Archive for April 2010

Fix for ‘bad gateway’ issues with Online Users Map

After a long, long delay, I finally had chance to look at the ‘Bad Gateway’ problem that seemed to be stopping the Moodle Online Users Map block working. Whilst in Ethiopia my internet connection there wasn’t good enough to be able to spend time debugging this, but now I’m back on a more reliable connection I’ve been able to have a look.

It turned out to be a relatively simple issue to resolve, basically I wasn’t correctly constructing the call to the geonames website, so it gave the ‘bad gateway’ response.

If you are using (or trying to use) this block then please update to the latest version as soon as possible (go to: Moodle Modules and Plugins).

I’ve not yet had chance to test the changes when the Moodle server is behind a proxy server, I’ll try to get this tested soon. If you are using a proxy server I’d be very interested to know if it’s now working (or not).

[Update 20 Apr 12:30]: have just tested by going through a proxy server and appears to be working fine, but please let me know if it doesn’t work for you.

Getting ATI Graphics Card working with Ubuntu

Monitor comparison - my new 22'' desktop vs the 7'' of my Asus EEE PC

Since coming back I seem to have been unexpectedly busy – I had assumed that I wouldn’t have much to do, but have lots to prepare ready for returning to Ethiopia in June and attending the eLearning Africa conference at the end of May – where I’m giving a presentation about the Digital Campus project.

I’ve managed to catch up with many friends so far, but it’s been a little different than I’d expected. My time is very flexible and free at the moment, but everyone else still has work and other commitments, especially during weekdays.

I spend a very frustrating Monday trying to get my new computer set up correctly. I bought a new desktop machine with an ATI Radeon HD 5450 Graphics Card which doesn’t seem to work well with Ubuntu (9.10). I had a hard time figuring what was causing the display to freeze up at apparently random times. After being in use for anything from 5 mins to 8 hours, the screen would freeze up, with only the mouse moving and the only way of getting out of it being to do a hard restart.

I had got the ATI drivers installed as it was the only way I could get the full resolution from my monitor (1920 X 1080). I’m quite sure I had everything installed correctly, despite being confused by all the advice and postings about installing these drivers.

In the end I read a post which mentioned trying out the next release of Ubuntu, Lucid Lynx (10.04) – even though it’s not officially released for a week or so, it apparently has better support for ATI graphics cards. After the installation of Lucid Lynx, I haven’t need to installed any proprietary drivers and the monitor is working well at it’s full resolution. There are a few other issues at the moment (such as not being able to install Adobe Flash plugin), but then it’s still an Alpha pre-release so these issues are to be expected and should be resolved when the full release comes out next week.

Moodle Certified

Whilst I was away in Ethiopia I signed up for the MoodleBites for Teachers Course, leading to the Moodle Course Creator Certificate (MCCC). The course was excellent for me to really learn about some of the Moodle features (especially activities) that I’d previously never looked into. Just over a week ago I passed the MCCC exam, so I am now Moodle ‘certified’. To verify that I really did pass, then please visit the Moodle Certification site.

Videos from Ethiopia

Now that I’m back in the UK and have access to a reliable fast internet connection, I’ve uploaded some of the videos I’ve taken over the last 18 months. They’re almost all unedited (except the Debre Damo one – except I didn’t do the editing) although I may try to edit some of these clips together…

Sulphur Springs in the Danakil:

Juggler at orphanage Christmas show:

Visiting the Debre Damo Monastery:

There are plenty more short videos that I’ve uploaded too.