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)
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
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_20.
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 keytool.
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. Growl!
- For help getting the Java Web Start (JWS (Java Web Start)
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 with
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. Microsoft provides a program called
WinHlp32.exe that is supposed to make the old help files work again.