Dude, how can I style Drupal CSS to make sourcode quotes look cool?

  • Posted on: 2 May 2014
  • By: NickLitten

I wrote a blog earlier to day with lots of source code and comments in it. I wanted the program code that I included to really standout and be very readable and easy to copy/paste. The current CSS layout uses <PRE> which gives me a nice way of marking blocks of code and displaying them. When I put <pre>around something</pre> it already looks reasonably nice:

quotes before

But I really wanted the the code to POP out - so delved into the world of theming Drupal. I soon, discovered that it's not as complicated as you might think.

So lets replace the <PRE> CSS tag with a new one to make code quotes automagically look like this:

source code quotes

The nice effect of changing the drupal themes CSS is that it takes effect immediately and covers everything on the site.

How to restore *SAVF from within a ZIP in IBM i - "Yep, it really is that groovy!"

  • Posted on: 1 May 2014
  • By: NickLitten
real programmers have a tattoo

So, I was trying to help out a buddy in the land of IBM i today. He was trying to install the most recent Beta of Projex4i IBM i Powertools on a clients IBM i Server. The problem he was facing was two fold (a) the connection he was using was very slow so trying to FTP 120+MB onto the machine was taking an age and (b) the FTP setup had blocked access to libraries on the box. 

After some serious head scratching, I came up with a way of copying a compressed ZIP upto the IBM i System, and placing this nice small ZIP straight into the IFS. It makes perfect sense to transfer the smallest size possible and then extract (unzip) the file on the IBM i box itself, converting it to a regular *SAVF and then restoring the library. *BOOM*

I gotta write this down before I forget it:


We actually have two problems here:

  1. I want to transfer a large library to an IBM i using minimum bandwidth.
  2. I can only use the IFS Windows shares


So, lets start out by taking the latest version of IBMi Powertool Library from

Thankyou System i Developers

  • Posted on: 28 April 2014
  • By: NickLitten

So, I'm sitting here in Starbucks mentally groaning at the weakness of the Wifi (but not my Grande, quad shot, low fat milk, 2 pump caramel latte) and I see a mailshot from the chaps (and chappette) at System i Developer announcing they have launched a new blog. Hosted by their own IBM i Power System, I can see its running Drupal 7. Nice choice for a CMS (I wonder why they didn't opt for Wordpress?) and even though the site looks vanilla at the moment I'm sure they will be mastering the intricacies of Droop over coming months.

System i Developer BLOG website running Drupal 7

In my mission to give something back - here is an open letter to the System i Developer folks:

Top of the Pops - 10 essential Drupal Modules

  • Posted on: 25 April 2014
  • By: NickLitten

So, as I'm here in Roanoke Airport for an extra hour (curse this rainy valley and US Airways little puddle jumper airplanes) I might as well make use of the free Wifi and blog something :)


Hmmm... how about something on Drupal?

Ten Essential Modules for every Drupal website

I have a big list of core modules, themes and libraries that I use on nearly every Drupal site I develop. I like to use a comprehensive content editor (CKEDITOR), a nice drop down menu to jum paround the site admin interface (ADMIN_MENU) and I obviously want the site to look after its own URL addresses and to let the search engines know whats going on (PATHAUTO, GLOBAL REDIRECT, METATAGS, XMLSITEMAP).


Netgear Support - FAIL :(

  • Posted on: 24 April 2014
  • By: NickLitten


So, my NETGEAR WNDR3700 WIRELESS ROUTER has failed. Working one day - Dying the next. This is the second WNDR3700 Router that has failed for me, with the same problem. The first one failed within a few months of ownership and was replaced by Netgear. This second (replacement) unit is now 3 years old and has failed of the same thing. At three years old, hardware failure for these is not shockingly rare but I was still hoping for Netgear to step up and fix/replace what seems like a design fault. I know I was hoping for too much... so far this is what has happened:

I logged into the support system and it shows me (to my delight) that the hardware warranty on my WNDR3700 goes thru to July 2015. YAY!

Then I notice that their support system is showing that this unit, was purchased this year. AAARGH!

Obviously a problem with the Netgear support and warranty system - but as it is showing that the unit is under warranty lets see if Netgear will honor it:

netgear wireless not working

So, lets raise a support issue:

Netgear WNDR3700 2.4Ghz not working

  • Posted on: 21 April 2014
  • By: NickLitten

Sadly, my much abused heavily used Wireless Network Router looks like it died this morning... well not quite a DEATH... more like gone into a partial coma.

This Netgear Rangemax WNDR3700 (Version1) router is a great piece of kit and prior to this I have had no complaints: good range, fast streaming, normal+high speed wireless networks, guest network, 4 ethernet ports, USB port for plugging in media, it acts as a media server - bloody good all round. But, it's been just acting a little naughty recently. I was hoping a firmware update would help but sadly... NOPE! I got this router back in January 2011 and it's been online 24/7 and hammered more than your regular wireless router for every second of its life.

I've had a couple of really good customer support experiences recently (Thankyou "Delta Airlines" for the last minute checkin, "Holly Tires of San Clemente" for the free of charge tire swap and Honda for the car audio password assistance). So, maybe it's time to see how :) or :( Netgear may be...

A minute ago, I surfed over to and registered the router. Left a support Ticket and now lets sit back (using my 5ghz connection which still seems to be working) and lets wait and see how friendly Netgear support will be.

Here is my support ticket I left with Netgear:

Copy an IBM i File to a CSV comma separated file

  • Posted on: 15 April 2014
  • By: NickLitten

Ever since the IBM i system was a young lad, its been able to happily talk to just about any other operating system out there - Windows, Linux, Apple, AIX and so many more. However, one of the things that has remained the same through the evolution of system (from AS400 years, thru iSeries years upto our current IBM i) is the layout of the file system on our machine. IBM i has its own database (previously known as DB2 or uDB) and it stores files in a simple format, breaking down each file into records (SQL:ROWS) and fields (SQL:COLUMNS).

Copying those files to other systems is super easy using CSV file conversion, courtesy of the IBM i command CPYTOIMPF (Copy to Import File)


CSV File conversion starts with a native IBM i file that might look like this:

IBM i laughs at the bleeding heart

  • Posted on: 9 April 2014
  • By: NickLitten

News of the moment is the deadly sounding HEARTBLEED SECURITY FLAW

as400 iseries ibm i is safe from heart bleed virus

The flaw, dubbed "Heartbleed", could reveal anything which is currently being processed by a web server – including our sensitive secure information being used inside the site.  Heartbleed's technical name is 'the CVE-2014-0160 exploit' which exposes vulnerabilities in the popular OpenSSL server software potentially allowing the memory of SSL/TLS encrypted web servers to be compromised. The bug essentially gives the bad guys the ability to read encrypted information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and any other sensitive data.  The bug exists in a piece of open source software called OpenSSL, which is meant to securely encrypt communications between a user's computer and a web server. But security researchers have no way to prove whether or not the flaw, which has existed since at least March 2012, has been exploited.

Yoga with Jodie

  • Posted on: 3 April 2014
  • By: NickLitten
yoga with jodie fouweather stagg

I spent this evening rejuvenating an old website I made for an even older friend and Yoga instructor extraordinaire - Jodie Fouweather.

yoga with jodie fouweather

I originally setup a basic website for her back in 2007 and discovered that its been quietly sitting there, doing it's job for all these years. The website was basic and functional but needed a little love, so it was time for me to burn an evening in the hotel and do a quick rebuild using Drupal 7, Fresh Theme, some cribbed images from around the web and quick bunch of SEO checks, UI improvements and overall a quick spit and polish. I hope your pleased with the result Jodie!  xoxo

Yoga Classes in Weston-Super-Mare and North Somerset