Posted (Updated ) in Linux

When performing various actions on a clean install of Ubuntu 10.10 on my web server, I kept being presented with the following message:

perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
	LANGUAGE = "en_US:en",
	LC_ALL = (unset),
	LANG = "en_US.UTF-8"
    are supported and installed on your system.
perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").

After some googling, many people (in this thread suggested:

sudo locale-gen
sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

however the solution that worked for me was:

export LANGUAGE=en_US.UTF-8
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8
locale-gen en_US.UTF-8
dpkg-reconfigure locales

You might need to reset your machine before changes take effect:

sudo shutdown -r now

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Posted (Updated ) in Javascript, PHP

Update Jul 02 2011: crossdomains.xml should be crossdomain.xml
Update Jun 29 2011: Updated S3 upload URL – no more security error

If you’ve ever wanted to allow people on your website to upload files to Amazon S3, you’ll know the only real way to do this is with flash – as it allows the client to upload directly instead of funneling all traffic through your server. You could write your own script for this, however there’s already a nifty little prebuilt tool I’m sure you’ve already heard of called Uploadify which can not only do the job for you, it can do so with great flexability.

For the lazy: Download the entire script here

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Posted (Updated ) in Database, PHP

NOTE: If you’re looking for the Doctrine 2 modules for K3 see this post.

Download the module here.

I’ve previously written a module for Kohana 3 for Doctrine, as well as drivers for Kohana’s Auth and Session modules, however I’ve finally had the time to merge the three and fix up some longstanding issues present with them; namely the folder structure and lack of PDO support. To make my life a little easier I’ve moved the project to Google Code too.

You can find the project here. It’s got Doctrine 1.23 already in there, you should just be able to drop it in and add it to your bootstrap file. It also includes sample schema and data fixtures for the kohana auth and session modules – they can be found in /models/fixtures.

Good luck!

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Posted (Updated ) in PHP

If you’ve ever come across the infuriating error

htmlspecialchars(): Invalid multibyte sequence in argument

I have a simple solution for you: Turn display_errors on in your php.ini file!

It turns out there’s a weird bug that doesn’t appear to be getting fixed any time soon that causes htmlspecialchars() to display this error only when display_errors is set to Off.

See this post for further details and a very big thank you to the Andy Young for writing it and saving me (and I’m sure many others) alot of time!

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Posted (Updated ) in Database, PHP

Update Feb 22 2012: 1.0.8 is out. Now works with and requires Doctrine 2.2. Thanks to Markus for his patch.

Since releasing my original Doctrine 2 module for Kohana 3, I’ve done a bit of reshuffling of folders and added some additional features from my Doctrine 1.2 module. Due to the extent of modifications, I decided to put up a new post with some added information on how to use the new module.


  • Doctrine 2 integration (obviously)
  • Auth and Session drivers
  • /doctrine controller to load your schema files and generate the DB tables
  • Works in Kohana 3.0 and 3.1

For the impatient ones out there, here’s the download link:
Doctrine 2 Module for Kohana 3


As always, install the module (remembering to add it to your bootstrap file) and download the latest copy of Doctrine 2 from here, placing into the /modules/doctrine2/classes/vendor/doctrine folder. It should be noted that my module is tailored to the tarball download and not the SVN or Github ones which have a slightly different folder structure.

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Posted (Updated ) in Database, PHP

UPDATE 28 Dec 2010: This module is now defunct. Please instead use the Better Doctrine 2 Module for Kohana 3.

For those of you who don’t already know, Doctrine 2 stable was just released. It features what is essentially a complete rewrite and paradigm shift from the 1.2 version and comes with a laundry list of improvements. You can read the official blog post here. To celebrate the occasion I decided to do up a quick Kohana 3 module. Info & specz below:

Firstly the configuration. You’ll need the following files & folders:
/doctrine/Entities (These are essentially (to my meager knowledge) your model files.)

Download the latest copy of Doctrine 2 from here and extract into the /modules/doctrine/classes/doctrine folder.

Here’s /modules/doctrine/init.php

	use Doctrine\ORM\EntityManager,
	class Doctrine
		private static $_instance = null;
		private $_application_mode = 'development';
		private $_em = array();
		 * Rename $conn_name to whatever you want your default DB connection to be
		public static function em( $conn_name = 'default' )
			if ( self::$_instance === null )
				self::$_instance = new Doctrine();
			return isset(self::$_instance->em[ $conn_name ])
				? self::$_instance->em[ $conn_name ]
				: reset(self::$_instance->_em);
		public function __construct()
			require __DIR__.'/classes/doctrine/Doctrine/Common/ClassLoader.php';
			$classLoader = new \Doctrine\Common\ClassLoader('Doctrine', __DIR__.'/classes/doctrine');
			//This allows Doctrine-CLI tool & YAML mapping driver
			$classLoader = new \Doctrine\Common\ClassLoader('Symfony', __DIR__.'/classes/doctrine/Doctrine');
			//Load entities
			$classLoader = new \Doctrine\Common\ClassLoader('Entities', APPPATH.'doctrine');
			//Set up caching method
			$cache = $this->_application_mode == 'development'
				? new \Doctrine\Common\Cache\ArrayCache
				: new \Doctrine\Common\Cache\ApcCache;
			$config = new Configuration;
			$config->setMetadataCacheImpl( $cache );
			$driver = $config->newDefaultAnnotationDriver( APPPATH.'doctrine/Entities' );
			$config->setMetadataDriverImpl( $driver );
			$config->setQueryCacheImpl( $cache );
			$config->setProxyDir( APPPATH.'doctrine/Proxies' );
			$config->setAutoGenerateProxyClasses( $this->_application_mode == 'development' );
			$dbconfs = Kohana::config('database');
			foreach ( $dbconfs as $conn_name => $dbconf )
				$this->_em[ $conn_name ] = EntityManager::create(array(
					'dbname' 	=> $dbconf['connection']['database'],
					'user' 		=> $dbconf['connection']['username'],
					'password' 	=> $dbconf['connection']['password'],
					'host' 		=> $dbconf['connection']['hostname'],
					'driver' 	=> 'pdo_mysql',
				), $config);

Once the module is enabled, you can access Doctrine from anywhere with the following code:


The module supports multiple databases and uses the Kohana database config file for connection details. To grab any specific database use the following (where connection_name is the name specified in the config file)


Download the complete module here.

Hope this helps.

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Posted (Updated ) in Linux, Uncategorized

Firstly the background: I own a HTC Magic (32B) running Cyanogenmod 6.1. My internet connection is 1.5Mbit down, 256k up ADSL. My router is a Billion 7401VGPR3 with strong signal and several PCs connected to it – each with flawless internet.

The issue: Around the time I bought a new Billion 7401VGPR3 router, the phones wifi started performing so badly it became unusable. DNS lookups would take anywhere in the vicinity of 45-60 seconds or often simply time out and once the download did somehow get going, it would also occasionally time out. I figured this was just an issue with the hardware in my phone – being 2+ years old, it’s getting a bit dated by android smartphone standards. I was wrong.

During my recent trip to Japan, I happened to score free wireless in one of the hotels (Ahh free wireless, how I love thee) and the wifi unexpectedly worked perfectly. Puzzled by this, I did a bit of research. As it tuns out, this appears to be a common issue with HTC phones. I came across this thread on the issue.

The fix: A few suggestions were made on how to fix it. One member suggested trying a different router, which I did (A Netgear FWG114P) and suddenly wifi worked fine. This was all the proof I needed that the Billion was the culprit. I switched the encryption scheme on the Billion from WPA2 to WEP 128 as per another users suggestion (yes, yes, I know. Flame me if you must, but I already know) and my Android is now lightning fast again.

Thank you androidforums, I was on the verge of giving up and buying a new phone but now I’m good to go for several more years 🙂

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Posted (Updated ) in Linux

Setting up chroot jailed FTP access on linux (especially Debian-based distros) is remarkably easy. All you’ll need is proftpd:

sudo apt-get install proftpd

Install as standalone (the default option) and once complete, make sure /bin/false is in your shells list – if not, add it:

sudo nano /etc/shells

Set up the FTP account with desired chroot:

sudo useradd <user> -p <password> -d /path/to/chroot -s /bin/false

By this point you’ll have a working FTP account but no chroot. Let’s add that now. In /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf make sure the following is uncommented:

DefaultRoot			~

Restart proftpd service and you’re good to go:

sudo service proftpd restart

Thanks to frodon of the Ubuntu Forums for his tutorial found here.

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Posted (Updated ) in Linux

In this second post of my lazy man’s series, I’ll explain an easy way to batch rename files in any linux distribution with the rename command. For users of the sed tool, this will look very familiar. You’ll also need a bit of knowledge of regular expressions:

rename 's/_/ /g' *.mp3

The above example replaces every underscore with a space character in all mp3’s of the current directory. The command works as follows:

rename 's/<search_term>/<replacement_text>/g' <regex_filename_match>

Thanks to jazzmusik of the Ubuntu Forums for his little tutorial found here.

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Posted (Updated ) in Linux

Ubuntu 10.10 was the first release of Ubuntu not to have ‘Mark Packages by Task’ working in the Synaptic Package Manager. For those who don’t know, ‘Mark Packages by Task’ is a handy little menu option that allows you to install pre-configured groups of applications very quickly – such as the Samba file server, video and audio creation suites but more importantly to us: a LAMP stack.

To get this nifty tool back where it belongs, just install the tasksel package:

sudo apt-get install tasksel

It should now be where it belongs.

Happy installations.

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