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Solved: Problem viewing Patent images


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Very Old Guy   (Roger) Very Old Guy is offline
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30-Jun-2011, 10:00 PM #1
Solved: Problem viewing Patent images
I have had a need to search and view U.S. Patents many times in recent years. I use this site http://patft.uspto.gov/ A few months ago the graphics card in my laptop died and I decided to get a different computer. I am now using a Dell Latitude E5510 w/XP Pro. I basically scrapped my old laptop and put most of the software on this laptop. Everything seems to be working properly. Yesterday I tried to do a Patent search and found that I have a problem. I am not able to view images. The images included in Patent files are in a "special" .tiff format. It must be able to specifically display TIFF files using ITU T.6 or CCITT Group 4 (G4) compression. A plug in is required to view them. The Help button supplied by the Patent Office recommends a free program that has always worked well for me in the past. AlternaTIFF: http://www.alternatiff.com/

When I try to view a Patent image, I am told that I need a "Quick Time" plug in. Why Quick Time? The Help file recommends AlternaTIFF: http://www.alternatiff.com/ .

I downloaded a new copy of Quick Time (using my dial-up connection). It's 36+ meg. When I check all the options in the Quick Time program, I get the BSOD. If I just check the "tiff" image option, it does not help.

The only thing "different" about this computer is the solid state hard drive. I can't imagine how that would make any difference.

I am using Firefox 5.0.....also tried Internet Explorer 8

Anybody have any idea what's going on here?

Thanks for looking

Roger

Last edited by Very Old Guy; 30-Jun-2011 at 10:25 PM..
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01-Jul-2011, 09:09 PM #2
The site specifically calls for version 4.1.
In Chrome,I'm offered a chance to update, but then it complains my version is newer. It does allow me to view "One time" though.
FF shows nothing and offers no help at all.
IE 9.0 displays accurately.
Only the gubbmint could thoroughly screw up something so easy.
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Very Old Guy   (Roger) Very Old Guy is offline
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01-Jul-2011, 09:46 PM #3
WOW !!!

Thank you very much Hughv. I feel better knowing that my problem is not because of something I have (or have not) done.

Can you tell me if IE 9 will run on my 32 bit XP Pro?

I really appreciate your help. I must admit, I was completely lost.

Roger
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01-Jul-2011, 09:47 PM #4
Yes it will.
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Very Old Guy   (Roger) Very Old Guy is offline
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01-Jul-2011, 11:57 PM #5
Thank you very much.

Can you tell me where I can download a copy of IE 9.0 32 bit that will run on XP ? Iusually get Microsoft stuff here
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/default.aspx

I've looked at a lot of what is offered but so far, not what I think I need.

Thanks again,

Roger
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02-Jul-2011, 12:10 AM #6
IE9 is not compatible with XP. Only Vista and newer.

Unassociate QuickTime from that format entirely. Try the recommended download if you have not already. The ActiveX plugins work only in Internet Explorer.
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02-Jul-2011, 12:18 AM #7
I have extracted the plugin from the alternative installer for you. I am not sure how well this will work on Firefox (Netscape no longer exists, so the government is a dollar short on that one), but it may work OK.

You have to open the attached zip file, remove the npxxx.dll file from inside, and put it with the other npxxx.dll files in your C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins folder. Then restart Firefox and try to view one of the images.

If it still doesn't work in Firefox, you could try installing SeaMonkey which is another Mozilla browser similar to Netscape and try placing the file with its plugins beginning the same way, npxxx.dll.

Of course, you could still try one of the ActiveX files if you want to use IE. I don't think your older version of IE should matter considering the age of the information on that page in general.
Attached Files
File Type: zip npzzatif.zip (374.4 KB, 82 views)
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02-Jul-2011, 12:34 AM #8
Here is a FF plugin meant specifically for viewing patents. It apparently has some other features besides what you are asking for, but you may actually like them. It says that you won't need any tiff viewer if you use it:

Aspator

(Firefox plugins are easily removed under Tools > Add-ons, so you can try it and get rid of it easily if not what you want.)
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02-Jul-2011, 12:43 AM #9
I just tried the plugin from post#7 above in Firefox. It worked beautifully. The first time you use it, it asks for a registration. I chose "automatic", filled in some fake data, and clicked "Register". It said "successful" and the image appeared.

Here is a test page to see if you can view the images:

Patent Tiff Test Page
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02-Jul-2011, 08:36 AM #10
Thank you Elvandil.

There is probably a name for when you try a whole bunch of stuff and get to a point where you no longer know for sure what you did.....or didn't.

I walked away for a bit, then came back and un-attached quick time, un-installed the alternatiff I was using, cleaned out a ton of temp files, booted and started fresh with your advice.

I no longer have a problem. A fresh copy of alternatiff did the trick. I use FF as a default because I like a lot of the features and add-ons. For example it's practical for me to download (using an add-on) a 150 meg file........I have dial-up.

I do use IE 8 when needed and I don't hate it. Long ago, I switched to Netscape and just kept going in that direction.

Thanks again for all the help. I would be lost without you folks. At my age lost is not good.

Roger
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02-Jul-2011, 01:15 PM #11
Glad you got it figured out. My method for FF would have done the same thing by a different method.

If you like FF, then you may actually want to take a look at the Aspator plugin I listed in post #8. It said something about being able to view the entire patent on one page or something which would mean something to you, but nothing to me. In any case, it is supposed to make things "easier".

Quicktime pops up in the strangest places. As you now know, it had nothing whatever to do with this situation, and once you got it out of the picture, things went better.

Have a good day.

(PS. I was going to suggest Netscape as a last resort. It has been discontinued, of course, but I recently installed a version of it for old-time's sake and it worked just fine.)

Last edited by Elvandil; 02-Jul-2011 at 07:01 PM..
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Very Old Guy   (Roger) Very Old Guy is offline
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02-Jul-2011, 11:26 PM #12
I have used many FF plug ins. The downside is that often when FF upgrades, a lot of the plug ins no longer work. I took a good look at the Aspator plugin. It looks great. I never thought to look for a FF plug in that could help. I learned quite a bit once again.

Thanks again

Roger
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03-Jul-2011, 03:46 PM #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Very Old Guy View Post
I have used many FF plug ins. The downside is that often when FF upgrades, a lot of the plug ins no longer work. I took a good look at the Aspator plugin. It looks great. I never thought to look for a FF plug in that could help. I learned quite a bit once again.

Thanks again

Roger
Yes, I understand the frustration of many plugins not being compatible with new versions. You might consider doing what I did and turn off the automatic update for FF and its plugins. The updates seem interminable, they almost always address obscure security issues that no one has ever used to exploit a machine (and will be less likely to try after others have updated - it is kind of like the way that you are protected from a disease if those around you are immunized even if you yourself are not). If you have a good-running version of FF and plugins, just stick with it and only update once a year or so. I'm sure that you will save a lot of time and frustration that way.

FF is so filled with security holes that even if they keep releasing patched updates every 2 weeks or so, a they have been doing, they will never be able to patch all of them. And the fact that you are on dial-up also means that your chances of being a target are much smaller. Hackers need access, and broadband connections that are "always on" are a far more attractive target to them than you are.

Last edited by Elvandil; 03-Jul-2011 at 03:51 PM..
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