~ one ~


Turn off your email; turn off your phone; disconnect from the Internet; figure out a way to set limits so you can concentrate when you need to, and disengage when you need to. Technology is a good servant but a bad master.

- Gretchen Rubin

We're still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution.

- Scott Cook

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by! This is just another little leaf floating on the very big lake of the interwebs, mostly dedicated to techie rambling :)

category: welcome
by leaf
on 03.03.2016 at 13:24:00
90 words

latest posts

software MX16 had a big batch of system updates recently after being quiet for some time. The next day I had all sorts of weird errors. Not sure if it had anything to do with the updates, as I had also been futzing about trying to install MX17 on a flash drive and messing with GRUB etc at the same time.

[Aside: As I think I've mentioned before, each succeeding version of MX Linux has been much better than the previous one. I've really been extremely impressed with this OS. MX15 was unusable for me for a few reasons. MX 16 worked well enough for me to use it as my primary. And MX 17 has been practically flawless - I enjoy it so much it's ridiculous!!! :)]

Anyway the computer was having difficulty shutting down and complaining about horrifying things like segfaults and mysqld refusing to stop. And swap not deactivating properly, which happens a lot. I think I borked the original partitioning and installation for this PC (MX 16) so its been weird ever since. Probably doesn't help that it has to share space with Windows, which keeps trying to take over and reset the BIOS to boot to Windows All The Time whenever I have to use it (fortunately not very often).

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by leaf
on 04.17.2018 at 12:54:27
898 words
gaming All this time I've been using native Steam on Linux and playing only those games which Steam supports on Linux.

Last week, however, I bought some games which were on sale but were Windoze only. I don't really like to support devs who don't support Linux, but once in a (loooong) while I make an exception. In this case I actually made the exception for the sake of a test. I was curious to see how well Steam would work on Wine, and if I could play windoze games that way. I figured it was a good opportunity to test this since the games were on massive sale (and I mean like pennies).

All in all I'm really impressed with how far things have come. Installing Steam on PlayonLinux was incredibly easy, since it's one of the built-in pre-configured options. Just pick it out of the list and go. It gave an error message and said that PlayonLinux had crashed towards the end of the installation, but it didn't seem to matter. By that point the Steam app was already up and running and downloading updates for itself. After it was done I logged in and installed the new windoze games and played for a while.

It was a little bit laggy, not that noticeable but definitely not as fast or smooth as if I were playing in the native version, but overall I was quite pleased. It's best I think if used with undemanding games, unless you have a high end computer.

category: gaming , wine , software
by leaf
on 04.01.2018 at 16:11:30
255 words
updates Okay, so I got tired of the dark skin, I knew it wouldn't take long :)

Switching back over to my bright 'n' cheery daytime skin now. The bonus is, it's much easier to read! :)

As for the Nucleus issues, things are actually relatively stable at the moment so long as I stick to my current combination of plugins and script versions. As discovered, NP Random 1.4 and Access Control v.1.5 seem to work relatively well for Nucleus v3.70.

On Nucleus development version 3.80 (a recent March download copy, which I think is already slightly out of date now, but it works well enough for my needs at present!), NP Random 1.4 and Access Control v1.42 work ok.

On v.3.70, the normal internal Nucleus blog backup function doesn't work for me (might be specific to my webhost, not sure), but NP Blog IE seems to work ok for exporting just items, and I find that mysql backups from phpmyadmin or cpanel usually work best for me if I really need to restore something, anyway, so I'm just doing my backups that way for now.

On v3.80dev, both the normal internal blog backup function and NP Blog IE seem to be working fine with no problems.

So I'm taking a little break on the troubleshooting for now, until I get around to updating the version I'm using for this blog, which is a little outdated. That will probably break something, but hopefully it won't be too difficult to fix! :)

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category: updates
by leaf
on 03.21.2018 at 15:31:42
501 words
software I was looking for a GUI program that would decode base64 text files - you know, like the kind you get from old lost emails and sometimes it's a pain to figure out how to convert or import the formats to your current email program's format, etc.

Well, I just found the program of my dreams! It works really well and very smoothly, and does exactly what I was looking for. The program is called xdeview, and it can be installed directly from Synaptic (assuming it's in your repository, which I don't see why it wouldn't be).

Once installed you just run it, and the interface is pretty clear and self-explanatory. I didn't need all the extra bells and whistles (lots of options available). Basically just load the file you want to decode, give it an output folder, hit the decode button, and voila! The file is decoded and saved into the output folder ready for your viewing. Superfast, too! :)

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category: software , tips , reviews
by leaf
on 03.20.2018 at 16:11:49
166 words
tips So here's one way to do randomizing category icons. It involves a fair amount of work, but the result is nice :)

Note that I will use square brackets in all the code references below, as Nucleus may otherwise interpret the code as actual commands and you'll never get to see the actual code :)
If you try this trick, just replace the square brackets with angle brackets below.

1) Install NP Random and configure it appropriately.

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category: tips , coding
by leaf
on 03.14.2018 at 19:21:38
618 words
troubleshooting Hurray! The Nucleus devs fixed NP Random today. I tried it several test blogs running different versions of Nucleus (all on php 7) and they all work fine.

I can now use my random category icons again too, which is nice, as I much prefer how NP Random works to the drop-in randomizer PHP script I was having to use as a workaround. It doesn't seem to cause as much server load for some reason. Better caching? No clue, but I'm just happy to have my NP Random back again - a zillion thanks to the indefatigable devs! :)

I'll make a separate post about how to randomize category icons. It's a little cumbersome but the effect is nice after all the work is done :)

tags: , ,
category: troubleshooting , tips
by leaf
on 03.14.2018 at 18:55:35
129 words
reviews I downloaded the latest version of Nucleus v3.80dev today and made a new installation on a test blog, just for fun.

I had done something similar previously on localhost and it worked out very well, so I'm guessing a lot of the issues I have had to fix may at least partly just be due to the messiness of upgrades.

Maybe the best solution for anyone trying to move from 3.70 to 3.80 might just be to do a complete clean new installation of 3.80 (haha, just like a linux OS) instead of an upgrade.

Then use NP BlogIE to export only the items from the previous blog, and import them to the new clean install.

Then import the skins and templates and install the plugins manually after that.

It sounds like a pain but actually this is usually a pretty fast process on Nucleus, because the control panel makes exporting and importing so easy.
You can also just do it with phpmyadmin, which comes to the same thing.
[3.70 on php7 dies when I try to use the in-house control panel backup, so I use cpanel or phpmyadmin or blogIE to do the exporting/backing up.
In 3.80dev the in-house backup works fine as far as I can tell. That is, a file is at least created and downloadable - I haven't yet tried to restore from it! :)]

Anyway, it worked very well, especially since I had already gone through so much troubleshooting, I was able to anticipate and fix various things in advance before I ran into those problems again. So I disabled ModSecurity ahead of time, and used older versions of NP Access Control, etc.Everything went swimmingly.

The only thing I couldn't get to work was NP Random, which was a pity because I was using it to display random category icons. There is another plugin called NP RandomImg but it's not suitable for my purposes, and NP RandomQuote could not be used for this particular purpose - it turned out to be a bit buggy, as the original page claimed that you could use different quote files, but when I tried it I found that it was just randomly yanking any old file from the quotes folder instead of whatever I had specified! Also the display was off - something to do with how it meshed with my styles, I think.

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by leaf
on 03.13.2018 at 22:42:42
910 words
updates Hadn't actually planned to have a contact form for this website, originally. Put one up just for the fun of the exercise more than anything. Then I realized that it was such a simple form it would probably get spammed to death once the site gets found by spammers, so I decided to add captcha verification to the form. Didn't want to have to go through the bother of signing up for ReCaptcha and all that, so I'm using a different thing.

It can be a bit difficult to make out the characters in this captcha plugin, but I don't want to remove the extra noise yet. We'll see how it works out. It's a very forgiving form though, I mean you can reload the page any number of times and try again, quite quickly, so if you don't guess it correctly immediately just try again.

It's not any worse than Google's "I am not a robot" tiles, after all - I always fail those repeatedly :) (Am I the only one? I find them extremely imprecise. They say roads, or store signs, or whatever, and then they show you very unclear pix that look like they seem to have a tiny bit of road in the corner.

Or they say store signs and then apparently there is some arbitrary Google rule why some signs qualify as store signs and some don't. Or road signs ditto.

So I always click on anything that looks remotely like the target item just to be on the safe side, and it probably dooms me to being identified as a robot :)

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category: updates , coding , software
by leaf
on 03.12.2018 at 16:21:53
275 words
coding Haha. I'm quite excited. Just made my first Github repository. Actually there's nothing there other than a readme pointing to the download page here :) but I've been wanting to play with Github for ages and just never got around to it, so this was a good excuse to try it out. So far the web interface at least seems fairly straightforward and self-explanatory.

I haven't used the command line much, only for cloning other people's repositories to play with on local server in the past, and I don't suppose I'll ever really need to for my own stuff. But eventually I do want to play with that too, just for the fun of it.

At some point I may actually upload files there, but I don't really see a reason for it just yet, since the stuff I'm hosting here is all tiny, and my wonderful webhost just made all their plans "unlimited bandwidth" recently :)

Not sure that was a good idea, it seems like an invitation to abuse - I'm sure some people immediately saw that and thought, w00t, let's host some pr0n! LOL :) - but I'm grateful anyway, since it means I can work on my sites and do endless reloads and host little files for download and won't have to worry about accidentally exceeding bandwidth anymore. Though really I don't know why I would ever need to worry about that since my sites use so little bandwidth! Maybe I should put some videos up, heh :)

(Honestly I don't know how they do it. My web hosts, I mean. A buck a month, unlimited bandwidth, and a huge number of cPanel accounts? The trade-off is probably tech support. I try not to bother them since it's such a good deal. They have a huge knowledge base which has actually helped me to solve several issues already. But they have actually responded really quickly the few times I have opened a ticket!!!) (Yes, I signed up for an affiliate link but really I just do that for the fun of it with every host. I don't think I've ever received any payouts from any host yet to-date! Though that may be because I almost never actually PUT those affiliate links out anywhere - I think this may be a first, actually! *lol* :)

I don't know what topic to save this post under, so I'll just pick something generic :)

tags: , ,
category: coding , reviews
by leaf
on 03.12.2018 at 13:16:35
405 words
troubleshooting This blog is running on 3.70 at the moment. I actually want to update to Nucleus v3.71, the current latest "stable" release version on github, but I don't know if I may put it off for a while. I have been tinkering with the setup on this webhost non-stop for the last week or so, and I have gone through so many uninstalls, reinstalls, upgrades and downgrades that my head is spinning :) I should probably take a short break before I go at this again, and just enjoy a blog that's Mostly Working Properly for now, but that ongoing issue with not being able to edit templates is bugging me, no pun intended! :)

Did I mention that? I've been going on so much about plugins that I haven't actually had time to really examine the template issue.

At present there are only two things that I've noticed which still aren't working properly on 3.70.

1) System info doesn't display properly. (This may be because I'm running on php 7 and the devs have already said 3.70 doesn't actually support php 7, so this is the other reason to switch to 3.80)

2) When I try to edit a template, I get this error message:

You don't have permission to access /nucleus/index.php on this server.
Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

This is an odd one. I've never had such an error message before, and I've used Nucleus on a zillion different servers/webhosts.
I'm not sure whether it's because my current webhost has a really weird setup, or if there is really a bug in Nucleus at present, or if I've got a very messed up installation because of having done so many Frankensteiny upgrades/downgrades/uninstalls/reinstalls etc! (Actually I've never so much trouble getting a Nucleus blog to work smoothly before. Normally it's really fast and a simple smooth setup/restore curve. I can't decide whether it's just this webhost, as I am not having as much or any trouble with other servers than this host.)

For all I know it might even be a plugin causing this, or some completely unrelated thing ... (!?)

Ignoring the 403 Error Document issue, which I don't really care about, the perms thing is weird. I've never known nucleus to fail to work on just the usual standard perms before.
Right now I'm testing my browser plugins. For all I know my referrer blocker is the problem!

[Update: Nope, wasn't the referrer blocker. Sigh. :) I should note that this is not a major issue though, as it can be worked around by editing the template in phpmyadmin. But that's obviously not easy, quick or convenient compared to being able to do it properly in Nucleus! :)]

[Update, Mon, 3-12-2018, 1:54:32 PM:
Fixed problem #2 yesterday! Turned out to be ModSecurity. This hosting company apparently enables it by default on all accounts. None of my other hosting companies seem to have it on so that's probably why I've never run into this problem before. It's a nice idea, but a little overzealous. Can't seem to tell the difference between someone just trying to update a site and someone who's hacking. Though that's comforting for people worried about an AI Apocalypse ;) Anyway it was an easy fix - just go into cPanel, look for ModSecurity, and manually disable it for whichever sites you like! :)]

tags: , ,
by leaf
on 03.11.2018 at 19:57:19
565 words
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