Sunday 15 March 2009

Mozilla Firefox, Google search plugin (in the address bar) => remove local redirection (i.e. remove search redirection based on your IP)

A short note to myself: This post is, first of all, for me, to preserve my brain sanity (joking!) and increase my efficiency when I deal with this situation again. This has been the 4th time when I had to perform a search to solve it, therefore it's time I write it down for future reference.


The Google search plugin (in the search bar) in Firefox behaves different to what I expect:
  • The search string is redirected to the local country code Google engine, i.e. .ro, but I prefer the international .com search => I must remove the redirection aka no country redirection

  • The search result only offers 10 results per page, but I prefer 100.
I noticed that this happens in any one of the following situations:
  • Firefox is reinstalled

  • Firefox self updates, e.g. the update to 3.0.7 erased the old google.xml and I had to modify it again.
Therefore, I need a solution.


First, go to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins

Second, open the google.xml file
This is where all the search bar settings are kept. Once you enter some text in that bar and hit enter, the search is performed based on the settings in that .xml

Perform the following modifications to the file:
  • Add the following lines:
    <Param name="hl" value="en"/>
    <Param name="num" value="100"/>

    between the tags <Url> and </Url> (you will see similar lines there, but with other parameters)

  • Delete all the lines of dynamic parameters: start with <!-- Dynamic parameters --> and stop before deleting </Url>

  • Optional: between the tags ShortName, feel free to replace Google with Liviu's Google Search, since I think it's fun.

  • Save the google.xml file, then restart Firefox. Select the Google search from the address bar (which contains many search options). Insert some string, perform the search. The address bar shall behave as Liviu, i.e. I, likes it to behave.

Another solution

One can download the search plugin from the Mycroft Project page: click on the Google (No country redirect)

Some useful links:

The search parameters, as explained by Google - who knows, maybe you want to add some more parameters?...
The article that inspired me the first time when I solved this problem.

Wednesday 4 March 2009

Mustek PowerMust 800 USB: just got broken

Indeed, my UPS Mustek PowerMust 800 USB just got broken this morning (this is my second UPS that gets broken).

A brief history of my power supplier and the power network
I am unfortunate enough to leave in an area where the power supplier is kind of stupid (although it has changed many names over time) and the network is bad enough (since it hasn't been fixed by any power supplier). The problems last since forever i.e. almost 15 years now.
The power supplier has had many names: Renel, Conel, Electrica etc. Nowadays it's simply called Enel (feel free to read, in Romanian, about the acquisition of Electrica Energie Muntenia by Enel S.p.A)

Technically, the problem is simple: the power goes down every 2-3 months or so, on average; when it comes up, it brings with itself spikes, which hurt the electronics. This had broken me in the last 12 years (chronologically) the following stuff: some 2 HDDs, 1 computer, 1 UPS.

Current situation
Starting some weeks ago (maybe a month or so) the UPS Mustek PowerMust 800 USB that I had (this was my second UPS) started to behave strange: after the power came up, it was beeping continuously.
The power went down this morning too. Since the UPS was beeping continuously when the power came up, I turned it off, then on again. However, all the lights/LEDs (green, yellow, red) were on and the UPS was not providing any power to output whatsoever. I checked the manual and there's no mention of that to troubleshooting - just that red means fault...
Bad news: according to the documents I had since I had acquired it, it's out of warranty too. It had a 2 year warranty and almost 3 years have passed now => a funny detail: the date when I had acquired it was almost exactly 3 years now, minus 12 days...
All in all, the UPS is dead, and now it stays in a nice place waiting for the trip to the trash bin.

So, now got broken the 2nd UPS. Hooray! I have a feeling I should go shopping for another UPS...