OpenOffice Save As .doc by default

OpenOffice

To get OpenOffice to Save in Microsoft Word .doc format by default, follow these steps:

  • Tools > Options
  • Load/Save > General
  • In the bottom right of the window, look for “Always save as” and pick your poison 😉

I know that saving in a proprietary format over an open standard is bad practice, but sometimes in Business you need to maintain interoperability with the de facto standard; in this case: Microsoft Word.

OpenOffice Save As .doc by default

Adding Calendar functionality to Mozilla Thunderbird

In a business environment, people who switch from Microsoft Outlook to Mozilla Thunderbird often miss having the calendar/task features in Outlook. Fortunately, you can add Calendar and Task functionality to Thunderbird with the Lightning add-on.

  • Go to the Lightning download page
  • Right click on the download link and Save As… (If you don’t, Firefox might try to install the add-on itself.)
  • Open up Thunderbird and click on Tools > Add-ons
  • Install the Lightning file you just downloaded
  • Once you’re done, restart Thunderbird, and start using your new Calendar feature!
  • If you need Holiday calendars, you can get them here

Log rotation on Plesk 8

A few of our websites receive high traffic and, as a result, the apache log files grow very large, very quickly. By default, Plesk rotates logs every 2,025,139 KB (2GB). This is way too large for a virtualised server such as ours, which provides 10GB of precious disk space.

To combat this, I set up a regular log rotation in Plesk like so:

  • Log in to Plesk.
  • Domains > yourdomain.com > Log Manager > Log Rotation
  • Choose the log rotation condition.

Plesk log rotation

I choose monthly, but if you’re rapidly running out of disk space you might want to set a shorter time span, or set a low size limit. Don’t forget to enable compression to save on disk space!

Install smartctl on Ubuntu

To install smartctl (and smartd with it):

Why would you want SmartMonTools?

The smartmontools package contains two utility programs (smartctl and smartd) to control and monitor storage systems using the Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology System (S.M.A.R.T.) built into most modern ATA and SCSI hard disks. It is derived from the smartsuite package, and includes support for ATA/ATAPI-5 disks. It should run on any modern Linux system.

Ubuntu smartmontools page

Very handy; especially as the OS drive just died in the RAID5 box 🙁 I’m now taking extra precautions!

Upgrading Ubuntu Server from 6.10 to 7.04

Earlier today I upgraded from Ubuntu Server 6.10 to 7.04 from the command line in just a few simple steps:

Make sure we have the latest updates

Check for updates:

Install any updates:

Now prepare to upgrade to 7.04

Install the latest upgrade manager:

Run the upgrade tool for servers:

And everything went smoothly. The only issue I had, was that I had to install inetd again to get SWAT working (sudo apt-get install netkit-inetd). Everytime I use Ubuntu I fall more and more in love with it 🙂