In general, help is text the user can request to help her understand a program. Context
sensitive help tries to guess just what questions the user would be asking herself at that particular stage of
the program. Java documentation and help tends to be based on HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) files.
Help with Applets
You probably came here to get help because one of the Canadian Mind Products utilities, Applets or web pages did
not work for you. Here are the most likely problems:
- If you are using Internet Explorer 7+ you must allow blocked content permission for Active X to run.
This also gives permission to Java to run.
- You need a very recent browser because this website depends on CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) 2 which is not even fully supported by
the latest browsers.
Get New Browser
- Each program is labelled with the version of Java it requires. However, I use only the latest Java myself,
JDK 1.8.0_05. This is the only
version I test with. It is the version with the best chance of working. The CurrCon currency displays requires
Java version 1.1 or later. The JDisplay program listings requires Java version 1.2 or later. Just install the
latest Java and be done with it! You can keep the old version too if you like, just make sure your browser
is configured to us the latest one when you browse this website. You can find what version Java you are using
with the Wassup Applet. Why so much Java? This website is
primarily about Java. I wanted to show off what you can do with it.
Get New Java
- After you have installed the latest Java, you should make sure it is working:
- For help getting the console visible so you can see error messages:
- For help with individual browsers see:
Help with Signed Applets and Java Web Start Apps
- When you use a signed Applet or signed Java Web Start application, sometimes Windows hides the dialog box
where you give permission for the program to run. Hit alt-Esc repeatedly to see if
the grant/accept dialog box is buried under something else.
- Signed Applets need your permission to break out of the sandbox and behave like ordinary programs to do
things like read and write disk or talk to arbitrary servers on the web, or set your clock. They will behave
very strangely if you refuse that permission. Different browsers ask permission various strange ways, but
usually you have to click a button marked :
Installing the Canadian Mindprod Certificate
If you want to reduce hassle with signed Applets, you can once and for all install the Canadian Mind Products
code-signing certificate and mark it is as trustworthy. All you have to do is click the button below:
If that does not work, you can download the certificate and install it manually per the instructions under
Help With Java Web Start
- Java Web Start won’t work until you set up an association between the *.jnlp
files (MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) application/x-java-jnlp-file) and javaws.exe
both in Windows and your browser. Both Sun and the browser makers have refused to do this automatically.
- For help getting the Java Web Start (JWS (Java Web Start)) working:
Brute Force JWS
If you can’t get your browser to work with JWS just save the *.jnlp file to disk and run it from the command line
The Windows Help Bug
With Vista, Microsoft dropped support for the old .hlp Windows help files. They wanted
authors to convert their programs to the new Vista .chm format and issue new Vista
versions. Most authors did not bother and help for old programs stopped working in Vista.
It was a bold planned obsolescence move, though they protest the motive was security. I am doubtful. They
could have changed the help viewer to disable any potentially dangerous feature.
So what do you do? You can ask the author to provide a Vista version, or you can convert the .hlp files yourself to either .chh, .html,
.pdf etc. Unfortunately, the new help
won’t be integrated with the program to pop up in a context sensitive way. I could not get
Microsoft’s recommended kludge to work.