How to restore "Escape closes windows" shortcut in Pidgin (using Ubuntu Linux)

I use Gaim/Pidgin as my IM client as it can connect to all other IM services (AIM, MSN, Yahoo, GTalk, etc.) but keeps them all within one tidy app. My favourite feature is that when you want to close a conversation window you simply just hit 'Esc' and it's gone. A collegue asked recently why his Escape shortcut was not working any more after an upgrade to Ubuntu Gutsy.

It appears from Pidgin's release notes that this 'feature' was changed in version 2.0.0 (5/3/2007):

Removed "Escape closes windows;" default key binding is now Ctrl-W
This hadn't happened to my version (I'm also running Gutsy) but I had to get to the bottom of it. After a little searching in .purple (the home of Pidgin's user configuration) within my home directory I was able to find the following uncommented in my accels file:
(gtk_accel_path "
/Conversation/Close" "Escape")
In my collegue's ~/.purple/accels file he just had to change <Control>w to be Escape and then it all started working again!

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Has Althea UK Ltd. gone bust? (aka Bathrooms Italia / Period Bathrooms)

Note: This is a non-technical post that I'm making to see if anyone else is searching for information regarding any outstanding bathroom orders - if so, please leave a comment so we can pool our collective wisdom!



We placed an order through Bathrooms Italia for a new bath back in January and after repeated phone calls inquiring about the whereabouts of the bath we have found this morning that the site appears to not be avilable anymore and they are not answering their phone - 01845 577 432.

After a little digging about it appears that Period Bathrooms are also not answering their phone - 01274 660 770. Both of these companies seem to be public consumer websites for Althea UK Ltd., their number is the same as Bathrooms Italia - 01845 577 432 which is never answered.

A quick search on Credit Gate shows the following suspect activity:

  • REGISTERED OFFICE CHANGED ON 22/01/08 FROM:KC HOUSE, BRETTON STREET DEWSBURY WEST YORKSHIRE WF12 9BJ

  • SECRETARY'S PARTICULARS CHANGED ON 21/01/2008

Due to this I've already contacted my credit card company to report they I've paid for an item that I expect to never receive!


Update: I've just had a call from Clearwater (a supplier to Althea) that they have been advised that Althea and therefore their derivatives have gone into receivership!

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A hint when working with Rails Migrations and legacy databases (ID columns)

Had an interesting problem recently when writing some Rail migrations scripts for an old non-Rails MySQL database. After writing the migration and running it via Rake we found that it was erroring with a complaint about the primary key.

We checked that the table had an id column, it did but instead of id it was ID. ActiveRecord is very specific in what it looks for and so was not viewing this ID column as the primary key that it required when adding new rows to the table.

A quick lookup in the ActiveRecord documentation pointed out the solution: use set_primary_key in your ActiveRecord class:

class SomeLegacyTable < ActiveRecord::Base
set_primary_key :ID
end
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How to use logrotate with Apache's Tomcat (and any other Java process)

Logrotate is an excellent utility for managing log files that can start grow into an unmanageble size, Tomcat's catalina.out is one such file.

Most of the solutions (scroll down to the 'Rotate the logs' section) for managing catalina.out, or other log files generated by Tomcat or any Java process for that matter, don't mention the copytruncate option:

Truncate the original log file in place after creating a copy, instead of moving the old log file and optionally creating a new one, It can be used when some program can not be told to close its logfile and thus might continue writing (appending) to the previous log file forever. Note that there is a very small time slice between copying the file and truncating it, so some logging data might be lost. When this option is used, the create option will have no effect, as the old log file stays in place.
This basically means that you don't have to configure your logrotate script to restart Tomcat just so you can tidy up your log files - it trades off uptime against completeness of log records.

I found out about this from the Mission Data Blog in their post titled 'managing disk space with logrotate'. Is definitely worth taking a good look through the man page for logrotate to see if there are any other gems you can take advantage of for your setup.

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