows me to fully access a computer, transfer files, and all communications are encrypted (so I feel safe!). Since all my computers are Linux-based, I can use ssh by starting a terminal. However, what If I’m on a computer without an ssh client, say, a Windows machine? Sure, I can install putty on a Windows computer when I need to ssh. Is there a more convenient way?

consoleFISH allows users to ssh from the web for free short sessions. However, I just don’t trust third party hosted solutions; my privacy may be compromised. I discovered WebShell via this post, which allows me to ssh into the server with WebShell. From there, I can ssh into any server I want or do work on the current server. It’s also great for touchscreen phones as it offers an onscreen keyboard. However, it doesn’t yet offer password authentication before attempting to ssh into the server (the website); I feel weary of this. This wiki post shows some other alternatives, but WebShell seems to be the best on the list.

The other alternative that I think will work for me is the FireSSH plugin for Firefox. I assume Firefox is installed on all the Windows machines I’ll encounter. I’ll then just install the plugin, and use the ssh:// protocol in the address bar to ssh into the machine I want. It works well I must say. I guess this is slightly better than having to install a full-blown app (putty) on a computer that’s not mine.

Adobe Flash Player 11 beta out – no more npviewer.bin process sucking CPU resource?

Adobe Flash Flash Player 11 beta is out. I immediately installed it per these instructions after downloading the binaries here (via the ~/.mozilla/plugins method). I am so sick of the npviewer.bin process always sucking up my CPU resource. So far, I don’t notice this issue anymore. I really dislike the fact that Adobe doesn’t bother to fix bugs in their products for Linux users. Because of this, I hope all websites implement utilize HTML5 so I don’t have to depend on Adobe!

Presentations/slideshows in a web browser using S5

I use LaTeX Beamer whenever I write a a presentation because

  1. I’m familiar with LaTeX and want to keep up with the skillset,
  2. I prefer to write in plain text, especially in emacs, and
  3. I don’t have to spend time working on the how the presentation looks and just have to worry about content.

I recently re-discovered S5, a way to make presentations using html, viewable by any web browser. I think it is safe to assume that more computers have a web browser than a pdf viewer (especially more than MS Powerpoint, for sure). I don’t really know html, so I searched for org-mode or markdown support. Of course, these exist. For org-mode, check out org-s5. For markdown support, there is Instiki and pandoc. I hope to try these out soon. S5 seems to be a good alternative when my presentation doesn’t involve math equations or source code on display. You can also create Beamer slides easily using org-mode; see this and this.

emacs-style web browser: Conkeror

I remember back then when I used Kubuntu, I love Konqueror because I can hit Ctrl and all the links would be highlighted. I just need to type the letters corresponding to the link and Konqueror would take me to that link. I love it because I didnt have to use my mouse or touchpad. Recently, I discovered that Firefox had a similar feature, and it made me love firefox even more.

Even more recently, I was introduced to Conqueror, an emacs-like web browser. Everything is keyboard-based! It looks cool, but don’t know how compatible it will be with say a download manager. Everything else should be working since it is based on the same web engine that runs firefox! Installation instructions for Mac OS X can be found here.

Firefox: find as you type

Back in the days when I used Kubuntu, I used konqueror because if I hit the CTRL key, all the links would light up with a yellow tag by its side with either a letter or a number (or some character). If I typed that character then konqueror would go to that link’s page. I love this feature because I can be efficient surfing the web with the keyboard (mouse / trackpad is slow!).

Anywho, I always wanted Firefox to have this feature. I just discovered that Firefox has a similar feature. Check this page for a description. To turn on the feature, go to preferences > Advance and check “Search text as i start typing”. Firefox just got better.

The following is taken from the previous link to remind myself of some features.

  • Type several characters into the active browser window to navigate to any link with that text in it
  • If you repeat the same character, it will start to cycle through all the links that begin with that character. However, if it can find a match with the exact string you’ve typed, such as “oo” in “woods” it will go there first. Typing “o” more times will then cycle through the links that start with “o”.
  • Use the backspace key to undo the last character typed
  • Type a ‘ before your string to search only links. Type / before your string to search all text.
  • You can use the text search field to get to buttons, text boxes and other form controls. Just search for the text right before it, and then press Tab when to move from there.
  • To cancel a find, change focus or scroll, press Escape, or wait for the timeout
  • Press Accel+G or F3 to use “find next”. Press Accel+Shift+G or Shift+F3 to find previous, with the current string you’ve typed. This respects the current “linksonly” setting. Note: ‘accel’ means Ctrl on Windows, and Cmd on Mac. On Unix, ‘accel’ usually means Ctrl, but it can be set to Alt.
  • Works with any Gecko HTML content window – embedded clients, IM conversation window, help, etc.
  • works with IME for input of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.
  • When focused on a link, the following keys will work:
    • Enter – activate the link
    • Shift+Enter – save the page that the link points to
    • Ctrl+Enter (Cmd+Enter on Mac) – open the link in a new window
    • Insert – open the link in a new foreground or background tab, depending on the “Load links in the background” pref. under Preferences – Navigator – Tabbed Browsing.
    • Shift+Insert – same as Insert, but does the opposite of the foreground/background pref