Akom's Tech Ruminations

Various tech outbursts - code and solutions to practical problems

Code and Hacks Blackberry Pearl Causes Windows XP to freak out with USB Device Not Recognized

Posted by Akom • Tuesday, October 7. 2008 • Category: Code and Hacks

This was annoying. Whenever the blackberry was plugged in (USB), windows would ding and show a baloon saying "USB Device not recognized", and this would continue forever, repeating about every 10 seconds! Clicking the baloon would show you the USB device tree, with a very helpful "Unknown Device" shown in bold. It took some time to figure out that it's happening only when the BB is connected. It sort of seemed as if someone is rapidly connecting/disconnecting the USB cable.

Well? Turns out that this is sort of what was happening. It was a bad cable. OK, perhaps not a bad cable, but one that the blackberry didn't like. And, unlike what some people suggested, having it plugged in through a hub is not the culprit. Interestingly, the cable that was malfunctioning was heavy duty, with ferrites. The cable that works is thin and flimsy.

Code and Hacks Firefox 3 Uber SSL Security madness for Self-Signed Certificates

Posted by Akom • Tuesday, October 7. 2008 • Category: Code and Hacks

Or the infamous "Or you can add an exception" thing.

Apparently since Firefox 3, if you stumble on a site with an invalid SSL certificate, be it expired, self-signed, or bad in any other way, you are greeted (as before) with a warning. Only this warning requires 8 steps to bypass, not all of which are intuitive to the normal power user. Moreover, in my experience, Firefox will prompt you again and again once your restart it, despite the fact that you checked "Permanently store this exception". And why do I need to "download" the certificate anyway? The browser must have already retrieved it by now since it's warning me about it.

I actually considered downgrading to Firefox 2... but I found a solution.
Here is what you do:

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