The Alt-Click keyboard.mouse combination is a very common way of working with various flavours of Adobe Photoshop. So it was with some frustration that I couldn’t use it while working in Photoshop Elements (still on version 5, by the way; the temptation of newer versions has not struck) on a Windows XP guest in VirtualBox on my main Ubuntu system. A quick google later and a proposed solution was for me a surprising one: going to System->Preferences->Windows on the host OS and changing the setting of the Movement Key from Alt to Super (Windows key on many keyboards). That was enough to set all in order. It seems that a setting on the host operating system was preventing a piece of software running on the guest from behaving as expected. That’s all in the past now that I have got my clone brush functionality back and can work as normal again.
Google Analytics is all very fine with its once a day reporting cycle but the availability of real time data dose have its advantages. WordPress.com’s Stats plugin goes some way to serving the need but Woopra trumps it in every way apart from a possible overkill in the amount of information that it makes available. The software may be in the beta phase and it does crash from time to time but its usefulness remains more than apparent.
One of its uses is seeing if there are people visiting your website at a time when you might be thinking of making a change like upgrading WordPress. Timing such activities to avoid a clash is a win-win situation: a better experience from your visitors and more reliable updates for you. After all, it’s very easy to make a poor impression and an unreliable site will do that faster than anything else so it’s paramount that your visitors do not get on the receiving end of updates, even if they are all for the better.
With the record attempt due today for Firefox 3 downloads, I thought that it would be a good time for me to update my advice for getting BBC’s iPlayer going in Firefox running on Ubuntu. First, you need RealPlayer 11 for Linux. Once downloaded, the file RealPlayer11GOLD.bin needs to be made executable before running it with administrative privileges. The following command do this:
chmod +x RealPlayer11GOLD.bin
There is a catch though and it is that while the RealPlayer 11 installation is seamless for Firefox 2, the same cannot be said for Firefox 3 because directory locations have been changed such plugins are now found in /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins. The result that copies of or symbolic links to nphelix.xpt and nphelix.so are needed in that location. The following commands do the trick:
sudo ln -s /opt/real/RealPlayer/mozilla/nphelix.xpt /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins/nphelix.xpt
sudo ln -s /opt/real/RealPlayer/mozilla/nphelix.so /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins/nphelix.so
To cap all of this, I have seen advice that libtotem-complex-plugin.so needs to be removed from the Firefox plugins directory as well. I am not sure about this but I did that and all is working well for me. Let’s hope that continues to be the case.
When I first started to use iTunes, it very much played well with other software applications running. Then, a few versions later, the playback began to suffer with iTunes running in any way other than on its own. A solution that I have is to fire up the Windows Task Manager, go to the Processes tab and find iTunes.exe in the list. The next thing is to right-click on this, select the Set Priority and change the setting to Above Normal. Windows will warn you about what you are doing but it usually doesn’t cause any other problem. Yes, it sounds a bit extreme but it always solves the playback problem.
So long as iTunes is merely playing music, all is well. However, when it starts ripping CD’s, it’s a wholly different matter. That is a CPU intensive operation and setting the process priority to Low is a very good idea. I recently got caught out by a default setting of ripping any music CD inserted into the PC and, at Above Normal priority, the PC got locked up. Eventually, I got things back under control and lowered the priority. Needless to say, iTunes will just list the contents of an inserted CD from now on. I have learnt my lesson; keeping the command line open to get at command line process tools would be a very good idea for the future, especially as I know where to find these on the web.