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Your Bookmarks are auto-backed up in SeaMonkey! (and maybe FireFox?)

I started the stock SeaMonkey browser by mistake as my Unity icons disappeared (i.e. seamonkey as is on my command line started /usr/bin/seamonkey which is not the correct version!) This had several bad side effects. For of all, it destroyed my bookmarks (argh!) and then it decided to install the 64bit Flash plugin. That did not work well since the version I like is a 32bit version.

Once I had the correct version started again, each time it was trying to open a Flash animation, it would be "stuck" for a few minutes, until I tried to open a page with a movie in a Flash shell. That ...

Getting Ubuntu to playback DVDs

In order to playback a DVD you need to make use of commercial encryptions (also called codecs.) Actually Ubuntu calls them "non-free". The reality is these are patented and protected so people cannot just ripoff a DVD. Which is not true at all since pretty much any computer can play DVDs and thus can copy all the data. Anyway, because Ubuntu is by default for free software, it doesn't include all the necessary DVD stuff. This being said, they provide 100% of all the necessary code, pre-compiled and all you have to do is install it all with apt-get as follow.

(You must be root to ...

Distributed compilation with Linux C++

I really want to try that feature! I have been using Incredibuild on MS-Windows and it can make a software compile 5 to 6 times faster. (i.e a software normally compiling in 1h compiles in 10 minutes!)

Under Linux some people worked on the C compiler front end to move the process to other machines as required. This is called distcc (i.e instead of using cc to compile, now you use distcc). This front end has a list of all the C compiler machines and uses them whenever possible.)

From what I can see on the front page, the setup should be a breeze (yeah... I know) and it does not even require ...

One computer, multiple users (Multiseat with X11)

I have been wondering about setting up one of my computers for 2 or 3 users with 3 mice, 3 keyboards and 3 monitors.

This apparently may require 3 video boards with Ubuntu. That could be a problem with AGP, but PCI Express may work fine with that. Only problem, in most cases boards only have 2 slots these days...

Anyway, if I ever try to do that, I'll put the info here on how I got it to work... for now, you'll want to look at this page on Ubuntu:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MultiseatX

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MultiseatTeam/Status

...

Check the presence of a table in a MS-Access database

Today I wanted to check whether a table existed in a MS-Access database from a macro define in a MS-Access module.

The test opens the specified database (databaseName) and from that object checks wether a table definition exists (name). I wonder whether there would be a better way to go through the list of items and just know whether an item with that name exists or not instead of generating an error (because the underlaying system will anyway search that list of items for the name, although it may be faster this way in visual basic.)

There is the function I wrote (sample usage: if ...

Multi-level lists in MS-Word... The new way!?

Okay, it has been a little while now, but each time I just have to search forever to find out how to create a multi-level numbering list.

By default, a list will appear as this:

1. Chapter

    1. Section

        1. Sub-Section

Which may work for you, but in many cases you want to have all the list numbers appearing in your section and sub-sections as in:

1. Chapter

    1.1 Section

        1.1.1 Sub-Section

Okay, so that in itself it actually very easy, but it used to be that you could ...

Drupal blocks all disappeared!

Today I had an interesting experience... all of a sudden, all the blocks of a given theme disappeared.

It has been working just fine for months, so I really wasn't sure what the heck it could be.

The fact was that the theme was called the same as the module (as I work for a given client, I tend to do that...)

At some point, I must have added a function with a specific name and that would influence the theme. The result being blocks going bye bye!

I checked and the block content is computed just fine, the problem is the theme('block', $block) call. Although the ...

get_defined_vars() PHP function

Once in a while, I need to get the complete list of all the variables available in a PHP piece of code.

This is done with the get_defined_vars() PHP function. It's very simple, it returns an array of name / value pairs. You can then print that value using print_r() or var_dump().

That's it!

Updating your Drupal website from FCKeditor to CKEditor

As FCKeditor becomes old and the new CKEditor is started to get there, I'm updating more and more websites to make use of the newer version of CKEditor. This requires a few steps to make sure you don't lose the previous functionality.

Permissions

The update does not transfer the FCKeditor permissions to the CKEditor. This is because by the time you install the new CKEditor, the FCKeditor should already be uninstalled. In other words, those permissions are gone already. Plus, the scheme is slightly different in the new editor.

Roles

The list of roles who are assigned one ...

MS-Access hangs when setting a recordset

Today I experienced a hard lock-up with MS-Access as I was in a form typing a new query.

The new query data is checked first, if valid, then the query is processed and ends in a SELECT SQL order which I save in the Form with a simple OpenRecordset call as in:

sql = "SELECT stuff FROM thing WHERE foo LIKE 'begin*'"
Set CUSTOMER_LIST.Form.Recordset = CurrentDb.OpenRecordset(sql)

That used to work just fine in older versions of MS-Access, but we now use MS-Access 2007.

The hanging happens on the 2nd line, when the Set occurs. Note that it generally happens the second

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