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Here it is folks, 5 things that happened in the Bahamas this week.  Some serious, some humorous.  I hope you enjoy reading them all.Walker's Cay Bahamas

Shark Tries Eating Boat Motor

Maybe they're running out of fish to eat in the Bahamas or maybe this shark thought the black boat motor was a seal.  Whatever the reason it wasn't about to let go of this Eleuthera fisherman's boat motor. Includes video.

Bahamas’ Walker Cay to Reopen

Walker's Cay is the northernmost island in the Bahamas. It was a popular fishing spot until it sustained damage in a 2004 hurricane and it's new owners are pledging to bring it back to it's former glory.

When The Bahamas Sailed Off To War

In 1914, the Bahamas entered the First World War and sent out 670 soldiers to fight. 50 of them never returned. Money had to be raised for the war effort, including many gold sovereigns hidden by inhabitants in the Out Islands.  "On November 9, The Tribune will be publishing a special tribute to mark the contribution of the Bahamian contingent who sailed from Nassau to ‘do their bit’ - whatever the price."

Disney Cruise Line's plan for a new Bahamas port sparks feuding among locals.

Residents of Eleuthera are divided over competing plans for the south side of the island.  It looks like half the island wants Disney Cruise Lines to increase the number of cruise ships, and the other half wants it to be a designated national park.

Damning findings in Exuma boat accident

An investigation was conducted by the Bahamas Maritime Authority into the explosion of a Four C’s Adventures boat in Exuma in June that killed an American woman and left several others injured found that the vessel was not registered with the Port Department, was never inspected, was not constructed up to standard and the fuel fill hose did not meet the specification for its intended use.

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Here it is folks, 5 things that happened in the Bahamas this week.  Some serious, some humorous.  I hope you enjoy reading them all.Walker's Cay Bahamas

The Bahamas beach where piggies swim

A colony of pigs in the Exumas, a patch of islands to the southeast of Nassau in the Bahamian archipelago, rushes into the crystal-clear surf every time they hear boats motoring nearby looking for snacks.

'How is This My Life?': Vermont 22-Year-Old Who Lost Legs in Bahamas Boat Explosion Talks Recovery at Spaulding

Stefanie Schaffer says she had to be told multiple times that she lost her legs before she realized she lost her legs

How Much Money Do You Need to Retire in the Bahamas?

Despite what you’ll save on taxes, keep in mind that “island prices” for everything from a pair of shoes to a gallon of milk can seem exorbitant compared to what you’re accustomed to paying. Do your research and adjust your expectations before setting your sights on that beachfront Paradise Island condo.

BNT questions fairness of Disney project survey

Bahamas National Trust Executive Director Eric Carey, who has been at the forefront of the resistance to the proposed Disney development at Lighthouse Point in South Eleuthera, said yesterday the Public Domain poll that showed majority support for the project nationwide does not appear to have been a fair survey.


Bahamasair’s Maintenance Department has been completely vindicated by the Privy Council..

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If you're using Magento version, you're affected by the July 28 changes of the Unites States Postal Service that affect Priority Mail and Express Mail Shipping options.  When you try to connect your Magento store to the USPS production server you get the error: “This shipping method is currently unavailable. If you would like to ship using this shipping method, please contact us”, or, depending on what shipping options you have selected in the shipping configuration, you may only see Media Mail and Library Mail.  Usually what this means is that you need to install a Magento patch in order to fix the USPS shipping options.

My provider doesn't allow ssh shell access to my shared server unfortunately so my first attempt at installing the patch was resorting to writing a short perl script to run the patch shell file.  No dice, no matter what I did I couldn't get the thing to do it's magic.  Apparently my provider has the machine so locked down there is no way for me to run the patch and they refused to run it, even though I provided a link to the official patch and explained that it only affects my instance of the software and they can read the script in clear text.  No way to convince them to do it.  It's a security problem they say.  Oooooooooooo-K fair enough.

So I get this bright idea, don't know if it's really going to work, but I decided to install a Ubuntu Linux virtual machine on my local PC and install the exact same Magento version.   Once it's up and running, I applied the patch to my virtual machine's copy of Magento.  The nice things is when the patch is done, the file app/etc/applied.patches.list contains the list of files you need to do the patch by hand.  I copied the files off the virtual machine onto my production store and the USPS shipping options were there.  Here is a list of the files I had to copy:

patching file app/code/core/Mage/Paypal/Model/Express/Checkout.php
patching file app/code/core/Mage/Usa/Helper/Data.php
patching file app/code/core/Mage/Usa/Model/Shipping/Carrier/Usps.php
patching file app/code/core/Mage/Usa/Model/Shipping/Carrier/Usps/Source/Method.php
patching file app/code/core/Mage/Usa/etc/config.xml
patching file app/code/core/Mage/Usa/sql/usa_setup/upgrade-
patching file app/etc/applied.patches.list
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After working with Magento for a bit, there are a few things you may want to change right after you install it.

  • Change the logo.  Upload your image file to skin/frontend/default/default/images.   In the admin panel click System->Configuration->Design and click on the Header section.  Change the name of the image file in Logo Image Src to your file name.  Click Save
  • Change the copyright message.  In the same design panel as above you can click on Footer and change your copyright and welcome message as well.
  • While you're in the Footer section, remove the Keep Magento Healthy message by placing the following code in the Miscellaneous HTML:

    <style>p.bugs {display: none;}</style>
  • Change the Meta information.  In the same design panel, click HTML Head and change the default meta information.
  • Get rid of the Poll
  • Change the back to school graphic.
  • Rename errors/local.xml.sample to local.xml if you get errors like:
    Exception printing is disabled by default for security reasons.
    Error log record number: 572048735664
  • Display products on frontend page: In the category manager, create a category specifically for the frontend page, take note of the ID number and go into CMS->Pages, select the home page, click Content and add the following code to the page, don't forget to substitute the ID of your new category for the 999:
    {{block type="catalog/product_list" category_id="999" template="catalog/product/list.phtml"}}
  • UPDATE FOR CE 1.9. if you need to display products on your front end and your using the default rwd package, unless you make some changes to your list.phtml file you won't get the products to display on the frontend properly.  See this thread on adding products to the Magento 1.9 frontend.


  • If you get the error: Could not determine temp directory, please specify a cache_dir manually, set the cache_dir variable by modifying the file lib/zend/cache/backend/file.php and set the cache_dir to 'tmp/'. Also make sure to create the tmp directory in the Magento root.



Products don't show up on the frontend.

Turning off Magento blocks.



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What a title huh?  After writing JStore for my brother's sports memorabilia site I can appreciate the amount of work that goes into writing good e-commerce software.  When I have time I like to browse around and see what other people are using, especially when it's feature laden and free.  I have other motives but we'll talk about that in another article.  One piece of e-commerce software I came across that seems to be very popular with on-line stores is Magento Community Edition.  My hosting is with Fastwebhost and I have the Softaculous installer that had Magento as an option, so I decided to play with it a bit to see how easy it is to set-up and use.

Problems right from the start.

The install went without any issues using Softaculous but when I tried to load the home page (referred to as the Front-End in Magento) I had some errors pop up.

The PDO extension is required for this adapter but the extension is not loaded
Trace: #0 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/lib/Zend/Db/Adapter/Abstract.php(247): Zend_Db_Adapter_Pdo_Abstract->setFetchMode(2) #1 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Resource.php(165): Zend_Db_Adapter_Abstract->__construct(Array) #2 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Resource.php(110): Mage_Core_Model_Resource->_newConnection('pdo_mysql', Object(Mage_Core_Model_Config_Element)) #3 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Resource/Db/Abstract.php(320): Mage_Core_Model_Resource->getConnection('core_write') #4 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Resource/Db/Abstract.php(350): Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Db_Abstract->_getConnection('write') #5 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Resource/Db/Abstract.php(335): Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Db_Abstract->_getWriteAdapter() #6 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Resource/Db/Abstract.php(360): Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Db_Abstract->_getReadAdapter() #7 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Resource/Db/Collection/Abstract.php(134): Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Db_Abstract->getReadConnection() #8 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Config.php(1348): Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Db_Collection_Abstract->__construct(Object(Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Website)) #9 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Config.php(1380): Mage_Core_Model_Config->getModelInstance('core_resource/w...', Object(Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Website)) #10 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/Mage.php(490): Mage_Core_Model_Config->getResourceModelInstance('core/website_co...', Object(Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Website)) #11 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Abstract.php(208): Mage::getResourceModel('core/website_co...', Object(Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Website)) #12 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Abstract.php(213): Mage_Core_Model_Abstract->getResourceCollection() #13 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/App.php(608): Mage_Core_Model_Abstract->getCollection() #14 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/App.php(466): Mage_Core_Model_App->_initStores() #15 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/App.php(349): Mage_Core_Model_App->_initCurrentStore('', 'store') #16 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/app/Mage.php(683): Mage_Core_Model_App->run(Array) #17 /home/offerme/public_html/mstore/index.php(87): Mage::run('', 'store') #18 {main}

I looked around a fair bit and tried a few suggestions that I found on the net to no avail. So I turned to the support staff at Fastwebhost and they were able to make the necessary modifications to fix my issue very quickly.  They didn't really tell me exactly what they did, I'm pretty sure they just added these settings to my php.ini file.

With that issue fixed I moved on to creating a test category and product item in the admin interface.  When it came time to add images to the item I got the dreaded Upload HTTP Error in red when I hit the button to load them.  After searching for quite some time for ways to resolve this error I finally came across a Magento plugin that replaces the out-of-box uploader.  Apparently Magento uses Flash to upload the image files and for some reason it just won't work with the way Fastwebhost has my servers set-up.  The plug-in is called the No Flash Image Uploader and will upload your images without using flash. 

Installing the plugin

There is a good video on youtube that explains how to install a plugin in Magento (see below).  The one problem I had was that the extension key they gave for this plug-in didnt work.  The key off the website was magento-community/Dull_Uploader and when you put that into the Magento Connect Manager's you get the error:

Couldn't resolve host 'magento-community'

After another bit of searching I was able to find the Problems Installing No Flash Uploader in the Magento forums.  The last message on the page said you need to use 'community' instead of 'magento-community' so changing the extension key to community/Dull_Uploader enabled me to install the plug-in just fine.  


Now the image upload works fine without flash being involved.