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Month: February 2012

Strange Joomla Bug: Articles Displaying

Joomla 2.5, or any CMS for that matter, is designed to be used by multiple people. True to its intentions, my clan’s website has a few users responsible for creating and editing content.

One of our pages is a category blog that displays all posts in the “Our Servers” category. The idea here is that if/when we add a new server, its information can be placed in an article that is placed in that category and it will instantly show up on that page. We’ve already added a new server, so this is something that has a legitimate use/purpose.

Well, one of the users didn’t manually place an author in the “Created By” section. Initially, everything worked fine. However, when someone else edited to article and saved it, it began to be displayed twice, even though only one copy of the article existed in the Article Manager. Needless to say, this was some very strange behavior.

Going back and manually adding in the author fixed the problem and the page displayed as expected.

Running The Clan’s Website

As of 3am yesterday, I am now hosing my Day of Defeat clan’s website. Luckily, I don’t have to do the design work myself, as another awesome individual (link to come) is taking care of that. I just deal with the back-end, which is what I do best. We’ve already noted better responsiveness and page load times.

This is my first site that I’ve taken live with Joomla 2.5 and I have to say I rather enjoy it.  Of course, this means new learning experiences. Anything interesting I come up with will be posted here.

Mumble Server on CentOS

Do not attempt to run Mumble Server on CentOS/RHEL. The instructions/packages are broken and it won’t work.

However, everything works wonderfully on Debian.

Fixing Name Resolution with Windows Home Server

As I’ve posted before, I use a Windows Home Server to manage backups and store my media on my home network. Normally, you’d access it via its NetBIOS name: like \\WHSERVER. However, I’ve found that this functionality degrades over time. I still have no idea why, but I know how to fix it.

The First Attempt

Searching the Goolges for this this will eventually lead to a number of forum posts and blog entries telling you to enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP in your network adaptor’s Advanced IPv4 settings.

Advanced IPv4 Settings

For some of my computers, this worked for a few months. Then it stopped again. I’m thinking it has to do with the DNS suffix I use on my network, but I can’t be sure.

Getting It To Work

Windows Home Server is a stripped-down version of Windows Server 2003, but includes much of that functionality (minus Active Directory). As such, I decided that a WINS server (and DHCP pointing to it) would solve all my name resolution issues.

First, I went into my router and disabled DHCP. WHS’ DHCP Server will fail to start if it detects another DHCP server running on the same subnet. I left the page open, however, as I’d need to copy all my static reservations over to the Windows server.

Install DHCP Server and WINS Server in Add/Remove Windows Components.

Follow the instructions in Help to set up an identical DHCP configuration to the one your router was providing, but include the WHS’ IP address as the primary WINS server.

Everything should work smoothly after that.

NOTE: I initially setup a DNS Server on the WHS, as well. However, I found that it was not needed and removed it. Testing after the fact shows that everything is just fine without it, as the computers do not attempt to use DNS to resolve short names unless the WINS resolution fails.

Installing ATI Drivers and Fixing the Backlight

This article described the first post-installation tasks on an HP dv6t Quad Edition running openSUSE 12.1.

Installing the Proprietary ATI Drivers

After the openSUSE 12.1 installation was complete, I went to install the newest ATI drivers, which support switchable graphics. The driver’s are pre-built and available for 1-Click Install through openSUSE.

Run the installer while connected to the Internet. Once completed, you’ll need to restart. After restarting, you can go into System -> Configuration and run AMD Catalyst Control Center (Administrative). This will allow you to select the graphics card in use (I am using the Intel chip). Once done making changes, you’ll have to restart to apply them.

Making the Backlight Work

Launch Administrative Settings (YaST) and go to System -> Boot Loader. Highlight ‘Desktop — openSUSE 12.1 ….’ and click Edit.

At the bottom of the next screen, there’ll be a box for Optional Kernel Command-Line Parameters. Add acpi_backlight=vendor to the end of the text currently in the box (make sure there’s a space separating what’s currently in there and the new command).

openSuSE: My Best Option

I’ve decided that because every Linux distro I put on my laptop is alright and they all eat up the battery just as fast, I’m going to stick with openSuSE 12.1 and do what I can to get it perfect. Therefore, I will have a long running Draft post, documenting my tweaks, changes, and fixes from the stock install.

Behind me, my HP dv6t Quad Edition is running the installer. I will be running KDE (and will possibly be putting Xfce on there as well). My goal is to have the GPU drivers installed (trivial with 1-click Install), have the system playing nicely with my Windows network, all of my development tool installed, VLC and relevant codecs installed, and something like Banshee for my music/podcast enjoyment. I’d also like to find a way to improve the battery life and get all the function buttons (brightness, volume, etc.) to work properly.

Once these (or most of these) are resolved, I’ll post again.

Gargoyle Router Firmware on Netgear WNDR3700v2

A few days ago, I mentioned that I was having major issues with DD-WRT running on my Netgear WNDR3700v2. My wireless was constantly dropping out and even my wired connections would lose the ability to see the router. On the day I gave up, I had to reset the router five times. Not okay.

So, I looked at Gargoyle Router. Gargoyle is basically a front-end for OpenWrt, an open-source router firmware. It’s stable and works well with a number of flashable routers.

So far, I’m enjoying the stability and minor wireless speed increase, by being able to open up the wireless channel size, which unlocks the full potential of 802.11n. Gargoyle Wireless Settings

For those users in North America, you’ll need to download a firmware image that ends in “-NA”. Currently, only version 1.5.0 in the Experimental branch and version 1.4.3 in the stable branch support North America for the WNDR3700v2. These files can be uploaded to the factory firmware’s Upgrade page and, after waiting about 5 minutes, will completely install without any other user interaction.

The default IP address will be and the web login password will be ‘password’.

DD-WRT on a Netgear WNDR3700v2

I tried out DD-WRT on my WNDR3700v2. It was awful. I’d get frequent loss of connectivity on both wired and wireless segments. Unstable as hell.

I’m now trying Gargoyle and we’ll see how things go.

Upcoming Blog Posts

I’ve got a number of drafts that I’m working on. Basically, I need to finish all the research to complete the articles properly. Until then, here’s what I’m working on:

  • Getting Rid of Cable TV – How to replace cable television service with automatic torrent downloads and other services. Also, how to get those to your HDTV.
  • Protecting Yourself When Downloading – While anonymous proxies are the most secure way, they limit your speeds. Here’s what I do.
  • Loading DD-WRT Gargoyle on a Netgear WNDR3700v2 – The factory firmware has all kinds of issues. In this article, I’ll discuss replacement options and show you what I did to get my router in tip-top shape.

Op-Ed Challenges Hollywood to Change Their Tactics

In what I believe to be the best piece written on the matter, Paul Tassi, a contributor to Forbes, has described a new system that would allow Hollywood to make it easier for us to buy movies legitimately. Sure, he got the idea from reddit, but he was able to put it into words that someone should listen to.

I imagine that it will fall on deaf ears for some time, but I believe that the movie industry needs to change its practices if it wants to see growth.