How to open ODS file in Numbers app on a Mac

To actually open an ODS file with all the formulas you need to install Open Office or Libre Office or some other program that understands ODS format, but if you just need to quickly get the data and the basic structure of an old file:

  • Right-click the ODS file and select Open With -> Other
  • Select TextEdit app
  • Select all of the content
  • Paste it into a new Numbers spreadsheet

If you had formulas in some cells, they will now have (correct) results of those calculations, but in my case that was all I really needed.

What I wonder now is - if TextEdit can read ODS, why can't Numbers do it directly?

Bluetooth not available after OSX update? Reboot!

Some articles suggest to boot to the safe mode first, but all I did was shut the computer down completely and start it again.

Here is an overview of various things to try (and why) if a restart does not help.

Tunnelblick error (status 244) ocurred

This morning I got this message when attempting to connect to my VPN on OSX Mountain Lion:

An error (status 244) ocurred while trying to check the security of the ... configuration.

Please quit and relaunch Tunnelblick. If the problem persists, please reinstall Tunnelblick.

It turned out that Verizon Wireless VZAccess tool I installed last night changed permissions of my /Applications folder so it is writable by any user. Tunnelblick makes sure that the folder(s) it is in do not have such lax permissions, so it would not connect until I did this:

sudo chmod o-w /Applications

Probably you would get the same result by running Repair Permissions, but I have never done that myself so I am not sure if that may negatively affect anything else on your system.

PHP Continuous Integration with Hudson

Been playing with Hudson recently, and I am impressed. Easy to setup and use (well, that is relative...) It even has a Chuck Norris plugin :-)

The best way to get started with Hudson and PHP is Sebastian Bergmann's php-hudson-template, but there are also other good articles: Ladislav Prskavec's PHP and Hudson, and Goran Juric's Hudson on Debian Lenny.

I needed to get it running on Windows, so there were some additional hoops to jump through, such as some pear-installed tools hard-coding ./php.exe in .bat files, but almost everything else just works.

Update: Found some more articles, by Dave Gardner and Justin Palmer

Also, having more Windows troubles (though it could be something else) - can't get a build to succeed, even though all the tests are passing... in the end I modified some of the tools to always return zero. The real setup is on a Linux box anyway, and it all works fine there - except that graphs use some funny-looking fonts (fonts were just missing, yum installing a few font collections and restarting hudson fixed it.)

Sphinx Search 0.7 for MediaWiki Released

After over a year of on-and-off tweaks and updates, I have finally released version 0.7 of SphinxSearch Extension for MediaWiki. There are several new options, support for latest version of sphinx, initial support for MW search API, and the extension now follows the usual MW conventions for localizations, autoload, etc.

Free Book by Robert Kiyosaki

Kiyosaki, the author of the famous "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" published his latest book "Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money" online, for free. You need to signup to get access, but I think it is worth it. I am not sure I agree with everything he says, but who needs to read stuff they already fully agree with?

Here is the table of contents:

It does not list all the chapters - it has intro, chapter one, and a dozen extras. The extras are neat too, but here is how to get to the whole book:

Introduction | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12

Even though it says "conspiracy," it is more about understanding how the system works and not getting duped along with everybody else. What you do with that knowledge depends on your level of heart and conscience...

Reading in the relatively small window within the web page is not very convenient. However, you can print (not via the browser but via the little printer icon right above the book pages) or open the book in a separate window by itself (there is a little rectangular icon for that next to the print icon.)

Avoid rollback when upgrading Sun Virtual Box

If you try to install or upgrade Sun's VBox on Windows XP, the installer will sometimes roll back due to unsigned drivers or other some such errors. It happened to me even though I had an option to ignore such warnings set in Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Driver Signing

The solution was to right-click the installer and select "Run As". This will give you a dialog where you can uncheck "Protect my computer and data from unauthorized program activity". Found it here.

Why I Like 7zip

It is not just because it is the best compression utility for Windows. I like it because after each command-line extraction it tells you:

Everything is Ok

I should add this at the end of all my scripts. Things may be terribly wrong, but still, everything is OK :-)

Download PECL Extensions for Windows

The last version of PHP that came with compiled PECL extensions for Windows was 5.2.6. Some time after that, the usual place to get those was taken offline, and downloads page only says that for newer versions of PHP, 5.2.6 versions of PECL extensions still work. No link...

I felt I was lucky to keep a copy of those extensions around, until I moved to FastCGI and needed non-thread-safe versions. After some searching, I finally discovered that you can download both thread-safe and non-thread-safe versions of PECL dlls from

UPDATE: Windows binaries are available again at:

Who needs "search the web" on a regular website?

Why would London Stock Exchange have a "search the web" as an option on their search page? OK, I may want to search for news or information related to a stock, but there are better, specialized tools for that.

But why would they use GET request for that?

Hey! Maybe I can get a better ranking by linking to a search on third blessing domain. That page will not have any rank initially, but it is on a well established domain...