(mis)adventures in software development...

07 November 2011    Linux

Enable Apache userdir

If I’m using a Linux box as a development machine, I usually like to have Apache installed with userdir enabled, even if I’m not necessarily doing web-development, just in case I need to play with something webby/internety.

Enabling the userdir module on Unbuntu and its derivatives is usually something like:

sudo a2enmod userdir

If required, further tweaking of userdir configuration can be done by editing:


Then restart apache:

sudo /etc/init.d …


03 November 2011    Linux

Make Firefox open new tabs at far right

Looks like I’m gonna have to do this every time I do a fresh Linux install — configure Firefox to open links in new tabs with the new tab positioned at the far right. The way I like it.

Type the following into the address bar:


If a warning shows up, promise to be careful.

The option that needs to be configued is:


Easiest way to find it is enter it into the search box …


10 October 2011    Unix

Batch rename of filenames to lowercase

I must have done something terrible in a past life, for as part of my day job I have to maintain software written in Visual Basic. Version 6. Yes, version 6. And it’s 2011. I’ve checked my watch. Twice.

The Visual Basic abomonation is only a small part of a much larger Unix-based client-server system — the VB applications are the GUI front end. It’s interesting that even when doing Windows development, remarkably often I find the need …


04 September 2011    Technology

Cold And Grumpy: Why hast thou failed me my modern mod cons?

It seems to happen in threes. All of a sudden my digital TV reception has gone to hell. Being without TV I might consider a minor annoyance, in a world of online streaming of TV shows (and *cough* BitTorrent *cough*). But my ADSL is constantly dropping out too. And my central heating just broke down. So I am without both TV and internet. And I’m cold. Needless to say I’m fucking grumpy.

The ADSL I’ve been having …


30 August 2011    Programming

JasperReports Font Foibles

One moment I’m thinking JasperReports is great, it’s exactly what I need, it’s making things so easy and my job/life/world is all the better for it. The next moment I find I’ve overlooked/forgotten/misunderstood some arcane aspect of it and everything degenerates into a horrible, broken, useless mess, and I’m thinking why am I bothering with all this when it just seems to be an exercise in endless frustration and misery? Kind …


17 August 2011    Unix

Generating ssh keys

To set up ssh to allow logins without having to type a password, first generate keys on the local machine:

ssh-keygen -t rsa

Copy (securely) the freshly generated public key (id_rsa.pub) to the remote machine.

Append the contents of id_rsa.pub to the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file in the home directory on the remote machine.

Finally, if necessary:

chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

The above procedure will also stop SVN from constantly pestering for a password when checking out a repository …


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