Sending RAW SMTP was something I used to do often as a support guy when troubleshooting customer’s email problems. It’s an easy way to check for the existence of a user on a mail server and a simple way to test message sending/receiving. Handy, but for ages I always forgot how to do it and what to type. So, quite a few years ago I wrote up this lovely internal document to help me remember. After switching jobs and doing less and less support I realised I didn’t have it anymore and couldn’t remember it all so I proceeded to re-create it.

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I haven’t blogged here for ages, lets be honest; it’s almost been a year.  I’ve been quietly managing the blog in the background, because blogs don’t just sit there and do nothing; as much as sometimes you want them to.  Over the last year I’ve made some huge moves and decisions in my head and to be frank I just haven’t had time to be here.  Does it really matter? with posts like this one right now no, but with posts like these.. yes.  I’ve neglected my plugin.  It still works fine but I think I’ve left a foul taste in some peoples mouths; so sorry for that – there’s new version incoming real soon.

So what’s happened in just under a year that’s kept me away from ITALM and other things?

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It seems there may have been a minor issue in the last release of my iTunes Affiliate Link Maker wordpress plugin. Quite simply, if you had an existing install and didn’t have any links in it yet, you may continue to see the upgrade warning/notification no matter what you do.  The man known to me only as daykilla has found the bug and nailed a quick solution (top work!) that’ll get you going for now.

If you need to work out what’s going on and how to fix it, head over and check out the post describing it. In the mean time I’ll be releasing an updated 0.5.2 later this evening with that fix and maybe a few extras.

I’ve just pushed version 0.5.1 of my WordPress plugin iTALM into the WordPress SVN, it should arrive soon enough.  If you have any problems please let me know.

The system now works around the shortag [itunes] with the following attributes:

  • url – a mandatory attribute, this a clean itms store url, fetched via link maker or your itunes client
  • title – the string in this field is passed into the output link as the alt tag on the image/title of the link
  • content – if you don’t use this field, the itms link image from the settings page is displayed, if you do use this attribute the string is output instead.

Saying all that you don’t need to type this stuff anyway, because that’s the beauty of the button being in both editors. Select text (it’ll be output as the content attribute) or don’t, click the button, search for what you want (or click manual url) and be quickly prompted through the process.  If you enter nothing in the box? It’ll still enter someting like <Artist Name>-<Album name> out for you.

I think this is a nice step forward for the plugin, your feedback is appreciated, the general consensus seems to be to drop feedback over at the article page but i’m now closing that, so please leave your feedback on this post.

Many of you wont know, but i live a double life drenched in Music. To keep it short, i love music and the effects it can have on people and their mentality. I used to produce a bit of Drum N Bass but i stopped quite some time ago as it wasn’t making me happy, it was leaving me in a bad mindset. Fast forward a few more years and i’ve been practicing rapping for a few years, so i started to get down n dirty and start seriously writing both beats and raps (on the mic as Percuss), what follows is the end result of a month or 2 of getting back into the studio. I’ve only managed to get vocals down for one below and that beat is jacked from Swollen Members – Heavy Thinkers, but the lyrics were so meaningful i just couldn’t resist getting it down. ENJOY.

<a href="">Track X by Ruxton</a>

<a href="">Filters Aint Shit (Percuss &amp; Shareef) by Ruxton</a>

<a href="">Ghost Drummer by Ruxton</a>

Original post date: 2008-07-05

Recycled for Recycle A Blog Post Day

Something just occurred to me this evening and it has to do with software companies and the monopoly ‘lock in’ tactics that some use.  Microsoft was pulled up over forcing Internet Explorer on people in XP many moons ago now and I’m sure we’re all completely happy with how it eventually turned out, most of us use Firefox and Windows now recognises something called a ‘default browser’.

Fast forward a few years and we’ve seen Apple since day one, ram iTunes down the throat of every ipod owner in the world. This was understandable, after all it’s a portable music player and it only ran on OSX to start with, so it’s ok to force a music player that’s already installed on the operating system along with the device to provide sync support, in fact it totally makes sense.  That is until they released on windows and iTunes wasn’t that great, also for years we’ve all been using Winamp or Windows Media Player and have no desire to switch to iTunes.

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Mark Pollard threw a tweet to the world that had some interesting weight, Recycle A Blog Post Day (#rabpday).  Mark’s idea was that you would dig a post out from earlier in the year and “re-cycle it” which i assume means, create a new post, put the content in from the old and  post it again.  My suggestion was that the post should be over a year old, obviously this can’t for everyone and in that case, you should pick an older post.

I’m not sure what the intention was here, my thoughts were that it could be a monthly or yearly thing?  But i get the impression others maybe thinking weekly? Anyway it seems like a cool idea.

When’s it happening?

TOMORROW!! (12th August 2009)

Who’s recycling?

Mark tagged the following people in and I guess we’ll see if they partake:

Of course, you know you can take part too, post below with a comment if you’re going to join in and let’s see where this goes to.

Last night mid-way through my train ride home i had a sudden realisation, i had no idea where my phone was and I left the office with it, OUCH.  The though patterns started to retrace, etc. I got off the train a stop early and shot to my parents house to use their phone to try call it, unfortunately the battery on my phone was dead.

Sitting at my parents house I started to realise where it got to and convinced my mum to drive me 40 odd minutes back to work and wait for me while I looked everywhere for it.  You can be assured I didn’t find it and in a way I’m kind of retrospectively happy about it. Continue reading