Dec 232010

Hello everyone,
I’ve been saying that I was going to post this for a long time, ever since my presentation at Fusion 2010: and now I finally have.

I have written up two pages on code I developed for use with PHP and D2L’s web services. I have been using it at my work for the last year or so, and I finally polished it up a little, and created some installation and usage instructions. I’m not finished yet, but it is a start.

If you use D2L and want to extend it through Web Services (you need to purchase the web services package from D2L, and have it installed first), I encourage you to read over these pages:

If you have any comments, please post them below. Feel free to email me with any questions or problems you run into while working with the API or the testing framework. I’m eager to improve the code for everyone.

Dec 042010

I was trying to use the Knowledgetree automated installer on a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04.01 64-bit server. While trying to install, I received an error about swftools, which I was able to install thanks to the directions here (in post 2):

However, I then received an error that read:
Failed to fetch Hash Sum mismatch
Followed by a few zend packages that couldn’t be installed.

After much purging and googling, I found that this worked well:

  1. Go to /var/lib/apt/lists/partial/ and delete the files that failed to download. (If you are curious, I looked at the file that was supposed to be correct in the partial directory, and noticed it was encoded still. I suspect an incorrectly expanded archive file that was causing the problem. Some people reported that simply deleting these files fixed the problem, but it did not help for me.)
  2. Using the root URL of the repo that had the hash problem….go to the site. So for me it is
    • Here I noticed that there were a number of files that had the packages. The file it failed on was the bz2 file, however, there is a plain text one available called Packages
    • I clicked on Packages and copied all of the text.
    • On the server, I created a new file in the /var/lib/apt/lists/ directory with the same name of the file that failed/was encoded in the partial directory (sudo vim repos.zend.com_zend-server_deb_dists_server_non-free_binary-amd64_Packages) and pasted all of the text in there.
  3. Then I ran apt-get update and it ran without errors.
  4. Finally, I ran the Knowledgetree install again, and it downloaded all of the required packages fine.

I imagine this would work on any repo that is having a similar problem with Hash Sum mismatch, but of course the URL you will visit, and the file name you will use will be different.

Dec 022010

Hello Internet Reader. You heard it here first; Failure is heavier than Success. I’m sure that this will turn out to have all sorts of implications in the fields of physics, politics, and athletics. Read on if you want to understand my train of thought that brought me to this exciting discovery.

Recently, there have been rumors that Rogers Communications may be buying shares in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the body that controls the Toronto Maple Leafs (hockey), Toronto FC (soccer), and Toronto Raptors (basketball). This would give them controlling interest in four major professional sports teams in Toronto (they currently own the Toronto Blue Jays (baseball)).

This got me thinking about Toronto sports teams in general. They haven’t had many good years recently:

  • Maple Leafs: Last Championship – 1967 / Last Playoff Appearance – 2004
  • Raptors: Last Championship – Never / Last Playoff Appearance – 2008 (Only once got past the first round)
  • Toronto FC: Last Championship – Never / Last Playoff Appearance – Never
  • Blue Jays: Last Championship – 1993 / Last Playoff Appearance – 1993

To the defence of Toronto FC and the Raptors, they are fairly new teams. However, they have seemed to have latched on to the Toronto sport team legacy of failure.

But this begs the question, why so much failure in Toronto?

Well you see, as any Canadian knows (especially Toronto-ains), Toronto is the centre of the universe. Like most things that are the centre of something, it tends to have the most mass and therefore attracts other things. Looking at the solar system, the Sun is the centre of mass, and other object gravitate towards and around it.

So, all things in the universe are pulled towards Toronto. Of course, this means that both success and failure are attracted to Toronto. However, failure seems to accumulate there faster, and in greater numbers then success. Proving once and for all that Failure is heavier than Success.

But what does this have to do with Rogers Communications? Well, anyone who has tried to get a cell phone signal on the Rogers Network in Newfoundland knows exactly what I’m talking about regarding failure.

Disclaimer: This post is in jest, and if you are offended, you should learn how to take a joke. And if that comment offended you, I’m sorry. Please refrain from fire bombing my car or home. Thank you for your consideration.