Updating Debian parallels tools for Parallels 7

On clicking Virtual machine/Install parallels tools seems to do nothing. What should happen is the parallels tools installer .iso image should appear mounted in the virtual cd rom drive (/media/cdrom0)

This may be due to the ‘real’ host cdrom drive hiding the mounted iso. To remap umount and remount the drive to make the installer appear:

Getting windows running in Parallels 6 to see a site hosted on OS X apache virtual host

1) Use the instructions in Elric’s post, just above, to get things into their default state, and then change the IP range if you need to (I use the 10.x.x.x range for other things, so for Parallels, I use address in the 172.31.x.x range)

2) Launch the Terminal (Applications>Utilities>Terminal) if it’s not already running, and type: ifconfig

3) As joevt stated above “In Mac OS X, the Parallels shared networking interface is vnic0”, so look for a block in the terminal output something like this:


vnic0: flags=8843 mtu 1500

ether 00:1c:42:00:00:08

inet6 fe80::21c:42ff:fe00:8%vnic0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x7

inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast

inet6 fec0:0:0:fea9::2 prefixlen 64

media: autoselect

status: active

4) Note down the address after “inet” within the block (you’ll note that mine was

5) On the parallels virtual machine, you need to edit the hosts file, which can be found at this path under Windows XP:



6) Add lines corresponding to your sites as configured within apache, which will look something like this:

Code: my.coolsite.com apache_local

7) For details, you may find some parts of the originally linked article useful, but keep in mind that the options within Parallels changed with version 6, but hopefully the current post will help with that.

Good luck!

PHP pound sign not rendering correctly

You know how it is, your web page should have pound signs before those quantities of money but instead it’s using some alien hieroglyphic.

This was tracked down to the htmlentities php command, the very command to ensure this doesn’t happen!

It actually needs a few arguments to indicate the page encoding. So the following did the trick:

Configuring Snow Leopard as a SLAMP box (Snow Leopard Apache MySQL PHP)

#install xdebug


Enter the “5.3” directory and find the file named “xdebug.so”. You need to move this file to the/usr/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626 directory. First, open a new Finder window and press Cmd + Shift + G. Enter /usr/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626/ into the prompt that appears and press “Go”. This will open the destination directory in the Finder window. Drag xdebug.so into the destination directory. You may be prompted for your administrator password. If the /usr/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626/ directory does not exist, locate the /usr/lib/php/extensions/ directory instead. This directory will contain a directory named something similar to no-debug-non-zts-20090626. Place xdebug.so into that directory instead.
edit php.ini:

New TV/DVD/Video/Satellite spares website

My first eCommerce site is finally live, http://www.irwinelectronics.co.uk

It took a great deal of custom coding for the site and to parse the vendors database. Payment was handled via Paypal to avoid the ridiculous pricing of direct credit card payment gateways. I’m quite pleased with the site; it’s not graphically outstanding but the usability is very good. Traffic has been slowly increasing since launch which is encouraging, hoping this continues!

Text not appearing in IE6

Ah, our old friend IE6 again. Is there no end to it’s talents?

I came across a very strange bug in IE6 where sidebar section heading would not appear. Sometimes scrolling the screen would make a few appear, and then again make them disappear again.

Fortunately there are well documented fixes for this here and here

It’s all down to floats when they have a background set – the background seems to become the foreground, obsuring everything. This can be cured by enforcing ‘layout mode’ by setting the element size to 0.01%, which forces IE6 to re-assess what it’s doing.

Community Builder broken in the admin console…

Had a very strange fault today whilst working on a community builder Joomla site. I had a version of the site on 2 different servers. Both working fine but the sites were using Community Builder 1.1.x, which had a security warning. So 1 upgrade later, both sites are fine again and running 1.2.1

But this was only the front-end. In the Joomla backend of one site none of the action icons for community builder were showing. There was a text hyperlink in their place, but clicking them had no effect. Creating a new user was impossible as the save button had no effect.

So, I had one site 100% fine and another with the problems in the admin console.

I assumed something had corrupted during the upgrade of the problem site so I had a sniff around:

Copied both sites my machine. Ran a diff. Everything the same.

Got a MySQL dump off both sites. Ran a diff. Both the same.

Running out of options now, filesystem and db are the same.

Permissions? Checked ok.

PHP version? Ahhhh – ok site running under PHP5, problem site with PHP4.

Kicking the server onto PHP5 sorted it. This is bound to be a requirement stated in the CB docs, which I must of missed.

So make mental note – community builder backend only works in PHP5. I don’t mind this, PHP5 is wayyy superior to 4. Upgrade all servers now!