Hiding Joomla! modules from registered users

Sometimes there is a need to hide Joomla! modules from registered (non-guest) users. For example, we may have a “please register” banner rendered by a module, which makes it rather pointless to be shown to registered users. Unfortunately, there is no such functionality in Joomla! 1.5.x. Instead of groing old waiting for Joomla! 1.6 to arrive, you can use a viable workaround. 

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Mandriva Linux 2009.1 (Spring) on EeePC 900

As I had written about in the past, I am the proud owner of an EeePC 900 since December 2008. One of the things that was bugging me all that time was that it had to run on Windows. Frankly, I couldn’t find a good reason to do so, as for the most part I was using Firefox, Skype and OpenOffice, all available under Linux. That, and it was extremely time-consuming waiting for that Windows XP to start up. So, I decided to install Linux on it.

 

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EeeControl on Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring

As I have already implied, I installed Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring on my EeePC 900. Mandriva is such a great Linux distribution and almost 100% EeePC-friendly. The first obstacle I had to overcome was the seemingly broken touchpad behaviour. The next obstacle I had to overcome was of much less importance: simulating ASUS EeePC Control functionality on Linux. Thankfully, there is a great software called EeeControl, but it wouldn’t install on my new distribution. Hey, I am a Linux guy, so I had to fix this too. It wasn’t that hard after all. Interested?

 

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Fixing touchpad behaviour in Mandriva Linux 2009.1

Mandriva Linux 2009.1 is a great Linux distribution, much more elegant than its predecessor. However, there is a serious “regression” to its predecessor. The Elantech touchpad of many netbooks and laptops – most notably all EeePC’s – and probably other brands of touchpads behave oddly. For starters, there is no gesture support. Forget tap-to-click, two finger swipe for scrolling etc. Then, the pointer movement is jerky, as if the touchpad is acting as a touch screen!

This problem happened because Mandriva switched from defaulting to the proprietary Synaptics driver to the open-source generic mouse driver. While this switch should be acceptable for their Free edition, doing so in the Powerpack and One editions is – the least to say – annoying, as it totally ruins user experience, especially if you are a newbie. Thankfully, it’s quite easy to fix!

 

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Using Windows Live Writer to edit Joomla! content

One of the things every blogger is aware is the existence of off-line post editors. One of them, Windows Live Writer by Microsoft, is an extremely professional solution – available at no cost. What most Joomla! site owners are not aware of, though, is that this tool can be used to effectively edit new content of their web site.

 

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Keeping Wi-Fi always on, on Windows Mobile devices

I was at a coffeehouse yesterday and I observed the waiters with those PDA’s. Once they switched them on, they could take an order, which implies that their PDA’s wi-fi connection was enabled even when the device was in standby mode. A bit dissapointed that both my HTC Touch and my Mio P560 would turn off their wi-fi connection upon entering standby, I decided to get to the bottom of this. And I did!

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Dual booting GNU/Linux with Windows XP / Vista / 7

 

Sometimes, despite how advanced desktop GNU/Linux has become, it’s desirable to have your computer able to boot into Windows without the use of an emulator. If you had Windows pre-installed on the computer at the time you installed GNU/Linux, this dual-booting ability is added automatically on all modern distributions. However, if you want to install Windows after Linux, this seems like a complete headache. Not really! The process is easy.

This article is written while installing Windows 7 Beta on a PC with Mandriva Linux 2009 already installed. Of course, the same procedure – with some minor adjustments – applies with any Linux distribution and any Windows version!

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Ελληνικά SMS μεγάλου μήκους στα Windows Mobile κινητά

Έχω ήδη παρουσιάσει μέσα από αυτό το site ένα πρόγραμμα που έχω φτιάξει για την αποστολή SMS στα Ελληνικά από συσκευές που “τρέχουν” Windows Mobile χωρίς περιορισμό 70 χαρακτήρων ανά SMS. Αυτή η λύση λειτουργούσε αρκετά ικανοποιητικά, μεν, αλλά απαιτούσε την εκτέλεση του εν λόγω προγράμματος ακόμη και στις απαντήσεις μηνυμάτων, δε. Αυτή η λύση δεν ήταν ιδιαίτερα πρακτική, οφείλω να ομολογήσω. Γι’ αυτό, βρήκα μια καλύτερη και ευκολότερη στη χρήση λύση, την οποία βελτίωσα περαιτέρω.

Στην πραγματικότητα, το μόνο που χρειάζεται είναι ένα πληκτρολόγιο οθόνης (γνωστό και ως SIP ή on-screen keyboard) Που να υποστηρίζει ταυτόχρονα τρεις “γλώσσες”: Αγγλικά, Ελληνικά και Ελληνικά για SMS. Αυτό υπάρχει και λέγεται PocketCM Keyboard, γνωστό και ως PCM Keyboard, το οποίο διατίθεται δωρεάν.

Το μεγάλο μειονέκτημα των “εργοστασιακών” ρυθμίσεων για την Ελληνική γλώσσα είναι ότι απ’ το πληκτρολόγιο της κατάστασης SMS λείπουν κάποια απαραίτητα σημεία στίξης (όπως η απόστροφος και οι παρενθέσεις), κάτι το οποίο κάνει την χρήση του κατά την αποστολή SMS – το λιγότερο που μπορώ να πω – προβληματική.

Καθότι μου αρέσει το “πείραγμα” των ρθυμίσεων, έφτιαξα μια βελτιωμένη εκδοχή της Ελληνικής γλώσσας που επιτρέπει την σύνταξη SMS χωρίς να απαιτείται η αλλαγή μεταξύ γλωσσών για την εισαγωγή των πιο κοινών σημείων στίξης. Φυσικά, μπορείτε να την κατεβάσετε από αυτό εδώ το site!Κατεβάστε την βελτιωμένη Ελληνική γλώσσα για το PocketCM KeyboardΟρίστε πως φαίνεται το PocketCM Keyboard “εν δράσει “, κατά την σύνταξη SMS:

 

Η εγκατάσταση είναι ιδιαίτερα απλή. Μετά την εγκατάσταση του PocketCM Keyboard, αντιγράφουμε το αρχείο Greek Plus.layout στον φάκελο Program FilesPCMKeyboard της συσκευής. Στην συνέχεια μπαίνουμε σε κάποιο πρόγραμμα που απαιτεί εισαγωγή κειμένου, π.χ. στο Word Mobile, και επιλέγουμε το PCM Keyboard σαν μέθοδο εισαγωγής κειμένου. Κατόπιν, πηγαίνουμε στις Επιλογές του (options). Πατάμε με το πενάκι στο drop-down box με τίτλο “Keyboard layout” και από την λίστα επιλέγουμε το στοιχείο “Greek Plus”. Πατάμε το OK πάνω δεξιά και τελειώσαμε. Απλά και εύκολα Smile

Windows 7: First impression

I am not the kind of guy who rushes off to try any beta product gets on his way. I don’t even like Microsoft’s products that much; I am a Linux guy more than I am a Windows guy. But, as soon as I found out there was a Windows 7 beta program open to all, I felt the urge to enroll.

There are a lot of questions to ask. Is all the talk about Windows 7 speed a myth or reality? Can they live up to the expectations of regular Windows XP user, or will they follow the unfortunate fate of Vista?

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Keeping private directories… private!

As a webmaster of several sites running on complex Content Management System solutions, I have regularly came accross the same issue: most CMS systems have some library directories which should be out of the reach of the random web visitor, yet they have to be on the same web-accessible location as the rest of the CMS. To top that, I also have the need to include some other private directories under the web server root, for example a downloads repository, just because PHP open_basedir restrictions won’t let me do othewise. Is all lost, then? Is there no way to keep private directories really private?

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