Libcurl3, Libcurl4, Shibboleth, php-curl, & Ubuntu 18.04

For the two other people in the world who might run into this problem:

I’m trying to install NextCloud on a fresh Ubuntu 18.04 system, and I want to use the user_saml app and Shibboleth for user authentication. This means I need to use php7.1, first off, because 7.2 doesn’t have mcrypt support and user_saml requires it. I’d also like not to have to build everything from source. The problem I’ve run into is that php7.1-curl depends on libcurl4 and libapache2-mod-shib2 depends (through libxmltooling) on libcurl3, and you can only have one of those installed at a time.

I have found a workaround, and I’m documenting it here mainly so I don’t forget how it works, not because I expect anyone else will find it useful or interesting.
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Styling Ticketure date picker elements

We’ve been using Ticketure for the last year to sell tickets to special events. As far as I know, they’ve been great. But I did hear yesterday that we’d received some calls from people confused about whether an event this weekend was sold out. It sounds like there’s some confusion over the legend for their calendar date picker:

Some people see that “Fully booked” and read it not as a key to the calendar below, but as an indication that the event is fully booked. I’m not sure what they think “Venue closed” and “Tickets not yet available” mean in that context, but that’s not relevant to the immediate problem, which is that I’d like to just remove the key entirely. I’d also like to remove the date picker for April (and, unseen to the right, May) because this event only runs on March 3rd and 4th; there’s no reason to have any other months available for selection. Continue reading “Styling Ticketure date picker elements”

Making a Sensible Windows 10 Base Image

This isn’t really museum-specific, but I figured I should document it anyway, because it might be useful, and I just built a new image based on Windows 10 1709 (“Fall Creators Update”).

My goal here is to build a base Windows image that I can deploy using Clonezilla (because I have not yet spent the time or energy to figure out how the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit works) and which contains a number of useful programs. Ideally, I would like it not to contain the crap that comes suggested on the Start menu these days — Candy Crush Saga and Minecraft do not need to be on work computers.
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Archiving / Transferring Email with imapsync

One increasingly common task here involves transferring email between two accounts, either to create an archive from a departing employee or to migrate an employee’s email between services. There are three possible mail back ends at the UW: Deskmail (in-house IMAP), Microsoft (Office 365), and Google (G Suite). We might be called on to migrate mail between accounts on any combination of those.

One way to do this would be to set up both accounts in a desktop email client such as Thunderbird or Outlook and drag and drop between the two. For small amounts of mail, this works fine. But once you’ve got mailboxes where folder organization matters, or if you’re going from Google (which has labels, not folders) to anything else, you’re going to want something more robust.
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Using the Linea Pro to make lists and upload photos

The workflow I’m working on right now is this: staff will be moving barcoded collection objects into moving boxes. The moving boxes have barcodes. We want to scan a moving box and scan everything that goes into the moving box, and wind up with a list which can be imported into PastPerfect and used to set the temporary location of all the objects on the list to the scanned moving box. Separately, we want to be able to take a photo of an object which doesn’t currently have a photo in the database, such that we can associate the photo with the object later.

Unfortunately, we have to use a different app for each task. The Dropbox app can almost handle both, but it really wants to crop photos to find the rectangle of a piece of paper you’re scanning, not take a regular photo. So we’ll be using a paid ($6/year subscription) app called UploadCam for the photo part:

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Exporting to Excel from PastPerfect

One of our collections uses Museum Software’s PastPerfect database, and as part of the barcoding project, they’re making lists of objects to have barcode labels printed for. You can export these lists to Excel, and BarTender can use Excel as a data source, so you’d think this would be a pretty easy workflow, and for the most part it is.

But it turns out that there are some objects in the collection with catalog numbers like “3.2E12”. And Excel really wants to be helpful, so when it sees something that’s almost in scientific notation, it nudges it into the right format. So that catalog number becomes “3.2E+12”, or “3.20E+12”, and it doesn’t keep the original string around anywhere. Even if you convert those fields back to text, they stay reformatted. So it has to be fixed before Excel imports it. Continue reading “Exporting to Excel from PastPerfect”

Quick Bartender Notes

Just a quick note to remind myself later:

When setting up a new label template with the Zebra 17154 label stock, Bartender will correctly set up the page size (2.125″ x 1.125″), but not the margins. It sets the top margin to 0, as if the label were located precisely at the perforation line. It isn’t — you have to set the top margin to .0625″ (same as the left margin, which it does set correctly) in order to align the printed labels with your template.

Also, when using Excel as a data source, you need to match the bit size of Bartender and Office. We had 32-bit Office 2016 installed, and 64-bit Bartender. Bartender couldn’t connect to the Excel file, since it needed the 64-bit OLE DB provider. Uninstalling 32-bit Office and installing the 64-bit version did the trick.

Chrome not playing video from Nest cameras?

If you have a Nest camera (formerly Dropcam) that you use for live streaming, you may have noticed recently that Chrome won’t play the live stream any more, giving you an error about how “no compatible source was found for this media”. Our construction camera’s feed is embedded below; if you see video playing, or even a still image, then you’re probably not affected. But if you see a black box with an X in the middle, you’ve been hit by this.

I think what happened is that Chrome changed its default behavior for Adobe Flash content. I think it used to automatically play any Flash content, unless you’d changed its default settings to have it ask you each time. And now it looks like it’s defaulting to asking each time, unless you’ve changed the setting to “always play”, or added an exception for a site.

Unfortunately, Nest’s live streaming doesn’t work with pure HTML5 video, so they use a Flash player for that. And something about their player loader (Video.js) is detecting that Flash isn’t playing automatically, and rather than loading the Flash player anyway, triggering the ability in Chrome for you to play it manually, it’s loading the HTML5 player, which can’t load the stream.

If you want to see live streams from Nest cameras in Chrome, here’s what to do:
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Using a Linea Pro as a keyboard wedge

The first barcode scanner I owned was a CueCat, modified not to require the proprietary software they shipped with. You plugged it into your computer, it presented as a keyboard, and whatever you scanned with it would be typed into whatever application had focus at the time. I don’t know why that mode of operation is called a keyboard “wedge”, but that’s what I know it as.

So we’ve got these expensive iPod barcode sleds, and it seems we ought to be able to use them in the same way you could use that CueCat. Here’s how to do it.
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Long scale Nest time lapse videos (part 2)

In Part One I showed you how to get the snapshot URL for your Nest camera, so you could get a full resolution still image from the camera. In this part, I’ll describe what I’m doing with those to make time lapse videos.
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