Introducing a new family member

My (fairly) old workstation/mediastation, more commonly known as Relling just didn’t cut it anymore. He was very noisy, quite chubby and not so fast around the corners. So, it was time for a replacement. The need was basically; lightweight pc, low-cost, quiet, could serve tv-signals and possibly serve a ftp-server.

Some years ago I surfed on itx motherboards, but then the price was high and the performance low. But now I discovered this was the board that basically served all my needs! For around 1000NOK (200$) I got a mini-itx LN10000 (1GHz, 1Gb ram, tv-out, fanless) and from Relling and an even older scrapped pc I had harddrive, power-supply and everything else I needed.

Since I didn’t had any idea what to build the computer in – I decided to just mount it (temporarily) on a wooden board and install a fresh WinXP install on it.

And it worked like a charm!

So what about the family? Well, the family consists of my pc’s and the theme is Ibsens Vildanden. The laptop is Hedvig, server is Hjalmar, workstation Relling and now the new small nifty one is: Gina!

You can’t just have the pc mounted on the board just like that?! You might ask this. Well, no. So I found this very nice metal box at IKEA which is going to be Gina’s new body (skin?).

But I haven’t figured out how to place everything in it just yet. More on that in a later post.

For now. Welcome Gina!

Redirecting/prettifying URLs with .htaccess

Everyone that has ever tried to use mod_rewrite with .htaccess files, to get a nice url or even just to redirect to a subdirectory without the user knowing it, have probably been swearing, biting, hitting and cried over; the regex, the syntax, the lack of (human-oriented) documentation and so on.

A friend of mine and I tried went through several of these phases yesterday; the goal was easy:

get http://localhost/ams/anything.php to redirect to http://localhost/ams/qsys/anything.php

With localhost being variable and offcourse http://localhost/ams to redirect to http://localhost/ams/qsys/

We tried several approaches with increasing complexity. And cried, sweared, killed apache and so on. The apache test server was installed locally on windows plattform (xampp) so the first glimpse of light was when we realized the /apache/logs/error.log and the setting for apache; LogLevel debug. This resulted in some debug information on what the .htaccess made apache do. After realizing the plain .htaccess in /ams/.htaccess, containing something like this;

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ qsys/$1 [L]

Made apache reach a recursive hell into qsys/qsys/***. But nevertheless, at the first call it did exactly what it was supposed to do. So. How to stop it. The solution, easy, probably not a silver bullett, but works;

A .htaccess in /ams/qsys/.htaccess with RewriteEngine Off

Like a deux ex machina it worked!

So, to all out there that have reach insanity over mod_rewrite and nice urls. Do it simple! Hope it works out well:)