Tag Archives: HowTo

HowTo: Drush … finally

I really do not know why I did not check out Drush earlier. It is a command-line interface to comfortably maintain your Drupal-based website. Labeled by its creators as “veritable Swiss Army knife” it can virtually do any administrative tasks that you can think of. And this within a fraction of the time that you would usually spend to execute each single step via the original user interface of Drupal.

As prerequisite you should have a well setup Drupal installation. If not for example updating Drupal’s core might not work out well and even screw up your site. After installing Drush you can easily verify this by running the command drush core-requirements.

The current stable release of Drush is 8.1.12 and requires PHP 5.4.5 or later. It supports Drupal 6.X, 7.X, and 8.X.

The installation is straight forward and explained well in the official documentation.

The most annoying task for myself was always having to manually update Drupal core, especially when there are urgent security updates.

With Drush it is as easy as that (original description):

drush vset --exact maintenance_mode 1 && drush cache-clear all && drush pm-update && drush vset --exact maintenance_mode 0 && drush cache-clear all

HowTo: Debian GNU/Linux Stretch as Dual Boot on a MacbookPro11,3

Right in time for the WWDC 2017 and the release of Debian 9 Stretch, a quick guide on how you can enrich your Macintosh with a free operating system.

The challenge

Meanwhile older hardware from Cupertino like my Macbook Pro (Late 2013) is well supported by most GNU/Linux distributions. It is not anymore a thrilling adventure to get its components working like it used to be a few years ago. They just work out of the box.

What I still find quite challenging is to choose for and set up a working boot process. My goal is to be able to easily boot GNU/Linux as well as macOS. So this is mainly what this HowTo is all about.

My recipe includes rEFInd as boot manager, without GRUB and relying on the EFI stub loader that is since kernel version 3.3.0 an integral part of it.
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HowTo: My journey through self-hosted photo gallery approaches

Quite soon after creating this blog I found that it is also the perfect place to present selections of my photographs.

During that time I was already using Adobe Lightroom. If I remember correctly it was still version 1.X, but it already had a convenient one-click solution to create web-based galleries out of a collection of photos. So I could easily create one and upload the resulting folder to my webserver. I even was able to customize the generated configuration file in order to modify the title and description of the Flash-based gallery player. And here comes the downside. It was based on Shockwave/Macromedia/Adobe Flash, a nightmare regarding security and stability. Aside from this, mobile devices have become more and more popular that did not support Flash and introduced a completely different way on how to interact with a website. Remember the first time when you were using a swipe gesture to browse through images? An this Responsive web design that allowed you to view webpages and its elements in a size that fit well the screen of your device and not vice versa?

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HowTo: Installing Yosemite into VirtualBox

This post should give a quick overview and some background on how to install Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite in VirtualBox version 4.3.22.

VirtualBox is great because it is probably the only free and open source software based virtualization environment that supports most common platforms (like GNU/Linux, Windows, and Macintosh) and where the virtual machines are portable in case you want to switch the host’s operating system.

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Email encryption

As more and more people want to encrypt their personal communication to preserve and to protect their privacy, this post should give a quick introduction and some useful hints regarding email encryption based on OpenPGP.

First of all: It may initially look like being quite complicated. The available guide will require some thorough reading. But in the end it is not that complex and absolutely worth the effort. As soon as one is familiar with the basic concepts and techniques it will be nothing more than locking/unlocking your front door. And probably you did not yet remove your door lock for reasons of simplicity?

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HowTo: Linking within the Flash Web Gallery of Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom

As image processing and management software I am using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (meanwhile in version 2.4, still looking for an adequate Open Source alternative).

One thing I like about Lightroom is the easy, fast and integrated way to create web galleries out of your photo collections. What I was missing so far was a way to link back from a certain flash web gallery to my gallery overview and to the main page of my blog.

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HowTo find alternatives to software XY

Are you looking for an alternative to your up to now favorite computer program XY?

The Web site AlternativeTo – “Find better Windows, Mac, Linux and online applications” could be a reasonable source for conveniently answering such question. At alternativeto.net you can search for the application that you want to replace. As result you will get a list of alternative software with similar (or even better) functionality. This list can then be filtered by tag, license (Open Source!) and supported platform.

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