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Saturday, October 30, 2010

How To Connect MySQL with Open Office on Linux


To be able to combine the power of MySQL with the convenience of Open Office, opening a multitude of possibilities in Linux, you must connect MySQL with Open Office Base, the database application of Open Office.
There are several ways to do this, and I will illustrate one way that works effectively.

Connecting MySQL with  Open Office Base  - Existing Options

  • You can connect Open Office Base with MySQL  with JConnector, Java connector
  • With a native extension of the Open Office, MySQL Connector for OpenOffice.org, but that only works with version 3.1 and has not been updated yet
  • The ODBC connector, which was the best of the three.

Actually, I had no success with the JConnector  and MySQL Connector extension  is outdated and did not work with the current version of Open Office (3.2)
So we'll see how to connect OpenOffice / MySQL with the ODBC connector.


ODBC connector

ODBC (acronym for Open Data Base Connectivity) is a standard software API specification for using database management systems (DBMS). ODBC is independent of programming language, database system and operating system.
ODBC was created by the SQL Access Group and first released in September, 1992. ODBC is based on the Call Level Interface (CLI) specifications from SQL, X/Open (now part of The Open Group), and the ISO/IEC.
The ODBC API is a library of ODBC functions that let ODBC-enabled applications connect to any database for which an ODBC driver is available, execute SQL statements, and retrieve results.
The goal of ODBC is to make it possible to access any data from any application, regardless of which database management system (DBMS) is handling the data. ODBC achieves this by inserting a middle layer called a database driver between an application and the DBMS. This layer translates the application's data queries into commands that the DBMS understands.


ODBC Connector Installation on Linux

You need to install two packages for working with the ODBC connector on Linux, unixODBC package ( rpm version and deb version) and  mysql-connector-odbc . Of course, if these packages are already in the repositories of your favorite distribution, the best thing to do is apt-get install package or yum / urpmi-i package. If not (as has happened with me) the solution is to download from the links provided above.

   1. After the packages are installed, to test if they work ok, type $  odbcinst -j, which should list the current configuration options of the ODBC connector. Something like:
      unixODBC 2.2.14
      DRIVERS ............: / etc / odbcinst.ini
      SYSTEM DATA SOURCES: / etc / odbc.ini
      USER DATA SOURCES ..: / home / user / .odbc.ini
   2. Now comes the important part: Set up the two files that will inform the Open Office Base how to communicate with MySQL. The files are odbcinst.ini and odbc.ini and are located in /etc
      odbcinst.ini - This file will point out where are the drivers that will make the connection with the Open Office Base. This is the configuration that works in my distribution and installation. The names of the libraries and their locations may be different, but nothing that a whereis and locate can't solve.
      [MySQL]
      Description = ODBC for MySQL
      Driver = /usr/lib/libmyodbc5.so
      Setup = /usr/lib/libodbcmyS.so.1
      FileUsage = 1
   3. odbc.ini
      [MySQL-test] - Could be any name, this one was used only to illustrate

      Description = MySQL BD_Teste

      Driver = MySQL

      Server = localhost - Here is the IP address of the MySQL server, in this example it is running on the local machine.

      Socket = /var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock - The location of the MySQL socket must be declared, it is the one that will make the connection between the Open Office Base and MySQL

      User = username - name of the registered user in MySQL, which will be used by Open Office Base to log into  MySQL

      Password = password - registered user password in MySQL, to allow Open Office Base logging into MySQL

      Port = 3306 - This is the default port of MySQL

      Database = test - PLEASE NOTE: Here's the name of DATABASE in MySQL  which we want to WORK with in Open Office Base . This database was previously created with any MySQL tool (Xampp, etc...)

      Option  = 3

      ReadOnly = No - To allow  Open Office Base to enter and modify  data in the database
   4. These were the steps in the Linux operating system. Now, the steps in Open Office Base
   5. Database File> New
   6. Click the Connect to a MySQL database and select the pulldown menu. Click Next.
   7. In the next window, you should accept the default choice to connect using ODBC, and click Next.
   8. Click Browse and select created connection ([MySQL test] should be listed in our case) and then click next.
   9. then type go, do not register the database. Save the file. And from now on you can start working with your MySQL database within the Open Office Base.

Final Thoughts
The steps presented here work perfectly locally. To work in a network (a remote MySQL server) there are some changes, which we will see  in the future. The odbc.ini file can be located in the default /home user, if one wants to change the configuration of the databases being accessed very often. In this case, the odbc.ini file that is in/etc should be blank, to avoid conflicts.
It should be noted that the names of the two libraries libmyodbc libodbcmyS may change, from a Linux distro to another, but they do the same thing, being necessary only to adapt the name to work in your preferred distro.

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By Alessandro Ebersol with No comments

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Crossfire- Another Open Source MMORPG

For most hardcore gamers, Linux is a no go area for a seemingly lack of game titles. "Crossfire is a multiplayer graphical arcade and adventure game made for the X-Windows environment. It has certain flavours from other games, especially Gauntlet and Nethack/Moria. Any number of players can move around in their own window, finding and using items and battle monsters. They can choose to cooperate or compete in the same “world.”

To play the game, you'll need a client with which you can connect to any of the available servers. Alternatively, you install the game on your own server which you can then add to the metaserver list so others can connect to yours.
Crossfire has Windows, Linux and OSX clients available for download, with the server also ported over to Windows.

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MeeGO- Nokia's Neglected Answer?

For most people, there is the iPhone and then Android. Nokia is always a distant away in their minds. And let's face it, the finish company simply failed to take full advantage of it's dominance and believed it was too big to be challenged.

It's now paying the price in the form of the uphill task it faces in taking on both the iOS and Android platforms. To be honest, there is no way Nokia is going to ever sustain its share in the smartphone market with Symbian. I have been a lifelong user of that platform and the first time I used an Android phone, I suddenly felt how old, crappy and simply ugly my Symbian OS looked. Even veteran Symbian users like my friend here are jumping ship to Android.

But all hope is not lost. There is MeeGo, a real Linux OS for smartphones. As to why Nokia has not put in the necessary investment (from where I sit) into fast-tracking the commercialisation of MeeGo devices, I cannot tell. But to understand the power of this platform, check out the video below which demos the N900 running WebOS games without the need to boot into any other OS.

MeeGo, I strongly believe, is Nokia's answer that has been neglected for far too long. Please bring on the penguin Nokia!

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By Seraaj Muneer with 2 comments

Monday, October 25, 2010

Aro Mobile- Adding More Usefulness to Your Android Device

Currently in beta, Aro Mobile is a "new mobile experience that clears away the clutter and focuses on what really matters. Aro understands your communications, your busy schedule and the people you work with and in your personal life.

"To simplify life, Aro automatically connects your email, text messages, voice mails, calendar and social networks to the people who sent them, so that you can find what you really need, when you need it with a simple touch. Aro provides an intuitive interface that speeds up your day.
Your mobile life — better."

Scobleizer has a writeup about this new Android app that is set to be a game changer in how the various functionalities of your phone interact with each other.


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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Client Base- An Open Source Invoicing App for Your Business

MyClientBase is an open source invoice and client management application that was built with simplicity and ease of use in mind. Running on your webserver, it comes with the following features among others
  • Multi Lingual
  • Customisable invoicing
  • Modular, extend functionality with contributed modules
  • Support for multi tax rate

MyClientBase is community driven and released as a Free and Open Source Software. The latest release 0.8.7(as at 18 Oct 2010) comes with support for shipping and discounts. You can download it for free and follow this user guide to get it installed on your webserver.

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Friday, October 22, 2010

How to Reset the Root Password in MySQL


For those who have had the annoyance of losing their root password in MySQL, or  will loose it yet, here's a tip which can save the day.

Stop or kill the MySQL service

# killall mysqld    or    # service mysqld stop

Start MySQL in safe mode:

# mysqld_safe --skip-grant-tables &

log in using the mysql client:

# mysql

Access the MySQL database

> use mysql;

Setting new MySQL root password:

> update user set password = password ('type your new password here') where user = 'root' and host = 'localhost';

Reload privileges by typing:

> flush privileges;

Exit MySQL:

> quit

Restart MySQL  in normal mode:

# service mysqld stop

And finally, let's start with the new MySQL root password:

# service mysqld start

And voila, your new root password and access granted to the database again.

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By Alessandro Ebersol with No comments

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

RIM To Steve Jobs- We Live Outside the Apple Distortion Field

Steve Jobs in his usual diatribe of reality distortion, made a lot of statements about competitors that can only be described as reverse facts. As in any given market, the competition is responding to Uncle Jobs' assertions. Below is what the Co CEO of RIM Jim Balsillie had to say.


"For those of us who live outside of Apple's distortion field, we know that 7-inch tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience. We also know that while Apple's attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash. 

We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple. And by the way, RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 – 14.4 million BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple's preference to compare its September-ending quarter with RIM's August-ending quarter doesn't tell the whole story because it doesn't take into account that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple's Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders. As usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story."

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Monday, October 18, 2010

Why They Switched Back to Microsoft Office

The video below shows people who claim to have made the switch back to Microsoft office after sometime with Open Office. Watch and tell me what you think!


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By Seraaj Muneer with 6 comments

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Askubuntu.com- Get help with your Ubuntu Problems

Askubuntu is a new site that aims to help Ubuntu users get help with problems they encounter in their use of the popular distro.
"Ubuntu StackExchange is a Q&A site, currently in public beta, designed to make it easy for users to get answers to Ubuntu-related questions. It's also a place for users to share their knowledge about the Ubuntu Platform."
As usual, you'd be expected to obey the Ubuntu  Code of Conduct and the leadership code of conduct. Askubuntu is more like the Ubuntu Forums on steroids. It's also a very laudable project by the people behind the Ubuntu Project to help make the use of Linux more natural and easy for even more people.

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Windows Phone 7- A Blackberry Headache

Redmond has officially [re]entered the smartphone battle with Windows Phone 7. From the videos of it that I have seen, it looks very well polished and more like it's from Google or Apple than Microsoft. A lot of the usual killer soothsayers are already telling us how the WinPhone 7 will kill the iPhone (yikes!).

From where I sit, I honestly do think RIM will be the one to be on the look out for WinPhone7. For a long time, Blackberry has been the preferred choice for enterprise customers. However, with the tight integration between its various enterprise products and services and the phone, coupled with its dominance of the enterprise desktop, RIM has a battle at hand.

Of course, WinPhone7 is not only about work, there is the Xbox integration aspect which will send gamers reeling with joy. In all honesty, WinPhone7 is packed with features and is very well polished. 

But I don't expect it to make any significant dent in both the domains of Android and iPhone. It is going to woo those who are still undecided and Blackberry users in my opinion. RIM, you are officially warned. Microsoft, well done for bringing something worthwhile to the table!

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

The Google Car- An Unconventional Company

Right from the word go, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had said their company was not and does not plan to be a conventional one. Well seems they are living up to that promise with their current driverless car demo. Could this be the next big thing from Mountain View?


Video courtesy MSNBC

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments

Windows Phone 7- Some Videos

Redmond has finally throw down its gauntlet in the fiercely competitive smartphone competition that is raging between Apple, Google and RIM. A lot of reviews have been written, the following videos really caught my attention about the latest platform from the worlds most dominant OS vendor








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Monday, October 11, 2010

What is Piracy, Really?

Piracy is stealing, piracy is a crime, piracy is (fill in the blank). We've all heard what piracy is as per RIAA, MPAA among others. But what really is piracy from a consumer point of view?
Image courtesy Memset

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By Seraaj Muneer with 1 comment

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dear Steve Ballmer, why not fight Android like a Champ?

My friend calls him Steve "I'll fcuking kill Google" Ballmer. And I think he is right. Microsoft has been rattling the saber at Android in the last week, demanding patent payment for all Android phones. To say this is an absurd claim is being very gentle. 

There's one reason I can think of Microsoft going after Android- to scare handset makers away from the platform and possibly onto its own Windows Phone 7. It seems the Microsoft of 20 years ago is still the same old one we have. No change whatsoever. 

What Uncle Ballmer does not get is that the times have changed. There is a rising tide called change that is sweeping all stagnant companies aside, and no amount of saber rattling and lawsuits will save any firm that does not change. Ask Nokia.

My piece of advice to Mr. Ballmer is this, rather than adopt the same old strategy of scare mongering of potential Android users, why not bring out your WinPhone 7 and let the market decide. If it is any better than Google's, the handset makers will willingly run to you in their numbers. 

The days when you could get a stranglehold of users through insidious agreements with OEMs to shove your mostly crapware down our throats are gone. There is a tide riding through the tech industry, and unless you adjust your strategy, you might get hit very hard.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 2 comments

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Live Blogging From the 2010 edition of Barcamp Accra

Today the 2 Oct is the day for the Accra edition of Barcamp. I am going to be keeping the world updated with what is happening at the event being held at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology here in Accra.

Panel Members: Derydean Dadzie(DreamOval), Esi Cleland(Afrochic), Esi Ansah(Axis Human Capital) and Sika Acolatse(Enablis) introducing themselves.

Derydean Dadzie, a product of Ashesi University College and now CEO of  DreamOval talks about how he got to start his niche software development company.

"I started to have the idea to run my own business way back in class two when I was selling 'meat pie' for my mom."

Esi Cleland of Afrochic talks about how she started her clothing design business.
"It started off for me when I went to Woodin and could hardly find what I really wanted . That is where I got the idea that something was amiss. Our dream was to become H&M but way cooler."

Don't get fixated on a business plan, or better still, just do!

Current discussion is centered around raising funds for your dreams.
Esi Cleland: "Funds for Afrochic came from our own sources."

Forget about extravagance, a fixation with luxury offices and expensive edifices. Always go the simple and affordable way

Some challenges faced during starting businesses include the cost of power, internet service and loyal employees.

Treat customers like partners in your business. They your future.

First session break. Acknowledging sponsors
Google, Busyinternet, SkyDigital

Session on break with  socialization taking place. I can see some Google Africa reps here. I hope to speak to them later.

Second panel discussion about to start. MC duties now taken over by Estelle Sowah of Google Ghana.

Theme of second discussion is Overcoming your wealth creation challenges

Starting a business is very challenging, especially in our context as Ghanaians and Africans. However, having a plan really helps.Financing is one of the biggest hurdles to starting businesses.

To attract investment into your business, you must be wiling to invest in it yourself. Look out for angel investors and venture capitalists. Brand yourself to position yourself to attracting investors into your business. Sika Acolatse

There is no better advice to starting your own business than  listening to yourself.

Current discussion is centered around registering a business with the registrar  general's department. 

Advertising is a critical piece in the success of any business. You should consider cost effective ad methods like adwords or other PPC based advertising to get your business onto the international scale. Eve Andersen, a Googler based in Argentina who is also here with us.

A new payment method for Google Adsense publishers in Ghana coming up soon. In the meantime, Intercontinental Bank Ghana Ltd is the fastest way to clear Google Adsense checks. Estelle Sowah

Yoofi Grant of Databank Ghana gets onto the panel table. Apologizing for coming late.

Yoofi talks about the concept of wealth creation.

Thanks to the colonial mindset, wealth creation has never been engraved in our subconscious. Ideas are cheap, applying them are difficult.

Know yourself well and know what you are capable of doing. Do not be a square peg in a round hole.

Don't just start anything, try to do better than the next guy sitting by you. Be passionate about your ideas and don't fear to share your ideas with people you can trust.

Don't expect to be spoon fed. You would have to do the hard work.

Someone just asked what goes into branding.

Branding starts with you the individual. You need to learn and know more.

Time for lunch.

Different group sessions are being held with different topics for discussion. 

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By Seraaj Muneer with No comments
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