System – RokCandy causes erratic behaviour in Joomla

For the past two  days Catherine from Fit-Physique.com has been telling me that the editor of Kunena was not working properly. I was seriously puzzled. How could  this be the case.

But apparently [b]something[/b] gets automatically translated to become <strong>something</strong> when it gets displayed. This really screws up the editor of Kunena.

As I was just looking for the source of the problem in a Joomla system with just Kunena and no RokCandy installed, I failed miserably for one hour. I could find no problems.

Finally giving up, I downloaded the entire Fit-Physique.com site to my local server for testing.

I realized [b]testing[/b] gets translated automatically in not just the Kunena Component but in the standard Content Component as well. Hence this is really a system wide issue.

This prod me to adopt a system wide problem isolation tactic. Thus I deactivated one Joomla Component at a time followed by the Plugins. When I finally reached Plugin RokCandy, I realised I found the source of the problem System – RokCandy automatically translates BBcodes like [b][/b] to html tags. While it maybe helpful. It is painful if you are unaware of its existant.

Thus one problem solved. Seriously, more and more as I do these stuff do I realize solving problems are easy. Identifying are the hardest!

Debugging some errors in Joomla Component Kunena Forum

I have a Joomla installation hosted on GoDaddy.org. I have recently installed the Forum Kunena to this Joomla Installation. All seems to be  working fine on my local server, however this is not the case with the server on GoDaddy.org

On the GoDaddy.org hosting server, my emoticon for the Kunena does not work. This is because some codes on my javascript got mysterious transformed to something else. To work around this I have modified the code.

Below is the modification at line 98 of  components\lib\com_kunena.bbcode.js.php
color = String(numberList[r]) + String(numberList[g]) + String(numberList[   bb ]);

for (bb = 0; bb < 5; bb++)    {
color = String(numberList[r]) + String(numberList[g]) + String(numberList[   bb ]);
document.write(‘<td id=”‘ + color + ‘” style=”background-color:#’ + color + ‘; width: ‘ + width + ‘; height: ‘ + height + ‘;”>’);
document.write(‘&nbsp;’);
document.writeln(‘</td>’);
}

Also I have identified two bugs which cause the inbuilt avatar images not to show when choosen for use by users. The fixes are here

Replace code at line 162 of components\com_kunena\template\default\plugin\myprofile\myprofile_avatar_upload.php

$kunena_db->setQuery(“UPDATE #__fb_users SET avatar='{$kunena_db->getEscaped($avatar)}’ WHERE userid='{$kunena_my->id}'”);
Replace code at line 335 of components\com_kunena\template\default\plugin\myprofile\myprofile_avatar_upload.php

$kunena_db->setQuery(“UPDATE #__fb_users SET avatar='{$kunena_db->getEscaped($newAvatar)}’ WHERE userid={$kunena_my->id}”);

Hope this is helpful in fixing your Kunena Forum Joomla Component Bug. 🙂

Joomla Menu Item Parameters Configuration

While attempting to build a new joomla component and setting up the fields in the menu item parameter I found this page to be very helpful

http://docs.joomla.org/Menuitem_parameter_type

Why is it that Google does not allow the searching of Joomla API easily?

Reinstallation of Brother HL-2070N Printer driver to improve performance drastically

After being seriously annoyed with the lag in all my programs that allows for a print functions, I decided that today was the last straw.

I uninstalled the existing HL-2070N printer driver and configuration and reset it up once again.

Apparently there were two configuration options available in the installation process.

First option ask for the driver to search for the printer in the network each time it is activated.Good if you dont know nuts about which LAN IP address your printer is residing on. However very painful in the long run since it slows down all your programs.

The second  option ask that an IP address be specified and driver automatically prints to that IP address each time a print job occurs. This is good if you have already set a fixed LAN IP address for your printer and you do not want performance lag while you are using other applications. This is bad if you know nuts about network and router configurations.

Not unknowing better I choose the first configuration. It was painful every time I print. Now that I feel the pain, I opted for configuration number which is to me very painless.

Video Conversion with Virtual Dub

I tried to convert a video from VOB format to AVI format. It took me quite a while. This is because there are so many different softwares around and most of them at first appear to be free but attempts to force payment from the users when users really try to do any video coversion.

Eventually I came across this post http://tigredefogo.blogspot.com/2007/05/tutorial-how-to-convert-dvd-vob-mpeg-2.html. It was a life saver. I managed to download the version of  VirtualDub MPEG-2 that can edit Mpeg 2 files. as well as the necessary codec AC-3 ACM Codec.

Once done I not only could VOB files to AVI files without stupid watermarks, I could also indicate the exact range of frames (time in minutes and seconds) to include for conversion.

Pasha did recommened it to me before. But I guess the version i downloaded was not extensive enough and I did  not configure it properly too. Anyways two thumbs up for Virtual Dub!

Spring Singapore – LETAS grant ceases thus brings an end to the Gold Rush

With effect from 1 Feb 2010, Spring Singapore ceases supporting the Letas Grant . Instead the a new more stringent grant called the Infocomm@SME – Integrated Incentives for SME Infocomm Adoption was setup to help SMEs for computerize their operations.

This new grant limits funding of IT projects to more specific areas such as the following:

Types Of Project Support Level Qualifying Costs Packaged solutions* pre-qualified by IDA for:

• Finance/ Accounting
• Human Resources/ Payroll Up to 50% of qualifying cost, capped at S$1,500 per packaged solution • Software
• Consultancy Services
• Training Customised solutions

E.g. Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning Up to 50% of qualifying costs, capped at S$10,000 per SME Consultancy services Advanced customised solutions that requires extensive development efforts and business re-engineering

E.g. Supply Chain Management Up to 50% of qualifying costs

(Grant amount is determined based on a case-by-case basis) • Manpower-related costs
• Consultancy services
• Hardware/ software

With effect of this new more stringent critieria I foresee that most newly sprung up IT companies surviving just on grants provided by the government to help companies build up web sites will slowly but surely evaporate from the market leaving only those that have in the midst of this gold rush found a strategic foothold in the  market.

I foresaw this coming when Garis tried to persuade me into setting up an IT company with him and a recently retrenched IT sales staff. The sales staff who was so confidant during the initial meetup session with us, suddenly disappear after researching that the grant she was going for had dried out. Then again I was not really inclined towards the whole engagement in the first place.

First and foremost Garis was trying to target a part of the IT market that had little to no barrier to entry and relatively low profit margins. 5 web pages for $2000-$2500 sales price. While it might sound lucrative up front. On further calculation it was a really bad deal.

Profit per person would be approximately 1/3 of the sales price  hence around $600++ for me per site. However  based on my previous experience I will likely have to spend up to 4 man days ($400 per day are my usual rates) for each site. This was inclusive of the back and forth liaising process with each clients which Garis and the potential sales girl had already declared a lack of interest in being involved in.

Garis was also having the idea that we would each only draw out a small sum per month as salary which will cut further more into my potential return in each deal. To top it all up, Garis was of the opinion that I should stop engaging clients independently and just concentrate fully on this venture, if not direct these clients to obtain service from this venture.

Directing of clients to this venture was not a feasible option. What my clients required of me was more than just simple 5 page websites. Most of what was required by them were comprehensive e-commerce solutions or backend operations systems. To have done as Garis intended would have meant to commit corporate suicide by introducing 2 redundant free riders to the process as well as complicating the picture.

Also based on information gleaned while furthering the conversation between us, I realized the sales girl was only confidant  in bringing  3 to 4 projects per month and at the  same time not really experienced in the pre-sales of systems more complicated that 5 pages web sites.

After the discussion amongst the three of us, I begged to be excluded from the partnership. As to do so was to incur huge potential loses on my side.

This new scheme that Enterprise One will be finalizing in March 2010 seems to be very promising as the barrier to entry for creating the mentioned systems are high in contrast to the creation of 5 pages websites. I will meanwhile look forward to what Enterprise One has to say.

Finally deploying my first Hello World Share point – Merry Christmas

It took me a 12 hours to setup a Windows 2003 VPC with sharepoint installed.

I was face with quite a few detours along the way.

One of the main issues I encoutered was the order in which I tried to install the pre-requisites.

Point to note : The  order in which you install the pre-requisites is VERY IMPORTANT.

This was the order I took that finally worked.

  1. Install Windows 2003 Server
  2. Install Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 2
  3. Install Application Server with IIS, ASP.net, Email Server
  4. Install ASP.NET framework Version 2.0
  5. Install ASP.NET framework Version 3.5
  6. Install Sharepoint

Please try out this order to avoid painfull time wasting detours

So with my sharepoint server finally up. I navigated to http://localhost:80/ using firefox

This translates into my computer at port 80.

I saw my sharepoint landing page.

Next, i thought to try my hands on deploying a ready made sharepoint webpart. To do this I went to amrein.com

This site has tonns of web parts available for download. Being an idiot for holiday seasons, I downloaded the Merry Christmas web part and followed the instructions there.

Eureka. It worked nicely! Haha.

Next thing I should do it perhaps to write my own. 😛

Google Trends as a marketing tool

There are tons of free tools available over the internet and recently while working on marketing research for my own venture I chanced upon this cool tool by Google. It is called Google Trends.

Google Trends allows you to search the most popular searches happening within a specific territory. You could further drill it down to show the trends revolving around certain subjects of interest.

This tool  keeps you up to date of what is happening in the market real time. Use it to respond immediately to market changes.

Try Goog

Windows 2003 Server on VPC cannot connect to the internet

One of the major problems on using operating Systems on VPC is the hardware detection problem. I tried running my Windows 2003 server on VPC with Windows XP as the host.

I tried connecting to the internet with it but it does not work. I configured the VPC to use my Windows XP Host Ethernet Adapter but still not signals.

Realizing that the issue might be on the Virtual OS. I did an ipconfig to check the details. True enough what I saw was that the Virtual OS could not detect the Local DNS server.

To solve the problem I configured my virtual OS ethernet adapter manually. I did this by specifying the default gateway as well as the DNS address.

Eureka. It worked nicely.  I could now connect to the internet with my VPC.