April 2004 Archives

It seems that I made a small error in writing my article on Drop down menus a few days ago... The code that I pasted into the article was actually the OUTPUT of what I was creating, not the code actually CREATING it.

So, if you're interested please jump back and review that article again, the proper code is now in that article. My apologies for any confusion.

An iTune, that is. CNET reports on Pepsi's iTunes promotion which began at the Superbowl this year, hoping to give away up to 100 million iTunes. Instead, only 5 million songs were actually redeemed.

What the article doesn't mention was Pepsi's supply problems getting these out to the folks that wanted them. Personally, I never saw one of these bottles in the grocery stores I go to locally, though I did manage to find a few at a local convenience shop, and the local 7-11 briefly had specially marked 32oz cups at their soda fountain, which I promptly filled with Diet Dr. Pepper. Of the 5 promo items I purchased, I managed to only win a single song.

A report today from MacCentral regarding some problems with the iPod update recently released coinciding with iTunes 4.5.

I've personally run this on two second generation iPods and a 3rd generation iPod without problems, but I have heard of one 1st generation user that had a problem. His iPod was plugged in as the update was downloading and it ran immediately, and somewhere along the line locked up his iPod to the point that it rebooted wtih the flashing folder icon.

No sooner did I leave my feedback for Netfront to get the license that was promised, when my mail log shows another failed connection. You guessed it, the folks sending the license code info didn't have their reverse DNS set correctly and it bounced. So, another note to another postmaster...

I came across an interesting link today from Nokia to get a free license for the Netfront web browser for the Series 60 phones (3650, 3660, 3620, etc). Not a bad deal, all you need to do is provide some feedback on the browser and they'll send you a license code.

PalmOne today introduced a new model, the Zire 31, and upgraded the Zire 71 to the Zire 72. More importantly, they've reaffirmed their support for the Mac market, despite PalmSource (a separate company responsible for the Palm OS itself) having indicated previously that Palm OS 6.0 (Code name Cobalt) would ship with no Mac support.

Since Cobalt isn't shipping yet, this isn't an immediate concern, but it's another reason why I ended up not sticking with their product. If PalmOne finds some way to work around this, they may yet see some of my business. Note to PalmOne, evaluation units gladly accepted...

After going through my documentation on Postfix again, and trying to figure out why those problem mails keep resending to my system, I discovered that the error code I had set, 450, was basically telling the other end that there was a problem, and to try again. I've now changed this to 550, which should now reject those mails.

This seems to be good in that those sending me mail should not receive the error mails that indicate a problem mailing me, letting them know about the problem. I've begun sending postmasters of mail servers with issues notes containing clips from my logs in the hope that this might help them fix their systems. We'll see what happens.

This last error I saw from actually from what should have been a Mac system, so hopefully they'll get their act together quickly. ;)

In setting up my mail server, I made the decision to use some fairly strict settings in order to reduce spam. I was aware that there might be some legitimate mails that may not make it through from improperly configured mail servers, and I figured the chances of this would be fairly slim. Last night it looks like I bounced my first legitimate mail.

It doesn't seem to be a problem with this party's mail server, but rather something with their DNS, it isn't providing a reverse lookup for their IP address, so when my mail server sees a message coming from their IP address, it tries to determine the name of their mail server (ex. mail.yourcompany.com), and when no results are returned, the message is rejected.

I've blogged previously setting up Postfix on my server, and wanted to share this link about Spamhaus, and how they're making use of Macs, including a G4 cube, to help ISPs around the world, as well as small time mail servers like mine, keep up the war against unwanted junk mail.

My mail logs show that I'm regularly hit from systems looking for an open mail relay for sending junk mail, Postfix by default blocks these. But I'm getting an increasing number of messages that are being rejected thanks to Spamhaus. So far, not one junk mail has made it to my inbox from a spammer.

I found an interesting link today at Apartment Therapy. It's interesting for two reasons, that a group of bloggers is getting together in broad daylight (well, in public anyway), and that it's being held at an Apple Store.

I might need to look into this should an Apple Store open in my area...

I'm kicking around the idea of having a contest to generate some traffic for the site. The rules will be simple, put a link to this site on your webpage, or convince a friend with a page to put a link on their page. This must be a link in the 'Links' or 'Blogroll' section of the web page (usually a space set aside for links in a column on the main web page), not a link burried in an article or blog entry.

Now to find something cool to give away. ;) More details later.

Life isn't easy for a Mac user with a PocketPC. They just weren't made to work together, situation normal for Windows systems, I suppose. However, the situation isn't entirely hopeless.

There are two software packages on the market for the Mac designed to ease the connectivity issues with PocketPCs, namely The Missing Sync and PocketMac Pro. Read on for more information on how they stack up.

Well, I just referenced their site in my blog yesterday, and now that site seems to be unavailable. Hopefully it's only a temporary glitch on their end...

Since before I put this site up, I wanted to have a menu along the top for navigation and some quick links, and try to avoid the long list of stuff down the right side of the page. After reviewing a number of sites and doing many searches, I've finally come up with something I like (see menu above).

The primary thing I wanted was a pretty straight HTML solution, no Java. Why? Personal preference, mainly, and I don't feel like learning Java. So, with that in mind, I set out in search of sites that had menus somewhat like I wanted.

Sorry for not getting to the software I'd promised to talk about yesterday, I've been working on a new menu and finally have it online. More details to follow.

Ok, so after reading my last entry, you're probably wondering just what is so evil about the 3650 that I made the reference to the dark side, and the short answer is, nothing. ;) It's a great phone, and a great platform, I sync it to my work system all the time to keep my contacts and schedule up to date, and it works great. So, what's all this about the dark side then? I'm glad you asked.

If you've been following along, you'll remember that something I really wanted was AvantGo. And for some reason, the AvantGo software just wasn't cooperating with the 3650. So I was back to replacing my Palm III. I figured I had two choices, a newer Palm running the Palm OS, or a PocketPC running (gasp) Windows CE. It was an incredibly hard decision, but eventually, I went with the PocketPC.

Yes, it's true, I've gone over to the dark side. For as long as I can remember, I've been a gadget freak; I love having cool toys, especially ones I can use with my Mac. I had one of the original Apple Newtons, the first PDA, heck, Apple even originated that term. I later abandoned that (after many years of use) for a used Palm III, which lasted me up till about last year or so. I'm sure it still works, but it was no longer useful for me.

I wanted color, mainly. I needed something that would sync with my Mac and keep contacts and appointments, and most importantly, AvantGo. I'd gotten to be kind of a news junkie, and loved being able to sync up my Palm and take the news with me and read it over lunch. Apple's iSync was brand new at the time, and that's when discovered the Nokia 3650.

My blog had been getting a few hits from Technorati, a site set up for tracking blogs and for helping folks find interesting blogs that match their interests. I'm sure these hits were courtesty of a few other folks with sites already on Technorati who linked to me.

So, tonight I set up my blog to automatically ping (notify of updates) Technorati when I add new articles to my site, and when I finished this up, discovered that my little site is already ranked 251,286 out of 2,133,638 weblogs, putting me in the top 12%!

Either I'm doing something right, or there are a lot of low traffic blogs out there... Either way, thanks for visiting!

Some interesting news out today from Sony and Sanyo, who are making disks from paper and corn, respectively. The best part, while being environmentally friendly, the new Sony CDs will hold up to 25Gb per disk!

The key to Sony's capacity is the use of lasers that emit a blue beam instead of a red beam, allowing data to be packed tighter on the disk. I remember talking with a rep from a CD drive manufacturer back in the very late 80's, and he claimed then that the blue lasers would see some incredible breakthroughs when they hit the market in 'a few years'. Good to know there's finally some light at the end of the tunnel...

I heard an interesting story on the news this AM on my way in to work. It seems that there is a movement afoot to return the right to vote to convicted felons, after they have served their time and paid their debt to society. To me, this seems fair, and at this point I don't think I have any problems with that.

The story then went on that they're using the slogan 'Taxation without representation', claiming that since these folks are taxpaying citizens, they should have a voice. Here's where I start having problems...

Here I am, minding my own business, and I decide to run Analog again tonight to see what sort of activity my web site has been getting. My site has been running about a week, and Analog usually came back with a report in about 30 seconds or so. So I wait, watching little status messages go by, wait some more, thinking 'hmmm, must have had a few visitors today', and wait some more...

To shorten the suspense (I could have gone on for a while there), what was a 30 second report last night has been going on for 12 HOURS tonight! And the source of all this? Apparently it's a combination of some IIS WebDAV exploits (whatever that is), the CodeRED worm (I remember hearing about that), and some other worm/virus/Microsoft product that's attacking anything with an IP address...

First of all, I know that M$ this week released like four MAJOR patches to its OS. I'm so glad that security is such a large focus for them, but sheesh, couldn't they have fixed some of these problems a few years ago when they shipped the OS to begin with? It's no wonder that Longhorn has apparently been pushed back another year...

Ok, so far my posts here have only been about getting the site up and running, and I'm sure that may interest a very few folks who have visited, but for the rest of you, I'm sure you're probably wondering where I'm going with all of this.

As is probably the case with most blogs out there, this will be my own personal soapbox for sharing items that interest me, including, but not limited to, various things Macintosh, cool technology, irreverant humor, outright rants, car talk, politics, and whatever else strikes my fancy. In short, there's no particular theme. ;)

I'd like to thank my friend C.K. over at 3650 and a 12-inch for linking to my site. His site there is dedicated (primarily) to discussions regarding the Nokia 3650 (a most excellent phone, closely related to Nokia's 3660 and 3620 models), and the PowerBook 12". Be sure to check his site out.

Yesterday I accidentally launched Internet Explorer instead of Safari, so I figured that since I waited so long for it to launch I might as well see how my site looked. Ugh. Now I remember why I hated IE so much.

I've changed some of the style sheet code around a bit to make IE just a bit happier and display the page like it was supposed to, and now it's fairly close to how Safari displays. I've got a bit more tweaking to do with the look of the site, but it's getting there.

Mac OS X 10.3 includes the Postfix , a low level email server utilty for sending and receiving mail. Prior version of OS X relied on Sendmail for this task, but Postfix is superior in a number of ways, mainly performance and security.

Since I was setting up a site under my own domain name, I though that it'd be nice to set up my own mail server, fully under my own control. To help in this, I'm using a great utility called Postfix Enabler .

The particular software I'm using for creating the content on this website is Movable Type . There are other blogging packages out there, but this one suited my needs pretty well. If you're not planning to host your own site, there are a few more choices out there, but MovableType let me handle everything locally, and works just fine on the Mac.

I've been playing Dark Horizons - Lore since the first public call for beta testers went out several months ago. My main interest at the time was that, as a Mac users, I thought it was a fantastic opportunity to help not only with the development of a new Mac game, but a game that was to be simultaneously available on both Mac and Windows platforms at release!

Well, all my domain changes have kicked in, and my site is now live on the web. Time to notify a few friends that it's out there now.

As promised, I'd like to post some information on how I got my site up and running, hopefully this might be of use to some of you out there if you're looking at doing something similar yourselves.

Every web page has to start somewhere, so here's the first official posting on mine. ;)

I've added a few links over on the side of some web sites that were very helpful in getting my site going. I'll be writing more on a few of them in the following entries.

As I write this, my new domain isn't even active yet, but hopefully this will kick in over the weekend.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2004 is the next archive.

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