I decided to revisit one of my older posts; Setting Up Multiple Apache Local Web Sites On Your Computer; which was written as a guideline for Apache 1.3.x for both Linux and Windows machines.

I’ve always used Apache 1.3.x for my web development needs (yeah, I’m old school), but this time around though, I need to get some testing done Apache 2.0.x because it’s what one of the server I’m developing for runs.

After downloading the necessary Windows installer for Apache 2.0.x (yes, I’m assigned a Windows XP notebook at work) one thing I discovered almost immediately is that the tips I’ve mentioned in my earlier post doesn’t work on Apache 2.0.x right off the bat.

After reading some of the comments in my original post, as well as reading through the Apache 2.0 manual, and bouts of experimenting I found out that the following changes are necessary for VirtualHosts to work properly:

  1. Define the NameVirtualHost 127.0.0.1:* directive: If this line is commented or non-existant in httpd.conf, your local VirtualHosts won’t work
  2. Include the hostname in the VirtualHost container. For example: <VirtualHost localtest>. If you want the VirtualHost to listen to other ports, use this example (of listening to port 8080)<VirtualHost localtest:8080>

That’s pretty much it. Migrating my Apache 1.3.x sites to Apache 2.0.x was a breeze.

I’ve accepted a ReviewMe offer to check out Say The Time, a Windows application that claims to help us get organised – the fun and easy way. Features of Say The Time include:

  • Audio reading of the current time
  • Customizable reminders
  • Definable taskbar display modes
  • Synchronization with time servers
  • Built-in calendar
  • Stopwatch and countdown timers
  • International time viewer

On the surface, Say The Time looks like a pretty simple application. The objective of my review is to see whether it lives up to its claim of helping users get organized in a fun and easy way.

Installation

The installation file is 3.73MB and would download within seconds for those with broadband internet connection. The download speed is decent and after a quick virus scan, I was installing Say The Time.

The installation process is pretty straight-forward and basically, you just need to confirm whatever step is prompted by the installation software and Say The Time would be installed on your computer.

A funny incident I encountered in the installation process was the need to restart my computer after the installation is complete. I haven’t needed to do that since I installed Visual Studio .NET, a programming IDE by Microsoft.

I doubt that Say The Time is such a complex application that it warrants a reboot. Perhaps the next version should address this issue. Rebooting is not fun, especially after an installation of such a simple application.

Using Say The Time

Say The Time clock

After my PC rebooted, I saw that Say The Time launches at startup. Its presence is obvious. Where the standard Windows clock used to be is now replaced by Say The Time.

The default look is not really suited to my tastes. However, it’s easily customizable and within seconds I’ve manage to change it to exactly how I wanted it to be.

Say The Time: Clock display settings

I proceed to test the Reminders function of Say The Time. The first thing I noticed was that the window has two tabs namely Reminders and Notes. I switched between the two tabs and the title for the window changed according to which tab was selected. I find this to be a useful time-saving function whenever I wanted to switch between the two.

However, the right-click menu of Say The Time shows two separate functions called Reminders and Notes that bring up the same window although the selected tab is different depending on what you’ve selected. Personally, I think it’s better to just have one menu item called Reminders and Notes instead.

Say The Time: Reminders and Notes

I added a new reminder and was very excited to see the variety of options available. You have the following options when setting a reminder:

  • Naming and categorizing your reminder
  • Optionally setting an audible message
  • Setting the reminder date and time
  • Choosing an action to perform, namely:
    1. Displaying a message
    2. Displaying a message along with an Internet shortcut
    3. Playing a sound file
    4. Executing a program
Say The Time: Reminders Options

Basically, I’m spoiled for choices on how I choose to be reminded! Almost all of the options work as expected. The only minor disappointment I have is that the sound playing reminder only accepts WAV files. It would be much better if it can also at least support MP3s.

I then experimented with the Notes feature. If the Reminders function has a wealth of features, the Notes function is almost a total opposite. Basically, you have a small Post-It like window appear where you can type in some text.

You can also change the background colour of a note, as well as setting a transparency level. Additionally, you can even make a note stay on top of other windows.

Say The Time: Notes Options

I’m disappointed that the font control is pretty weak. You can only change the font settings for the entire note content. It would have been nice to be able to mix underlined, bolded and italicized content in a note. It would also be nice if I can embed pictures in them.

The next function of Say The Time I tested next was the Stopwatch. It’s a straightforward function to use. You simply need to start and end the stopwatch according to what you’re timing.

Say The Time: Stopwatch

I did notice one bug in this function; namely the millisecond counter is essentially useless. It doesn’t really measure milliseconds properly. Nevertheless, you can omit the milisecond reading. If you really need to measure time up to the millisecond, then Say The Time‘s stopwatch just won’t cut it.

The countdown timer has more features though. Upon completion of the countdown, it can:

  • Say the time
  • Play a sound (again, WAV files only)
  • Run a program
Say The Time: Countdown Options

The Run a program function is pretty nifty if you want to schedule a program to run after a certain period of time.

Next, I tried the World Time Clock function and immediately fell in love with the interface! Within this one window you’ll find the following:

  • Global map, showing parts of the world having daytime as well as night
  • Upon hovering your mouse on the map, you’ll get the current time of the country under the mouse cursor
  • A search function to look up the time in a particular city
  • A favourites list of cities; once saved, they will appear when you hover over the Say The Time taskbar clock
  • A time convertor showing the time in major cities around the world
Say The Time: Day/Night global view

This by itself will easily be a useful function for an internationally traveling businessman. Although I’m not one, I love this feature too because I maintain and access a couple of servers around the world. With this function, I can know easily what the time is where they’re located.

With Say The Time, you’ll always be able to synchronize your PC clock with time servers around the world and ensure that your PC clock is always accurate. Why? Not only is Say The Time a productivity tool, it is also an atomic clock software download.

At US$24.95, Say The Time is a bargain if you’re looking for a better way to get things done within deadlines. This is a great deal because not only do you get a useful time management tool, you’ll also get free updates for a year in addition to free customer service and technical support.

I’m hoping to clinch a deal with Provenio, the makers of Say The Time, to get a special deal for HTNet readers. I’ll update this post if we manage to work something out. I’ve managed to get a good deal for you, check out the update below.

In the meantime, why not just download Say The Time and give it a whirl? The download is a 30 day trial and it should give you enough time to play around with it before making your purchase decision.

Update: Save US$5.00 off the purchase price of Say The Time by using the following coupon code: HTNETSAVE5. That’s more than 20% savings!

Do not fear the shell! If you have SSH enabled web hosting, you should use it to upgrade your WordPress installation. Believe it or not, it only consists of a few steps (note that the instructions below assume that WP is installed in ~/public_html/):

  1. Login via SSH to your host
  2. Go to a temporary directory: cd /tmp
  3. Grab the latest WP archive: wget http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz
  4. Extract the archive contents: tar xzf latest.tar.gz
  5. You should now see a wordpress directory extracted in the currect location, go in it: cd wordpress/
  6. Copy the default themes to your WP install’s wp-content/themes directory: cp -R wp-content/themes/* ~/public_html/wp-content/themes/
  7. Copy the bundled plugins (Hello Dolly and Akismet) to your WP install’s wp-content/plugins directory: cp -R wp-content/plugins/* ~/public_html/wp-content/plugins/
  8. Delete the wp-content directory: rm -rf wp-content/
  9. Copy all other files and directories of the new version onto the WP installation path (overwriting the older ones)cp -R * ~/public_html/

To complete the process, run the WP upgrade script at http://yoursite/wp-admin/upgrade.php.

That’s it! Enjoy your upgraded WP!

Yahoo! Pipes is a hosted visual programming environment and a cool one to boot! It provides a simple tool you can use to aggregate virtually any content on the web into an RSS feed without writing a single line of code.

The name Pipes is derived from the Unix pipelining function. For those unfamiliar with the Unix operating system, pipelining is a process of feeding output from one program as input for another. For the whole shebang, you can refer to this Wikipedia entry on Unix Pipelines.

Those who have attempted to programmatically perform pipelining of text data and convert them to useful RSS feeds could attest that this is not for the faint of heart. I’ve attempted this myself via the Nvidia Linux Display Drivers feed generation and it was hellishly difficult to get the useful data extraction process working. In the end, it worked, but I wish I had a tool like Yahoo! Pipes then to make my life easier.

Right now, the Nvidia Linux Display Drivers I had created is now broken due to changes in the originating NVidia web page. I might attempt to recreate that feed in Yahoo! Pipes some time soon 🙂

Jeremy Zawodny has an informative writeup on Yahoo! Pipes.

I’ve cooked up a simple widget over the weekend that lists the links in a single WordPress bookmark category (aka Blogroll category in WordPress 2.1), which I name Single Bookmark Category List.

I’d like to say that this widget is a more fine-tuned implementation of the standard Links widget, where you can place links in specific link category anywhere in your sidebar(s). The Single Bookmark Category List widget gives you more flexibility on the placement of your blogroll links.

You can read more about this widget or why not just download it and give it a whirl!