Disable user authentication after resuming from Stand By mode

By default, Windows will ask for your password every time your computer resumes from the stand-by mode. This may be useful for a public workstation or unattended laptops; but for a personal computer, it’s useless and to some extent, annoying.

To disable to authentication, follow these steps :

Windows XP

  • Go to Start-> Control Panel ->Performance and Maintenance -> Power Options.
  • Under the Advanced tab, in the Options settings, uncheck “Prompt for password when computer resumes from standby”

Windows Vista

  • Go to Start, and type in “Power Options” and press Enter.
  • Click “Change plan settings” for your selected plan, then click “Change advanced power settings“. In the dialog box that appears, click “Change settings that are currently unavailableand go through theĀ  User Account Control.
  • Go to the “Require a password on wakeup” option and just select “No”. Then click “OK”.

After completing these steps, the computer wil not ask for passwords after resuming from standby mode.

Disable the compulsory automatic delay while installing plugins in Firefox

For those of you who use Mozilla Firefox, you must’ve noticed the customary 2 seconds delay while installing plugins. This may be useful for new users, but for experienced users and developers, who install a lot of plugins for testing purposes, this automatic delay just serves to slow down work.

To disable the compulsory delay, type in about:config in the address bar. If you are editing the browser variables for the first time, select “I will be careful, I promise!”. In the filter field, type in security.dialog_enable_delay. Double click on the entry to modify it. Enter the delay time value in milliseconds. If you want to disable the delay completely, enter 0 as the value.

Now you’ll be instaling plugins without any delay.

Prevent duplicate indexing while moving threads in phpBB

Moving phpBB topic/thread
Moving phpBB topic/thread

Moving a thread from one forum to another cause duplicate indexing issues in phpBB3. In such cases, both the old URL and the new URL return a “200 Found” header response, even though the thread doesn’t exist in the old forum. Ideally, the old URL should 301 redirect to the new URL. In this post we’ll learn how to do this.

phpBB uses query strings like f=X&t=Y to determine which thread to serve, where ‘X’ is the forum id and ‘Y’ is the thread id. In a “view topic” URL, the f=X part of the query string serves no purpose except to note which forum the user is browsing and accordingly reflect it in the “Who is online” page. In fact, threads can be accessed using any ‘f=X’ value, even using non-existant forum ids. This isn’t much of a problem in normal situation, as the threads are linked using their corresponding forum ids, but the duplicate indexing problem arises when a thread(s) is moved from on forum to another.

Since we need to change query strings here, neither Redirect nor RedirectMatch will work as they don’t take query strings into account. We need to use RedirectCond using QUERY_STRING and a RewriteRule directive to externally rewrite the URL. We will will also send a “301 Permanently Moved” response header so that the spiders know the page has been moved. Let us suppose that a thread with thread id 5 is being moved from forum with forum id 1 to forum with id 2. Therefore, the old URL :
[text]http://domain.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5[/text]
And the new URL :
[text]http://domain.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5[/text]
We need to redirect the first URL to the second. Add these codes to your .htaccess file :
[text]RewriteEngine On # Skip this if you have already turned on the rewriting engine
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^f=1\&t=5$
RewriteRule ^viewtopic\.php$ /viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5 [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^f=1\&t=5\&start=([0-9]*)$
RewriteRule ^viewtopic\.php$ /viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5&start=%1 [R=301,L][/text]
Skip the first line if you have already turned on the rewriting engine in your .htaccess file. The second RewriteRule redirects the other pages of the thread (with URL like viewtopic.php?f=X&t=Y&start=10). For each thread moved, we need to add these directives in the .htaccess file, changing the forum ids and topic id’s as necessary.

This method seems tedious and cumbersome, but this is the only method I could devise as of now. If anyone has a better method, you are welcome to leave a comment.

Add keywords and description to phpBB’s index page without installing a mod

In these days of intelligent search engines, meta keywords and descriptions do not play a major role in SEO. Crawlers are more interested in the contents of the page rather than it’s keywords and descriptions. However, some people might still want to add keywords and descriptions to their pages, seeing that search engines like Yahoo still put some weightage on them.

A vanilla phpBB installation does contain keyword and description meta element, but they do not have any content. Here’s an easy to add meta keywords and description to phpBB’s index page without installing and/or maintaining any kind of a mod.

  • Go to /styles/prosilver/template/ and open the overall_header.html file with your favourite text editor. Click Edit > Select all, or just press ‘Ctrl +A’. After that, copy the selected code by clicking Edit > Copy or by pressing ‘Ctrl + V’.
  • Create a new HTML file in the same directory and name it index_header.html.
  • Open the newly created file and paste the contents of the clipboard in it.
  • In index_header.html, find :
    [sourcecode language=”html”]<meta name="keywords" content="" />[/sourcecode]

    Replace with :

    [sourcecode language=”html”]<meta name="keywords" content="keyword1, keyword2, keyword3" />[/sourcecode]

    Find :

    [sourcecode language=”html”]<meta name="description" content="" />[/sourcecode]

    Replace with :

    [sourcecode language=”html”]<meta name="description" content="Here goes the description" />[/sourcecode]

  • Open /styles/prosilver/template/index_body.html.
  • Find :
    [sourcecode language=”html”]<!– INCLUDE overall_header.html –>[/sourcecode]
  • Replace with :
  • [sourcecode language=”html”]<!– INCLUDE index_header.html –>[/sourcecode]

From now on remember to update index_header.html when you make changes to overall_header.html, or else, the changes won’t show up in the index page.

Error: [phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/functions.php on line 3526: Undefined index: HIDDEN_USERS_ZERO_TOTAL_AND

After updating phpBB to v3.0.4, this error suddenly popped up after changing the language to something other than English :

[phpBB Debug] PHP Notice: in file /includes/functions.php on line 3526: Undefined index: HIDDEN_USERS_ZERO_TOTAL_AND

It means that the language pack is outdated and “HIDDEN_USERS_ZERO_TOTAL_AND” isn’t defined in the common.php file in the corresponding language directory.

The solution is to install the updated language pack for the current version from the language pack directory, or if the language hasn’t been updated yet, wait for the maintainer to update it; or better still, update the language pack yourself!