Wednesday Nov 11, 2009

How To Install Acquia Drupal on OpenSolaris (it's easy!)

I just published a short how-to video showing how you can easily install Acquia Drupal on OpenSolaris.

Sun's ISV Engineering group has been working with Drupal for a couple of years now; I also use Acquia Drupal to develop and maintain this web site, which also hosts my personal blog.  The Drupal community is amazingly vibrant and growing by leaps and bounds, and Acquia has done a nice job of commercializing the Drupal open source content management software package.  Acquia Drupal is still free, but it has some nice additions that any Drupal user or developer would want.

Anyway, check out the video; it's about 8 minutes long and walks you through the steps to find the catalog of third party applications, then get Acquia Drupal and configure it on your OpenSolaris system.  It's easy, and it just works.

Oh and by the way: props to our Sun Learning Exchange web site and staff for making it so darned easy to publish content.  Nice job, folks!

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Tuesday Jul 07, 2009

Tip for filtering OpenOffice spreadsheet results in a data pilot table

Okay, this blog entry is one of the "note to self" kind; I should probably create a tag for that or something.

Here's what I'm trying to do: I have a spreadsheet with data I've gotten from a table in a web page; the table happens to be data from a twiki that our organization uses to track the projects we do.  I'm looking at data trends, doing so by creating a data pilot table (in Excel land, a pivot table) of my spreadsheet data.  The results are nice, but now I want to see the same results without all the entries that have the string "SSE" in the keywords column of my spreadsheet (many columns in this spreadsheet, one of them contains keywords for the projects we track).

Creating the data pilot table is easy.  Creating the filter is easy (on the data pilot, click on the "Filter" button to bring up a dialog that lets you choose your filter parameters).  Getting to the regular expression part is easy (in the Filter dialog, click on the button labeled "More >>" and check the box labeled "Regular expression").  But what to type in the "Value" text field?  I tried typing \*SSE\*, but that didn't do anything.

I found the solution in this great blog about OpenOffice tips.  The solution: type a period before each asterisk, i.e., .\*SSE.\*, instead of \*SSE\* as Excel does it.

It worked beautifully; whew!

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Tuesday Aug 12, 2008

Kinesis Keyboard and the Apple Command Key

I have a Kinesis Model 130 keyboard, an ergonomic keyboard that I love to use. Actually, I have three of them, acquired over the past 10-15 years. I am convinced that they have saved me from tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome; that, and my switching to the Dvorak keyboard layout about 15-20 years ago.

But only recently did I try using the Kinesis with my Mac computers and the problem is that I couldn't find the Apple "Clover" key on the keyboard, certainly not in the place where it should be (in the center area of the keyboard, where Kinesis mounts the Alt/Ctrl/Home/End keys where the thumbs can type them).

Turns out the Kinesis keyboards do have the Clover keys mapped, but in different places depending on which model keyboard you have. On older models like my older 130, they are mapped to the embedded layer, to the "H" and "N" keys. (the embedded layer is the layer of keys that you get when you press the "Keypad" button; other keyboards would call this button "Num Lock") On more recent Kinesis keyboards that don't already have a standard Mac keyboard layout, Clover is found in the "PrintScn" and "Scroll Lock" keys.

Here is how to map from the embedded layer to the non-embedded layer. For example, mapping the Mac Clover key from the embedded layer to have it sit where the "Alt" key is (you press "Alt" to get "Clover"), follow the instructions below, which you can also find on Kinesis's web site on this page.

Remapping bottom layer windows key to top layer:

For PS/2 Contoured keyboards, the Windows key (or Command for Mac users) is located in the embedded "PrintScrn" and "Scroll Lock" keys. If you would like to remap the embedded Windows key to the top layer, follow these instructions:
  1. Turn Keypad ON.
  2. Press and hold the Progrm key and tap F12 (LED's on keyboard will flash rapidly).
  3. Press and release the "PrintScrn" key. (LED's will slow down).
  4. Press and release the destination key, for example- Right Alt (LED's will speed up).
  5. Press and release the "PrintScrn" key (LED's will slow down).
  6. Press and release the KEYPAD key.
  7. Press and release the SAME destination key, example- Right Alt (LED's will speed up).
  8. Exit by repeating step 2 (LED's will stop flashing).
Now, in this example, the Right Alt key will function as the Windows/Apple Command key when keypad is ON or OFF.
NOTE: For older PS/2 Contoured keyboards, the Windows / Apple Command ("Clover") key is located in the embedded "h" and "n" keys.

By the way, Kinesis now makes keyboards that easily map between a standard Windows and Apple keyboard layout with a simple key sequence you can press. I just purchased one of those, too...I'm a big fan of Kinesis.

One last note: I've had my oldest Kinesis keyboard for well 12+ years, and I still have no problems with it. They make a high-quality product. It's not cheap (maybe $300), but for how it makes my fingers feel, it's a no-brainer.

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle. What more do you need to know, really?


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