Fast Forward's Help File
Q When I view a PDF in Firefox on my Mac, the file doesn't display inside the Web browser the way it will in Safari. It opens in the Preview program instead, and I have to remember to delete the downloaded PDF later.
AYou've discovered a basic design flaw of Firefox on the Mac. Unlike Apple's Safari, it doesn't use the graphics software built into Mac OS X, which can display Portable Document Format files by itself.
So Firefox has to download a PDF and then hand it off to an extra application, such as the Preview program included with OS X. That extra step both takes you out of your Web browser and leaves you with the PDF file taking up space afterward.
Firefox users on older Macs with PowerPC processors can install an extra plug-in ( http:/
It doesn't seem this problem will be addressed anytime soon. A bug report documenting it doesn't offer any target date for a fix and lists it as assigned to "Nobody."
My copy of Windows XP lost the software I need to play DVDs. Where can I get a new DVD player program?
The cheapest fix is to download a free, open-source program called VLC Media Player ( http:/
The VLC player can also solve lesser DVD problems. When a homemade disc played silently in one copy of Windows Media Player, VLC let me both watch and listen to the movie.
Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 firstname.lastname@example.org. Turn to Thursday's Business section or visit washingtonpost.com anytime for his Fast Forward column.