Nicholas Petreley

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Top Stories by Nicholas Petreley

(LinuxWorld) — One of my non-profit Web sites,, ran on my modified version of the PHP-Nuke weblog package from the site's inception in March 2001 until late November 2002. I chose PHP-Nuke as a starting point because I was very impressed with it. However, the more I learned how to use PHP, the more I realized that PHP-Nuke was not only a tangled mess but that I had made it even worse with my modifications. A year later, I was faced with the fact that was not only lame because it was based on PHP-Nuke, it was also showing its age. It lacked features of other weblogs, and still lacked many of the features I had intended to add to the site. If I were going to fix the code, the first thing I would do would be to make it an object-oriented system. I toyed with the idea of converting my code into OOP-based code, but I concluded that if the P... (more)

Trials & tribulations of moving to a Web host provider

(LinuxWorld) — A company called iPowerWeb now hosts my two non-profit sites, and I used to host them on my own servers that were connected to the Internet via SBC/Pacific Bell Enhanced DSL, which includes five IP addresses. The transition was painless. All I had to do was notify Directnic and Network Solutions of the new name servers at iPowerWeb for my domains. It wasn't easy to notify Network Solutions. I have no idea why, but I didn't have the correct account number or password for my domain there, so I had to jump through hoops to get into my ... (more)

A new distro in town: Gentoo emerges victorious

(LinuxWorld) — A relatively new distribution called Gentoo Linux is gaining a rapidly increasing, rabidly loyal group of users. The increasing popularity of Gentoo is almost difficult to explain, given that it's clearly a distribution by geeks, for geeks and for nobody but geeks. Obviously a geek can set up a Gentoo system for a non-geek, so you may find novices using Gentoo. You just won't find many novices installing it. To be more precise, Gentoo Linux is not really a distribution but a meta-distribution. You don't usually install pre-compiled binaries when you add software t... (more)

Window-managers 101: The desktop beyond GNOME and KDE

(LinuxWorld) -- Many of my most recent columns have speculated exclusively on GNOME and KDE as if they're the only realistic choices for Linux or UNIX desktops. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are dozens of window managers available for X11, which is the most common foundation for graphical applications on UNIX. If you're already familiar with X11, the concept of window managers and the most common window managers, skip on ahead to the next section entitled "The obscure and the arcane." If it's new to you, here's a layman's approximate description of how this all ... (more)

Don't like FUDforum? Give phpBB a try

(LinuxWorld) — Ever buy something and then spend the next few weeks researching other products to see if something better was out there? In real life, that's called neurosis. To a product reviewer, it's called a job. I did my job this week by looking for some BBS or forum software that might be better than FUDforum 2.3, the software I chose to use for my non-profit Web sites. (I wrote about version 2.3.2 in my last article, but the latest version of FUDforum is now 2.3.3, which includes several minor bug fixes.) I placed only a few conditions on the prospective software: it ... (more)