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="http://ruxton.bandcamp.com/track/track-x">Track X by Ruxton</a>

<a href="http://ruxton.bandcamp.com/track/filters-aint-shit-percuss-shareef">Filters Aint Shit (Percuss &amp; Shareef) by Ruxton</a>

<a href="http://ruxton.bandcamp.com/track/ghost-drummer">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

Way back in 2005/2006/2007 my audio PC was rocking hard and i was trying my best to punch out some drum n bass and learn my way through Cubase.

What i’ve embedded below is the 2 “finished” (term used very loosely) drum and bass tunes that i did during that time.  Steeple was the first tune i ever completed in Cubase, a few came before it unfinished or finished in various Tracker applications pre-2000.  Unfortunately i think i lost the most recent version of both of these tracks, it’s on a CD somewhere, so enjoy Steeple and Transform, my terrible gift to you.

Ruxton – Steeple
Ruxton – Transform

It’d also be nice to hear some feedback, if you want drop a comment below and let me know what you think.  It’s been nearly 4 years since these were finished and while i have no intention of reworking them or revisiting them, it’s always nice to hear other peoples views.

I wrote this little post quite some time ago, around the weekend my first 2 sites were accepted into the Woopra Beta.
If you’re wondering how to pronounce Woopra, i like to think it has an exclamation mark on the end (Woopra!) and that it’s the sound Bruce Lee makes when he karate chops your arse. Because I get the impression thats exactly what Woopra is going to do to online analytics.

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Got a worpdress blog? do you link to the iTunes Store with or without an affiliate program? this plugins for you!

The plugin adds an itunes button to the visual editor which when clicked brings forward a dialog containing a search for the iTunes store link maker.

After searching, clicking on any link will ask for a title for the link and insert it into the content editor. The link also enables the ability to directly link to albums, something the standard link generator does not normally do.

Enough gaff, if you want it, it’s here.  It’ll be on wordpress.org soon enough.