CentOS (RHEL) Funny Garbled Terminal Characters

Posted February 5, 2007 by Randy Syring
Categories: CentOS, Linux

On a new install of CentOS 4.4 I was having problems with the characters showing up funny when using ‘setup’ or viewing man pages.  A quick fix:

export LANG=’en_US’

Permanent Fix:

The problem is caused by a setting in this file:


edit the line that says:

LANG=”en_US.UTF8″ to read LANG=”en_US”

Kudos to:
CentOS Forums


Osteen on Larry King — A different perspective

Posted January 11, 2007 by Randy Syring
Categories: Christianity, Theological Modesty

This post is in response to a friend’s blog post .

Just remember how the Lord tells us to deal with people who we disagree with:

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

I would respectfully point out that Ben’s comment about Osteen is just as unbiblical as the things Osteen said on Larry King. It is easier to see the speck in the other’s eye than it is to see the log in our own.

For what it is worth, while I think Osteen is wrong on many things, he has a gentleness and kindness about him that are very biblical. He does a great job of encouraging people. Does he always do it with biblical truth, unfortunately I think many times the answer is probably “no.” However, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from him.

Lets remember that we have all had times in our life when we have been less than bold in our witness for Christ. Mr. Osteen has the unfortunate experience of having his shortcomings recorded, debated, and talked about over and over again. It seems a lot of us are willing to pick up and cast the first stone. We should make a better effort at being theologically modest and less antagonistic. Is the gospel offensive to some? Absolutely. Does that give us license to be smug about it? Absolutely not.

He also posted a follow-up letter on his church’s website in which he stated clearly his belief in the biblical gospel and asked for forgiveness. What more can a man do?

His letter of apology has since been removed from the church’s website. However, it can still be found in the internet archives.


Dr. Mohler, as usual, has a great response to this issue on his blog:

Mr. Osteen’s statement is encouraging on several fronts. First, it is encouraging to know that the constituency of Joel Osteen Ministries was so upset about the interview. Second, Mr. Osteen’s statement includes a clear and unambiguous affirmation of the exclusivity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Third, the timeliness of the statement underlines the importance of the issues at stake. Fourth, Mr. Osteen’s apology is free from the evasions typical of the pseudo-apologies so often issued to the public. He did not say that “statements were made,” but instead acknowledged that he had failed to communicate Gospel truth. The humility and honesty of the statement serve to fortify its authenticity.

This is a reminder to all of us who appear in the media. Statements made to an audience of millions are difficult to retract and are often impossible to correct. When Mr. Osteen writes, “I hope that you accept my deepest apology and see it in your heart to extend to me grace and forgiveness,” the only proper response is to extend the very forgiveness for which he asks — and with equal humility. Other concerns can wait for another day.

Embed Flash using valid XHTML

Posted January 4, 2007 by Randy Syring
Categories: Flash, HTML, Web Standards, XHTML

At one point in time I had done some research to figure out how to embed flash movies in a web page using valid XHTML. At the time, I remember having to do a considerable amount of research to figure out before finally being able to piece something together. This time, Google to the rescue; the first result was a bullseye.

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="images/banner.swf"
  width="288" height="128">
    <param name="movie" value="images/banner.swf" />
    <img src="banner.gif" width="288" height="128" alt="banner" />

Kudos to:



Scrolling HTML Table with Fixed Header

Posted January 2, 2007 by Randy Syring
Categories: CSS, HTML, XHTML

Scrolling Table Screen Shot


This solution was developed over four years ago.  As noted in the comments, this solution does not work for IE 8, FF 5, and webkit browsers.  It is no longer being developed, so I suggest looking for alternate solutions.

Some History:

On a recent project it was necessary for me to find a solution to display a bunch of rows in an HTML table that scrolled and had fixed headers. I, of course, started with a Google search and based my first solution of the technique identified here:



  1. Valid HTML and CSS
  2. Tested on Multiple Browsers
  3. Has a “Bullet Resistant” version that uses Javascript to overcome some problems.


  1. In Firefox, the width of the <th> and <td> elements are not the same. This requires that each and every column have fixed width (which is quite annoying to say the least). If the table had a lot of columns, this solution would probably not work.
  2. Does not work in IE 7.

Another solution I found was here:


I ended up having to tweek the code a little to get it working correctly in IE 7 while still displaying with pixel perfect accuracy in Firefox and IE 6. The above had problems in non-quirks mode in IE with the fixed header not moving when the page was scrolled.


  1. Works in IE 6, IE 7, Firefox (tested in, but assuming it works in 1.5.x too).
  2. Does not require the column widths to be specified.
  3. Valid HTML with no extra table or header definitions required.


  1. Has an intermittent problem with fixed header moving left or right 1px in IE.
  2. Uses the proprietary IE expression() function in the CSS for fixing the header in IE.
  3. Uses a few CSS hacks (http://www.webdevout.net/articles/css_hacks.php).
  4. If the CSS is embedded directly in the page (i.e. in a <style> block), then IE will give the user an “active content” warning and the scrolling table will not work until they click “allow blocked content”.


<div class=”scrollTableContainer”>
<table class=”dataTable” cellspacing=”0″>






div.scrollTableContainer {
height: 285px;
overflow: auto;
width: 970px;
margin: 15px 0 0 0;
position: relative;

/* The different widths below are due to the way the scroll bar is implamented */

/* All browsers (but especially IE) */
div.scrollTableContainer table {
width: 952px;

/* Modern browsers (but especially firefox ) */
html>/**/body div.scrollTableContainer table {
width: 970px;

/* Modern browsers (but especially firefox ) */
html>/**/body div.scrollTableContainer table>tbody {
overflow: auto;
height: 250px;
overflow-x: hidden;

div.scrollTableContainer thead tr {
top: expression(offsetParent.scrollTop); /*IE5+ only*/
/* fixes the header being over too far in IE, doesn’t seem to affect FF */
left: 0px;

/*prevent Mozilla scrollbar from hiding cell content*/
div.scrollTableContainer td:last-child {padding-right: 20px;}

Code Update:

I made some improvements to the code and posted them, but people continue to come to this page, so I have posted the same information here too.


  • Fixed the 1px “shift” noticed in IE when scrolling the table content
  • Conditional comments include the invalid “expression” syntax for IE only. That means we have valid CSS 3.0.

Continuing Disadvantages:

  • The “expression” syntax in the IE style sheet is technically Javascript. Therefore, anyone using IE with Javascript turned off will not get the fixed headers, the scrolling table will work.
  • Not compatible  w/ modern browsers: As noted in the comments below, the current implementation had been reported to have problems in IE 8 and webkit browsers (Chrome, Safari).  As well as Firefox 5.

Working Example (Demo):


Bitbucket Repository:

I have create a Bitbucket repository with the code for this project: http://bitbucket.org/rsyring/scrolling-html-table-fixed-header/src