MOOCs and the Traditional University

I returned to school last fall to complete my degree, a longstanding item on my personal bucket list. It’s an interesting time to be back in school, with Massive Open Online Courses gaining an increasing degree of attention both within educational circles and with the general public as well, and that’s what I want to examine in this post.

Continue reading » · Written on: 10-21-13 · No Comments »

Drupal: Add Taxonomy term to Front Page

I had a conundrum while working on my own site. I have a front page, and geographical landing pages; each have a Views Slideshow at the top. I needed to assign a “Front Page” taxonomy term to the slideshow in order to allow me to assign slides to any given landing page, including the front page.

No problem, right? Yeah, problem: the front page slideshow wasn’t picking up a single slide! I had my relations and contextual filters right; the slides were showing up on the appropriate non-front landing pages.

Continue reading » · Written on: 06-08-13 · No Comments » breached; user account info compromised

Here’s our write-up on today’s disclosure of a data intrusion and user info compromise at

Short version: For end-users, there’s nothing at all to worry about. However, in the spirit of the Emergency Broadcast System, we thought it worthwhile to treat it as though an actual emergency had occurred, and wrote up some (semi-)official information, news, and instructions, to inform the end-user community of Drupal website owners and administrators. :)

Continue reading » · Written on: 05-29-13 · No Comments »

Installing iftop & libpcap on RHEL/CentOS 6

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When trying to install iftop, on a RHEL/CentOS box, you’ll probably run into a dependency error on the file. The workaround here is to install libpcap as outlined below, then install a back version of iftop.

Continue reading » · Written on: 05-25-13 · No Comments »

Star Trek Into Darkness: The Bad and The Ugly

Note: If you’re going to gripe at me about spoilers…..don’t read this. Nope. Don’t. I hereby unlicense this content for anyone who’s not seen the movie and/or doesn’t want it spoiled all to hell and gone. So what are you still doing here? Oh, you want to be spoiled? Read on, then…..

Continue reading » · Written on: 05-22-13 · No Comments »

Linux Mint/Cinnamon Login Loop

Issue is user being returned to the login screen after attempting to start a Cinnamon session. Issue cleared by installing nvidia-current video driver, as opposed to nouveau.

Continue reading » · Written on: 04-17-13 · No Comments »

Nivo Slider, IE < 8, and slider image transparencies

I recently did a Drupal project with transparent images in a Nivo Slider. The slideshow used the “Fade” effect, transitioning from slide to slide by fading in and out.

In IE8, this first resulted in images with black fringes around the transparent parts. This was solved by adding the following CSS styles to my IE8 conditional stylesheet:

background: transparent;
 -ms-filter: "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#00FFFFFF,endColorstr=#00FFFFFF)" !important;/* IE8 */
 filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#00FFFFFF,endColorstr=#00FFFFFF) !important;/* IE6 & 7 */
 zoom: 1;

(Credit for the above goes to user Bronek on StackOverflow; see original post here.)

But for me, this was still only half the battle. Now I had images where half the transparency of the “slices” used in the transition were overlapping the image currently being displayed in the slider, creating an unsightly seam in the image.

This was remedied by simply moving the seams out of the way forcibly, by putting a relative positioning on the slices, with a left position of 10000px.

So this was my final “IE8-specific” CSS styling for the .nivo-slice class and img tags within such divs:

.nivo-slice,  .nivo-slice img {
  width: 560px !important;
  height: 375px !important;
  background: transparent;
  -ms-filter: "progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#00FFFFFF,endColorstr=#00FFFFFF)" !important;/* IE8 */
  filter: progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.gradient(startColorstr=#00FFFFFF,endColorstr=#00FFFFFF) !important;/* IE6 & 7 */
  zoom: 1;
  position: relative;
  left: 10000px;

(On the !important items in the above, note that Nivo Slider likes to manipulate the sizing and positioning of the images and slices via jQuery. In my case, this resulted in “narrow” images partially super-imposed over the current slide. Accordingly, I overrode the sizing via CSS so that any super-imposed portions matched the size of the original, which resulted in their being pushed out of the containing element.)

Hope this helps any others in this situation!

Continue reading » · Written on: 04-02-13 · No Comments »

Having trouble with imagemaps not working in Chrome, Safari, or other Webkit browsers?

Check and make sure your ID and NAME on both and
tags match up. In my case, a simple typo cost a good half-hour’s research. Why this doesn’t fail in Firefox and IE when it does (as it actually should) in Chrome/Safari/Webkit browsers is beyond me.

Continue reading » · Written on: 03-07-13 · No Comments »

SASS/Compass: Error on line 338 of lexer.rb: regexp buffer overflow

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I got this mysterious error in Compass this evening while working on a site, and The Googles were less than helpful…

In my case, it turned out that while I was setting up a font stack using a couple “two word” font names, that my text editor had helpfully wrapped an extra set of single quotes around the entire line. So, if you get this one, start hunting for typos and misplaced quote marks.

Continue reading » · Written on: 03-04-13 · No Comments »

Drupal: Deleting Content Types formerly bound to features

It appears this has been an issue for some time with content types initialized as part of an imported Feature.

The solution may be found here. Note that this solution requires a little SQL command-line juju, or you may use Drush’s sqlc functionality.

Continue reading » · Written on: 01-29-13 · No Comments »