Friday, May 05, 2006
Linux, Firefox and Census 2006: The revenge of the nerds.
Dear Stats Canada: I blow my nose at you, and I fart in the direction of your puny attempts to keep me out. And for the geeks in the crowd, how to get at Census 2006 online with Linux and your Firefox browser (at least to the point where you're at the main census page -- beyond that, I haven't tested.)
First, download Chris Pederick's "User Agent Switcher" from here -- your first attempt might fail as you might have to allow extensions to be downloaded from that site, at which point just follow the instructions and try the download again.
Next, browse to the URL "about:config", which will dump you into the Firefox configuration menu, where you should set the value "network.http.sendRefererHeader" to 0 (it should initially be 2).
Finally, go under "Tools" where you should find the new menu entry "User Agent Switcher", which you can use to temporarily masquerade as (oh, gag) "IE/6 (Windows XP)." Then give that nasty census page another try.
Did I miss anything?
NOTE: All of the above is assuming you've already installed Java. Don't tell me you need help with that, too.
NOTE 2: It might be necessary to close all of your Firefox sessions after doing the above, then restarting, but I'm not going to bet my nads on that.
WELL, I TAKE IT BACK. The solution above is still flaky as hell -- sometimes it just blows the browser away, or it might get to the Internet Access Code page but no further. Crap.