Moving to California

  • Posted on: 23 June 2014
  • By: NickLitten

Remember, you are in CA now.  You are expected to have and use at least one of board, sail board, skate board.  Walking is permitted only in unusual circumstances.  Generally you should be running, biking, skate boarding etc. to get from one place to another on terra firma.  That is just a portion of the preamble, there are 12 whole chapters to the "I live in CA handbook".  You should get it soon and start studying.  There will be a test, a laid back test, but a test none the less.

I love this quote - it did make me chuckle.

So, a new job on the west coast of the yoooo-ess-ayyyy and a new house in the wonderful little town of San Clemente, CA means it's time to up-sticks and hike across the country for the next life adventure.

Nate (#1 Son) helped me load up the 26' Moving truck with all our worldy goods, strap a tow dollyon the back to tow Kate's car and then off we went... four days and 3 thousand miles later we popped up on the Pacific Coast. Now it's time to unpack, get the house prepared before the other half arrives over here - courtesy of the much more civilized airplane method of transportation  :)



Ghost, goblins and invisible superbeings

  • Posted on: 23 May 2014
  • By: NickLitten
out of all the gods Thor is the best
"I have so much in common with people of faith. We only disagree on the existence of 1 out of 3000 gods. They're nearly as atheist as I am " Ricky Gervais

I was born an atheist. As an infant, before I could talk or choose for myself, I was baptised a Catholic Christian. I went to these huge Gothic places of worship with my Nana as a young child. In my pre-teen years my parents took to another branch of Christianity (Jehovahs Witnesses) and I was indoctrinated into that faith. As I matured into my teenage years I studied the Bible, looked at other religions and came to a firm conviction that belief in deities, faith in actions being performed by invisible beings and the constant threats of damnation (from a so-called loving God) were not for me. Late teens saw the start of my agnostic years.

An Inky Programmer

  • Posted on: 6 May 2014
  • By: NickLitten
programmers have tattoos as well you know

Time for a tattoo touchup...

Ten Years ago, my forearm Koi Tattoo was drawn under the skin (to use a quote from Eddie Yeary) as a black and white stand alone piece.

Then as the years went by, more tattoo's joined and my arm kind of evolved into a tattoo sleeve with a dragon at the top, samurai dude, fisheys, flag, roses all kinds of weird things (including my kids names written in Klingon - true story). To give the sleeve some kind of continuity, Eddie glued it all together with a washed out blue water scene and added a little shallow yellow to the Black and White Koi - this was nearly five years ago. 

Time goes by and I've decided it's time to brighten the whole thing up and add a little *shine* to the forearm fishes. A few emails later and an afternoon is scheduled with Edward and this is the result.

I was a little worried about tattooing the same spot for a third time - but the tattoo colors came out excellent and the forearm piece is perfect. Color me delighted.

As always - sterling job from Virginia's Inkmaster - Eddie Yeary

Cheers Edward!!!!


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: