Wednesday, May 20, 2009

5 stages of schadenfreude

Yesterday I received a telemarketing type call on my cell phone. Some company in India trying to sell me programming services.

Like you, I hate telemarketing. But this call helped me discover the 5 stages. Here they are:

1. Disbelief (that they called my cell phone)
2. Anger (even my cell phone is not safe anymore?)
3. Sense of belonging (hmm... this is my biggest competitor)
4. Curiosity (let me find out what they are up to.)
5. Joy (they are desparate, disoriented, and downright unprofessional)

I am a little bit ashamed of myself for feeling this way. Still woohoo !

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wordpress 2.7 Ubuntu Permalink Problem

This short note goes out to he or she who has done everything under the sun to make pretty URLs work on WordPress --and still failed.

Here are my assumptions:

1. You are running an Ubuntu server (anything at or after 8.10)
2. You are running WordPress 2.7+
3. Your basic install is working. Only pretty URLs are not working.
4. You have tried everything under the sun. Still no results.
5. You have deleted and recreated your .htaccess at least three times. No results.
6. This is not the first blog entry you are reading. (If it is, please try others first.)

Is your server reading the files?
Make sure that your server is reading the .htaccess files. A good way to test this is to put some garbage in the .htaccess file and read the server log (usually error.log) If your server is reading .htaccess file, then you will definitely see a mention in the error log that there was a syntax problem in the .htaccess file. This trick comes straight from the online apache manual.

My guess is that even after you put some garbage lines in the htaccess file, the errors are still the same for same pages. In other words, the types and description of errors have not changed after changing the htaccess file. If this is true, then you can be sure that Apache is not reading your .htaccess files. Our goal is to make apache read it.

If you are using a standard apache2 install on Ubuntu, just make sure of two things.

First: Check your AllowOverride
Make sure that AllowOverride All is setup correctly for your document root directory. If you are setting up a virtual server, this directive will go in one of the config files under your sites-enabled/ directory. Just put the following inside the Virtual Server block:

Directory />
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All

After adding this block, restart your server and try the wordpress pages. If .htaccess is still not being read, then you need to follow just more step.

Second: Check your mod_rewrite
Under /etc/apache2/mods-enabled, you are missing rewrite.conf. Stay within this directory and enable mod_rewrite like this:

sudo ln -s ../mods-available/rewrite.load ./rewrite.conf

Restart the server and you are all set. If it still doesn't work, try deleting the .htaccess one last time and try restarting your browser just to make sure you are not caching old pages.

Let me know if that works for you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Quickbooks Online on MAC OS - Finally

Now that QBOE is available on the MAC, I guess I won't be needing VMWARE fusion and a copy of Vista on my MAC anymore.

Well I'll still need the Windows infrastructure for one more program, but I won't be needing it as often and not everywhere.

QBOE does not support firefox on the Mac. I had to use Safari. But the interface was nice and I was able to do everything I needed to do.

Two years ago I dropped 370 dollars into a copy of Vista Ultimate, which I haven't even installed on my wife's laptop. She deserves a mac now.