Active Desktop on Mac OS X

Remember the Active Desktop feature on Windows, that allowed you to put web pages on the Desktop? Since Mac OS does not have built in support for that, you might think that there’s no way for you to get similar functionality on this side of the world. Think again.

Web Desktop attempts to duplicate (some of) the functionality of Active Desktop by allowing OS X users to place any web page on the desktop that can be automatically refreshed after user-defined time intervals, if necessary. Useful for keeping track of your stocks, scores or other news items.

Worth a “dekho” if you really miss that feature from your dark days.

b2evolution – Manually changing blog time (difference)

If the admin interface of your b2evolution blog doesn’t allow you to set the time difference field to the desired value or if you wish to change it from the “back end” just for fun, this is how to go about it.

This “hack” is especially useful if the time difference between the time on the server which hosts your site and your desired blog time contains a “non-integer” component. For example, this website is hosted on the east coast (USA) and my default blog time is IST, which is +10.5 EST or +9.5 EST (depending upon DST). Now for some strange reason b2evolution does not allow me to a specify a decimal component in the time difference field from the front end admin interface – atleast not in v0.9.0.10, which is what I use.

Okay, now enough background, let’s get down to the fix. You’ll need phpMyAdmin or any other way of accessing the MySQL database schema being utilized by your blog. Open the table evo_settings and look for the row with set_name as time_difference. Change the value (set_value) to the desired value e.g. 10.5 (+ sign NOT needed) or 3.25 (quarters or any other decimals should work as well, though I haven’t tried them) or -7.5 etc.

Save the changes and you’re good to go with the new blog time!

Caution: Do not play around with the database too much if you’re not sure what you’re doing. You could lose valuable data!