Random writings on running, software & product development, business and anything else

Category: Technology (Page 1 of 12)

Technology, software development, FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and the web. From languages like PHP to specific tools, books and anything else.

VirtualBox with Static IP on Ubuntu Server Guest

Setup for the following technology:

  • Windows 10 as host machine
  • VirtualBox 6.0.18
  • Guest OS is Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) Server Beta [other versions since around 17.10 will work]

The aim is being able to access the guest on a static IP from the host to upload/download files and for the guest to be able to access the internet for API access to external services, apt update etc.

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Thunderbird Account Order – Windows 10

Years ago I wrote a post on reordering accounts in Thunderbird and recently found myself needing to do it again. Some of the instructions in the original post are now outdated, so here is the updated version with Windows 10 paths.

In Mozilla Thunderbird each time a new account is added it appears at the bottom of the mail list. I wanted to reorder accounts and move one to the top, but Thunderbird does not have a built in option to reorder accounts. The answer is to edit prefs.js file. On Windows 10 this is located at C:\Users\[usernme]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles<your profile>pref.js

Look for a line like: user_pref("mail.accountmanager.accounts", "account3,account2,account5,account4,account1");
This is the line you will need to modify to control ordering.

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Shame On Me

I have let this site slide. Not just in new content but also keeping the site up to date with new versions of WordPress etc.

My history with WordPress goes back a long way. I have built both commercial and non commercial sites with it. Developed plugins and themes, and helped many others get sites up and running. These days I am a lot less hands on and my contact with what has been happening in the WP world has declined.

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I’m A Certified Scrum Master

So after attending the Scrum Master training with AxisAgile, as part of the package you are nominated to Scrum Alliance and may then take the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) exam.

Strike while the iron is hot, so once the login details were received I took the exam that night. Given the great course and my prior practical experience with plenty of reading, I was pretty confident. The fact the exam is online, untimed and multiple choice makes it less daunting than the last time I took an exam, many years ago.

Short story is yes I passed and am now a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM). Not quite a perfect score from the 35 questions, but close enough. The exam was much as I expected. In most questionsm of the 4 potentials 1 or 2 are generally obviously wrong, and often the correct answer id the nost correct of those remaining.

For those from a more traditional development background, watch out for phrases like ‘project manager’ which is not a defined role in Scrum. Understand who are the participants in scrum, like the development team, ScrumMaster and Product Owner. Get a good grasp on the various scrum gatherings like daily standup, planning and retrospectives. Finally the artifacts like the backlog (product and sprint) and the burn down chart.

Drupal and site performance improvements

Earlier in the year I was part of the team that put live a new site for my employer, moving from a predominately flat HTML site with a little PHP to one using Drupal 7. Here I will go through some of the issues that have been encountered around performance and the steps that I lead to improve site performance over time and as new features have been added.
Please note this is not my site so at times I don’t go into lots of detail around numbers.
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XML uploads in WordPress

By default the WordPress media uploader does not permit the uploading of XML files, but this is easily modified.

add_filter('upload_mimes', 'custom_upload_xml');

function custom_upload_xml($mimes) {
    $mimes = array_merge($mimes, array('xml' => 'application/xml'));
    return $mimes;

Add this in your themes functions.php file or in a plugin. The function name [custom_upload_xml] can be changed, but just make it consistent. The same technique can be used to allow other file types to be uploaded.

GoDaddy hit by stop sign

It seems a hacker connected with Anonymous, but not as a collective action has turned the lights out on GoDaddy and all the sites that have their domain registered through them.
I still have some domains with GoDaddy and this has had some impact on me, but I see this differently to many other users who have been affected and are expressing their anger at the hacker. This situation should remind us all that the internet is built on some pretty flaky foundations. GoDaddy is the largest regitrar in the world 9at least in .com), but take out their name servers and the impact is widespread.
So quickly a lot of the worlds commerce and communication has become dependant on a system (the internet) that is really quite young, and is still rapidly growing and evolving. Still lots of bumps in the road to come. Today is GoDaddy and they may have been a target becuase of past support for SOPA, but they are not unique and it could easily be another large host tomorrow.

Change of Theme

The TwentyTwelve theme for WprdPress is not officially out yet, but you can get it by SVN.

It’s a really nice clean responsive theme. I have taken it as the base for this site. At this time there is little difference, but I will gradually yweak it to be exactly as I want.

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