Updated GlassAndSilverjewellery to latest Joomla!

After perhaps too long, we have updated to the latest versions of Joomla and Virtumart.

This was the result of a successful out-sourcing mini-project to a Russian developer via

This reduces the security risk the site previously had, and introduces some small improvements to improve customer experience.



Released v0.1 of Freemind search plugin

Created a search plugin to my favourite Mind-mapping tool, FreeMind which itself is open-source Java based.

The existing program had limited search facilities, only the current open map, so wrote plugin to allow search from multiple Freemind maps. It uses Apache Lucene to create an in-memory index then orders the results by a score. You can then click on a result to open that map. Can choose to search the maps you already have open, or to recursively search a directory of your choice. 


Running Windows in Linux

When the hard disk on my three year old laptop failed I had to either replace it or the whole PC.  I chose to buy a 500 GB solid state disk and upgrade the memory to 8 GB. This allows me to run pretty much what I want. Since I am more of a Linux programmer than Windows, I installed Ubuntu Linux as the OS.  Since you still need Windows for many things, Word, etc I thought about the various options:

1 Emulation via WINE - not as good as you need

2 Dual boot Windows and Linux - a pain if you need to switch between the two a lot

3 Run Windows inside Linux as a virtual machine.  That is what I chose to do.


Steps I took:

1 booted up Windows via a backup of the original installation

2 cleaned up removing obsolete programs and files

3 saved the Windows install to a Virtual Disk using  (save to VHD not VHDX as we want to use it in Virtualbox and it does not support VHDX). This was saved to another drive that can then be accessed in Linux.

4 Rebooted with Linux

5 copied over the VHD file to Linux as I don't want to have to keep the external HDD attached

6 installed virtual box 4.3 in Ubuntu - ie. not the version that comes in the Ubuntu distribution

7 set up a Windows virtual machine using the VHD file

8 Opened Word and re-activated on line - no issues

9 Searched for activate windows and did that online - no issues



Creating a maven repository in source forge

Assuming you have started a project already and have admin rights,  

create a local sshfs mount:  ( )

so create a folder to hold the mount:

cd ~/Desktop

mkdir sourceforge

sshfs This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:/home/project-web/clearcheckbookjavaapi /home/stephen/Desktop/sourceforge/

(can unmount with fusermount -u /home/stephen/Desktop/sourceforge/ if you want to change the directory its mounted at)

cd to your htdocs directory

cd /home/stephen/Desktop/sourceforge/htdocs/

create a maven folder

mkdir maven

cd into it

cd maven

make the directory indexable - create .htaccess file with the contents "Options +Indexes" - see

vi .htaccess

Options +Indexes

Now follow the steps in this link to create the repository structure and files:

  1. build the project with extra commands to do the release: mvn install -DperformRelease=true -DcreateChecksum=true
  2. copy the relevant files from your local repository, ~/.m2 to your maven folder in the mount, e.g. /home/stephen/Desktop/sourceforge/htdocs/maven. This will contain the code you deployed plus any projects you have used, so you probably don't need to copy it all.
  3. cd to that folder, e.g. /home/stephen/Desktop/sourceforge/htdocs/maven and go to the release folder of your project, e.g. /home/stephen/Desktop/sourceforge/htdocs/maven/com/leonarduk/clearcheckbook/clearcheckbookapi/0.1 and rename the maven-metadata-local.xml and create the checksums:
    mv maven-metadata-local.xml maven-metadata.xml
    md5sum maven-metadata.xml > maven-metadata.xml.md5
    sha1sum maven-metadata.xml > maven-metadata.xml.sha1

You can now use this in another maven project by adding this to its pom.xml


Great mind mapping tool

I have become almost reliant on a great FREE mind mapping application, Free Mind

It allows you to hyperlink to other nodes, to other pages, to external files and sites.  I found it extremely useful when I studied for the GARP FRM exam.  For exams,  you can create an overview node with the main topics of the curriculum and then break out in detail a new page per subject.  Related topics can hyperlink between each other, then you add links to youtube or PDFs.  It really helped me.