Archive for June 2009

Chakra test drive

Most of you are probably aware of the Chakra Project its basically a Live CD of the world famous ArchLinux based on the KDE desktop.

Now you might be asking “Why would I want a live cd of my beloved Arch? I like the pain of making tea!” the thing is while Arch purists like most of us prefer to ‘do it the hard way‘ there are lots of potential Arch users out there who just want to have a look so they can find out what all the fuss is about.

One of the key concepts of this project is its Moduler KDE, the developers have taken pretty much all of the KDE packages and reworked them stripping out most of the bloat and dross plus reworked them so they are optimized for ArchLinux.

As I didn’t have a PC based install (Only a Laptop and VM) of Arch I thought I’d take a look so off I went to and downloaded Chakra Alpha 2 – 2009-02-19 iso with the intention of installing on a spare 160GB SATA drive. As I’d chosen to run with the ‘Restricted Drivers‘ version the proprietary Nvidia drivers was installed, which was nice.

While as per usual my monitors refresh rate was wrongly set (It should be 60Htz) at 70Htz changing that was fairly simple, everything seemed to work fine with a pretty snappy response given that it was a Live CD. To be honest I’d already decided to do a hard install so didn’t play ‘Live’ for very long which thinking about it now is a bit silly really seeing as its promoted as a Live CD project.

Now dear reader I have a confession to make, no matter how hard I try I’m crap at manually partitioning drives. Yes I know 1000KB = 1MB and 1000MB = 1GB maybe some of these partition editors should only give Megabytes and Gigabytes for idiots like me? So generally I’ll use Partition Magic or Gparted which has a nice graphical display where you can, well, slide/squish things around. After faffing around for half an hour I was ready to pop the Chakra CD back in.

Once I was at the desktop I hit the install icon, most of the pages are pretty standard now regardless of what distro you use, I selected my partitions that I’d created earlier and the disc seemed happy and chugged along installing the packages until it got to 85% and failed with the obligatory totally mystifying message which in this case was “Tribe failed” pretty much all Linux distro’s give these sorts of messages that only Dev’s possibly understand, new users don’t have a hope in hell of deciphering them.

I jumped on the forum and saw this post “Hm OK” reboot and try again, fail! Arrgghh. Back to the Forum and saw this “Hm OK download again then?” burnt yet another CD and lets try again FAIL! By now I’d spent over four hours mucking around so as you can imagine I was not in the best of moods I decided to give up on installing from the Live CD and grabbed my trusty ArchLinux disc and installed the base system, updated ‘pacman -Syy’ ‘pacman -Syu’ then added the Chakra repos then after yet another sync did ‘pacman -S kdemod-complete’ by now I was probably up to something like six hours with what I could have achieved in about an hour and a half.

I’m still not 100% happy with the install some of the apps fonts and icons are too small I.e. Thunderbird, stuff refuses to open under root such as System Settings but I’m putting the odd hour here and there in to clean it up.

In the final analysis Chakra is a good project the Live CD works but remember its Alpha if you’ve got the time its maybe worth it if you just want the KDE-Mods stick with Arch and do it that way. reaches stage 1

After a week of testing Dave Crouse has approved my crayon drawings for the proposed site.

The hosting is now sorted out due to my relentless harassment which is why Dave now looks  shagged out after only having 2 or three hours sleep per night for the last week or so.

I’m now busy adding and editing the content so hopefully we will be looking at a launch in about a weeks time.

IRC Channel for

Yes folks we now have an IRC channel for

Arch Medieval

A couple of years ago I created this image it seems that lots of people get a kick out of it so I’ll reproduce it here.


Cats out the bag!

Our illustrious leader Dave Crouse has opened his trap and spilled the beans on our mutual plan to take over the UK, Dave owns and very kindly offered it to me on the understanding I did something that involved some jello, a flying helmet and trampoline?

But seriously I’m pretty excited at the possibility of having a dedicated UK site for ArchLinux users. We are pretty much in the early stages I’ve been doing a lot of research with regards the site itself, the format and what other groups, sites and interest is out on the World Wide Web. While there are numerous groups on FaceBook,, Twitter blah blah blah I only found one website as such

I have to say in my own personal opinion the site is pretty upsetting for an Arch fan like myself, its full of spam from credit card companies, loan offers and very few if any proper posts for members I have to say I feel slightly sorry for the current owner of the Domain perhaps they did not get the support that they should have?

I emailed them and asked if they would like to transfer the domain to me/Dave which would be good for the while I did get a reply I think they are loathed to give up the Domain so I’m hoping once takes off they may change their minds.

No firm desicions have been made yet on if the site will have a forum or a mailing list, probably it will have both we may even look at hosting some blogs maybe in conjunction with which is pretty non-discript with regards country.

I’m bursting at the seams to announce it but we need to get something built first before we get flooded with all the homeless UK ArchLinux users and Ex Ubuntu users who will not be able to resist the draw of our community.

JCE Editor

I run a Joomla site, to be honest I’m kinda proud of it having worked hard adding stuff, customising it and spending a fair bit of money on proprietary modules.

jce editorI use JCE editor which is the internal WYSIWYG I noticed that it was a bit out of date so I decided to update it. Usually this is pretty straight forward, un-install the old one then install the new one the component installed fine but the editor plugin failed!

Thanks to a few years experiance with Joomla I had a pretty good idea what was wrong,¬† sometimes when you uninstall a module bits get left behind so I quickly jumped on to FileZilla and ftp’d into /public_html/plugins/editors and deleted jce.php and the jce folder which then let the plugin install.

Obviously this will work for any other install error where you get the message “Already exsists” next I’d like to change the template but I’ve not found anything I like yet :-(

LrL09 Countdown

"You an Arch dev then?"

I hang around a few IRC channels pretty much everyday. Yesterday I was discussing my love and usage of Joomla when a member asked if I would be interested in work from time to time that he is not interest in.

“Sure” I said, well who wouldn’t? I’ll drop you an email, 5 minutes later in the IRC channel I got “Oi you an Arch dev or something?” slightly confused I asked why “How’d you get that Archlinux email address?”

Now dear reader what to do? Do I play along thus raising my ‘Lower than whale Pooh’ status or own up that I got it by joining the forum and, well, asking for one?

I plumed for an alternative and gave the impression that while I’m not a Dev I know a top notche contributor who holds me in high esteem. ;-)

Having said that I am hoping to start a project that will be a big promotion of ArchLinux here in the UK (Hint).

Joomla update fail!

As I’m a lazy so and so I use Joomla Updater by version 1.4.0 Written by Rahman Haghparast on my Joomla website.

Basically its a simple button to click on that then fetches either the core or patch (you get to choose) to /tmp then overwrites your current installation.

Its never let me down until this morning, there it was flashing away with “Click to update Joomla” however today I got “There was a problem fetching Joomla zip file was used for updating joomla core.

Error : ‘PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT (-10) : Unable to find End of Central Dir Record signature’There was a problem updating joomla to the latest version”.

I’ve had a look on Google and yes there are lots of posts with PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT but I cant believe they are the reason as I’m using firefox, I doubt Joomla has a bad zip file, my hosting service has not changed anything.

What is strange is who make the updater is down or dead? Perhaps the updater module is at fault?

LugRadio Live UK 2009

If you are an ArchLinux user and in the UK on the 24th October 2009 come to LugRadio live and slap me on my bald bonce, last year there was only three Archfanboys there and one of them was me!

Linux Outlaws and Me

Linux Outlaws and Me

24th October 2009

Newhampton Arts Centre


United Kingdom