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.
Continue reading “Libcurl3, Libcurl4, Shibboleth, php-curl, & Ubuntu 18.04”

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.
Continue reading “Making a Sensible Windows 10 Base Image”

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.
Continue reading “Archiving / Transferring Email with imapsync”

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”


Inspired by the University of Alberta Museums Blog, this will be a blog for talking about and documenting projects the Burke IT department (all two of us) works on for the Burke Museum which could be useful for other similar institutions. The Burke is in the middle of construction of a new building, and will be moving in the next few years. At least one of the projects here will be related to that: an initiative to provide barcoding and asset tracking support to the collections managers who would like to take this opportunity to barcode their collections.

I also built an inexpensive Raspberry Pi-based firewall for PCI compliance in the gift shop recently. I couldn’t find a good set of instructions which had all the steps I needed, so I’ll be writing that up as well. There may be some inexpensive digital signage projects in the future, and who knows what else.

Possibly we’ll also use this to talk about some things that didn’t work, or don’t work how we’d like them to. Sometimes the most valuable pageĀ I find is the one which tells me the thing I was about to try will never work.

In any case, that’s what this is about. If you’re reading, welcome.