Joomla to Wordpress migration graphic

Joomla closedown

As you may have noticed, quite a lot has changed here on Garfnet over the last few weeks. Biggest change of all is the decision to dump Joomla as our main CMS in favour of Wordpress. I will go into more detail about the decision in another post. Suffice it to say that Wordpress is significantly less hassle to maintain than Joomla. And a migration of this sort, on a site this size, is no mean task. So it was not a decision that was made lightly. Anyway we have moved all the content from the old Joomla site and… Read More ►

Server updates

Regular visitors will notice that quite a few Garfnet features are looking a bit tired. And you have probably encountered quite a few 404's too. The reason for this is that Garfnet is undergoing a fairly major overhaul at the moment.Moving to a new, better designed and much faster serverDumping dead or unsupported projectsIncorporating experimental projects - and some nifty toys from deoss.org.The .org part  of DEOSS is being parked-up for a while. Meantime the .com tales care of the business side, whilst the .net manages the network, server, vhosts etc. etc. Garfnet itself will continue to host the experimental… Read More ►

Eighteen Years of GarfNet

1995-08-18 to 2013-08-18 Editors note: quite a lot of this article is obsolete. The site has changed quite a lot since 2013! GarfNet is penguin-powered and full of unixy goodness! Yep! we're "open source" and enjoying every moment of it. GNU/Linux is serving us so well that there is hardly a whiff of the mighty Micro$oft on this site these days. Just penguins and of course, a goose! If you haven't been here for a while, then there are some shiny new things to look at. Firstly there is our new and improved internet radio tuner, linking you to some… Read More ►

What is the best media player for the GarfNet internet radio tuner?

The internet radio tuner is cross-platform compatible and should work on any modern operating system. If you are still using M$ Windows, chances are you will see the Windows Media Player above the station selector picklist. This is actually a fairly good player and should work fine on Windows systems. We use Linux and our machines use either MPlayer or VLC player. I am a big fan of the French-developed mulit-platform VLC player and as a standalone media player it is a "must-have" application regardless of whether you run Linux, Macintosh or Windows. But as a media-player-plugin, the Hungarian-built Mplayer… Read More ►

It works!

GarfNet's upgrade to Joomla 1.5.x is now complete. Even better, the rather nasty "$live_site" bug reported in our last site blog item is now fixed. Many thanks to Joomla developer, Ian MacLennan for providing us with a timely patch:- http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/joomla/tracker/?action=TrackerItemEdit&tracker_item_id=16930 We still have our doubts whether Joomla 1.5.x should be deemed to be in its "stable phase" yet though? "Advanced beta phase" would seem a more appropriate designation. Bug reports are pouring in thick and fast. And the latest release (at time of writing) 1.5.12 seems to have created more bugs than it fixed!   Making the old stable Joomla… Read More ►

What is LAMPP?

LAMPP is an abbreviation for Linux | Apache | MySQL (database) | PHP ((Pretty) Hypertext Pre-processor) | Perl (programming language).Today, many Linux distributions come with Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl & Python anyway - or they are very easily added from the distributions software repository.If you want to run LAMPP on Windows then a LAMMP package such as XAMPP is a good idea. This is available for free download from the Friends of Apache website. Note: if you use XAMPP be sure to read the security advice on the XAMPP site...http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html Read More ►

Which CMS has GarfNet chosen and why did you choose it?

Editor's note: this article dates back to 2005 and is VERY obsolete. It is here for historical interest only. Currently we are evaluating a number of quite different Content Management Systems. For the main part of the site it was a battle between Joomla & PHP-Nuke. Both are good systems. However Joomla's administration tools are a lot better, and much less idiosyncratic. GarfNet Pictures is managed by an excellent CMS called Coppermine. We plan to integrate Joomla & Coppermine eventually. Mr Goose chose another excellent product for his blog, called WordPress. And we are heavily experimenting with a dedicated educational… Read More ►

Didn’t you use another Linux at one time?

In 1995 our ISP set us up on a server running FreeBSD. Then in 2005 we built our own server, moved to Linux and chose a 'live CD' product based on Debian Linux called Simply Mepis. At the time, if you wanted a quick out-of-the-box solution with a minimum of messing about, I think Mepis was the best of the Linux distributions for the non-nerdy. It had everything you need for a basic user, including OpenOffice.org which will open & save most Micro$oft office documents. Mepis, like many of the newer Linuxes boasts loads of other nice features too, such… Read More ►

Why is GarNet using Linux?

Our old server ran since 1995 with only a handful of reboots. Needless to say, it was not an M$ Windows machine. It was a FreeBSD box and it served us well. When our ISP said we could build our own server, we had two choices; 1. Windows 2003 Server with IIS (Micro$oft Internet Information Server) or 2. Linux with Apache webserver.M$ software would have cost an arm and a leg, whereas Linux & Apache is free. Thing is that I'm a tight-wad - the sort of guy who buys his shoes from Tescos! Therefore there was no contest here… Read More ►

What happened to the New Millennium ezine?

The 'Milly' as we affectionately called it was an experimental but slightly dysfunctional quarterly ezine that ran from 1995 December 27th through to 1999 December 25. It's quirky but honest view of the world attracted contributors & readers from all around the planet.The New Millennium was a big project, undertaken on a shoestring budget. It resulted in a huge site, run by a team of enthusiastic writers receiving and trying to answer stacks of emails from all around the world. All of this became difficult to manage especially as the project failed to generate any revenue!My father, David Lucas was… Read More ►
Joomla logo

An apology

More astute observers may have noticed that GarfNet has changed a bit lately. You may also have observed that some features are missing and some don't work at all. We're really sorry about this. Trouble is that Garfnet is currently upgrading its main CMS (content management system) from Joomla 1.0.x to Joomla 1.5.x. This task has proven to be an absolute nightmare. Whilst Joomla 1.5 is potentially a very good product, its documentation leaves a lot to be desired and despite being released over a year ago, it still suffers from an alarming number of bugs and omissions. Despite these… Read More ►
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Hot Spots

Garfnet has become a huge site with many component parts. Here are some of the more useful bits, complete with nice, short URL's you can bookmark, scribble down on a stick-it note or (heaven forbid) memorise! All things Linux:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/linux Depth of field (DoF) calculator:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/dof Earthquake info:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/earthquake International weather from 3000 METAR stations around th planet:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/weather Internet radio tuner - connecting you to the best radio stations in the UK, Europe and around the globe:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/tuner Mr.Goose's Blog:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/mrgoose Pictures & media gallery:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/media Radio frequencies, reviews & information:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/radio Reference tables, battery equivalents etc.:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/tables Universal… Read More ►

How do I stop Google indexing a particular page on my site?

There are several ways to stop Google and most other search engines indexing a page. The simplest is to use a "noindex" metatag on any pages you don't want indexed. Here's the HTML code, in context. (Obviously the text between the <title></title> tags is just there for show and is not relevant to the workings of the code!)<html><head> <meta name="robots" content="noindex" /> <title>Search Engines Will Ignore This Page</title></head> Read More ►
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I want a really good website but I don’t want to pay for it!

Before you read any further, you need to ask yourself some questions. What do you actually want?A social networking site such as Myspace? A freebie site such as Moonfruit? A freebie to host  pictures like Flickr, Photobucket or even GarfNet Pictures?Or do you want a fully functioning business website that you can edit and mold around your business model?  Do you want your own domain name? And if you had this super-duper business-grade site, what would you use it for exactly? How would it add to your business? Would it serve any administrative purpose for you? How would it attract… Read More ►
Highbury College, near Portsmouth, by Garf

Please may I have GarfNet Pictures account?

We have a fairly large picture site over at GarfNet Pictures. First up, it is important you understand what we are NOT: We are not an agency of any sort. We do not claim to get you work or further your career in any way. We do not attempt to compete with any of the conventional model sites such as Purestorm, or NetModel, or gallery sites such as PhotoBucket, Flickr etc.  GarfNet Pictures is a small community that's somehow alternative and old-fashioned at the same time if that makes any sense at all? However there is virtually no restriction on… Read More ►
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What is the best image library management system for me?

Singapore vs SimpleViewer vs Coppermine?All three of these are excellent products. However, the expression horses for courses leaps to mind here. These are quite different in they way they work and are aimed at very different markets.  Just because a particular product is better for me, it doesn't mean it is neccessarily better for you. I will try to summarise...Singapore is an open source, PHP-based image library management script. It is extremely simple and reliable. The Singapore project had died for a while but it is good to see it up and running again now. Singapore's strength is its simplicity.… Read More ►