Drupal and permissions - avoiding 'The directory sites/default/files is not writable' error

Have you moved a Drupal site to another server and received the error 'The directory sites/default/files is not writable' ?  The site worked on the previous server, and the permissions seem the same. Ah, an easy fix...make the permissions for the files directory 777. Noooo!

Let's take a look at what the numbers in the permissions setting mean.

Swapping OpenJDK for Sun JDK on Ubuntu

Recently I installed PhpStorm on Ubuntu that requires Sun JDK rather than the OpenJDK that Ubuntu installs with. It wasn't a matter of it running better with the Sun solution, which is doesn't run at all with OpenJDK. I tried simply uninstalling OpenJDK and installing Sun's JDK, but that didn't work...there were missing headers, etc., cryptic messages to a Linux n00b. I did find the solution, though, and am posting it here to make someone else's life easier.

Almost made the Plunge

Last night I almost took the plunge into Linux...almost.

I remember decades ago sitting at a screen next to one of the masters of Unix, who was munging out a device driver or some such, and him telling me that there were two types of coders, and those that didn't habla grep, awk and all of the other caveman-like utterances used in that world were developers of the 'other' type.

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