Installed Google Custom Search, no results are showing.

google_searchI did a website for a friend, a kind of a knowledge base and installed google custom search on it. To my surprise google stubornly kept showing no search results. I redid the custom search settings, paying close attention to the domains on which I wanted the search limited on, but still no results.

I took a quick walk on the Google Help boulevard but I didn’t find anything. A google search later and I found numerous causes: wrong definitions for the domains on which the search is limited, wrong integration of the code, wrong definition of the result page the form should point to.

My problem was another one: google finds no results on a page it has not yet indexed! I know it’s true because over time, without modifying anything on the code or google custom search settings results started appearing.

So you can add another cause on the problem list.

Have fun googling!

Grokking the Gimp

grokking_the_gimpSince we were talking about free e-books I thought I tell you about another free e-book. You probably know about it but anyways: Grokking the Gimp is a free book by Carey Bunks. It’s an advanced book covering A LOT of what you can do with Gimp.

For any of you who are at least a little bit interested in graphics Gimp should already be on your radar. I know that Adobe Photoshop is more advanced, but I also realized working with both that for at least 90% of the tasks (and for my webdesign and graphics design needs 100%) is good enough.

A free e-book from Texas Instruments – LED Reference Design Cookbook

texas instruments free led cookbookThe guys over at Make were kind enough to signal this free e-book from Texas instruments.

It is a 41-page “cookbook” of circuit designs and application notes for TI’s LED-related components. Makes for an interesting read even if you don’t use TI’s stuff.

What’s inside:

  • Small LCD Backlight with Digital and PWM Dimming
  • Small LCD Backlight from LDO
  • Medium-Size LCD Backlight
  • Large-LCD Backlight Driver
  • Constant Current Driver with PFC
  • Boost Controller with PFC
  • Replacement for Standard
  • 25-Watt Dimmable Driver
    with PFC
  • 100-Watt, Constant-Current,
    Non-Isolated Driver with PFC
  • 110-Watt, Constant-Current,
    Isolated Driver with PFC
  • 10-Watt, Green-Mode PWM
    LED Driver
  • Wireless-Controlled Triple
    LED Drive
  • Low Voltage Buck Boost for
    LED Torch
  • Boost Driver with Integrated
    Power Switch
  • Nonsynchronous Boost LED
  • Wide Input DC Voltage Range
    SEPIC Driver
  • 3-Watt Solar Lantern

LED Reference Design Cookbook [PDF]

Chrome OS

chrome headerSince everybody is talking about it I really wanted to experience the all new big thing Google is preparing for us. The fine people over at Techcrunch already prepared a nice tutorial on how to install and run a Chrome virtual machine image so I wont go on to reinvent the wheel.

Let me just say that I am completely unimpressed. It’s a linux kernel with a browser on top of it. Yes it boots quickly but hey it’s a linux kernel with only a browser on top of it, yes it gives you access to Google services but hey it’s a web browser of course it does. So basically Google has a Linux kernel and a browser which to push for embedded devices used to browse the internet. Wow :).

So, Google, IMHO has developed some more custom stuff to run on top of a linux kernel. Great. I already feel the revolution :). Of course, since it’s Google doing it everybody will treat it as something great so I bet we’ll pretty soon see around devices running it.

Me? Give me a Maemo running nokia device anytime over some crappy java (Android) or web browser (Chrome os) on top of a custom linux kernel.

Bye, bye, dual boot

Ever since I discovered linux I ran a dual boot system. Linux (usually slackware) + windows (first ’98 than, as soon as it was available XP). Windows 98 was problematic because it needed frequent reinstalling, pleasently overwriting the boot sector everytime requiring in turn to reinstall lilo.

Than XP solved this problem (not that it didn’t quietly overwrite the boot sector) by needing far less frequent reinstalls. When I found out about vmware I was very happy, dual boot seemed a thing of the past. I don’t play games so missing 3d performance was not an issue, the occasional Counter Strike with the friends work’s fine on my wife’s laptop or in wine. (I was not about to use xp as the host). Well it was not that simple. Performance was sketchy at best, issues and so on made me abandon the idea.
Recently I ran into the isuee of needing windows 7 and XP besides linux. I was not about to tripleboot and anyway I found myself running wiondows more than linux just because I needed frequent access to some peace of software. So, after a recent upgrade to my main machine I decided to give virtualization another spin. Virtualbox caught my attention because of it’s open source nature. I read a few comparative reviews of it compared with vmware and seemed pretty much the same for me so I went with it.
Between the new processor I have, the sufficent ram and modern virtualizatin software I can safely say that I won’t be dual booting anytime soon. Windows 7 seemed to take less time to install under virtualbox than it took live, I also can test new ideeas quickly – it took a whole 10 minutes to test Chrome OS, well the new great revolution from Google seems a whole 10 minutes for me but that’s another story. XP runs smoothly, 7 runs smoothly, heck I have Freedos running smoothly. Also now I have no more excuses to postpone playing with open solaris and other systems.
Conclusion: virtualization has finally got to the point where it is good enough for me. It had it’s uses before and I’m sure there are some that still have no use for it yet.
But if you found yourself rebooting too often lately you might want to decide for a host os (where you need maximum performance) and try to use your other os’s as virtual machines. You might find out, just like I did, that given enough RAM virtualization is sufficent. And nothing beats having everything readily available in windows side by side.

Cannot start a new chat in Yahoo Messenger, mshtml.dll error

I was called today by a client today with a strange problem: yahoo messenger would error as soon as she wanted to start a new chat. The error quoted mshtml.dll as the source of the problems. Reinstalling Yahoo Messenger (which I previously suggested over the phone did not help).

I don’t know exactly how this problem started but the fix is the following:

go to the Microsoft Website and download 912945 ( ) Internet Explorer ActiveX update.

Please note that this is a verified download (you need wga)

I installed the patch and the problem went away. Yahoo Messenger now works fine.

New menu items don’t appear in Joomla 1.5.14

I was configuring a Joomla installation for a client today and stumbled upon this little problem. No matter how I tried, new menu items refused to appear. Not only in the front-end, but they were missing in the back-end too. I checked to see, but the PHP settings were all correct. Then I noticed that the WAMP installation used PHP 5.3.0. A quick look on the Joomla Forums confirmed that Joomla has problems with this version of PHP. I went to WAMP Add-ons and installed PHP 5.2.11 and everything returned to normal.

Hope it helps you too.