April 2007

Redmine - excellent RoR-based project management tool

I've just been converted to a tool called Redmine, a combination of the ubiquitous Trac and something like ActiveCollab. Able to work directly with Subversion code repositories, Redmine gives you support for multiple projects, per-project tasks, content management (blog, news, document management, wiki), both a calendar and GANTT chart to view progress, a very comprehensive user management system that can even authenticate against LDAP (i.e.

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IE bug - background images, floating blocks

There's a bug in all versions of Internet Explorer, including the latest IE7, whereby if you have a floating block in a block inside another block which has a background image (possibly also background colors), text will disappear. I was hitting this at work where we had two columns created using floating blocks, inside two separate blocks that each had a background image, and just above the columns was a heading - the text within the columns showed up but the heading always disappeared after the images finished loading.

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Dumping Outlook again

Well, enough of that, I'm dumping Outlook off my Mac again until I can work out a better way of doing it. I spent another half day putzing around with it as it decided to explode on me. I went back to an older backup of the Crossover "bottle" but it still didn't work. Created a new bottle with Office XP, it wouldn't work as I hadn't ran the setup program yet?!? Then I created another new bottle with Office 2000, which is supposed to be more highly supported than the newer releases - even it didn't work, complained about there not being any network connectivity. Argh.

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iTunes TV shows - worth trying out

(Originally started in December 2006)

My wife and I don't watch much TV, primarily because we cancelled our TV cable subscription several years ago. While we are both fans of science fiction shows there simple was too much junk on aside from two or three shows to spend upwards of $60 each month, and we also wanted to move towards more constructive ways of spending our time. However, there are still those one or two shows we really enjoy and wish to keep up with, without having to wait a year or more for the episodes to be released on DVD. Enter what is currently IMHO the best alternative solution to our predicament - iTunes!

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Most important thing for ColdFusion development

After working with Adobe's ColdFusion for several years I've come to the conclusion that the single most important thing that a developer can do is use the CFQUERYPARAM tag. This single tag can help prevent many security problems as it will automatically work out how to pass the variable into the database based on the type of data you say it is, e.g. strings will get the proper quotation marks around it, dates will have pound signs added if needed, etc, etc.

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Compiling software is a pain - Cygwin, PHP, MySQL

I'm working on a lengthy article explaining how to install a bunch of web server software in Cygwin and I've found that I have to manually compile several key pieces. While I'm not unwilling to do this, the sheer hassle of having to go back 'n forth testing different configuration and installation options is a pain.

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MySQL + Rails on Cygwin tip

Here's a really quick tip for anyone using Rails on Cygwin. If you want to connect to a MySQL database the understood practice is to compile MySQL and go through the hassle of getting it all working within Cygwin itself. After what I've gone through with it all, the best way of getting this combination to work is to:

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