I had been tolerating a nagging problem with my web browser on multiple machines and now have a solution, because I had the presence of mind to finally ask a question.

Firefox is my preferred web browser because it includes the Gmarks plugin. The Gmarks plugin brings my google bookmarks into the Firefox menu. That makes portable bookmark management easier (all my bookmarks are stored at Google, visible from any web browser on the internet).

I also prefer the Foxit PDF reader instead of the Adobe reader. It feels faster, cleaner, and seems less likely to be attacked by malware (smaller installed base, newer code base).

Unfortunately, Firefox would report “OCX failed to load” when I tried to open a PDF file. I had found all sorts of strange alternatives for opening PDF files in Firefox. For example, sometimes I would download the PDF file, then open it in Foxit from the local machine. Other times I would copy and paste the URL from FIrefox to Internet Explorer, then use Internet Explorer to open the PDF file.

All those strange alternatives (work arounds, fixes, etc.) have now stopped. I was weary of the alternatives, so I used Google to search for the error message. In classic Google search fashion, the first page had a perfect match for my needs, a post which described my problem and an easy solution to my problem.

The moral: Ask questions sooner, don’t be afraid of questions or their answers. I’ll need to think more about why I didn’t ask the question sooner…