“Couldn’t add widget” on recent apps list

Ran into something new today and decided to jot it down here in case it may help someone. The 5.1.1 (LMY48B) factory image for the Nexus 5 “Hammerhead” was released today. After a quick download and flash I back up and running. After all the apps were installed and my widgets restored I started fixing my system settings to my preference. That was when I noticed that the top of the recent apps list had a grey bar that said “Couldn’t add widget” right around the area of the quick search bar. I cleared the cache of the Google Search app. I also noticed that a long press of the middle button was not assigned. I was offered Google Search or Tasker, I chose Google Search. The message was still there. I decided to reboot and the message was gone. The phone had been rebooted a number of times before all of this. I am assuming that one of, or possibly both of, the steps above fixed the widgets issue. The reboot just made the fix take effect.

Also, I thought it was a bit odd for the error message to have a contraction in it. “Couldn’t add widget” vs. “Could not add widget”.

T-Mobile is Awesome

I have a love / hate relationship with T-Mobile. I love it when I have coverage. I hate it when I don’t. Thankfully I have coverage most of the time. Recent trouble spots for me were Los Olivos, CA and the south rim of the Grand Canyon (and parts of the way on the road there). Friends with other carriers were also having issues so I was happy to have some company in my misery. AT&T is pretty spotty in Los Olivos. Verizon wasn’t working at the Grand Canyon. Coverage issues aside, their recent trend towards aggressive pricing has really shaken up the mobile market. Case in point is an amazing plan that they just released today for a limited time.


Two lines with unlimited talk, text, and 4G data. All for $100/mo.

That is just amazing.

Previously, I was on an older plan. Two lines, one with unlimited data (for $20 instead of the current $30), and the second line with 3GB of data ($10/mo). I also have an HP Chromebook 14 on there. Chromebooks get 200mb of free data for the life of the device. T-Mobile was having a special program on them that provided an additional 1GB of data for the Chromebook until the end of this year (1GB for the Chromebook is $10 and the bill would show a $10 credit eliminating the cost).

Excited by this newly released plan, I called T-Mobile (611 if calling from your mobile device) and started the process of eliminating the extra 1GB of data for the Chromebook and also switching our plan over to the two lines for $100 offering.

The resulting plan is just simply amazing.

Two lines with unlimited 4G. Not just any unlimited, but an unlimited plan that qualifies for all of the special T-Mobile offers. The plan includes 5GB of mobile hotspot usage. It also includes the free Rhapsody Unradio account.

The representative was able to add my Chromebook onto a different plan that allowed it to match my hotspot amount, so now instead of 200mb of data it has 5GB. Grand total for all of the services? $100 per month.

I. Am. Pleased.

<3 You are welcome to use my referral link if you were looking to change plans. This would provide you and I $25 from T-mobile.

Lions, CentOS 6, Plesk, Joomla, and PHP Oh My!

CentOS 6.5 is the latest version that Parallels Plesk Panel 12 supports. CentOS 7 was released two weeks ago and has some significant changes compared to its previous version. As a result of these changes it is taking Parallels a bit longer than normal to prepare a new compatible version of their software.

A recent post on their support forums hints at two more weeks to complete it, though it is only an estimate and no official ETA has been announced.

Centos 6.5 repos provide you with PHP 5.3.3. This is beginning to cause issues when trying to meet system requirements. To further exacerbate the issue it will not be possible to dist-upgrade to CentOS7. Parallels thinks that they may have this ability ready by the next release which would be Plesk 13.

Joomla 3.3.0 was released on April 30, 2014 and has a new PHP requirement of version 5.3.10. and onward are now requiring PHP 5.3.10. Joomla version 3.3.3 was released today and is becoming quite popular. Unfortunately you cannot install it on a CentOS 6.5 system due to the PHP requirements. To make matters worse, it looks like the next iteration of Drupal is going to require PHP 5.4.0.

Your options are to deploy a new server with a distro that meets the PHP requirements and migrate accounts as needed, or enable multiple PHP version in Plesk.

Getting a newer version of PHP is actually quite easy. CentOS provides an SCL repo for just such a purpose. Once that is installed all you need to do is tell Plesk where it is.

The SCL repo allows you to run the default PHP that comes with CentOS (so yum and other system tools in CentOS work), while also allowing you a newer version of PHP to be installed alongside for the use of running software with newer requirements.

You can get the following collections from this repo but PHP is the only one I needed.

  • Ruby 1.9.3 (ruby193)
  • Python 2.7 (python27)
  • Python 3.3 (python33)
  • PHP 5.4 (php54)
  • Perl 5.16.3 (perl516)
  • Node.js 0.10 (nodejs010)
  • MariaDB 5.5 (mariadb55)
  • MySQL 5.5 (mysql55)
  • PostgreSQL 9.2 (postgresql92)

More information on the SCL repo can be found at the link below.

These were the steps necessary to get everything running on a freshly configured Plesk 12 / CentOS 6.5 test box.

1) Install the SCL repo

yum install centos-release-SCL

2) Install PHP 5.4.16

yum install php54 php54-*

This will install quite a few packages in a new and separate area.

php54.x86_64 : Package that installs php54
php54-runtime.x86_64 : Package that handles php54 Software Collection.
php54-apc-panel.noarch : APC control panel
php54-build.x86_64 : Package shipping basic build configuration
php54-php.x86_64 : PHP scripting language for creating dynamic web sites
php54-php-bcmath.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications for using the bcmath library
php54-php-cli.x86_64 : Command-line interface for PHP
php54-php-common.x86_64 : Common files for PHP
php54-php-dba.x86_64 : A database abstraction layer module for PHP applications
php54-php-devel.x86_64 : Files needed for building PHP extensions
php54-php-enchant.x86_64 : Enchant spelling extension for PHP applications
php54-php-fpm.x86_64 : PHP FastCGI Process Manager
php54-php-gd.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications for using the gd graphics library
php54-php-imap.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications that use IMAP
php54-php-intl.x86_64 : Internationalization extension for PHP applications
php54-php-ldap.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications that use LDAP
php54-php-mbstring.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications which need multi-byte string handling
php54-php-mysqlnd.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications that use MySQL databases
php54-php-odbc.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications that use ODBC databases
php54-php-pdo.x86_64 : A database access abstraction module for PHP applications
php54-php-pear.noarch : PHP Extension and Application Repository framework
php54-php-pecl-apc.x86_64 : APC caches and optimizes PHP intermediate code
php54-php-pecl-apc-devel.x86_64 : APC developer files (header)
php54-php-pecl-memcache.x86_64 : Extension to work with the Memcached caching daemon
php54-php-pgsql.x86_64 : A PostgreSQL database module for PHP
php54-php-process.x86_64 : Modules for PHP script using system process interfaces
php54-php-pspell.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications for using pspell interfaces
php54-php-recode.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications for using the recode library
php54-php-snmp.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications that query SNMP-managed devices
php54-php-soap.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications that use the SOAP protocol
php54-php-tidy.x86_64 : Standard PHP module provides tidy library support
php54-php-xml.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications which use XML
php54-php-xmlrpc.x86_64 : A module for PHP applications which use the XML-RPC protocol

Once installed you can test that both versions are working.

Checking the default PHP version:

[root@plesk etc]# php -v
PHP 5.3.3 (cli) (built: Dec 11 2013 03:29:57)
Copyright (c) 1997-2010 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.3.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2010 Zend Technologies
with the ionCube PHP Loader v4.6.0, Copyright (c) 2002-2014, by ionCube Ltd.

Checking the version of the newly installed PHP 5.4.16:

[root@plesk bin]# pwd
[root@plesk bin]# ./php -v
PHP 5.4.16 (cli) (built: Dec 11 2013 16:55:27)
Copyright (c) 1997-2013 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.4.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2013 Zend Technologies

3) Configure php_handler to allow PHP 5.4.16. You need to provide it with the location of the php-cgi and php.ini.

[root@plesk bin]# /usr/local/psa/bin/php_handler --add -displayname 5.4.16 -path /opt/rh/php54/root/usr/bin/php-cgi -phpini /opt/rh/php54/root/etc/php.ini -type fastcgi

One limitation of running multiple versions of PHP is that you can only configure them to run as either apache or fastcgi. PHP-FPM is not an available option.

You are now ready to change the PHP version for your hosting account. Log into Plesk and navigate to the hosting settings for your domain. The PHP version is now a dropdown menu with both versions available.

PHP 5.3.3 and 5.4.16 running in tandem

5.4.16 and the original 5.3.3 are now available

Don’t forget to save your changes by clicking the ‘OK’ button at the bottom of the page.

PHP 5.4.16 in full effect

PHP is now running in fast-cgi mode and is using PHP 5.4.16.

Joomla requests that output buffering be disabled. On my machine it was enabled by default. The user can disable this using the PHP settings area of the hosting panel. At the bottom of the page they can enter

output_buffering = Off

Joomla requests that output buffering be disabled.

Joomla requests that output buffering be disabled.

Joomla 3.3.3 installed with no issues and all pre-check items were green. Mission accomplished.

New Server, New Games

I recently upgraded my game server and have been trying to decide on a new game to test out.  The three existing Killing Floor servers seem to be much happier with the increased memory.

Current candidates for new servers are the recently released Insurgency and Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. I picked up Insurgency last week on it’s release day and have been trying to get a handle on it’s game mechanics. It’s very similar to Counterstrike. Not sure if that is good or bad for me. It’s just one of those games that I never really became interested in. I have already run into hackers on a public server so that has deterred me a little from trying to run my own server. Killing Floor has a panel for easy admin access and I can only find a basic command line tool for Insurgency.

I recently re-installed Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. This was a long time favorite and it’s showing it’s age graphically. The gameplay though is still impressive and In just a few matches I remembered how much I loved it. Nothing out there has really ever captured how well this game used player classes and objectives. I highly recommend it if you have never played it. If you have played it, I recommend that you return to it :-D The server requirements are probably low for this so I may build one up anyway.

Splash Damage is working on it’s spiritual successor, Extraction. It will be coming out as a free 2 play title through Nexon.

In the meantime, enjoy the Killing Floor servers.