Saturday, May 17, 2014

No Proxy, No Cry

Folks, I see where there's a lot of trouble out there with Firefox balking at loading scripts when one is trying to log on to Facebook. I spent a good portion of my day yesterday searching for a solution to the problem, to no avail.

Then I stumbled across a solution that nobody out there, not even the techies, were talking about. Not that them ignoring the solution is a big surprise, as I've written about earlier.

A caveat: I'm going to describe a solution that worked for me in a very specific set of circumstances. This may not work for you. If it does, and you have different circumstances than what I list here, please post a response to this entry so that others who come here might benefit from the hive mind.

First, my circumstances:

I needed to do a fresh install of Firefox due to a malware infestation (I won't go into details on that). Of course when you do a fresh install trying to clear out malware, you know you have to dump everything, including cookies, saved passwords, etc., leaving nothing of the former program on your computer.

Unfortunately when you do that, Firefox goes back to its default settings which screws things up.

First of all, the security certificate thing. After the reinstall, Firefox balked at every single webpage I went to, claiming the security certificate the pages offered were invalid. Even Google searches to find a solution were flagged. Went through that for hours.

Then I remembered a little bitty problem I'd had earlier, and remembered how to fix it.

First, go to the Firefox menu (in the version I have, current as of 5-17-2014, it's the three stacked lines in the upper right hand corner.

Next, go to Options.

Next, go to the Advanced Tab.

Under connection, there is the option to "Configure how Firefox connects to the Internet." Select the settings button. If you're on your own internet connection and ANYTHING but the "no proxy" radio button is selected, select "no proxy." Save changes, exit out, and the problems, both the security settings and the blanking out on Facebook, are solved.

For a long, boring discussion on what proxies are, go here.

Tech typically fails to explain the why to the layman; this is about typical of what I've read. Anyone else out there willing to explain things in plain English without condescending to the unwashed masses?

Part of the tech-related problem I see in this situation is that those in the know tech-wise seem to connect incorrectly to key words that those seeking help are using -- and it's not that they're using the words incorrectly. One person seeking help, for instance, mentioned that his problem seemed to crop up on sites where Flash content was present -- YouTube, etc. The problem he was describing sounded similar to mine, but his mention of Flassh sent all the techs down Flash-related rabbit holes that did nothing to solve my problem nor the problem of the original poster (as evidenced by his frustrated replies to their advice).

Problem is they're probably not techs responding -- just someone with enough knowledge to be dangerous and unhelpful in most situations. I can't imagine real techs puttering about the Internet answering questions from the unwashed souls who find themselves on the desolate shores of desperation.

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