Monthly Archives: November 2006

Row span in Writer’s Tables

In one of my not so common moments of using Writer as a user, I recently came across an issue with the table layout. I did not have the flexibility to have table cells run over many rows in the way I wanted them to. To my delight, it would appear that this is going to be fixed. Unfortunately the fixes won’t come in time for this report that I’m writing.

For more information about this please see the GullFOSS blog.

EHIC scams

It would appear that there are a few people who are running some scams to try and make money out of people trying to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Please be aware that this card is free to apply for.

To apply for the card you should go to the official site at which has the option of doing an online application. It also gives you the correct information.

Examples of some scam sites are:

  • Charge you £15 to put the information into their database, and then they just transfer the information into the Department of Health’s department of Health’s database by entering the information into the form for you. Errm wait a minute you just filled in a form and paid £15 for someone to enter the information that you entered into another form.
  • Give you a 090 number which costs £1.50/minute instead of a national rate number that the department of Health setup specifically for the EHIC. The call just gets routed through to the national rate number that you call.
  • Give false and inaccurate information about the EHIC.

Before anyone asks, I haven’t been caught out by any of these scam, though have noticed them. The department of Health already knew about them and is in the process of taking action against the site owners.

iBackup Now Supports 2

The easy to use and free for personal use backup program called iBackup now has a plugin, written by me, to allow the easy backup of your 2 preferences. I have also included the preferences for the upcoming native version of They are in a separate location compared to the preferences for the X11 to prevent the Aqua development versions of corrupting your X11 preferences.

Support for Mac OS X 10.3 to be dropped after 2.1

As was discussed in tonight’s Mac Port Meeting for, the Mac Porting Team will be dropping support for Mac OS X 10.3.x after the release of 2.1.
The reasons for the dropping of support of Mac OS X 10.3 include:

  • Around the time 2.2 is due out, Mac OS X 10.5 will be released some time in “Spring 2007″[1]. Trying to support 3 Major versions of Mac OS X is difficult with our small team.
  • The current Aqua development versions of require the use of Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
  • The Mac Porting Team has limited resources and very few developers currently have access to a machine that has Mac OS X 10.3 on it. This means that developing and testing on Mac OS X 10.3 is difficult.
  • [Only for the technical minded] The compiler (gcc3) that is used for producing builds for Mac OS X 10.3 isn’t good enough any more. Examples for problems include: It claims valid code isn’t valid; doesn’t give useful error or warning messages; and some warning messages are not available. The gcc4 (the compiler in Mac OS X 10.4), is much better as it doesn’t have the aforementioned problems.

If it is shown that there is a large requirement for continuing future support for Mac OS X 10.3, then this decision may be reversed.
The log of the meeting is available to read.

[1]: Source Mac OS X Leopard Sneak Peek Page

Workaround for X11 not launching posted on Mac Porting Web Site

With the deluge of people complaining about the X11 update and not starting, I posted a news article detailing a quick workaround to get running again. It should be noted that the next release of (and current development builds) are not affected by the problematic fonts as there has been a change in the logic which safe guards against the the divide by zero that was happening when the new fonts supplied by Apple were being loaded in. Hopefully Apple are going to re-release the X11 update soon.

Apple’s X11 update

Apple released an X11 update on 1 November 2006. It fixes a but that I commented about, regarding the cmd+tab and the X11 windows not coming forward.

On the other hand there appears to be an issue with the fonts in that build. This seems to affect the current official release of on the Mac. I didn’t notice it at first because I have been using builds made by my ooobuilbot MacPort1.

The current workaround is to remove the Vera fonts from /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TTF. For more information please see issue 71096.