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A fix; Error 500 & inability to download pages fully Answered

For some time I have had issues fully downloading pages from this site. Firefox seems to hang when just a little of a page is left to download, and I have had the same on sites that use the animated Flash spinning wheel.

I found the following two fixes.
  1. Just over a week ago, Firefox asked to update to 3.5.6 which I allowed. Today looking for fixes, I tried Firefox >help>Check for updates, and got a error message saying not posible as Update XML file malformed (200). Therefore I downloaded Firefox and installed it over the top of my existing Firefox, in order to retain my settings.
  2. I also changed settings in Firefox >tools>options>content and clicked on Fonts & Colours Advanced, there under Character Encoding, I changed Default Character Encoding to Unicode (UTF 8) and I made sure that "allow pages to chose their own fonts instead of my selections above" remained ticked as always. (for me)
My reasons for the #2 fix, was that I have been monitoring fault reports for code coming off Instructables for the last 2 days, and the code was showing lots of failures with defining the display properites of each Instructables' page I downloaded.

My MS Outlook broke about the same time Firefox asked to update, as mentioned in #2 above, and I had been useing a work around, while thinking about what to do, after Outlook's Detect and Fix  failed to help.

After doing #1 & 2 above, I find Outlook has fixed itself.

Sometime ago, I had lots of trouble, becuase a friend was sending postings to a Yahoo News Group, from Unbuntu/Evolution (An app like Outlook but Open Source) The group moderator had to manually release from the sin-bin each posting by my friend.

At that time, I was the only person replying via the newsgroup to my friend, and Yahoo's robot moaned to my ISP that I was sending out spam/virus. I have good relations with a senior team leader with my ISP and he got on the phone to me. And gave me a date of when it happened.

I went into the headers of my emails out that day, and found the trouble was my replies to my friend via the newsgroup was encoded in UTF-7. I preview all incoming email on the WWW in Mailwasher, I had already been telling my friend his emails were mucking up my Mailwasher.

I checked out UTF-7 on Wikipedia and found the email standards authorities strongly advised against its use.

Having some UTF-7 encoded emails on my computer, caused my whole system, to slow down, or lock up for minutes at a time, AND I was having trouble with Instruibles page downloading then too.

Yahoo I discovered, saw UTF-7 encoded email as spam/viruses because its filters could not read UTF-7 very well, so stuck them into the sin bin, for the human moderator to check over.

AND UTF-7 encoded email on my PC could not easily be checked by AVG, so AVG was locking up my system while trying to scan these emails.

I had to purge all the UTF-7 email off my PC before things went back to normal. Normally, that newsgroup postings are archived on my PC for 6 months before deletion.

My reason for discussing UTF-7 is to show what incorrect formats and coding can do to a PC, and why I chose UTF-8 for #2 above, the option i had there was something beginning with Western...
I would appreciate hearing if the above has helped anybody, otherwise I will never be sure if it was not just plain luck.

Peter

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Lateral Thinker

9 years ago

And amazingly, I had no trouble publishing the above.

And with a little more checking over the next two days, I can identify a further culprit.