Solving Firefox Problems on Intel-Powered Macs

A bit off-topic here, but I recently got a shiny new 15″ MacBook Pro and my Firefox plugins have been driving me nuts… My workflow relies on the Shubert IT PDF Browser Plugin, and plain old browsing requires things like the Flash plugin. But following the migration from my old PowerBook G4 to my new MacBook Pro (using the Setup Assistant, which is very slick, I might add) these things stopped working.

Clicking on a pdf link spawned the annoying dialog box that asked if/how I wanted to open it, and sites with Flash movies just displayed a blank box instead of the video. While this didn’t affect every FireFox plugin (the Performancing Firefox Plugin, for example, kept humming along). Needless to say, this was driving me nuts. I double-checked that the plugins found their way from my old computer to the new one (they did). I double-checked that they were the newest versions (they were). I deleted and re-installed them just to be sure. Still no joy.

I read far and wide about plugin conflicts, made sure Firefox wasn’t set to use QuickTime for pdfs, etc., etc., etc. Needless to say, this was all very, very frustrating. In the back of my mind I had the feeling that this had something to do with the transition to the Intel architecture. Well, as of about ten minutes ago, I solved my problems with the Schubert IT PDF Browser Plugin. The trick was that Firefox automatically launches in the native Intel environment, whereas the PDF Browser doesn’t work under those circumstances. The solution, then, was to ‘Get Info’ on Firefox and check the box forcing it to open in the Rosetta emulation environment. And just like that, it worked!

Sadly, Flash was still down for the count. However, upon further investigation I found that Adobe has released a Universal Binary of Flash Player 9. While running in Rosetta should have solved the problem, installing the Universal Binary did fix it.

So if you’re having any Firefox weirdness on an Intel-powered Mac, check for a Universal Binary version of any troublesome plugins, or try running Firefox itself in Rosetta.

7 Responses to “Solving Firefox Problems on Intel-Powered Macs”

  1. Anonymous

    hi!,I really like your writing so much! proportion
    we communicate extra approximately your post on AOL?
    I require a specialist on this area to resolve my problem.
    May be that is you! Taking a look forward to look you.

  2. Anonymous

    I am working with a large staff of moderately computer illiterate people. What I have found with your solution is that it does work, but our primary Java application doesn’t work under Rosetta. Any solution that a “mere mortal” can do on a regular basis would be appreciated. (Aside from obviously convincing Adobe, Firefox, and/or Schubert to play nicely together – which obviously hasn’t worked in over a year….)

  3. Anonymous

    I too was extremely frustrated by this and was really happy to have found your tip. It’s disappointing though that this problem still exists after all this time.

  4. Anonymous

    Thanks a lot!! I´ve tried reinstalling the PDF Browser Plugin and moving it around, but nothing helped. Do forcing the Rosetta-emulation cause any problems??

  5. Anonymous

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve spent _hours_ trying to fix this, and I guess I finally found the right words to google for. Have you contacted the PDF Browser PlugIn folks to see if they’d put this info on their webpage or in their README?

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