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    Thu, 17 Dec 2009

    /SW/business/Drupal: Comparisons of Drupal and Joomla

    Back some time ago when I was trying to figure out which Content Management System to use for a couple of website development clients, I do not remember seeing any definitive reviews. In the end, I think I made the correct choice (Drupal) for the situation despite the limited amount of information, but I see now that there might be some situations (event calendaring? desire for a simpler admin interface?) where Joomla might be the right choice.

    Here are some references I would like to preserve for posterity:


    posted at: 08:16 | path: /SW/business/Drupal | permanent link to this entry

    Sun, 06 Dec 2009

    /xHW/wirelessCards: 3G Wireless Card for Linux in China

    The Huawei GSM/3G E220[1] wireless USB dongle should be a good bet for those of us living in China, as the manufacturer[2] is local. Looks like this guy[3] is using it successfully....

    This Beijing LUG post[4] reports a card called "3g evdo 天翼 x6" (中国电信天翼x6高速笔记本 3G EVDO 无线上网卡, lsusb: Bus 002 Device 003: ID 19d2:fffe) as working out of the box on a recent kernel, just requiring a China Telecom SIM card.

    Another Beijing LUG post reports a "CECT MF633 Little Pigeon WCDMA China Unicom" card as working.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huawei_E220
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huawei
    [3] http://flosslinuxblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/wifi-gsm-and-bluetooth.html
    [4] http://www.beijinglug.org/en/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=136&func=view&catid=3&id=5734#6030

    posted at: 23:41 | path: /xHW/wirelessCards | permanent link to this entry

    /SW/business/Drupal: Drupal User Manual: How to Edit Content

    This post aims to provide the basic knowledge required to begin editing Drupal content.

    First and most basically, you require an account on the Drupal website you wish to edit. After login, if you click on any menu item to navigate to that page, if you have the privileges to edit that page, you will see an edit (编辑) button or link (this depends on the theme being used) at the top of the page. Click on edit / 编辑, then edit and save the page.

    After you have logged in, if you have been given some admin privileges on the site, you will see an Admin (管理) link in your personal menu under "My account" (我的帐户). Another way to see and edit the pages on the site is to click on "My account" / 我的帐户, and then click on "Content management/Content" (内容管理/内容). You will then be presented with a list of all the content items on the site, which you may then choose to edit individually, or perform various bulk operations on (deleted large quantities of spam posts, for instance).

    To create new content, click on "Create content" (创建内容) and select a content type. For ordinary website page content, you probably want to choose "Page" content. After you click on "Page" and write your content, do not forget to expand the "Menu settings" (菜单设置) and enter a "Menu link title" (菜单链接名称) and select the menu position from the "Parent item" (上级菜单项) dropdown list. (You probably want to select "Primary Links" or one of the items under "Primary Links".)

    Finally, you will probably want to re-arrange the order of the "Primary Links" in the navigation menu at the top of the site. To do this, click on "Admin" --> "Site building/Menus" --> "Primary links" (管理 --> 站点构建/菜单 --> "Primary links"). To change the order or position of menu items, just grab the "+" with your mouse pointer and drag'n'drop. For dropdown menus it is also good practice to click the "Expanded" (展开) checkbox to enable submenus. And finally, click "Save Configuration".

    posted at: 23:17 | path: /SW/business/Drupal | permanent link to this entry

    Tue, 01 Dec 2009

    /Admin/virtualization/virtualBox: Linux Guests in VirtualBox

    I recently had the idea that I might like to have a totally separate environment for Linux software development and other kinds of risky, desktop-breaking behavior, and I also wanted to see what ArchLinux[2] looked like. So I installed both ArchLinux and another instance of Debian, both as VirtualBox virtual machines on my Debian Linux host.

    The Debian install from a net-install CD was an absolute slam dunk, dead easy. The ArchLinux install was a bit problematic as the installer crapped-out several times, forcing multiple restarts, and the 2nd last time my laptop (sitting on a dock where the CD drive is located) over-heated and shutdown on me in mid-install (yet another restart....)

    Then I discovered a very interesting and useful feature of VirtualBox: one can mount the ISO image (a file) of the installation CD, and install from that! Ie. no need to burn the CD, no need for a CD-drive to boot from for the installation. You can download the ISO installer for your desired operating system, and boot right off this downloaded file on your hard drive to install it into a VirtualBox virtual machine. Great for a small laptop without a CD drive! Great for quickly trying out an interesting OS!

    So I got ArchLinux installed as well. So far so good. Though on a tangential note, ArchLinux is even more of a manual, command-line kind of distribution then Debian. ArchLinux is definitely simpler then Debian in some technical ways, but not in ways that would make it easier to learn the ropes for newcomers to Linux. Beginners should start with a different distribution!

    ArchLinux Guest Additions:

    Next issue: getting guest additions working. Debian has a package called virtualbox-guest-additions which I installed on my Debian host OS. And was presented with absolutely zero documentation, no "auto-run" behavior as with a newly-mounted CD on a Windows OS. Nothing changed, even after I mounted the CD ISO installed by the virtualbox-guest-additions package on my ArchLinux guest OS. Finally I stumbled across a site[1] with some good advice. So (on ArchLinux) I mounted the ISO as a virtual CD drive, and ran the installer on the CD manually:

    mount /media/cd
    cd /media/cd

    Note that to get this to work I had to mount the ISO with the "exec" option, otherwise I got an error message that resembled (from memory) this:

    /bin/sh: bad interpreter: permission denied

    This script then went through what looked like quite a long process of building and installing several modules into the ArchLinux kernel. After this process and a reboot, mouse integration sort of works, until something locks up and the virtual machine X-server refuses to answer to the mouse for a while. Switching back and forth between workspaces seems to restore function(?) Full screen also works. Final verdict on this TBD....

    Folder sharing between host and guest OSes also works, thanks to a helpful forum post[3]. In the running ArchLinux virtual machine window I clicked on "Devices" --> "Shared Folders..." and added a Unix path to the Host directory I wanted to share with Guest, as well as a name. The name is what you need on the Guest side. (A reboot may be necessary....) In the guest, the share can then be mounted with

    mount -t vboxsf shareName /path/to/mount/point

    My /etc/fstab entry looks like this:

    virtualBoxShare /media/shared vboxsf defaults 0 1

    where virtualBoxShare is the afore-mentioned share name.

    Debian Guest Additions:

    Debian has a number of other guest addition-related modules that look like they should be installed on a Debian guest:


    I first tried virtualbox-ose-guest-modules-2.6-686. After installation and a reboot, no change. So I removed it and tried the other three (they are interdependent and get installed together). Again, a period of module building. A reboot. And now mouse integration and folder sharing work in my Debian guest (exactly like the preceding experience with ArchLinux) but full screen mode has not yet presented itself. I expect it will with future releases.

    ArchLinux Guest Additions Revisited:

    And after my Debian experience, when I go back to ArchLinux I am seeing that the ArchLinux repositories also have native guest addition modules. I guess I will probably try those out when my current ArchLinux guest additions break, probably on the next kernel upgrade.

    [1] http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/11/25/how-to-install-virtualbox-guest-additions-in-linux-ubuntu-debian-fedora-opensuse-red-hat-and-more/
    [2] http://www.archlinux.org/
    [3] http://vmetc.com/2008/08/06/virtualbox-shared-folders-protocol-error-in-ubuntu-guest/

    posted at: 08:32 | path: /Admin/virtualization/virtualBox | permanent link to this entry