drew's blog

Selecting PHP command line version on HostGator shared host

This took me a while to find, so I'm saving it somewhere I can find it again.

The easy way to select the PHP version used for web applications is to use the CPanel configuration tool. However, that doesn't work if you're using SSH and need PHP on the command line. Also, on HostGator, you can't create a symlink outside of your directory (such as to the global php).

You can find out what version you have with

$ php --version

If that's not the version you want, try a specific version like this (php55 is 5.5, etc):

Disable XScreenSaver Nag Screen on Raspbian

A few days ago I started getting a popup when I restart or wake up the screen on my Raspberry Pi. It says "WARNING: This version is very old! Please upgrade!". My Google searches haven't found a concise answer for the fix for Raspbian Jessie (not sure about Wheezy), so here it is.

Book Scanning Process


Just to document this for next time. For reference, my books are 8 x 10.75 inches and other dimension below work for this. For approximately 100 pages, It takes me about 45 minutes to scan, an hour to crop and rotate, and 30 minutes to organize and generate the PDF.

Setting up the hotfolder module on Drupal

I use the hotfolder module to process the sermons we record every week. I wrote the recording software, so I was able to add the features I needed for this to work. Basically, after recording, the software uploads the sermon to a certain folder on the website and then visits a web page with the cron key to initiate hotfolder processing.

Fixing features for hotfolder

Here is some documentation about the process I used to solve some issues with hotfolder and the features module. I was doing this partly through the web interface and partly through a console, so this is a reconstruction of what I remember and the console log. 


I was getting the following error message when I tried to check hotfolder watches (see https://www.drupal.org/node/2453659):

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$field_watch_config_scheme


Using the same microSD card on Raspberry Pi Model B/B+ and 2.0


I have several of the original Model B and B+. I also have one 2.0. I would like to use the same cards on all of my Pis, because who wants to keep track of which card is for which unit? Not me.

First, I read this article and mine was already up-to-date with everything mentioned.

GIMP for Kids


My daughter likes to draw on the computer. I don't remember exactly how it started, but she draws in GIMP using my Genius pen tablet, on my secondary monitor. I used to have Linux running in a VirtualBox with GIMP running on my second monitor for her, but VB doesn't completely work in Windows 10 yet. A while back I tried running GIMP on one of my Raspberry Pi's but it was just too sluggish to be useful, frustratingly slow for a (then) 3-year-old. It runs much better on a Raspberry Pi 2. It still lags if she goes crazy with a big brush, but it works.

Die Fly: Designing a better fly swatter

I was looking through some of my old stuff for something and ran across this gem. If you need to put together a quick flyswatter, try this one I designed for a class in college (the famous Rube Goldberg project).

Here are a few excerpts from the attached PDF. If this doesn't convince you to build one (perhaps with several improvements as noted in the document), I don't know what will.

Converting version control repositories from Bazaar to Git (bzr to git)

Bazaar is great on Windows. Several years later, git's tools for Windows still.... (ahem) are lacking or too commercial. However, official development on it has ended and git is so much more popular now. So I think the time has come to convert all my beloved bzr repositories to git.

First we need note some prerequisites:


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