Entries in Category Software

Inkscape Criticism

First, let me preface this tale of User-Interface Woe with a disclaimer: I am far from an Adobe fanboy. I love open-source software. And of course, like everyone else, I really hate Adobe's prices. But I've learned to use Illustrator and Photoshop pretty well, so now, of course, switching to anything else causes work not-so-much to grind to a halt as to slam into a brick wall while I figure out all of the different metaphors, keyboard shortcuts, and little tricks I need to approach anything like my former productivity.

Trust me, I yearn to cast aside all Adobe products! Which brings me to Inkscape, the open-source vector illustration program. I really, really want to like it as a replacement for Adobe Illustrator. It's one of those open-source apps I install every couple of years to see if it's There Yet. And, yet again, I'm starting to think that it's not. Which brings me to the first problem I encountered on my most recent attempt at mastering Inkscape.

Giving Subdomain FTP Users Shell Access on Mediatemple DV with Plesk

I recently created a subdomain on my Mediatemple DV service, but for various reasons, I wanted to have a separate user responsible for that subdomain, with FTP and shell access. The user can be created along with the subdomain in Plesk as normally. Unlike the creation of users associated with domains, however, there is no option in Plesk to give this subdomain user shell access.

Fixing it is trivial if you have root access. Just edit /etc/passwd, find the line that starts with the username you just created, then change the last field of that line from /bin/false to /bin/bash (or whatever shell you like). This will allow you to su to the subdomain user or login via SSH, as you prefer. Easy, I know, but I noticed the option wasn't present in Plesk and well, maybe this tip will be helpful to somebody else out there.

Fixing Awstats on Mediatemple DV

So far I'm relatively satisfied with my new Mediatemple DV hosting service. I have, however, discovered a problem with the Mediatemple configuration of Awstats, the logfile-analyzing web statistics package I use. Awstats can't find its images because the path is broken in the standard Mediatemple installation - browser and country icons are missing, and the bar graphs are empty:

Here's how to fix it.