Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Joomla Authentication and member folders

So over at katan website designs, I have a new project to work on ... a website that does auctions and runs classified ads. To do this I decided to use Joomla 2.5 (as joomla 1.5 will no longer be supported from August this year) with wdc auction (still deciding on the classifieds component though). This component allows multiple members to auction their own stuff online. However, one small problem I have with the component was that it did not allow individual members to have their own images directory ... so right now all members have access to each other's files / images ... that's not good ... don't want any issues between members of someone "stealing" someone else's images. So I did three things (so far) ... 1. contact the developers about this issue; 2. installed some other components (JCE Editor and JFUploader) that do allow for the creation of user owned and restricted folders (wanted to see if they could influence the wdc image uploader - they did not, but they did influence the product details part of the add product form) and 3. (just incase) did some research into how to add this functionality - unfortunately I could not find anything directly related to joomla 2.5 or wdc auction ... I could only find two pages both related to authenticating users in joomla 1.5 and one relating to users uploading images to their own unique folders in joomla 1.5. Neither of them offers advice on what files to edit to add this functionality, however.

documentation on authenticating users in Joomla 1.5
Forum thread on how to edit TinyMCE to authenticate joomla 1.5 users and give them their own upload images folder

What's next you ask? Well I think my next step will be to compare joomla 2.5 default login authentication and JCE editor and JFUploader programing code to the code above to see what the differences are.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

HTML and Javascript Show / Hide form fields and make specific fields conditionally required

Another small project I have been working on lately is to modify / simplify the contact / request webhosting / domain name registration form found on Katan Website Designs. Eventually I plan to have it set up so that people can place orders directly and pay via credit card, but, for now, I'm just simplifying and making it so that people only submit the information required for a quotation.
Here is a screen shot of what that form currently looks like (when I'm done with it it should look a bit different):

Step 1: Finding the best way to show / hide form fields. 

I googled this and investigated any number of solutions some of which worked and some did not. Eventually I discovered Infopitcher and that seemed to work the best for me. I did not have to do much to make changes. My plan was to take the "Your Requirements" drop down list (from my original contact form) and turn them into radio buttons (I tried it first with check boxes, but I wanted something where people could choose only one option and radio buttons seemed best), then take the fields below that (except for the last one titled "Other") and apply them to the hide / show selections. I decided to try it first with some sample forms, making sure that it worked for all different types of fields and determining what variables I'd have to add / change.

I should note here that my original form was done with html in php for processing. For the purposes of testing these scripts, however, I decided to initially do them in straight html and then convert to php.

This script requires the following:
  1. place between the <head></head> tags:
  2.   <!-- Begining Javascript Code for show / hide form elements using Radio Buttons-->
    <script language="javascript" type="application/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.4.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
    <!--End Javascript Code for show / hide form elements using Radio Buttons-->
  3.  Place between the <body></body> tags:
  4.  <form name="formname1" action="" onSubmit="return validateFunction();">field1A
      <input type="radio" name="type" value="1" id="type_1"/><br/>
    field2
       <input type="radio" name="type" value="2" id="type_2"/><br/>
         field3
       <input type="radio" name="type" value="3" id="type_3"/><br /> 
              field4 <input type="radio" name="type" value="4" id="type_4"/><br />      field5 <input type="radio" name="type" value="5" id="type_5"/><br />   
         field6 <input type="radio" name="type" value="6" id="type_6"/><br />     field7 <input type="radio" name="type" value="7" id="type_7"/><br />   field8 <input type="radio" name="type" value="8" id="type_8"/><br />
       <div id="1_box">
         DropField1
         <select name="DropField1" id="DropField1">
           <option value="">Select #</option>
           <option value="1">1</option>
           <option value="2">2</option>
           <option value="3">3</option>
         </select>
         <br/><br/></div>
    <div id="2_box">
              DropField2
         <select name="DropField2" id="DropField2">
           <option value="">Select #</option>
           <option value="1">1</option>
           <option value="2">2</option>
           <option value="3">3</option>
         </select>
         <br/><br/></div>
       <div id="3_box">

         DropField3
         <select name="DropField3" id="DropField3">
           <option value="">Select #</option>
           <option value="1">1</option>
           <option value="2">2</option>
           <option value="3">3</option>
         </select>
         <br /><br /></div>
       <div id="4_box">

         DropField4
         <select name="DropField4" id="DropField4">
           <option value="">Select #</option>
           <option value="1">1</option>
           <option value="2">2</option>
           <option value="3">3</option>
         </select>
         <br /><br /></div><div id="5_box">
        

         DropField5
         <select name="DropField5" id="DropField5">
           <option value="">Select #</option>
           <option value="1">1</option>
           <option value="2">2</option>
           <option value="3">3</option>
         </select><br />
         DropField5A
         <select name="DFA5" id="DFA5">
           <option value="">Select #</option>
           <option value="1">1</option>
           <option value="2">2</option>
           <option value="3">3</option>
         </select><br />TextField5 <input type="text" name="DF5" id="DF5" />
         <br /><br /></div><div id="6_box">

         DropField6
         <select name="DropField6" id="DropField6">
           <option value="">Select #</option>
           <option value="1">1</option>
           <option value="2">2</option>
           <option value="3">3</option>
         </select>
         <br />TextField6 <input type="text" name="DF6" id="DF6" /><br /><br /></div><div id="7_box">

         DropField7
         <select name="DropField7" id="DropField7">
           <option value="">Select #</option>
           <option value="1">1</option>
           <option value="2">2</option>
           <option value="3">3</option>
         </select><br />     DropField7a
         <select name="DF7" id="DF7">
           <option value="">Select #</option>
           <option value="1">1</option>
           <option value="2">2</option>
           <option value="3">3</option>
         </select>
       </div><div id="8_box">

         Field8 <input type="text" name="DropField8" id="DropField8" />
         <br />
         <br /></div>
        
         <input type="submit" value="submit"/>
       </p>
     </form>
     <p>
       <!--Begining Javascript Code for Form Radio Button Show / Hide Elements-->
       <script type="text/javascript">

    $(document).ready(function(){
      $("input[name$='type']").click(function(){
      var value = $(this).val();
      if(value=='1') {
        $("#1_box").show();
         $("#2_box").hide();
         $("#3_box").hide();
         $("#4_box").hide();
         $("#5_box").hide();
         $("#6_box").hide();
         $("#7_box").hide();
         $("#8_box").hide();
      }
      else if(value=='2') {
       $("#2_box").show();
        $("#1_box").hide();
        $("#3_box").hide();
        $("#4_box").hide();
        $("#5_box").hide();
         $("#6_box").hide();
         $("#7_box").hide();
         $("#8_box").hide();
       }
       else if(value=='3') {
       $("#3_box").show();
        $("#1_box").hide();
        $("#2_box").hide();
        $("#4_box").hide();
        $("#5_box").hide();
         $("#6_box").hide();
         $("#7_box").hide();
         $("#8_box").hide();
       }
       else if(value=='4') {
       $("#4_box").show();
        $("#1_box").hide();
        $("#2_box").hide();
        $("#3_box").hide();
        $("#5_box").hide();
         $("#6_box").hide();
         $("#7_box").hide();
         $("#8_box").hide();
       }
          else if(value=='5') {
       $("#5_box").show();
        $("#1_box").hide();
        $("#2_box").hide();
        $("#3_box").hide();
        $("#4_box").hide();
         $("#6_box").hide();
         $("#7_box").hide();
         $("#8_box").hide();
       }
          else if(value=='6') {
       $("#6_box").show();
        $("#1_box").hide();
        $("#2_box").hide();
        $("#3_box").hide();
        $("#4_box").hide();
         $("#5_box").hide();
         $("#7_box").hide();
         $("#8_box").hide();
       }
          else if(value=='7') {
       $("#7_box").show();
        $("#1_box").hide();
        $("#2_box").hide();
        $("#3_box").hide();
        $("#4_box").hide();
         $("#5_box").hide();
         $("#6_box").hide();
         $("#8_box").hide();
       }
          else if(value=='8') {
       $("#8_box").show();
        $("#2_box").hide();
        $("#3_box").hide();
        $("#4_box").hide();
        $("#5_box").hide();
         $("#6_box").hide();
         $("#7_box").hide();
         $("#1_box").hide();
       }
      });
      $("#1_box").show();
      $("#2_box").hide();
      $("#3_box").hide();
      $("#4_box").hide();
      $("#5_box").hide();
         $("#6_box").hide();
         $("#7_box").hide();
         $("#8_box").hide();
    });

       </script>

       <!--End of Javascript Code for Form Radio Button Show / Hide Elements-->
What's important to note here is that for the radio buttons, they all have to have the same name but different values (<input type="radio" name="type" value="1" id="type_1"/><input type="radio" name="type" value="2" id="type_2"/>) and the elements that you wish to show / hide according to which radio button is selected must each be enclosed within div tags that have unique id's (eg. <div id="1_box">) and you must identify all of these things in the javascript code below the form (see the example code above).

Step 2: Finding a way to make the fields referred to in the above form validate / become required only when their respective radio button was / is selected.


Once again I experimented with a number of different alternatives. Some only worked with checkboxes and text areas, others only worked with radio buttons and single drop down lists. Finally I discovered on the webdeveloper.com forums, where someone had a similar problem and Suhas Dhoke had answered it in such a way that I could work with it. His solution works well (so far) with the hide / show coding I refer to above and with multiple drop down lists and other form fields. Please note: the page may not validate properly, but I'm sure that can be sorted out eventually by placing the javascript code in a separate javascript file, however, for our purposes right now (ensuring that it works at all) we're just leaving it as part of the html file.

To start:
Place the following code between the <head></head> tags:
<!-- Start Javascript Code to validate conditional form elements -->
<script type="text/javascript">
 function validateFunction() {
 var j = 1;
 for (var i = 0; i < document.formname1.elements.length; i++) {
 var elem = document.formname1.elements[i];
 if (elem.type == "radio") {
 var chk_field_name = 'type_'+j;
 var drop_field_name = 'DropField'+j;
  var drop_field_name_a = 'DF'+j;
    var drop_field_name_b = 'DFA'+j;
 if (document.getElementById(chk_field_name).checked && document.getElementById(drop_field_name).value == '') {
 alert("You must select at least one option from "+drop_field_name+" drop down.");
 return false;
 }if (document.getElementById(chk_field_name).checked && document.getElementById(drop_field_name_a).value == '') {
 alert("You must select one option from "+drop_field_name_a+" drop down.");
 return false;
 }if (document.getElementById(chk_field_name).checked && document.getElementById(drop_field_name_b).value == '') {
 alert("You must select one option from "+drop_field_name_b+" drop down b.");
 return false;
 }
 j++;
 }/*{
 var chk_field_name = 'type_'+j;
 var drop_field_name_a = 'DF'+j;
 if (document.getElementById(chk_field_name).checked && document.getElementById(drop_field_name_a).value == '') {
 alert("You must select at least one option from "+drop_field_name_a+" drop down.");
 return false;
 }
 j++;
 }*/
 }
 return true;
 }
 </script>
<!-- End Javascript Code to validate conditional form elements -->
Make sure you note the name of the form (if your form does not have a name, give it one eg. <form name="form1">) and in the code above find where it says formname1 and change that to your form's correct name, eg where it says:
 for (var i = 0; i < document.formname1.elements.length; i++) {
 var elem = document.formname1.elements[i];
change the bold type formname1 to your form name.

Next, locate where it says  if (elem.type == "radio") and where it says radio, change that to what ever selection field type you  wish to have the other conditionally required elements validate against (your options are radio, checkbox and dropdown).

Then, note where it says  var chk_field_name = 'type_'+j; - the "type_" is the beginning of the radio button's id title and in the actual radio button code it will end with a unique number, eg. <input type="radio" name="type" value="1" id="type_1"/>

Finally note where it says  var drop_field_name = 'DropField'+j; because that is where you must put the name and id of the fields that must be validated against their respectively selected radio buttons, eg.: <select name="DropField1" id="DropField1"> and <select name="DropField2" id="DropField2">

Please note here two things:
  1. just like the radio buttons id title('type') ending with unique numbers, the name and id's for the fields that must be validated against each radio button must also end in the same numbers that are associated with their radio buttons id. eg. if the radio button code is: <input type="radio" name="type" value="1" id="type_1"/>, then the respective conditionally required field must have the following name and id: <select name="DropField1" id="DropField1">
           <option value="">Select #</option>
           <option value="1">1</option>
           <option value="2">2</option>
           <option value="3">3</option>
         </select>
  2. whilst the drop down (and probably also check boxes and radio buttons) fields that are conditionally required, must have identical names and id's, text fields (and probably text areas) do not, the latter only require id's.

Step 3: Piecing it all together:

Here is the entire example code all together:
 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
 <head>
 <title>Radio Button validation</title>
  <!-- Begining Javascript Code for show / hide form elements using Radio Buttons-->
<script language="javascript" type="application/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.4.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
<!--End Javascript Code for show / hide form elements using Radio Buttons--><!-- Start Javascript Code to validate conditional form elements -->
<script type="text/javascript">
 function validateFunction() {
 var j = 1;
 for (var i = 0; i < document.formname1.elements.length; i++) {
 var elem = document.formname1.elements[i];
 if (elem.type == "radio") {
 var chk_field_name = 'type_'+j;
 var drop_field_name = 'DropField'+j;
  var drop_field_name_a = 'DF'+j;
    var drop_field_name_b = 'DFA'+j;
 if (document.getElementById(chk_field_name).checked && document.getElementById(drop_field_name).value == '') {
 alert("You must select at least one option from "+drop_field_name+" drop down.");
 return false;
 }if (document.getElementById(chk_field_name).checked && document.getElementById(drop_field_name_a).value == '') {
 alert("You must select one option from "+drop_field_name_a+" drop down.");
 return false;
 }if (document.getElementById(chk_field_name).checked && document.getElementById(drop_field_name_b).value == '') {
 alert("You must select one option from "+drop_field_name_b+" drop down b.");
 return false;
 }
 j++;
 }/*{
 var chk_field_name = 'type_'+j;
 var drop_field_name_a = 'DF'+j;
 if (document.getElementById(chk_field_name).checked && document.getElementById(drop_field_name_a).value == '') {
 alert("You must select at least one option from "+drop_field_name_a+" drop down.");
 return false;
 }
 j++;
 }*/
 }
 return true;
 }
 </script>
<!-- End Javascript Code to validate conditional form elements -->
 </head>
 <body>


 <form name="formname1" action="" onSubmit="return validateFunction();">field1A
  <input type="radio" name="type" value="1" id="type_1"/><br/>
field2
   <input type="radio" name="type" value="2" id="type_2"/><br/>
     field3
   <input type="radio" name="type" value="3" id="type_3"/><br /> 
          field4 <input type="radio" name="type" value="4" id="type_4"/><br />      field5 <input type="radio" name="type" value="5" id="type_5"/><br />   
     field6 <input type="radio" name="type" value="6" id="type_6"/><br />     field7 <input type="radio" name="type" value="7" id="type_7"/><br />   field8 <input type="radio" name="type" value="8" id="type_8"/><br />
   <div id="1_box">
     DropField1
     <select name="DropField1" id="DropField1">
       <option value="">Select #</option>
       <option value="1">1</option>
       <option value="2">2</option>
       <option value="3">3</option>
     </select>
     <br/><br/></div>
<div id="2_box">
          DropField2
     <select name="DropField2" id="DropField2">
       <option value="">Select #</option>
       <option value="1">1</option>
       <option value="2">2</option>
       <option value="3">3</option>
     </select>
     <br/><br/></div>
   <div id="3_box">

     DropField3
     <select name="DropField3" id="DropField3">
       <option value="">Select #</option>
       <option value="1">1</option>
       <option value="2">2</option>
       <option value="3">3</option>
     </select>
     <br /><br /></div>
   <div id="4_box">

     DropField4
     <select name="DropField4" id="DropField4">
       <option value="">Select #</option>
       <option value="1">1</option>
       <option value="2">2</option>
       <option value="3">3</option>
     </select>
     <br /><br /></div><div id="5_box">
    

     DropField5
     <select name="DropField5" id="DropField5">
       <option value="">Select #</option>
       <option value="1">1</option>
       <option value="2">2</option>
       <option value="3">3</option>
     </select><br />
     DropField5A
     <select name="DFA5" id="DFA5">
       <option value="">Select #</option>
       <option value="1">1</option>
       <option value="2">2</option>
       <option value="3">3</option>
     </select><br />TextField5 <input type="text" name="DF5" id="DF5" />
     <br /><br /></div><div id="6_box">

     DropField6
     <select name="DropField6" id="DropField6">
       <option value="">Select #</option>
       <option value="1">1</option>
       <option value="2">2</option>
       <option value="3">3</option>
     </select>
     <br />TextField6 <input type="text" name="DF6" id="DF6" /><br /><br /></div><div id="7_box">

     DropField7
     <select name="DropField7" id="DropField7">
       <option value="">Select #</option>
       <option value="1">1</option>
       <option value="2">2</option>
       <option value="3">3</option>
     </select><br />     DropField7a
     <select name="DF7" id="DF7">
       <option value="">Select #</option>
       <option value="1">1</option>
       <option value="2">2</option>
       <option value="3">3</option>
     </select>
   </div><div id="8_box">

     Field8 <input type="text" name="DropField8" id="DropField8" />
     <br />
     <br /></div>
    
     <input type="submit" value="submit"/>
   </p>
 </form>
 <p>
   <!--Begining Javascript Code for Form Radio Button Show / Hide Elements-->
   <script type="text/javascript">

$(document).ready(function(){
  $("input[name$='type']").click(function(){
  var value = $(this).val();
  if(value=='1') {
    $("#1_box").show();
     $("#2_box").hide();
     $("#3_box").hide();
     $("#4_box").hide();
     $("#5_box").hide();
     $("#6_box").hide();
     $("#7_box").hide();
     $("#8_box").hide();
  }
  else if(value=='2') {
   $("#2_box").show();
    $("#1_box").hide();
    $("#3_box").hide();
    $("#4_box").hide();
    $("#5_box").hide();
     $("#6_box").hide();
     $("#7_box").hide();
     $("#8_box").hide();
   }
   else if(value=='3') {
   $("#3_box").show();
    $("#1_box").hide();
    $("#2_box").hide();
    $("#4_box").hide();
    $("#5_box").hide();
     $("#6_box").hide();
     $("#7_box").hide();
     $("#8_box").hide();
   }
   else if(value=='4') {
   $("#4_box").show();
    $("#1_box").hide();
    $("#2_box").hide();
    $("#3_box").hide();
    $("#5_box").hide();
     $("#6_box").hide();
     $("#7_box").hide();
     $("#8_box").hide();
   }
      else if(value=='5') {
   $("#5_box").show();
    $("#1_box").hide();
    $("#2_box").hide();
    $("#3_box").hide();
    $("#4_box").hide();
     $("#6_box").hide();
     $("#7_box").hide();
     $("#8_box").hide();
   }
      else if(value=='6') {
   $("#6_box").show();
    $("#1_box").hide();
    $("#2_box").hide();
    $("#3_box").hide();
    $("#4_box").hide();
     $("#5_box").hide();
     $("#7_box").hide();
     $("#8_box").hide();
   }
      else if(value=='7') {
   $("#7_box").show();
    $("#1_box").hide();
    $("#2_box").hide();
    $("#3_box").hide();
    $("#4_box").hide();
     $("#5_box").hide();
     $("#6_box").hide();
     $("#8_box").hide();
   }
      else if(value=='8') {
   $("#8_box").show();
    $("#2_box").hide();
    $("#3_box").hide();
    $("#4_box").hide();
    $("#5_box").hide();
     $("#6_box").hide();
     $("#7_box").hide();
     $("#1_box").hide();
   }
  });
  $("#1_box").show();
  $("#2_box").hide();
  $("#3_box").hide();
  $("#4_box").hide();
  $("#5_box").hide();
     $("#6_box").hide();
     $("#7_box").hide();
     $("#8_box").hide();
});

   </script>

   <!--End of Javascript Code for Form Radio Button Show / Hide Elements-->This form is a variation of the following:</p>
 <p>Show / Hide fields taken from: <a href="http://www.infopitcher.com/2011/10/showhide-form-elements-based-on-radio-button-selections-using-jquery/">Infopitcher</a></p>
 <p>Validate fields taken from: <a href="http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=143955">Suhas Dhoke</a></p>
 <p>Where radio buttons must have the same name but can have different id's and must have different values and the different fields to validate must each have unique names which must be identical to their respective id's. In this example, drop down lists must also have a &quot;value&quot; in addition to the text contained in the list, whilst the text fields don't require this. Also to have multiple conditionally required fields required that each field type has a unique ID and some variations needed to be made to the javascript code provided by Suhas Doke in the link above.</p>
 </body>
 </html>

And that's it!

Next: make all these changes to my contact form, create and link to javascript file, convert html form to php (include security code at bottom), and check / recreate php file to process the inputs.

Developing Mobile Applications Part 1

Sorry it's been awhile! I've been busy trying to get a number of personal and not so personal projects out of the way!
Recently, however, my brother in law was talking to me about developing some mobile applications for the blackberry, iphone and android, so I began doing some research into this.
Amongst the things I have discovered:
  • the programming code required / used is mainly html, css, javascript, xml, flash and c# - most of which (except the c#) I already know as a website designer! The difference is that a mobile application is packaged differently
  • there are several programs that can be used to develop / package the applications, including some I was already familiar with: the adobe suite (specifically dreamweaver, flash builder, air, flash pro, etc. - although I do not have the version that can compile what I design as a mobile application), eclipse (either on it's own or with rhomobile or JBoss).
So I decided to start with developing an android application. I began with both eclipse on it's own (using this tutorial: youtube - Programming for Android, Part 1, Installing everything you need by TZCoder) and in combination with rhomobile (following this tutorial: rhostudio tutorial - installation and developing an application)

Look at the requirements for each below (this list is not complete and only goes as far as I understand it and will be updated as I learn more about each):
Eclipse stand alone Rhomobile & Eclipse JBoss & Eclipse
Opperating System (development) Windows, Linux and Macintosh (regular PC and server with desktop environment) Windows and Macintosh (regular PC and server with desktop environment) Windows, Linux and Macintosh (server with desktop environment only?)
Platforms & Software to install
  • Java Runtime Environment (JRE),
  • Java Development Kit (JDK),
  • Android SDK,
  • Eclipse,
  • Android Eclipse Plugin
  • Rhostudio,
  • Eclipse,
  • Java Development Kit (JDK),
  • SDK's (software development kits) for each mobile device you wish to develop for
  • Java 6.0 (Java SDK 1.6)
  • Maven 3
  • JBoss Application Server 7.1
  • Getting started with JBoss AS
  • JBoss Tools 3.3 (optional) JBoss Tools and JBoss AS Setup
Mobile Devices Supported
  • Android,
  • Blackberry
  • Android,
  • Blackberry,
  • Iphone,
  • Ipad,
  • Windows mobile,
  • Symbian,
  • etc.
Programming Language html, xml, css, javascript ruby, html, xml, css, javascript
Types of Applications each can develop static dynamic, content management
Server Side Software required for public use
ruby, cloud based

At the time of this original writing I had only done one mobile application (HelloWorld) in eclipse stand alone and two related ones had been begun in rhomobile and eclipse.

It is important to note here that after following the youtube tutorial linked above (for the HelloWorld eclipse stand alone mobile application for android), I now had to figure out how to export the HelloWorld project as an .apk file. To do this, I followed the instructions here and here, and to my surprise, I was successful on the first try although mind you I had not done anything outside of the tutorial script wise.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ubuntu 11.10 - Managing your Ubuntu Server from terminal (as opposed to gui)

So recently I decided to upgrade my server from ubuntu 11.04 to 11.10 and as usual there were issues. This time around I was unable to install a gui (graphical user interface) without corrupting the operating system software. So I've had to learn how to do things from terminal.
So based on research online (and trial and error, to see what worked and what did not), I've come up with the following, which I plan to put all in one place (here) for future information. They are not complete, so information will be forthcoming as soon as I can find it:

  1. Logout, shutdown and reboot commands
  2. Detect your hardware
  3. Detect drivers / check device is switched on
  4. Software programs / packages:
    1. Load sudo aptitude interface
    2. Find out what programs are already installed
    3. Update / upgrade packages
      1. From terminal
      2. Via aptitude interface
    4. Install packages
    5. Remove packages
  5. Networking:
    1. Find out your servers ip address
    2. Download and install drivers for hardware / networking
    3. Edit network configuration file
    4. How to scan for wireless networks
1. to Logout / Shutdown / reboot:
to logout:
sudo exit
to shutdown:
sudo shutdown -h now
to reboot:
sudo reboot
2. to detect hardware:
sudo lspci
3. to detect drivers and check the device is switched on:
sudo lshw or sudo lshw -C network

4. Software Programs and Packages:
there are two ways within terminal to detect, update, install and remove software packages and programs. One way is to do so directly via terminal commands and the other is to open the aptitude interface and do so from there:
1. To open the aptitude interface:
sudo aptitude
2. To find out what programs / packages are installed already:
This can only be done from the aptitude interface (as far as I know), just use the arrow keys to select the "installed packages" option, then the "enter" key to open the list.
3. To update / upgrade packages:
first you need to update the package updates list, then you need to download and install the updates:
1. from terminal: sudo apt-get update or sudo apt-get upgrade
2. from aptitude interface: common "u" updates your package index in the "packages to be updated" group. Use arrow keys to highlight the specific group from the list, press the "enter" button to open up the list of packages, then for each package you want to update, press the capital U (shift+"u") to select the package and use arrow keys to highlight packages on the list (for each package you want to update, press capital "U" to select it). After you have selected all the packages you would like to update, press common "g". Then press common "g" a second time. Once all the packages are updated, the server may ask you to press the "enter" button to be taken back to the aptitude interface. To logout from aptitude, press common "q".

4. To install packages
There are two ways to install packages:
1. from terminal - sudo apt-get install [packagename] or sudo aptitude install [packagename] (where [packagename] is replaced by the package / file name you wish to install). for example, to make sure your server can zip & unzip files, you would enter sudo apt-get install zip unzip.
2. from the aptitude interface:
Coming Soon


5. to remove packages:
sudo apt-get purge remove [packagename]
sudo aptitude purge remove [packagename] where "[packagename]" is replaced by the package / file name you wish to remove.

5. Networking:
1. Find out your computer's/server's ip address:
1. for wired / cable / land line connection: sudo ifconfig - and where it says "inet addr:" the numbers immediately following are your ip address. This would look something like 123.456.7.89
2. for wireless devices: sudo iwconfig - and where it says "inet addr:" the numbers immediately following are your ip address. This would look something like 123.456.7.89
3. how to scan for wireless networks:
sudo iwlist wlan0 scan


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Has my website crashed?

A lot of the time when clients come to me to design a website, especially those who are not so familiar with the internet and information technology equipment and software, they expect that once the website is up and running on a webhost, it will always be up and running, and they don't want it to ever come down, not even temporarily. Recently I had a couple incidents with one client's website crashing and I've also had incidents with other clients websites being taken down because some fee or the other was not paid to the respective host in a timely fashion.

The reality is websites do crash from time to time and there is nothing a webhost or website designer can do to prevent it from crashing 100% of the time (sometimes it can be avoided, but not all the time). However, there are times when it may not have crashed, but it is just unavailable to you the viewer.

Websites may become unavailable for many reasons:

  1. You the individual user have lost your internet connection, or your internet cache needs to be deleted, or your firewall (or the company's firewall) is blocking you from viewing the website or the internet, or that specific website got blocked from your specific computer or the network on which your computer is located;
  2. There are so many people looking at your website (or another website that is located on your webhost's server) that the server timed out.
  3. You (or someone representing you) may have neglected to pay the webhosting or domain hosting fee on time.
  4. The amount and size of the files on your webhost (files required for your website to run) may have maxed out / used up the amount of disk space your webhost has allocated for you.
  5. The website or the webserver (your host is using) may be down for maintenance.
  6. Your website may be down due to a programming error either on the webserver or on the website.
  7. It may be that your website got hacked or blacklisted by an internet monitoring service.
Solutions:
  1. The first thing you should do is determine, whether or not you are the only one experiencing this problem. To do this, check http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/google.com, type in the website in the space provided and click the text that says "or just me?". If it says it's just you, then check your internet connection, firewalls, internet cache, etc. or get your computer repairs technician to do that for you.
  2. Make sure you are familiar with your webhosting and domain hosting agreement and the features associated with your webhosting account. More specifically, be familiar with the cost of everything, how often you are required to pay, the amount of disk space and the amount of internet traffic your webhost allocated to you. Some webhosts will tell you that the disk space and / or the amount of traffic allocated is unlimited, please note this is not really the case, but, they usually say this, when the amount allocated is so high that it is unlikely you will ever need all of it, whilst others will be more specific. As for the fees, if they are not paid on time, your webhost and / or your domain host will suspend your account. In any of these cases (where the disk space or traffic is maxed out or webhosting or domain hosting fees are not paid), you should contact and consult your webhost to either pay off outstanding fees or to upgrade the account to get more traffic or disk space
  3. Your website may also go down for maintenance purposes. This may mean anything from a bug being discovered and repaired in the webhost's software, to an upgrade to the webhosting hardware or software, or a major update or upgrade to the website itself. Webhosts and website designers usually try their best to avoid taking down the website while doing these things, but this is not always possible, because sometimes you have to switch things off and then turn them back on again. Talk to your website designer and your webhost about the problem, get both of them to investigate it. If you know your website designer is currently doing some work on the website (for example if you asked them to make some changes) talk to them and determine if they had to take it down for some reason. If, however, this is not the case, go straight to the webhost and enquire.
  4. Programming errors can cause websites to go down, but first you have to determine what type of programming error, before you can find a solution:
    1. there's something wrong with the code for the website. Unless there were any major recent changes to the website, there should not be anything wrong with the code, except in #3 below. If there was some major changes to the website recently concluded or currently going on, talk to your current website designer, if not, see #3 below.
    2. There's a bug on your webhost's software or operating system. If this is the case, you need to report this to your webhost and have them deal with it.
    3. Your website might be so old (it may have been up for a very long time) that modern internet protocols may no longer support it. To resolve this you would need to consult your website designer about redesigning it.
  5. On occasion websites do get hacked. Your webhost is typically responsible for your website's basic security, and they provide free tools for your website designer to secure your website properly, so you should first have a chat with your webhost about the problem. In addition, there are other security measures you can pay for to add more protection to your website. One example is a secure sockets layer (ssl) certificate and others are website anti virus and anti hacker solutions. Discuss purchasing additional protection with your website designer before buying.
  6. My website or domain name got blacklisted. This does not happen very often except when various internet monitoring agencies determine that your website, webhost or domain registrar is responsible (whether intentionally or not) for transmitting spam, phishing, internet viruses and other malicious activity. Usually when this happens, when you attempt to view the website, you will be presented with a page telling you your website has been blacklisted and a link to provide more information. Very often, if it is your website, this may either be the result of someone with an infected computer visiting your website, or it may mean that your website or webhost was hacked. Take a look at the link provided (on the default "this website has been blacklisted) with your website designer and depending on the causes & reasons, your website designer will be able to advise you how to proceed.
You may read more about these issues at: 


How can I be on top of things?
Pay attention to the emails received from your webhost because if they plan any maintenance on your webserver, they typically will inform you about this via email (usually days) before they conduct the maintenance.

What about restoring the website after it has gone down?
Both your webhost and your website designer should be capable of restoring the website for you. They each may have terms and conditions under which they'll agree to restore the website, so discuss it with them.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Changes! New Products and Services Launched!

Dear Readers,
So it has been awhile since I last blogged. I apologize for that, I have been pretty busy trying to get some new products and services on track.

Some of you may or may not know that besides website design, recently I have partnered with a couple companies to provide my customers with the whole website package, from webdesign to webhosting and domain name registration and secure sockets layer (ssl) certificates. Some of these services were advertised on my website over the past few months, but I have only just been able to add the ssl certificates option / service.

For those who may not be aware, I currently offer shared windows and unix hosting, as well as linux virtual private servers and managed private servers. The webhosting and domain name registration both have 30 day money back guarantee's on them, while the ssl certificates have 15 days money back guarantee (you may read more about these services HERE).

Services that I expect to launch early in the new year include:
microsoft exchange
microsoft sharepoint
windows virtual private server
windows managed private server
as well as some more ssl certificates

In addition, I have also been busy designing some new products most of which are for sale at My Zazzle Online Store. These include such things as plates, laptop cases, jugs, mugs, shoes, mousepads, etc.

There are also a few new items at my CafePress Online Stores: Here and Here.

So please feel free to go ahead and check them all out!

I have several more posts in the process of being written, so please come back soon for more information.

Also feel free to ask questions in the comments below!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Merchandise for Christmas

So lately I've been designing a number of products on both Cafepress and Zazzle, for the upcoming christmas

Greeting Cards & Stationary:
Product: Greeting Card
Available 
Single: US$4.50 View / Buy Now
Ten (10) Pack: US$15.00 View / Buy Now
Twenty (20) Pack: US$25.00 View / Buy Now

Manufacturer: CafePress

Product: Greeting Card
Available 
Single: US$2.95 View / Buy Now
Ten (10) Pack: US$24.5 View / Buy Now
Twenty (20) Pack: US$35.00 View / Buy Now

Manufacturer: Zazzle
*Also has matching stamps
Product: Greeting Card
Available 
Single: US$6.00 View / Buy Now
Ten (10) Pack: US$24.5 View / Buy Now
Twenty (20) Pack: US$35.00 View / Buy Now

Manufacturer: CafePress

Product: Christmas Envelope
Available 
Single: US$0.80 View / Buy Now

Manufacturer: Zazzle

Product: Christmas Stamp
Available 
Single Sheet of 20: US$19.55 View / Buy Now
11 sheets of 20: US$17.55 each View / Buy Now
22 sheets of 20: US$16.55 each View / Buy Now

Manufacturer: Zazzle

Product: Caribbean Wall Calendar
Available 
Single: US$22.25 View / Buy Now
Fifty (50) Pack: US$17.80 each View / Buy Now
One Hundred (100) Pack: US$15.57 each View / Buy Now

Manufacturer: Zazzle

Product: Hibiscus 2012 Calendar Print
Available 
Single: US$4.58 View / Buy Now

Manufacturer: CafePress