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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3 Web Browsers
Ryan R. emailed me the following hint. He explains:

"Internet Explorer 5.2.3 has not been updated in a while, and still retains a skin suited best for Jaguar. A simple update to the Hexadecimal code can give IE for OS X a Panther-like skin (as seen in this screenshot), so that IE no longer has to stick out like a sore thumb. Using an Hexadecimal editor such as HexEdit, open the IE package contents and go to Contents -> MacOS and then open the 'Internet Explorer' file. Go to the Address (command-J using Hexedit) 2FA014 (using the latest version of IE, 5815.1). This is the 18 bytes of code you will want to edit:
EE EE EE EE EE EE E6 E6 E6 E6 E6 E6 EE EE EE EE EE EE FF FF FF FF FF FF
Replace those 18 bytes with:
EE EE EE EE EE EE EE EE EE EE EE EE F3 F3 F3 F3 F3 F3 F3 F3 F3 F3 F3 F3
Save the file then restart Internet Explorer."

This worked for me (though I never run IE, so I won't see the benefit of the change). You'll probably want to work on a copy of IE instead of the original, just to be safe!
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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3 | 33 comments | Create New Account
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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: jkp on Mar 26, '04 10:48:27AM

IE hasn't received an update for a while because...

ITS DEAD!!!!

Microsoft themselves say so, so lets leave it where it belongs :)

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jkp



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: macubergeek on Mar 26, '04 12:16:00PM

hmm
worked without turning on overwrite mode...
but didn't see much of a difference afterwards.
Yes I occasionally use IE cuz some web designers aren't interested in standards compliance.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Web standards
Authored by: abriening on Mar 29, '04 10:02:51AM

I think you mean you are interested in compatability because microsoft isn't interested in in web standards.



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: jarik on Mar 26, '04 11:04:55AM

The hint works, but it's 24 bytes if you count carefully, not 18. Confused me for a bit.

Also, if it's your first time using HexEdit, remember to turn on overwrite mode before typing. (For some reason it's not on by default).



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: zedwards on Mar 26, '04 11:29:03AM

Thank you! I was wondering what was happening when I got an error. Thank goodness for backing up!



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: Severian on Mar 27, '04 09:35:40AM

Well, it's 18 in base sixteen.



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: deleted_user18 on Mar 26, '04 11:16:17AM

Can be done easier by deleting the IE icon and using Safari instead :-)



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Except...
Authored by: gaudior on Mar 26, '04 11:23:01AM

Even with the Debug/User Agent menu, I can't get Safari to work with my Credit Union site.



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Except...
Authored by: swgs on Mar 27, '04 11:53:56PM

have you tried your Credit Union site with FireFix, Mozilla, or Camino? I'd be interested to know if that works. Also, please make sure to send your Safari bugs in to Apple, it's very useful.

And yes, what I am implying is that if it works with a Mozilla-based rendering engine, than I would say use one of them rather than IE. The interfaces are faster, the browsers render faster than IE, so if it works for you, than I'd say move on from IE, microsoft is leaving everyone hanging anyways.



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Printing
Authored by: ryangreenberg on Mar 26, '04 12:45:57PM

I use and like Safari for everything EXCEPT printing. It's abysmal when compared with IE. Internet Explorer gives you move control over fitting on pages, previews, printing graphics, and so forth. Even when exporting to PDF, I prefer to use Internet Explorer.



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Printing
Authored by: osxpounder on Mar 26, '04 06:53:23PM

ryan, perhaps today's hint about printing in Safari will help:

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20040321171645403

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--
osxpounder



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: JJCortes on Mar 26, '04 02:57:14PM

I hate Safari and his brushed metal look. I hate Safari and his lack of "Print" button in the toolbar. I hate Safary for his way to manage URL import.
For all these reasons, I still use Internet Explorer 5.2.3. This hint is very useful, so thank you robg :-)



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: Azark on Mar 26, '04 09:02:19PM

You can easily change Safari's look to Aqua.
But even with the brushed metal, are you sure IE looks better??
Command + P, is not so hard.
I don't know what URL import problem you're talking about.
Anyway I feel sorry for you, IE is a pain in the ...

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PB Ghz 1024MB Combo 10.3.2
G4 400 AGP 768MB 10.3.2



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: kupietz on Apr 16, '04 07:29:34PM

Yeah, great hint for those of us still happily ensconced in the "I'm still using IE" crowd. (Before anyone asks: IE is slower, more freeze-prone, put out by a company I hate associating with, lets me select options from popup menus in web page forms by typing the first few letters, lets me see more than just my 20 most recent downloads, and saves "web archives" which preserve the exact URLs and all embedded objects in a tree of web pages so you can browse entire websites even when you're not connected to the internet, and until Safari includes features like the last three I will happily put up with the first three in IE. I sometimes use Web Archives 10 times a day and cannot live without it. And the inflexible 20-download limit in Safari's Downloads window makes me cross because it's just plain lazy design. This isn't an invitation to debate, just an explanation of why some of us like this hint!)



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: hderycke on Mar 27, '04 08:19:55AM

Except that there are some sites that require Internet Explorer.
Like my employer's (employees-only) site, which not only requires IE, but actually closes your browser window if you have the gall to approach it with another browser.

---
E pur si muove



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: deleted_user18 on Mar 27, '04 01:22:19PM

Have you ever tried Firefox for lame websites that require a certain browser? With its default Aqua theme it looks very much like a native OS X browser. Firefox is based on Mozilla/Netscape and a very fast and modern browser. To me it looks better than IE (which is declared dead by M$ anyway).



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: Darukaru on Mar 27, '04 10:49:43PM

Which is when you turn on Safari's debug menu and tell it to spoof user-agent strings. ;)



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: osxpounder on Mar 29, '04 12:56:39PM

Automatically closes the browser? That's a bad idea. Anything that behaves unexpectedly is bound to generate confusion, and maybe even cost the company lost time/productivity [i.e., money]. They should instead deliver a web page that instructs the user to use whatever browser, and do nothing automatically. Users will learn, after a few forgetful attempts, to use the company's chosen browser, and meanwhile there will be no calls to tech support, no wasted time retrying the site, etc.

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osxpounder



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: Nostromo1965 on Mar 29, '04 01:51:24PM

...or, you could get the lazy web designers at your company to get off their lazy asses and actually create a page that conforms to OPEN standards and not "Microsoft standards."

It kills me when I see a page that "requires" Explorer -- when it's just sloppy, lazy web designers.



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: gbennett on Mar 26, '04 11:37:13AM

Hmm...I don't seem to have the address listed. Odd. I'm using the same version of IE.



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: half_d on Mar 26, '04 01:47:07PM

It's funny how I, as soon as reading this post, downloaded hexedit, located the mentioned file, sure in a hurry... dazzled by the marvel of those bytes - oh my, well, change the hexes, close the file, fire up IE, look at it; press cmd-Q and that's about all the contact I'll have with IE this year.... hmmm..



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: aranor on Mar 27, '04 12:38:08PM

ditto



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: jhiph on Mar 28, '04 03:13:07AM

I did and taught the same thing. What does that say about us?



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: DanPritchard on Mar 29, '04 04:15:06AM
It says you're one step behind me. ;-) I deleted IE about three months ago after I realized Citibank's site worked fine in Fire{bird|fox}. I didn't need it for anything else, so into the trash it went. I don't think Mac-IE has ever been a decent program.

It's funny...when I bought my first Mac (June last year) I was cringing at the thought of having to use Mac-IE, after having used it in libraries and such. I remember thinking "oh god I hate that crap slow, crashy, ugly-rendering browser." So the only thing I ever really used it for was to download the Safari beta and Firebird, and to access MyCiti.com before I realized Firefox would do it.

But that doesn't mean most people realize how much it sucks. In the computer store where I work, people even fire up the Classicmode Internet Explorer to browse the internet on the demo Macs all the time!!!

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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: rockman2023 on Mar 27, '04 11:15:48PM

looks better, thanks! Safari still rocks. :D



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How?
Authored by: macubergeek on Mar 28, '04 08:47:15AM

I'd be curious to find out how the author determined just which string of Hex to edit?
I find his hack fascinating and would just like to learn a bit more about his methodology.



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How?
Authored by: mistercow on Mar 28, '04 04:03:33PM

The process for finding this kind of thing can be very grueling, but it can often be worth it. I didn't come up with the hack, so I can only guess at the process, but I have done other hacks using similar techniques with HexEdit. The key is to know what you are looking for. Those executable files are in machine language, so for the most part they are unreadable by humans. However, if you know what the value is that you want, you can find it.

Here is a possible process that the author might have gone through to make this hack. First you might use a utility like Pixie (from Apple's dev tools) to find the color values for the stripes on the background in IE. Then you can search for those hex values in HexEdit. Replacing them with whatever values you want will yield different results.

Of course, the process can be harder or easier depending on how much data is present. Here is an example of a hack I did recently (I forget what app, and what exact purpose). There was a text field that limited the length of text allowed. I determined what the length was (lets say it was 17 characters; I don't remember specifically). I searched the executable file in the app for the hex value of that number (for 17 this is 11). I then replaced that value with FF (255 in decimal). Then I opened the app to test it. If the field was still limited to 17 characters, or if the app crashed, I reverted the file and tried again. I repeated this process until I found the correct location. Of course, this took a long time. With an application you will find the single byte '11' is very common, so it is likely you will go through hundreds of tries. If you have more data to search for, the process can be much faster, but it may be in a different format than expected, so it may be harder.

Another thing to keep in mind with this kind of hacking of applications is that since everything in a compiled application is so carefully calibrated, the length of the file must stay the same. If you are searching for a string (often the easiest kind of hack) you must keep in mind that your change must keep the string at exactly the same length.

Also keep in mind that there may be practical reasons for whatever it is you are trying to change. If a text field is limited to 17 characters, for example, it may be to fix a bug or to prevent illegal or obnoxious use (if, for example, the application deals with networking).

Anyway, there is often a better use of your time. These hacks can take a long time and more than often will turn up no results. On the other hand, if you are extremely bored and something just irritates you, this is an activity that can pass hours very quickly.



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: severed on Mar 28, '04 01:16:09PM
Great tip, worked fine for me (well, first I hosed the file because of no overwrite mode, but then again it's my own fault for mucking about with a hex editor without reading all the instructions).

I greatly prefer Safari, but sometimes you got to do what you got to do, and sometimes that means running Internet Exploder. Now it's not quite as jarring on the eyes.

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I wish people wouldn't use IE
Authored by: eno on Mar 28, '04 08:57:38PM

I distributed software through a number of mirrors, and whenever somebody has a problem downloading a disk image it is always an IE user.

Sigh...

Safari knows how to handle disk images, even if the server isn't configured to server them up as binary data. IE, it seems, has a penchant for downloading them as text and trying to display them in a browser window.

This sucks, because support requests from people running IE are a waste of my time.

Upgrade now, get with the program, and forget about IE forever. It sucks. Safari is better. Get over it.



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: coolsoldier on Mar 29, '04 12:45:21AM

Isn't the pinstripe pattern a system resource anyway? I never use IE, but I'd like to know why every other pre-10.3 application uses the new pinstripes and IE uses the old ones.



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: mistercow on Mar 29, '04 06:37:47PM

The pinstripe theme is a system resource, but M$ has never really believed in using standard system components. Rather than making a few simple calls, they just have someone emulate the appearance of other applications. This is probably due to the lack of standardization in Windows. In Windows, it is perfectly acceptable for one developer to create a button or a window or anything using completely different means from another developer. On the Mac, developers should generally know better. But not microsoft.



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: roballen on Mar 29, '04 09:06:18AM

Its all well and good to dismiss IE, however several ADSL routers which I have to use will only work with IE. Unpredictable results in Safari, or they just plain refuse to load the admin screens. Shame really.

Rob



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Update Internet Explorer's look for 10.3
Authored by: pbirke on Mar 29, '04 10:33:52AM

This hint did not work for me. I am using the latest version of IE, 5815.1 but when I open the file in Hexedit, the address 2FA014 does not exist.



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