Running Ubuntu 7.10 in VMWare Player

I wanted to check out the latest Ubuntu release, so I downloaded the following VMWare image:
http://isv-image.ubuntu.com/vmware/Ubuntu-7.10-server-i386.zip

After extracting the 2 files, I opened Ubuntu-7.10-server-i386.vmx in VMWare Player. A dialog appeared asking me if I had moved or copied the image opened, so I selected "I copied it".

After which, I received an "error" saying something like "This CPU is VT-Capable but VT is not enabled ...". It appears that even though the image I downloaded was for an i386 machine, it was defined as a 64-bit machine in the vmx file. After the OS loaded, I logged in (ubuntu/ubuntu) and did a shutdown:

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Clearing VMWare Player Recent Virtual Machines list

The VMWare Player does not include an option to clear the list of "Recent Virtual Machines" (why not?!?!). Since the list of virtual machines that I had opened was growing quite long, I set out to find a way to clear it myself.

After searching in a few places (Windows XP), I came across the file that holds this information. It's called preferences.ini and is located in:
[drive]:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\VMWare

UPDATE: In Windows Vista, the file is located in:
[drive]:\Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\VMWare

At the bottom of the file, you should see entries like (where X is a sequential number):

pref.mruVMX.filename = "..."
pref.mruVMX.displayname = "..."

Just delete/reorder the entries as desired, save, then start VMWare Player to see the changes. VMWare Player will need to be closed before you make the changes, or they will not be saved.

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Shared object error during cPanel Apache build

I was trying to add PHP Zip support on my cPanel server today and when Apache went to restart, it failed with the folowing error:

Cannot load /usr/local/apache/libexec/mod_bwlimited.so into server: /usr/local/apache/libexec/mod_bwlimited.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

After a Google search, I found that I needed to run:

cd /usr/local/cpanel/apache

/usr/local/apache/bin/apxs -iac mod_auth_passthrough.c
/usr/local/apache/bin/apxs -iac mod_bwlimited.c
/usr/local/apache/bin/apxs -iac mod_log_bytes.c

I was able to start Apache afterwards and everything is back to normal...

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SimpleModal v1.0 released

While developing a recent project at work, I had the need to display a modal dialog. I started using jQuery recently and so I started by looking for a jQuery modal dialog plugin.

I did find a couple of existing ones (jqModal and BlockUI), but neither did exactly what I was looking for. So...I decided to take a crack at writing my first jQuery plugin.

It has been a great learning experience and has caused me to become an even bigger fan of jQuery. I've used a few other JavaScript libraries (MooTools, Prototype, etc), but jQuery is something special.

So, if you have a need for a modal dialog...be sure to check out SimpleModal.

View Demo

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Configuring WordPress

I've been playing with configuring WordPress (WP) for this site. After doing some research, I had a plan for how I wanted it to work. Basically, I wanted to use WP to manage my site (like a CMS) as well as for a blog.

After a lot of trial and error, I think I've achieved the effect I was looking for. I installed WordPress in the /blog directory. Copied the index.php and .htaccess file into / and edited index.php:

require('blog/wp-blog-header.php');

In wp-admin, under Options > General, I changed "WordPress address (URL)" to http://www.ericmmartin.com/blog and "Blog address (URL)" to http://www.ericmmartin.com. I then created 2 pages, one called Home and one called Blog. Lastly, under Options > Reading, I set the Front Page option to "A static page (select below)" and Home for the Front page and Blog for the Posts page.

Currently, I've installed the WP-Syntax, Akismet, Add Your Own Headers and Exec-PHP plugins.

The rest is still a work in progress, but so far, I'm happy with WordPress!

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Annoying system beep

Even with the volume turned off, if your PC has a system speaker, it can still emit a loud system beep. I was running some MySQL statements from the command line and every time there was an error...BEEP.

To fix this, I could simply run the MySQL commands with the -b, --no-beep option, which turns off the beep on errors.

But, I'm lazy and don't want to type -b every time I run a MySQL command. Plus, there are other instances where the system beep can be triggered, and I just don't want to hear it! So, I used this solution...and it didn't require a reboot!

In summary:
1. Right-click on My Computer
2. On the Hardware tab, click on [Device Manager]
3. On the "View" menu, select "Show hidden devices"
4. Under "Non-Plug and Play Drivers", right-click "Beep"
5. Click "Disable"
6. Answer [Yes] when asked if you really want to disable it
7. Answer [No] when asked if you want to reboot
8. Right-click "Beep" again.
9. Click "Properties"
10. On the "Driver" tab, set the Startup type to Disabled
11. Click [Stop]
12. Click [OK]
13. Answer [No] when asked if you want to reboot

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Traffic charts for my commute

When I changed jobs, my commute changed from mostly surface streets to mostly highway. I-80 is notoriously congested and I wanted to strategically plan my commute to avoid as much traffic as possible.

I started by watching traffic online and then found Traffic.com, where I could create custom drives and receive alerts, etc. Pretty cool...but I wanted a way to SEE traffic trends, so I designed a way to get data from Traffic.com and to then display that data in a graph.

Traffic.com offers a RSS feed, so my plan was to use data from that feed to generate the graphs. So, I signed up at Traffic.com and created two custom drives; "Home to Work" and "Work to Home". Next I created a database and tables to hold the data:

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PHP Bug – glob(), GLOB_BRACE, and Windows paths

I stumbled upon a PHP framework called Kohana, which is based on CodeIgniter. I've used CI a bit in the past and thought I'd give Kohana a whirl. I downloaded the latest code and tried to run it on a Windows XP machine.

Well, when I brought up the site, I got an error:

Fatal error: Unable to locate the requested file, log.php in <system_path>/system/core/Kohana.php on line 408

After a lot of digging, I found that there was a glob() call that was not behaving correctly. I narrowed it down to what I believe to be a bug in PHP with the glob() function, using the GLOB_BRACE flag, and using a pattern that includes a colon (as in {c:/firstFolderToCheck,c:/secondFolderToCheck}).

Assuming it turns out to be valid, I'm surprised that it hasn't been found/reported before...

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Eric Martin
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