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Upgraded bensch.be to Drupal 7

Today I upgraded the website to Drupal 7. Drupal 7 has been out for a couple of months now so the time seemed right. That, and the yearly skiing holiday in which Dries and I usually do "something" for our website.

Somehow the first upgrade went bad with a failing database upgrade. I think it might have been related to not actually uninstalling the Drupal 6 Mollom module. All I did was disable it.

I put a backup of the previous version of bensch.be back. This involved cursing a bit as I hadn't taken a backup of the database after my last story. In short I can say bensch.be is hosted at DreamHost now after a very short stint at iPage (turns out they only give you 250MB per inbox, which isn't advertised anywhere on the website)

In any case, the 2nd upgrade worked except for some time zone warnings. Drupal 7 went from time zone "numbers" to actual time zones and it sort of warns you about it in a scary way. It cannot pick a default time zone so all that needs to be done is set it again.

The other errors I got were when trying to create this story:

Notice: Undefined index: description in field_multiple_value_form() (line 156 of bensch/modules/field/field.form.inc).

Apparantly, the Internet says, this is fixed by visiting Administrator -> Structure -> Content types, click "manage fields" for each content type defined and just save the settings again. It worked.

The last error appeared on top of the page was when I visited Administrator -> Appearance to find out about Drupal's new default theme. It had not been able to select a theme so I had to set one and save. I chose Bartik as default theme.

One other strange thing is that I had lost the "Administer" link in the menu as I logged in after the upgrade... So I couldn't actually "click" on anything to get into the administrator section. At first I freaked and thought the upgrade had erased my admin flag leaving the website without admin and no way of getting it back without some SQL magic. A lucky guess for http://bensch.be/admin did the trick. *phew*

Reinstalling Mollom for Drupal 7 was a no-brainer. Nothing to report there.

I could've gone for drupalgardens.com which I actually suggest if you want to get a website up in no time and have a great choice of default themes and color schemes.

But I decided not to.

Upgraded bensch.be to Drupal 6.20.

One of my main gripes with Drupal has always been the upgrade process. I still think there are too many manual actions involved. These have always held me back from upgrading, also because they didn't bring anything "new" to the table except for security. Everyone knows it's hard selling "security" upgrades, even when they're free. But now that Drupal 7's been out for a month it was time for me to consider upgrading again because new features _did_ get added to Drupal 7.

In order to upgrade between major versions you need to first upgrade to the latest minor version of your current Drupal release, after which you upgrade to the new major version. The first step is now done, I've uprgraded my Drupal 6.ancient (it was 6.5 actually) to 6.20. Because I'm superlazy I didn't make a backup of the database. Or is it because I trust the product, Drupal, and its community? So I copied the download link to Drupal 6.20. `ssh`ed into the server where my Drupal installation runs,`wget`ted the Drupal 6.20 link, `gunzip`ped and extracted it. Then the upgrade.

I ran the Drupal crontab from within the administration section first to see if there weren't any problems with the current setup. Then I put the site in maintenance mode in the administration section. Next, all there's to it is moving out the files/ and sites/ folders of the running Drupal installation, copy the new files and folders from Drupal 6.20 in, overwriting everything and then moving files/ and sites/ back into the new Drupal folder. Lastly the UPGRADE.txt told me to browse to http://bensch.be/update.php to run the database upgrade scripts, no errors got logged and I was good to go!

It was so easy that I even remembered to move the site back into normal mode from maintenance mode. Imagine that.

The upgrade process went so smooth that I bet none of you even noticed it!

Tell Mac OS X 10.6's QuickTime X about .mkv files. [Deprecate]

As of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) the way OS X decides what application opens which files has changed. Many people complained about this, just google for UTI (Uniform Type Identifier) and Snow Leopard, you'll see Gruber and Dilger have their say about it.

Fact is: QuickTime does not open .mkv files anymore, it's not in its list of UTIs it handles. For those who relied upon Perian for playing Matroska video files poses a problem. A work-around is installing NicePlayer which tells QuickTime to add .mkv files to its list, this means installing a new QuickTime front-end, or you can run this little application that I've compiled from Perian's Subversion repository (build 1168) which is basically what Perian's installer will run when they finally decide to release a new version. Just like NicePlayer it will tell QuickTime about some extra movie types.

With the release of Perian 1.2 it tells QuickTime about .mkv files in the way I described. I removed the download link.

SolarSeek for Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

SolarSeek is an Open Source version of the SoulSeek client for OS X.

Its development has ceased long time ago and the home page reflects this.
However I assume there are people that still use it, even though it's old. But all it really needs to do is find files that other people share and have you download them. The social tools they were incorporating before the development stopped aren't really "core" functionality.

So, as of Mac OS X 10.6 SoulSeek crashes at startup. Some EXC_BAD_ACCESS failure... whatever, no-one cares, it does not work. I downloaded the source code which is still available at the google code project page and compiled the latest (and last) release 0.95.3 for Snow Leopard. I didn't do any quality control. All I noticed is that it works for me.

If the project owner would be so kind to do the same and put up a new version online then SolarSeek wouldn't be completely dead.

For those of you who want it, here it is: SolarSeek 0.95.3

Fixing MySQL after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

I'm seeing a lot of wrong solutions to "fixing" MySQL to work after upgrading to Snow Leopard. Like reinstalling it completely or having MacPorts install its version.

MySQL's Preference Pane grays out its start button after an upgrade. The only reason why this is is because somehow the upgrade procedure to Mac OS X 10.6 removed /usr/local/mysql which is what the Preference Pane looks for.

All that's needed is putting this file back. And in fact the file is a symlink to your "real" mysql installation which they haven't touched.

Here's the fix:

Open Terminal
Change the directory to /usr/local by doing: `cd /usr/local/`
`ls` should list one or more mysql folders.
`sudo ln -s mysql-<the version you'd like to use> mysql`

And there you go, you've re-created the link to MySQL. The link for which the preference pane was looking. Restarting System Preferences picks up the link and you can start MySQL again.

What should be noted is that MySQL does not provide a 64 bit version of their preference pane yet. But you can download a 64 bit compiled one from here: http://www.swoon.net/site/software.html
Another good idea might be to install a 64 bit version of MySQL if you hadn't done so, as your OS is now fully 64 bit...

I hope Google will pick up this little post and rank it highly before all the FUD that's been generated online :)

Sent From My iPhone.

No, not really. But I did manage to finally get one. Finally, because it did take almost 8 weeks for me to get the black 32GB iPhone 3GS. That's Belgium for you. When I went to get mine the person behind the counter told me that Mobistar (the exclusive distributor here in Belgium) had sent them 16 pieces that week. That is 16 iPhones to divide over their 7 stores in Flanders, Belgium. Unbelievable how big of a scam the iPhone is in Belgium.

There are two reasons I can think of why this would be.

The first is that Apple makes more money over a 2 year period of time on iPhones sold with a subscription than on those sold unlocked. But several people that are in the distribution chain told me this wasn't the case as a cellphone operator just buys them from Apple at a certain price and then has to figure out itself how to gain back the money through a subscription model via their customers. If Apple makes more money on phones sold with a plan it might be reluctant to ship unlocked "cheap" iPhones to Belgium and saves its production for our neighbouring countries.

Second one is that subsidising phones wasn't, and still isn't allowed in Belgium, although Europe won't fine operators anymore if they do it and soon the law will change for Belgium as well stating that subsidising phones is legal. Mobistar, in my opinion is waiting to sell iPhones as long as possible until this coupling is allowed and then sell subsidised iPhones with subscriptions, on which they obviously make way more money than selling phones without a plan. For all I know they might be sitting on a stockpile of phones only letting out a couple at a time covering it up with "limited availability" on Apple's part.

Improving Scale.

Since its inception I've put more time in Scale than I initially thought I would. It has seen some improvements and can now scale directories too. The code has become a bit more modular and there's even a small preference pane which I added.

You can get it at: http://truncat.com/scale/Scale-0.5.1.zip

If you have more ideas or thing you'd like to see added, let me know in the comments.

Scale Sees Light Of Day

Half a year ago I thought I'd do some Objective-C programming, as it obviously is the programming language of Gods.
Off and on I read a bit and tried somewhat and eventually got a roughly functioning application. But as of last week I put my back in it.

Alright. So I created a really simple application called Scale... all it does is scale images.
Get it at http://truncat.com/scale/Scale-0.1.zip

Features:

* Effortlessly scale pictures by drag 'n drop
* Common preset resolutions
* Support for own custom resolutions
* Handles JPEG, PNG and TIFF
* Seamless updates with Sparkle

Harley-Davidson Gear In Belgium.

No, I don't have the XR1200 yet. But I made a test-ride with it a few weeks back. New bike, rides well, of course. At first though it felt a bit awkward. I rode a Road King before and knew how to sit on it but I've taken lessons recently on a Kawaski ER-6f or so where I was told to sit as close to the tank as possible for better control.

Yeah, when I tried this on the XR1200 it felt as if I was riding one of those fun bicycles with oval wheels. Very awkward, my right legt didn't fit well under the tank and my right ankle was continuously scraping against the oil cap. After moving my bum back to sit nicely in the "saddle" it went smooth. I had fun. It was cold though... so I told the dealer that I'd go for a ride first in my perforated leather jacket and then come back and try one of the FXRG jacket. Wind and waterproof. It even felt bulletproof with the body armour tucked away everywhere.

All geared up I went for the 2nd part of my test-ride and did highway at 130km/h to see whether I'd feel any wind. Nothing. Didn't feel a thing, other than my helmet getting yanked off of my head. I have an open helmet with a little "spoiler" in front... Like a touring helmet. Mind you, I rode a Road King... so it was appropriate. OK, I told myself, this spoiler has to go. I pulled over and yanked it off, which helped my riding a lot. Still though, an open helmet catches wind and I couldn't maintain driving at "high" speed comfortable. This will all get better with an integral helmet.

Back at the dealership I decided to buy the jacket seeing as they were so nice to let me try it out for an hour or so... Plus the fact that they gave me a brand new Harley knowing I don't have a license to ride it (more about that later maybe)

Back home, curious as I am, I checked out the price of the same jacket at the official Harley-Davidson website. Turns out I paid twice as much for it! Dayum. The "shipping" from USA argument to yank up the price a bit doesn't hold up because all of this is produced in China anyway. Alright, let's add 21% VAT and keep in mind that prices in USA usually are advertised without the 6% sales tax (though on this website they were VAT in it seems) that still doesn't justify a 100% price increase. A slight rip-off I'd say, but then again they were friendly enough to give me a bike and jacket to test.

Bottom line is... don't buy Harley gear in Belgium, and tell your dealer that you know the real price. Get someone that travels to the US and back bring it for you. Much cheaper.

What I want is an HD XR1200.

But why? Well, I just started my new job as Smalltalk developer in Groot-Bijgaarden, near Brussels in Belgium. Brussels, being our capital, equals muchos traficos jammos, especially when coming from Antwerp. I knew I'd be traffic jamming of course, taking this job, but it looked attractive so I went ahead with it... keeping the idea of a motorcycle in the back of my mind.

Now that I'm actually _in_ those traffic jams my envy of the motorbikes passing us by every morning and evening is growing on me. So the time has come to decide whether I want to buy a bike or not. The problem is... I really like the Harley-Davidson XR1200. I am a Harley-Davidson fan. It's a new bike, since June. It came out in Europe first, something which got many US bike-lovers upset as this is the first time ever HD releases a motorcycle in Europe first... They say they designed it for the European way of riding, adapted to a european male's weight and height. If I were an american, I'd take that as an insult... but they're right ;)

Anyway, the bike looks cool. I want the orange one (why does that have to be the more expensive colour?) because I'm flashy like that. The problem is that its a naked bike. This also explains its coolness. What also makes it supercool is the way Harley builds bikes. They are _simple_. The look of the bike is simple, the engine is simple. Nothing's complicated on a Harley. No explosion of little bolts and levers and valves and tubes going places making the whole engine look like a spaceship. None of that. Simplicity. Some might argue they're so simple they break down constantly. Right. Moving on. But here's the thing: naked bikes mean hard work. It means you'll be wetter and colder than on other motorbikes, less protected from wind and seemingly more vulnerable on our roads. You're practically getting a free arm-extension driving over 100km/h, clinging on to the handle-bar.

I have to drive 50km to and from work every day. My question to you is... (and not a living soul reads this website anyway but still... ;)) what do I do? Do I go for a new HD XR1200 which will make me look cool while freezing my fingers off... or do I go for the Honda Deauville, or Yamaha Fazer or Honda VFR or some other more comfortable, though hideous, touring model?