Running Drupal on local PC using Xampp

This is nothing to do with sailing so look away now unless you are interested in getting Drupal running on your local PC.

I have a clean Vista Home Premium install and want to run my site locally for when I don't have internet connection, this way I can create content, and when I have internet access can simply syncronise the database plus and images and other files needed.

Unfortunately Drupal and Xampp don't appear to work out of the box.  I was getting 500 errors and it ran like a dog.  This is how I solved the problems:

1. First I installed Xampp from here and start the Apache and MySql services

2. In your browser got to http://localhost/

3. Click on the phpMyAdmin link on the left side

4. Create a database called whatever you like

5. Edit %your_drupal_files%/sites/default/settings.php and change the base URL to $base_url = 'http://localhost/drupal';

6. Edit %your_xampp_location%\apache\conf\extra\httpd-xampp.conf and add the following lines according to where your local copy of drupal lives on your PC:  

     Alias /drupal "%your_drupal_files%/"
    <directory "%your_drupal_files%">
        AllowOverride All
        Order allow,deny
        Allow from all

In other place you might be told to set  "AllowOverride AuthConfig FileInfo" - if you do you may get the 500 errors like I did

7.Edit %your_drupal_files%/.htaccess and change the RewriteBase to /drupal.

8. Restart Xampp

9. Go to http://localhost/drupal and follow the installation instructions

10. Next on the server install the Backup and Migrate module and make a backup of your database and move it to your local machine - this makes it really easy to move the contect of the database

11. Copy the Drupal installation from your server to the local machine

12. Activate the Backup and Migrate module and load the copy of the database.

13. You should now be up and running - however for me it was really slow, so in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts change 

::1        localhost



#::1        localhost


That should do the trick.....

Mayhem @ the Swimming Pool

Being a glutton for punishment The Admiral told the kids that they could have a leaving party for a few of their closest friends.  So today 25 little 'uns trooped off to Daventry Leisure Centre for a swimming pool party.


When I was a kid, a party consisted of a few games, followed by jelly and icecream, then a few more games until everyone felt sick and the boys had beaten each other up, then sent packing to our homes, clutching a crushed slice of cake, to the obvious relief of the host's parents.  Apparently this is not good enough for the 21st century.  Now we have art parties, adventure playground parties, cinema parties, pool parties, bouncy castle parties and goodness knows what.  I think there has been party inflation since I was a youngster.


After getting 25 kids changed and their clothes assembled somewhere we stood a chance of finding them again, it was time to get wet.  Naturally the older or more confident swimmers went charging off to the deep end, hollering and splashing like they had never seen water before.  Naturally the younger and less confident swimmers followed them, with predictable results.  Coughing and spluttering we dragged the stragglers back to the safety of the shallow end.  


When I learnt to swim the pool had a huge list of things you couldn't do, no bombing, no dunking, no running etc.  Strangely there was no petting allowed either and to my innocent mind I couldn't fathom who would want to bring Fluffy to the pool, everyone knows kittens hate water.  I was surprised to see after 20 years of Health & Safety that there were only 2 rules, no diving and no eating.   I was particularly pleased to see that the no peeing rule has been repealed.  No more guilty conscience for me!!!


After about 20 minutes they turned on the wave machine.  WOW that thing is fantastic.  Suddenly we had F4 waves crashing about and more dragging of non swimmers to safety.  I kicked myself for not bringing my new life jacket to try out.  After the last edition of Yachting Monthly's life vest review, I was particularly keen to put the spray hood through it's paces.


Then it was all over - time to drag the kids out and try to reunite them with their clothes.  Somehow we ended up with an extra pair of shoes - nobody went home barefooted and I'm sure we counted them in and counted them out correctly.  You can find them here on Ebay if you are interested.


The kids then had some nosh and The Admiral wheeled out the obligatory cake.


All in all today can be classified as a sucess - everyone went home happy and fed, more importantly everyone went home!

3 Weeks To Go

Now into the final stretch in Sweden on my project - all is going really well and very quiet.  There are two extremes post-implementation, either really quiet or complete mayhem, with nothing betwixt them.  I prefer complete mayhem as then I have lots of problems to solve, then I feel useful and  valued as a person :-)
On the S/Y Mirica side all is done except to pack the final bags and finalise the health insurance.  Oh and to pay for her, the transfer is all set-up and in 24 hours or less we will be the proud owners of our first yacht.
I've been fiddling with the website quite a bit over the past week or so, especially the maps section.  If you haven't noticed there are a number of tabs at the top of each page called 'Where Are We?' and 'Voyages':
Where Are We?
This page shows the region that we are sailing in, the last posted position of the yacht and various points of interest.  By clicking on an icon an info box appears with more information, clicking on the title in the info box brings up the relevant page.
This page contains all of the GPS tracks of trips that we have made - currently only one plus a test.  Click on the marker and the trace is shown on the map and an info box, click on the 'More details' in the info box to get the story.
There is still a lot of work to do on both of these pages so bear with me - I have just created a local web server on my laptop so I can develop off-line and stop bringing the site down with my spirited but clumsy hacking. 

Back In Sweden

Today is my birthday, and not a minor one either :-(   Now I'm not one for big celebrations but I do like to spend the time with my family.  I did manage to see my daughters compete in their first gymnastics competition and they did rather respectfully.  But then I had to fly back to Sweden for my last two weeks before I pretire to a life of sailing.  Ho hum.


As I climbed off the plane I turned on my MP3 player, which is set to random/play all, and was greeted by an upbeat ditty by Abba.  This shocked me - how did my little Zen know I had arrived back in the land of blonde, blue-eyed 1970's porn stars?  

In my dreams......     If only reality reflected the stereotype.....


Mind you it could have been worse, if my Zen really had it in for me I might have got this:

Useless fact of the Day:  Ignore the 1969 date quoted in the video - Blue Swede didn't form until 1973 - however the song was written in 1969.  Anyway I digress - the useless fact is that this is the first Swedish act to reach No.1 in the USA in February 1974.  Not a lot of people know that.

Power and Sail Academy

We're famous.....well not really.  I was browsing the new revamped web site of my favourite sailing school and there are picture of our family from one of our training courses
This is a good time to tell you about the fantastic people at Power & Sail Academy in Gibraltar.  We have used PASA for all of our training, both practical and theory (except for VHF when I used Bilton Sailing School - see earlier post).  
As we wanted the kids to be part of our whole experience we chartered a whole boat for each session, along with an instructor.  We meet all of the team at PASA in due course and everyone of them is as nice as they come.  
Peter, the Chief Instructor, is a character and a half - always making the learning experience fun and never getting exasperated as our continual cock-ups.  In fact he pushes you along at a pace you feel comfortable at, putting you at ease and imparting  useful info and amusing anecdotes all of the time. He interacted particularly well with the children and made them feel involved at all the time, keeping them from getting bored.  If you remember to take your sense of humour with you then you're in for a great time.
We also had the pleasure of Carrie's company for a few days - from what I can gather, as well as being an excellent instructor she is 'the organiser' of the company.  Again she really worked well with the kids, something that was important to us.  We got on so well we are still in e-mail contact with each other.
We only met Mel and Steve a few times and again they made a very positive impression.
All in all I think it would be hard to find a better outfit and I am 100% satisfied with my experience with them.
That link again
Hopefully the people at PASA will read this and send me some commission :-)



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