Friday, January 22, 2010

IE Tab vs IE View

Many users prefer to use FireFox most of the time but occasionally encounter sites that only work with IE.  For these people they have two options:

IE Tab
IE View

Different Approaches

Both add on allows you to run IE but approaches it differently.  For IETab, it runs within a Firefox Tab but for IE View, it will redirect your page to a new IE Window. 

IE Tab

Running the sites with a IE Tab may not work all the time since some of these websites may have problems launching the pop up Window.    Also IETab will actually send two post to the server (1 from IE and 1 from Firefox).  I found this out by accident while doing some test on one of my applications.

One nice thing about IE Tab since it launches within the tab, it is much cleaner.

IE View

IE View will launch the a separate IE Window  for the sites you want to run in IE.  Problem with this approach is it will keep launching new windows - even though the newer IE can do tabs, so you will end up with many windows.

Since you are running in an actual IE window, you will not have the problem of failure that was described in IE Tab above.

White List

White list is a list of websites you maintain either within IE Tab or IE View.  This list is used to identify sites that should run in IE.  When those sites are used, Firefox will automatically pass the control to either IE Tab or IE View.

To maintain the list in IE Tab, you just need to click on Tools -> IE Tab Options.

In IE View, you need to
  • go to the Add-on window (accessed via Tools -> Add On)
  • Click on the IE View and then select the Options

One warning, if the site identified in the IE View white list is the default homepage that FireFox will go to when it starts up, you will never ever get to FireFox.  This is because as soon as Firefox starts, it will go to the site and then pass the site to IE after which Firefox will exit.

The workaround is to create a short cut to a website that is not in the whitelist and then change the default home page or remove that site from the white list.

The short cut should contain something like:

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" http://www,

Side Note:

I just saw that there is going to be a version of IE Tab for Google Chrome.  Unfortunately, it will only install on Chrome beta.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Restricting Login Times - Update

In my previous article, I described how you can set the time restriction on the account.  However, there are some caveats.

Windows XP
In Windows XP, the set time will prevent the login outside the allowed time but it will not logout the account if it was logged during the allowed time.  To overcome this, you need to download psshutdown utility (a freeware).  It is part of the psutils found here.  Once done, you can then create a batch job containing at least the following command:

psshutdown -o -f

Then schedule the above batch job to run during the end time of the time restriction.  The problem with this approach is that it will also force exit those accounts that are not restricted.

Windows Vista

The time restriction is built in.  Unfortunately, it locks up the screen without exiting any of the application.  This may cause problems if you happen to log into a site that restricts the number of sessions since you are still logged in but have no way of getting back in to log out or properly save your work (short of opening up the parental guide.