Tag Archives: Open Source
March 4, 2010

Ubuntu Gets A Visual MakeOver

Ubuntu, which is one of the more popular Linux distributions these days, has unveiled a completely new look.

It's got a new logo:
blackeubuntulogoAnd a whole new range of styles for just about every other visual asset associated with the brand, both online and on the users' desktops.

The new look is very slick compared to the "old" image of Linux distributions as being ugly, yet functional

Full details here

Thanks to Laura for mentioning it earlier this evening

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October 5, 2009

SEO Tweaks For JobberBase

Paul from Blackdog was chatting to me earlier today about Jobberbase, so I naturally asked him if he'd managed to hack around its rather annoying "200 status" issue on "pages not found" ie. ones that should return a HTTP response of "404".

I've been using the software for the last few months on two free job sites that I setup - freelancejobs.ie and technicaljobs.ie.

Not only did he share the information with me, but he's made it available to the public here - cool!

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January 12, 2009

MSN Messenger Broken on Adium and Pidgin

If, like me, you don't use Windows, then you probably rely on Adium or Pidgin for instant messaging.

As of this morning neither Adium or Pidgin has not been able to connect to the MSN messenger servers for instant messaging.

If you're on a Mac you can install the Microsoft Messenger for Mac software or you can downgrade Adium to an older version.

The Pidgin developers are aware of the issue and are promising to release a fix, though when remains to be seen

For more in depth technical details check out the post on the Adium blog

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January 7, 2009

A Bit of SQL For Jobberbase Open Source Job Board

JobberBase is an open source job board application written in php / mysql.

It's pretty powerful and is open source, so I've decided to use it for one of my many sideline projects that I promised myself to get off the ground this year.

Unfortunately there wasn't any SQL for the counties of Ireland, so I did up a simple one last night.

You can grab it here

Thanks to Paul from BlackDog for recommending the script!

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August 18, 2008

Fixing Firefox 3’s Annoying Autocomplete

Mozilla Firefox Icon

Image via Wikipedia

When I was playing around with Firefox 3 several months ago one of the biggest annoyances for me was the "autocomplete".

As you type a URL Firefox suggests links from your browser history.

While that might be useful the way they've implemented it is incredibly obtrusive and, therefore, really really annoying.

As I mentioned previously I couldn't upgrade to Firefox 3 as my main browser for a number of silly reasons. Since then those issues have been resolved, so I've started using FF3 on my home desktop.

So what about the annoying auto-complete?

Well it's easy enough to disable if you know how.

Luckily somebody out there did!

Like so many Firefox settings it can be configured via the advanced configuration menu, which now comes with a health warning!

In your location (address) bar simply type "about:config" (no quotes).
The variable / setting you need to change is found under:


I've set mine to "1", as I really don't need more. I can always change it later if I really want to.

Restart Firefox and finally sanity is restored!

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August 11, 2008

Atmail Open – Slick Open Source Webmail

Over the past few years I've used several of the open source webmail solutions to access my mail when I've been on the move. Squirrelmail, for example, is quite functional, but the size of my personal mailbox has grown so big that it took forever for it to load.

A few months ago the Atmail team announced an open source version of their webmail solution. I was interested in trying it out, but I was expecting the install process to be awkward and complex.

It wasn't

A couple of minutes after downloading the software I had a fully functional webmail client up and running and it's able to handle my mailbox without any issues.

The open source version of Atmail is a lot faster than Squirrelmail ever was and has some pretty slick features. You can right click on a message to delete it, or mark it as read / unread. Of course if you just want to delete the mail you can do so, but dragging it into the "trash" is kind of fun too!

The only thing that it seems to be missing, based on playing with atmail for a few minutes, is a method of selecting multiple emails to delete at once.

It's the kind of software that I can see people making use of if they want a functional webmail client and are sick of some of the uglier alternatives.

What are the differences between the open source version and the commercial one?

For most people the differences probably won't make much difference, as they're more for larger organisations and businesses that want to integrate with other systems, but you can see a full comparison chart on the site.

I've always been a strong believer of using the products and services that we sell, so it's only apt that I'd start using Atmail now, as we've just rolled out the full commercial version as part of our new hosting solution. Though I think our clients are getting a lot more features than I am!

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July 31, 2008

Linux Is Bad For Your Health

Whoever is behind XKCD is a genius.

Today's gem is pure geek, but linux zealots will appreciate it (click to enlarge):


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April 28, 2008

Ubuntu Upgrade – Relatively Painless


I upgraded my home desktop's Ubuntu install earlier today.

It was a relatively painless exercise, though I was trying to do it unattended, which naturally enough didn't work due to a few custom configs I had.

I'm used to Ubuntu upgrades wreaking havoc on my graphics settings, but this time everything seems to be working as before.

It's interesting to see that the Ubuntu developers opted for the beta release of Firefox rather than a stable one.

Of course I've only had the new install up and running for a couple of hours so far, so there maybe issues and new features that I haven't spotted yet. No news is good news!

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March 15, 2008

Configuring Multiple Services on Port 80

Until yesterday evening I had never had any reason to configure multiple services on the same port, so I'd never had any reason to delve into the configuration changes to make this happen.

In order to get this working you have to have more than one IP address available.

In my case I have 3 assigned to the server in question. The main IP is used for serving most of the sites, while I had one assigned to it for running a particular service.

Up until now Apache was happily listening on all IP addresses / interfaces so the Apache configuration directives were quite simple. Simple is always best, so long as it works. The more complicated you make it the more likely you are to run into issues.

In the original Apache config I was using virtual hosts that relied more on DNS than apache to decide what was being served:

<VirtualHost *:80>

The "*" means that it is listening on all IP addresses / interfaces for connections.

Moving a service to a specific IP means that the configuration has to be changed to avoid conflicts, so all the Apache VirtualHosts need to be told which IP to use:
<VirtualHost xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:80>
where you replace the "xxx" with the IP you are using.

In my innocence I presumed that this would fix everything up, but I hadn't counted on one small but important thing. Apache was configured at a higher level to listen to ALL Ips and interfaces.
The Listen directive is now required, as I'm using the latest available version of Apache for my OS:

The Listen directive instructs Apache to listen to only specific IP addresses or ports; by default it responds to requests on all IP interfaces. Listen  is now a required directive. If it is not in the config file, the server will fail to start. This is a change from previous versions of Apache.

The Listen directive tells the server to accept incoming requests on the specified port or address-and-port combination. If only a port number is specified, the server listens to the given port on all interfaces. If an IP address is given as well as a port, the server will listen on the given port and interface.

Multiple Listen directives may be used to specify a number of addresses and ports to listen to. The server will respond to requests from any of the listed addresses and ports.

On Ubuntu (and probably Debian, though I can only guess) Apache's configuration files are split up into manageable chunks which reside in /etc/apache2
The one which dictates which ports to use and which IPs those ports are assigned to is aptly named ports.conf
The default setting is:

Listen 80

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
    Listen 443

As no IP address is specified the server will listen to any available.

To force it to only use a couple of your IPs you need to explicitly tell it which ones to use:

Listen xx.xx.xxx.xxx:80
Listen xx.xx.xxx.xxx:80

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
    Listen 443

You can add IPv4 or IPv6 addresses in with ease.

With that final change made I was able to get both servers up and running on the same machine using the same port, but different IPs.

Now if only I could get the service to work the way I wanted it to I'd be happy

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February 16, 2008

EVMS Bit My Ubuntu Upgrade!

I knew that upgrading Ubuntu had been far too easy.

There had to be a "gotcha" and of course there was.

EVMS (Enterprise Volume Management System) is no longer supported as part of the core Ubuntu distribution, but as a couple of my servers were running very old versions of Ubuntu apt did its job all too well and upgraded it for me.

End result - Siracusa, where several of my busier sites live, was very very unhappy and fell over a couple of times. Niall had a look at it for me and thought it was a hardware related issue, which was understandable. Udevd was eating CPU and the load post-reboot was over 10, which, for a relatively quiet machine, is a littled nuts!

A bit of searching this morning led to this post, where someone else had had a similar issue with a laptop. That led me to this page on the Ubuntu wiki. The package has been removed and that page outlines in detail the kind of issues that the software causes. And it fits more or less exactly with the errors in siracusa's logs!

Running a simple:
apt-get remove evms

seems to have resolved the issue - I hope!

I also cleaned up the configurations following Niall's tip:
dpkg --purge `dpkg --get-selections | grep deinstall | cut -f1`

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