Journal of computing related issues for Web Authoring, and general topics using Mac, Windows and Linux platforms.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Web Development Update

Just completed 1st part of my new learning project of building Math web pages to explain Pythagoras theorem. This is a test bed for further web pages.

I developed it in Google Page Creator which I am using as a prototype, before I repeat in native HTML and then with development tools such as Kompozer and/or Serif Web Plus.

Most of the time was spent in looking for tool for drawing Euclid diagrams. Preferably I wanted one that would work in both Linux and Windows environments. As a test I attempted to create a drawing used in proof of Euclid Parallelograms on Same Base theorem. The first diagram is of two parallelograms that share the same base and the diagonal of one is the side of the other. Very simple but quite tricky to draw with the following programs. All found it difficult to shade.

I looked at various free CAD applications, but these were dismissed as either to complex or they saved drawings in their own special format. I could have taken a 'snapshot' of screen with FastStone Viewer but did not want to go down this route.

I then used Google SketchUp which is great fun. Major lesson here is to switch it into 2d type mode. This is explained in the excellent video on YouTube . With SketchUp you can export image to jpg or png. Only works in Windows.

I also looked at Inkscape and this looks really good but needs learning and probably too sophisticated for my use. This will work in Linux as well.

I tried using Serif PagePlus, and downloaded free Serif DrawPlus 4, and paid extra £7.95 to upgrade to Serif DrawPlus 6. These would probably have been OK but they were no easier to use and are Windows based.

Finally I went back to Open Office Draw and this was as good as any. I could complete drawings but where I had to revert to using straight lines to construct figures I could find no way of shading the various parts. So if I wanted shading I had to save as png or jpg and open in PhotoShop Elements and use Paint Fill. Note Fill in OO Draw appears to work on shapes but not "line drawings."

Prototype in Google PageCreator is done and you can see this at

I like the immediacy of PageCreator which is great for prototype work. I have also discovered that when editing a page you can display HTML for each block you are working on and I hope to be able to cut and paste this into other tools. I want to check out whether I can access any CSS pages it may use.

One minor problem I have found that when looking at pages with Firefox it starts OK but after a time it stops showing the first diagram of every page which if you hit the browser refresh button it then revals. This seems to happen after I have been updating pages. I have not seen same problem with IE7 and I have had this working the same time as I have had Firefox working with the problem prevalent.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ubuntu Hardy Heron - LAN Network problems resolved

I could not understand why my Local Area which consists of Vista Notebook, XP Desktop and Test Desktop which in this case was Linux Ubuntu Hardy Heron would not communicate with each other. Pings were OK and Internet was OK. When I returned to Ubuntu Gutsy this worked fine!

Every time I tried to connect I had message

Can't display location "smb://"
No application is registered as handling this file

I made sure that every network parameter in Hardy (8.04) was the same as Gutsy and still no connection. Then I played around with new Fedora 9, I am interested in Pen Drive facility, and again no local area connection between systems. This I thought was telling me something.

Of course problem was I needed to add SAMBA which I did through the Ubuntu ADD/REMOVE facility and all is now working. I had assumed that the LAN software was included in the live CD I based install on, but this was not so.

I guess I must have done this for my Gutsy version at some time but forgot, which is why now I keep this journal!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

5th May eBay entry creating and editing from Linux Ubuntu

Set myself the task of writing eBay item with Kompozer. In the past I have prepared HTML
page for item in XP using the excellent NoteTab Pro package and then I
cut and paste this into eBay. So I want to do same from within Ubuntu.

Once I found a way of transferring images to a web resources from which I
can access from within HTML it was easy. I used the Google Page Creator
and loaded the images into it and then found their web address by
simply clicking on the jpg on the Uploaded Stuff and pasted the address into the IMG properties in Kompozer.
Original Image found here Google Page Creator
22:00 Loaded the eBay items using the Text Editor to open HTML fies and cut and paste into eBay.

Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon

to return to this version as Hardy Heron network is not reliable. I
will record experiences and hopefully blog this as no doubt many are
travelling the same route. I want to get a useful Linux system without
having to get into the bowels of the system via terminal bash activity
if possible. It needs to
  1. Access Internet
  2. Connect to my XP and Vista home systems
  3. Support Office (does not have to be MS but needs to exchange data with MS Office, Open Office is fine)
  4. Digital photography Support RAW, manage 15,000+ photos and Edit to same capability as Adobe PhotoShop Elements 6
  5. Web Authoring
  6. Play MP3 music incl. RIP from CD
  7. Edit Digicam movies and make MPG DVD
  8. Draw, mainly for maths (Euclid etc)
  9. Program Development (C++, Python and maybe others)
  10. Support my Windows PocketPC (this is the one item I expect problems with)
I will record progress chronologically but maintain a list of software added to base Ubuntu installation Note
I am not averse to using none open software as long as there is no
charge (or minimal charge), especially online application. I make
extensive use of Google applications, in fact using there docs package
to write this and there blog package. This means that I can work
independent of OS platform or location and (hopefully) have automated

Added applications and status

Date Package Note XP StatusRating
pre May 2008Google Picasa Photo manager and editor Y Prod ****
pre May 2008Google Documents Office Web Appl. Y Prod ****
pre May 2008Google Page Creator HTML Developer Web Appl Y Prod ****
4th May 2008 UFRAW Photo RAW editor Y Test **
4th May 2008RAWTherapee Photo RAW editorY Prod ****
4th May 2008Screem HTML developer
Test **
4th May 2008KompoZer HTML developerY Prod ****
4th May 2008BlueFish HTML developer


  1. XP column denotes whether Package is available for Windows XP
  2. Status - Production means I actively use it, Test means I am evaluating
  3. Rating is my current position on its usefulness, low star ratings tend to be removed. This may change according to experience.


4th May 2008


08:25 Quick check and tidy of the system. I have been keeping updates current. RAWTherapee and Picasa has been installed Checking to see if Adobe Flash
player is working. Went to Adobe Flash web page and clicked onto
"FlashOn" and this started a new Tab and what appeared to be Adobe's
equivalent to Utube. Worked fine so I guess Flash is OK?? Also I went to and it reported I had


Mozilla, Netscape

which is the current version.

Screem Web Developer

09:00 Installed via ADD/REMOVE.

BlueFish & KompoZer

10:45 Thought it wise to look at these web developers as well. 21:30 I
have been looking at KompoZer in an attempt to edit one of my standard
eBay pages. I need to find a new place on the web to store eBay images.
Tried Picasa web pages but difficult to just display single simple
image. I loaded photos into Google Page
Creator and by clicking on the uploaded image found the web address and
used this in KompoZer. I found writing web pages quite straight
forward, but note I have used HTML extensively and written many web
pages in the past.

Note: Apart from this comment I posted this entry by using Scribefire from within Google Docs Writer Journal on Firefox on Vista Notebook (did not use Ubuntu desktop as I am in the garden as the sun is shining, hence the notebook).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Extra telephone breaks Broadband

Lost Broadband. Tested on Laptop and it was also failing on this. It worked fine from 08:00 until 10:00. I switched of ADSL Router-Modem counted 10 and switched back on again but no change.

I had replaced our telephone in sitting room and plugged spare into bedroom just before 10.00. Removed bedroom phone and Broadband is back!

Now my phone cable is -> Sitting room -> Bedroom -> Office and I had phones connected in Sitting Room and Office so I guess I exceed the mystical REN limit?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

28th March 2008

Apple Programs


Message from Apple informing that following available

  1. iTunes with Quick Time
  2. Quicktime
  3. Safari Browser

I had tried earlier to install just the last two but it failed in final stages. I recalled it had mentioned that item 1 included some certificate updates, so this time I installed all three.

iTunes failed to start. I tried again after restarting XP but no change.
qTime failed to start. I tried again after restarting XP but no change.

safari started but failed to retrieve any web pages. However this was due to Norton intercepting first call to Internet. All OK now. Google Docs worked OK.

I tried Quicktime again to see if any change now Safari working but no change.


Adobe Photoshop Elements PSE 6 will not start.

This happened before some weeks back (27/11/2007) and I think problem was Adobe Quick Time. I will uninstall both this and iTunes.

Quicktime uninstall finished with errors.
iTunes finished with no messages.

I googled to get other ideas and tried one that deleted cached data in Documents and Settings but no change so more googling and to my surprise found a reference to my own blog where I found how I had solved it before and it worked fine again, although I have no Quicktime but not sure I need it.

One if the reasons I started blogging my experiences was so I could refer back to pervious problems as I often have "I know I fixed this before but I cannot remember how" syndrome frequently.

About Me

Husband, dad and grandad. Physics graduate from London University in late 60s. Retired from IBM company in 2000 after 27 years as both Sytems Engineer and Salesman. Interests include photography, nature, science, maths, walking, travel. I like facts as a basis of opinion and not opinion that is assumed to be fact.