jacob's blog

Thin gray line in Drupal output

Sometimes when using empty table cells and images in a Drupal website, a thin gray line can appear above and below the images, or on the top and bottom of the table cells.

I finally figured out what caused this today. In the system file defaults.css, there is the following declaration:

table {
border-collapse: collapse;

This tells the browser to create one border for two adjacent table cells that have borders. If you add the same declaration to your theme's style sheet, except using the value 'separate' the gray lines should disappear.


What makes a professional website?

Admittedly, my job can be very frustrating sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do and am thankful I have the rare opportunity to get paid for something I love to do. But sometimes, only sometimes, people don't want to listen to a professional, or they are listening too much to someone who is not a professional.

Linux tip: Managing users

Managing users is easily done via the command line in Linux. For example, to get a list of users currently logged on, you can use the who or w command.

jsteel@jsteel-desktop:~$ w
17:08:34 up 10 min, 1 user, load average: 0.44, 0.63, 0.46
jsteel :0 - 16:58 ?xdm? 60.26s 0.04s /bin/sh /usr/bi

jsteel@jsteel-desktop:~$ who
jsteel :0 2008-02-24 16:58

Mount netware share in Linux using ncpmount

I had some problems with the "server not found" error and login doesn't exist error. I finally got this to work by using:

$ ncpmount -S SERVER -A server.fqdn.edu -U user.ou.ou.tree mnt/point

I had to use the -A option which had the fully qualified domain name of the server (an IP address might work) as well as my fully qualified username complete with ous and the tree.

Linux tip: get number of files in a directory

Just a quick post. To get the number of files in a directory under linux, use the following command:

$ ls -l | wc -l

This will output the number of files in the present working directory which can be output by using the command 'pwd'.

Automatix for Ubuntu

Automatix is an automated installation program that offers many installations that are either unavailable in Ubuntu (for legal reasons or otherwise), or difficult. Automatix includes many installs such as Acrobat reader, Wine, Crossover, which allows the installation of Windows programs like Office and PhotoShop, pesky proprietary codecs, libcss2 for decrypting DVDs and much more. These are all installed using a GUI.

Managing processes and long jobs in Linux

If you have a long job using the command line in Linux, here are some tips.

Some jobs, such as compiling a program or using vacuumdb in postgres require a long time. Normally, you cannot use the same command line when running these jobs. If you are using ssh remotely, you're stuck (unless you login again).

Now you can add a space and ampersand at the end of the command and this *should* send this to the background. But I've found this doesn't always work. But even if it does, the following does still apply.

rsync and Ubuntu

Imagine you have a very important disk you want to mirror, or have a copy of. This could be a remote disk, like on a website, or even a directory.

You could copy and paste the files, at least if they are local disks, or use FTP. Problem solved, right?

Now, imagine you have two disks, both of which have data, but you need them to match. This was the problem I ran into with over 100 GB of data. I solved this in ubuntu using rsync.

To install, use apt-get:

$ sudo apt-get install rsync

Secure ftp using Ubuntu

I recently wanted to setup an automated backup system for a company I purchase hosting through (who promptly shut off full backups), and wanted to do so using FTP to my home computer.

The first thing I did was setup vsftpd. This is an FTP daemon that provides the ftp service. After installing the daemon and creating the system account with /bin/false as a shell, I edited /etc/vsftpd.conf. I didn't run it on a non-standard port, although you can for greater security. I did NOT enable anonymous access and neither should anyone else not requiring them.

Web 2.0 security concerns or not

Jeff pointed me to an article, supposedly breaking news, that described a "new" "web 2.0" threat, trojans using XML feeds as command and control, and using social networking sites, or other "web 2.0" sites like MySpace to store stolen information.


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