Snipsnap to WordPress

I plan to look at moving my snipsnap bliki to wordpress, i.e, here. This snip was originally placed on that site. I have transferred it for one reason because it contains xml tags which xslt has problems dealing with. This article consists of my notes made while designing a transfer mechanism.

Continue reading “Snipsnap to WordPress”

Discovering Linux ‘Distro’ Facts

This article documents my version of whatdistro,  I needed a User Procedure to report certain distro facts.  I wrote a script called showdistro which works on a bunch of distros with varying verboseness. This is now implemented as a function on github : implemented as whatdistro. Continue reading “Discovering Linux ‘Distro’ Facts”

Snipsnap & Ubuntu

I decided to make an install of Snipsnap on my favourite Linux. I am using Ubuntu 9.0. This snip talks about how to, and configuring the rc.d files. It must be pretty useless now, and I have marked it deprecated and is another page that points at my mirror and thus needs to acknowledge that the source is now on github, Continue reading “Snipsnap & Ubuntu”

NWN Walkthroughs

This page captures my notes on the NWN, so-called, Official Campaign i.e. the first released game for NWN1. It is the story of the rise of the Hero of Neverwinter, who defeated the plot of the “Old Ones” return. This was copied from wiki V.1 on 22nd June 2013. Some of the internal links need to be revised.  The early Bioware links are broken forever! And now the Vault links are also broken. Continue reading “NWN Walkthroughs”

NWN Making new modules

I decided I wanted to author a module. So I found the obvious resources and links and started the tutorial, the Invasion of Fern. [Aurora Toolset Tutorial] I, of course, found some stuff to be missing. This page is my my how to code a module page. This article contains broken Bioware links and now broken Vault links. Continue reading “NWN Making new modules”

LAMP & Ubuntu

This should be easier, but I think made harder because I corrupted my Firefox applications helper list, and then chose the wrong way out

My problem, the browser tries to download index.phtml, in retrospect because, I believe that the module wasn’t properly installed into apache. Using Ubuntu 9.04

The Right Way

This page, Apache MySQL PHP at is the bible.

apt-get install  apache2 php5 php5-mysql libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mysql mysql-server

I am running in a virtual box so I needed to create a /etc/apache2/conf.d/fqdn. There wasn’t one on my system, it needs the line

ServerName localhost

I suspect that fixed it, and that my errors were caused by not initially correctly installing libapache2-mod-php5. I have proved that my install works by using Opera. Now to remove the .phtml line from the firefox browser and make the vm a server.

Google Talk

I first attempted this in August 2008. I have successfully configured Pidgin 2.0.1 to act as a client although in one case I have two channels between me and my correspondent. One of the reasons was to have a second XMPP chat service to test my problems with Pidgin and my work’s XMPP server. See Pidgin on this site, and I have written this up on my old Sun blog, at an article called google talk and pidgin, published on 10th October 2008. Continue reading “Google Talk”



I have been using Pidgin as a multi-protocol client for my instant messenger services since about 2008. The contents of this page originally relate to problems I was having with pidgin on a windows system. It was written in the Autumn of 2008 and both windows and pidgin have had many new releases or updates since then. I can’t imagine that it remains of much use. i.e. this page is out of date and not very useful now. I recognised on copying the page from its source that the page required amendment so in Dec 2014, I needed to document the installation of themes I moved the 2008 content to the comments section.


In 2014, as we had moved on from Windows XP, the theme management features of Pidgin became attractive to allow it to fit in more easily.

One approach is to edit the GTK preferences, document on this page,

and/or to install new bubbles and smilies from

One needs to be careful how one unpacks these, the themes need to have the correct name hierarchy, i.e. %appdata%\.purple\themes\${Theme Name}\purple\*, some installation techniques may leave one with the theme name reepated twice.

Protocol Helpers

Lync & TRM need SIPE, available at, when installing this using the NSIS installer, this worked fine, as you’d expect since there’s little google evidence that it doesn’t.

Skype needs its own plugin

Extending Snipsnap (superceded)

This article, which was originally about how to extend snipsnap & was copied across from the snipsnap bliki on 20th June 2013, I gave up on Snipsnap later in the year, and the project has been abandoned by its authors. This content is thus pretty much superseded and the title but not the link has changed to reflect this.. There has been some minimal reformatting undertaken. There are two idioms used which are snipsnap specific; they have been left as originally published and are now a nonsense. Other things will read oddly as I did not pursue my plans. Embedding Disqus broke the backup utility, or more accurately broke the restore. Continue reading “Extending Snipsnap (superceded)”

XML Paper System (XPS)

XML Paper System

I have a new laptop and have been configuring the additional tools and applications required to make it do a job of work. At the moment, I have no .pdf print driver yet and needed to save a web resource. I have Windows Vista 64 as my host OS and shall be running virtual box 32 bit guests. I was offered the fax driver, and the Microsoft XPS driver. I thought that PS would be some derivation of postscript, but it seems not.

I had discovered ixquick earlier in the morning, a privacy respecting search engine, and queried it using the search string “what application reads an .xps file”. XPS stands for XML Paper Specification and the Microsoft page hosting the application is fairly easy to find,

What is not clear is that this page is .net 3.0 and Vista ships with 3.5 and with the reader turned on. Attempting to install the reader again issues some odd error message about the windows feature switches. Reading the Microsoft page more clearly makes it clear that the viewer is installed in Vista, as does the association on the .xps suffix with an icon. The download should not be installed on a Vista machine.

makes clear that .xps docs can only be read using IE, although they document how to enable this for Firefox, it is an odd but interesting additional example about how IE is bound to the OS. In this particular example, I could have avoided all this ache by using the “Save Page as…” option.It seems I may need to revert to my more old fashion print solutions i.e. binding a postscript print driver to the FILE: port, or getting/buying a .pdf driver.