It's mostly academic. The Katrina victims who need help the most didn't own computers, have net access, or, in many cases, even know how to use the web. Even if they owned computers, those computers are probably underwater and their ISP isn't up.
Nevertheless, some evacuees, staying with friends or relatives, or using library or other public access computers, may need to register for help using FEMA's web site.
It turns out that it's surprisingly difficult to google for the answer to the seemingly simple question, "How do I make my browser spoof IE6?" Here's the simple answer.
Opera: offers a menu to do this, and always has.
Mozilla or Firefox: the easiest way is to install the User Agent Switcher extension. Install it, restart the browser and you get a user-agent switching menu which includes an IE6 option.
To change the user agent on Mozilla-based browsers without the extension:
- type about:config into your urlbar
- Right-click in the window (on Mac I think that's cmd-click to get a context menu?) and select New->String
- Use general.useragent.override for the preference name, and Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1) for the value.
Safari (thanks to Rick Moen on svlug:
- Exit Safari. Open Terminal.
- Type defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeDebugMenu -boolean true
- Restart Safari.
If you do change your user agent, please change it back after you've finished whatever business required it. Otherwise, web site administrators will think you're another IE user, and they they'll use that as justification for making more ridiculous IE-only pages like FEMA's. The more visits they see from non IE browsers, the more they'll realize that not everyone uses IE.
[ 13:35 Sep 11, 2005 More tech/web | permalink to this entry | ]