Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Solution: Can't start MAMP 3.2 on Mac OS X Yosemite

Trying to prepare my laptop for a bit of coding practice, so I decided to grab the free version of MAMP 3.2 to use on my Macbook Air. I download and installed the app and tried to fire up the servers, but I got an error: Apache couldn't be started. Please check your MAMP settings.

After a lot of searching, including a lot of old solutions that recommended changing envvars to _envvars, I finally found the solution. Manually trying to start MAMP via console I saw this error:

httpd: Syntax error on line 83 of /Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/httpd.conf: Cannot load /Applications/MAMP/Library/modules/ into server: dlopen(/Applications/MAMP/Library/modules/, 10): image not found
So to fix the problem, I edited the httpd.conf file and commented out (#) the load module for mod_example and it worked. I've no idea why the default httpd.conf file references a missing module, but that seems to have fixed it!

Let me know if this helps you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Stop auto-selection of text in Office 2013

In Outlook I found something very frustrating, when you select part of a sentence or word, it tries to 'help' by selecting the rest of the word. This isn't always that handy, for example when you're trying to copy something within brackets. I finally found the solution, thanks to Electroscribe_2014 on this thread. As ever, I'm recording it here for future reference in case the source gets edited/lost.

So, to stop automatic/smart selection of your text in Outlook 2013, take these steps:
  1. In the File menu, choose Options.
  2. Click Mail.
  3. Click Editor Options.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. Clear the checkbox next to When selecting, automatically select entire word.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Solution: Repeatedly being kicked out of Opencart admin with "invalid session token"

If you've ever used Opencart you might find this tip helpful. It seems to depend on your hosting company, but when installing Opencart at Vidahost/TSO you often get booted out of the Opencart admin area due to an "invalid session token".

No matter what you do, in terms of clearing your cookies or using different browsers, it keeps happening. Fortunately the solution is pretty simple and I actually found it on their parent company's forums:

Open whichever php.ini file you've set* your site to look at. Add this line at the bottom:

session.save_path = /tmp/php_sessions;

Save it. This should fix the problem.

* On Vidahost you need to tell it where you want the php.ini file to be. To do this, simply add this line to your .htaccess file in the public_html root:

suPHP_ConfigPath /var/sites/w/

Or you could put php.ini in a sub-folder, but if you do then just change the path above accordingly.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Creating a custom icon for web site

While there are thousands of great icon sets out there, such as Font Awesome, sometimes you just can't find an icon that you need. In my case, I needed an icon containing the client's logo.

After a fair amount of research, I came up with a process that seems to work fine. I'm documenting it here for my own reference really, but if you find it helpful then let me know.

First up I installed Inkscape which is a free vector editing package for Windows & Mac.

Then I went to and click on a random icon - selecting to preview it at 96x96 pixels. I clicked the "Generate SVG/PNG" from the footer menu to download it to my PC.

I opened this .svg file in Inkscape. The purpose of this exercise was just to get a correctly sized template. I then deleted the random icon and used its canvas space to create my own icon.

When I was finished I clicked on Path > Object to Path from the Inkscape menu before then saving it as a .svg file.

I then dragged this .svg file from my PC on to the web site and, assuming it looks right, I clicked the download webfont button which gives you all the files and sample code for using your custom-made icon on a web page.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

SwiftPoint mouse movements inverted on Windows

A few years ago I picked up a SwiftPoint 300 mouse which is a great little mouse that you can use as an alternative to your trackpad. Today I found it again in a draw and decided to try it out again. The only issue is that all my movements were inverted, i.e. moving the mouse up and down made it go left and right instead! The solution is actually to use the mouse's built-in calibration feature, as described on their official site:

1. Hold the mouse at a comfortable angle.2. Press and hold down both mouse buttons.3. After 2 seconds the mouse pointer will position itself at the bottom of the screen and move upwards.4. Release the buttons and move the mouse pointer in a straight line upward until the pointer moves in a small circle. The new up direction will now be set.

At point 3, as it moves up, continue to slide your mouse up in the same direction - this wasn't made clear in the instructions. It now works fine again. I've made the note here in case the official site goes offline.