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How to Take Wikipedia Offline So You Can Keep Using It During Tomorrow’s Anti-SOPA Blackout

Desktop Solution Browser Extension iPhone and Android Options Disable JavaScript

As you may know, Wikipedia and several other sites, including Reddit and BoingBoing, are protesting SOPA with a scheduled blackout on January 18th. If you rely on the online encyclopedia for work or study and can’t bear to be without it for even a day, don’t worry. Several great tools can give you access to that massive information resource even when it goes dark on Wednesday.

Whether you need to access Wikipedia from your desktop, browser, or phone, these offline Wikipedia solutions will help you make due while Wikipedia fights the good fight.

Desktop Solution: Kiwix (Windows/Mac OS X/Linux)
Open-source tool Kiwix is an offline reader specially intended for making Wikipedia available offline. It utilizes a ZIM file format, a highly compressed open format that has additional meta data. As The Next Web notes, Kiwix is a project supported by Wikipedia itself. To use Kiwix, you also need to download a copy of Wikipedia to your computer.

Browser Extension: Offline Wiki (Chrome)
Offline Wiki, as the name suggests, is an offline Wikipedia reader. It downloads and saves a compressed dump file and an index of Wikipedia so you can access nearly all of the content locally, from the comfort of Chrome. There are two versions: a 14MB small and a 1GB larger one.

iPhone and Android Options
Wiki Offline (iOS): Wiki Offline brings the full text of all Wikipedia articles stored to the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It’s priced at $4.99 (currently 50% off).
WikiDroyd (Android): WikiDroyd is a free offline Wikipedia reader. You can download as many encyclopedias as you like, bookmark favorite entries, search, and more.

Disable JavaScript
If you don’t want to download or install anything, a simple browser settings tweak might get you around the SOPA blockade. TorrentFreaksays that because Wikipedia’s blackout implementation uses JavaScript, all you need to do is turn off JavaScript support:

  • In Chrome: Go to Preferences > Under the Hood. Then click the “Content Settings…” button in the Privacy section. You could either turn off JavaScript completely by selecting “Do not allow any site to run JavaScript” or to turn off JavaScript just for Wikipedia, click the “Manage Exceptions…” button and in the hostname pattern field add *wikipedia.org, then select Block
  • In Firefox: Go to Preferences > Content and uncheck “Enable JavaScript”
  • In Safari: Go to Preferences > Security and uncheck “Enable JavaScript”
  • In Opera: Go to File > Quick Preferences > Enable JavaScript to untick it
  • In IE: Go to Tools > Internet Options > Security. Select Internet and then the Custom level and under the Scripting section, disable “Active scripting”

For what it’s worth, this trick may also work for other sites that have a JavaScript-based SOPA blackout implementation.

Originally published by the LifeHacker. Read the original story here.