Ubuntu: A DIY Admin File Manager

As I mentioned in a previous post, one of my key annoyances with Ubuntu was its lack of an easy way to slip into Super User mode to perform administrative tasks. And, no, I don't consider opening up a terminal and typing "sudo whatever" easy. I recall, for instance, that during my most recent usage of a distro in the Red Hat family, there used to be a way to launch the file manager in SU mode directly, no CLI. Another distro had had a right-click menu option in the normal file manager to open a folder in SU mode. Either way, from there, I could right click launch a file in my editor of choice, also in SU mode, and do what needed doing. But Debian and all it's progeny decided that end users should be protected from the dangers of root account usage by making it a pain to get to. Of course, the best intentions of security architects are hardly a match for a determined yet ultimately lazy end-user.

CSS: Chrome Element Inspector

There are times when you are working on a page that you will encounter something that just doesn’t look right. A line is the wrong color, a space is too big, a block is in the wrong place. If it’s straight HTML, it’s easy enough to fix that. If you add styles to the mix, it begins to get a little trickier. And if you add multiple styles, includes, in the header, in-line, with some from contributed modules you’ve never cracked open and others from core code you’re not supposed to touch, well, it can get almost difficult. But just “almost”.

Android Maybe Not As Open As You Might Think

As my ancient (14 months old!) Blackberry continues it inevitable path toward obsolescence, I've been looking pretty hard at some flavor of Android as the eventual replacement. I'm a pretty big fan of all things Google, and given the opportunity, I'll take High-Functioning and Open over Pristine and Closed just about any day of the week. That said, I came across an interesting article in TechCrunch that has made me re-evaluate my plans.

Wine: Using Bottles

Something I often see mentioned, but rarely explained, is the concept of Wine (which is not an emulator) bottles. Once I was able to understand the concept, it became much easier to run (certain) Windows applications in Linux. Let me share a little.

Ubercart: Product Imports

When a client asked me to build him an eCommerce site that allowed him to occasionally re-upload his product catalog, it seemed like Drupal and UberCart would be the obvious solution. Both are well established projects with tons of high-quality free plug-in modules. It was a safe bet there was a collection of downloads I could assemble like Lego bricks into the perfect site. But, oddly enough, it turns out that the product upload capability was simply not supported.

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