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The computering is not with me, today

Discussion in 'Pete's Computer Corner' started by pete, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    There was ONE success. I did get my Yanagisawa Gallery back up. So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

    Yesterday was Update Tuesday. Microsoft releases their bug/problem fixers on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. What that also means for me is that I do a full antivirus scan of all my home computers with Windows Defender (aka Microsoft Security Essentials, but for Windows 8.1) then I do a full scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. The Windows Defender scan came back clean, as usual. The Malwarebytes scan came back with major problems. I looked closer. Hmm. I don't even have those files on my computer. Seriously. They're system files that Malwarebytes says are in c:\ when I know they're in c:\windows. I've got the hidden files and system files view options on and I don't see anything. I'll rescan. Same files. Because I'm overly paranoid, I looked for these files where they're really supposed to be and submitted them to VirusTotal.com -- that's a website that takes the file(s) you upload and subjects them to 55 antivirus and antimalware products, so you can be absolutely positive that the file(s) are clean. My files came back clean. Hmm. I downloaded a new copy of Malwarebytes, uninstalled the old and installed the new. I did another scan. Same detections. I contacted Malwarebytes and I'm letting them have a look. Again, because I'm overly paranoid, I ran another scan with another product. No detections.

    Total time suck: 2 hours.

    I mentioned above that I got my Gallery back up. When I got home, I decided to try to upload more stuff. I can't. Odd. Particularly so because not only did it work a couple hours earlier, I use a Portable version of Google Chrome. That means that I'm using the exact stuff I was using two hours ago that worked juuuuust fine. I try it with three other browsers. No worky. I try it on a Virtual Machine (read: super pristine environment that's isolated from everything). No worky. I try it with a couple alternate upload methods. No worky. I then decide to install a brand new copy of the Gallery 3 software, just to prove that it's not on my end. Installed. Upload test. Works.

    Total time suck: 1.5 hours.

    So, that means I backup everything again, tomorrow, and maybe install a new copy of Gallery 3 and import everything from my backup. Or maybe it'll just start working, all by itself.

    Y'know, I also left work early today because I had to go see the insurance adjustor* and thought I'd get home a bit earlier and could work on my website ....

    *My car got hit. As in, my car was parked and somebody backed into it. Yes, I know who and have his insurance info. $1000 in repairs.

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    "cough, cough - 'Macintosh' - cough, cough"

    While I'm not the most extreme computer user in the world, I've been using them since the days of the mainframe, Hollerith cards, and programming in assembler. During that time span stretching back to the early 1960s, I have spent over thirty years dealing with the Macintosh system. And, during that time span, I've only had one "computer virus" encounter, that being with a rogue Hypercard "virus". Other than that, zip, zulu, zero, nada.

    I'm just sayin'...
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    I used to work for the Fruit Company, Motorola, and several 'sites that have had lots of Macs. We do have a problem with Microsoft Office macro viruses and there are some that are Java-based (in other words, it doesn't matter your OS, it matters if you have Java). Other honest-to-goodness Mac viruses that are damaging? Maybe an average of 1 a year since I started getting paid for working on computers back in 1987.

    I mentioned Java. "Malware" is becoming known more for popping up stuff in your web browser at random intervals and/or you getting redirected to websites that you didn't want to go to. Java malware can do this. That's why I mention, elsewhere, that I do recommend that people use the free Sophos stuff on their Macs. Hey, you can compromise and run it once a month, then uninstall it. That would probably be sufficient for most users. Besides, you'll feel good doing it.
  4. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    The computering is still not with me.

    I was trying to get new copies of the Modules (read: "add-ins") I have for Gallery 3. I kept on getting a bunch of errors, like "Page Not Found," "Document Contains No Data," etc. I finally made my way back to the main page of Gallery. Development has been stopped and the developers are looking for someone else to take over the project.


    I did a bit of research, tonight. Several of the folks that developed Modules and/or Themes are switching to Piwigo. I had considered going to Piwigo in the past, but there was no conversion mechanism from Gallery 3 to Piwigo. There is one, now.

    So, here's my current plan:

    * Get my Gallery 3 install working properly. I'll hopefully have that finished this weekend.
    * Install Piwigo and start to test. Depending on how fast it is to do it, I may rename all or some of my albums to make 'em named consistently. I need to make sure that I can add album descriptions or captions before I get this far, though.

    On the positive side, I did get Diamondbacks tickets at work today. Really good seats, too. The only drawback is ... it's the Diamondbacks :).
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    That was ... educational.

    I decided to play around with Piwigo today. Some notes:

    * The conversion thingy sorta works ... but not well enough. The little descriptions that I mentioned were important to me only seem to transfer one layer deep. As an example, all the text I wrote on this page transfers beautifully. All the text I have on a lower album, like this one with the offsite gallery link etc., does not.
    * Piwigo does not like album names with spaces or really anything besides letters, numbers, _ and -. Considering at least 80% or more of my albums have spaces in their names, that's a problem. I've got umlauts and parentheses and periods and ... well, you get the idea.

    The combination of the above two things means that if I want to use Piwigo, I have to manually do a lot of stuff. However, that doesn't mean I can't try. Here's what I came up with in about an hour.

    Something I also noticed is that the pictures in Piwigo load very slowly and you get the "broken pic" icon quite often. Solution: refresh the page until you see the pics properly. That's not much of a solution ....

    In any event, while I've mentioned before that using old software is not necessarily a bad thing, this is one of those cases where it is. It's very possible that when my webhost updates PHP, SQL, or even the webserver OS itself, Gallery 3 will stop working. That's a bit scary.
  6. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

    Interesting stuff Pete. I cringe when I read all this image gallery info you write...

    I gotta' tell you... 4Images isn't looking all horrible anymore. I might not be able to do the coding that's necessary, but then I'm not HTML savvy. For someone like you who is, it might really be an option you know.

    OK, so the support sucks, and the plugins are really limited, but if you can code, you can make it do and look like anything you want quite easily since it really is HTML based. Authors have written a lot of mods for it that are updated regularly--albeit rather reader-unfriendly-like--in the support forum.

    Nonetheless, once you get used to the back end, 4Images works really well. I upload, edit, and can see 100's of my images in under 10 minutes (depending on how much different info I want to put into each image, the editing portion can take less/more time).
  7. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    The argument for using either 4Images or Coppermine Gallery is that they've been around forever and haven't had significant updates. Based on my experience with Coppermine, I tend to think that they don't have updates because the code's pretty solid. Unfortunately, it's a trade-off between "solid code" and "user friendly." As noted above, it took me about an hour to get Piwigo up and running. Coppermine takes a long time to study before you can begin to upload pics. 4Images is very similar in that regard: very solid (according to just about everyone), but difficult to use and not that pretty.

    Speaking of pretty, Gallery 3 is probably the best. Piwigo comes in a close second.

    Piwigo has an interesting FTP upload feature. You stick everything into a folder on the server, go to your Piwigo admin console, and press a button. So far, that sounds pretty normal. The interesting part is that Piwigo can distinguish between new and old uploads and will only upload the new stuff. That's a pretty nice feature. For me, this is great because I can see online directories that look exactly like the directories on my local computer. That will also make backups a lot faster.

    One other thing I really like about Piwigo is that it parses real HTML code and it seems to like any code. The HTML parser in Gallery 3 only allows you to use a few HTML commands, most notably URL linkies. That does open some interesting design options.
  8. Helen

    Helen Content Expert Saxophones Staff Member Administrator

    What are you saying? My gallery isn't "pretty"? I'm hurt... :cry: :p :wink:

    Another thing that 4Images has going for it is that it is owned by a company, and is actually for profit. This makes it more likely to be around for the long-haul I think... I hope... Free use is only granted to commercial-free sites, and sites are somehow tied into the 4Images servers, so they they keep careful eye one what you're doing.

    I've seen some interesting sites done in 4Images, that look nothing like a traditional 4Images site. Since it can be so customized--if you know your way around HTML--it can be made to look anyway you want.

    As far as the back end is concerned, I didn't find it hard to get my head around. It's actually pretty simple to use, no harder than any other CMS really. Any admin can upload using an FTP program, and make large scale changes to images once the appropriated mods have been added. (That's where the user-hostile forum comes in however.) Once those are done though, you generally don't have to go back to the forum unless you want to add things, or update the software.

    The one thing I don't like, is that any mods you make do get lost when you update versions. This is why I hired the 4Images guru from Berlin to make my theme for me, and then update my site so that my mods were still functioning.
  9. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

  10. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    > vi is better than EMACS
    I use Kedit :p.

    > My gallery isn't "pretty"?
    Your content is beautiful.

    Gallery 3 had been around for 14 years. 4Images has been around for 14 years. Piwigo has been around for 13. Coppermine has been around for 11. ZenPhoto's been around for 9.

    I definitely get Helen's point about 4Images. I might give it a shot, again: the Piwigo layout looks an awful lot like 4Images. My big thing is that I don't *want* to have to do any coding. I just want it to work. The only real coding I want to do is if I want to put in a link to someplace.
  11. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Well, I did some checking.

    I found it very interesting that 4Images does not allow batch uploads unless you have an add-on. They've also not had a major update in two years. They have had four or so security-related updates. Here's a sample of their support forum: "It works just fine. You must be doing something wrong or you're a moron." Thanks for the encouragement! Yes, that's a quote. (Admittedly, Coppermine is like that, too.)

    Anyhow, I am going to stick with Piwigo, at least for the near term. I really like the feature-set, especially the FTP upload. I am also doing something I mentioned in a different thread: using a standard naming convention. The only exception I'll have is with Conn New Wonder horns and newer. Why? It's quicker to type in "11M Bb Tenor" than "Bb Tenor - High Pitch." So, the format I'm going to use:

    Eb Alto - sn 123456 - 1945 - Lacquer

    ... and after the finish, I might have some other bit of info.

    I'm also waiting for one of the former Gallery 3 developers to finish his Piwigo port of a theme he wrote. It's one I used to use, called "Grey Dragon."
  12. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

    Updates on all the things in this thread:

    MALWAREBYTES: I got a response from one of the developers. He said it's a known problem if you have the combination of a) not using an account with local administrator rights (which you should; you only should use an admin account if absolutely necessary) and b) you right-click the drive you want to scan and choose "scan" from the pop-up menu. Which is essentially them reporting back to me that what I did to make it break makes it break. No fix offered and I still haven't been able to find someone else that has reported this problem before. At least I've covered all the bases to make sure that there's no malware on my computer.

    INSURANCE/CAR: My car is currently in the shop and I have a nice rental, a 2013 Chevy Impala, paid for by insurance. I got an initial check from the estimator person and got a call a couple days later from my insurance saying that the other guy's insurance paid up, so here's a refund on your deductible. My car should be finished this weekend or so. No big worries, as I have that rental.

    PIWIGO GALLERY: It's working out great. I'm still not 100% happy with the theme (colors, fonts, etc.), but I rather like the current setup I have and, if you register as a user, you can go to the user control panel and pick a theme that YOU like. Also, the comment function is working great (which I can tell because of the spammers). That's something that never worked properly in my Gallery 3 install. In addition to all that, there were a bunch of improvements to image uploading in an update to Piwigo that came out today. I also mention elsewhere that I figured out how to fix the only real problem I had with Piwigo, which was the slow loading of some pics.

    DIAMONDBACKS GAME: I got to go with my wife. The last time I had these exceptionally great seats + free food was a couple years ago and she couldn't go. This time she could, so it was a nice afternoon out and my youngest spent the afternoon at her grandparents'. Hey, the D-Backs actually won, too. (For what it's worth, according to the latest standings I saw on TV a couple days ago, the D-Backs are 26 games out of first place -- last in the Division -- so it's the thought that counts. They also did make some very good highlight-reel-quality plays.) The only thing that we didn't do was take the dog; it was doggie day at the park. I told my wife that if we did, that'd really annoy the kid: "Sorry, dear. We don't have a ticket for you, so you can't go. Hey where's my good doggie!? Wanna go to the ball park? They have treats for you!"
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