Category Archives: Miscellaneous

A bugfixed Bookmarks Displayer Widget

I upgraded to WordPress 2.5.1 today due to some major security issues (German link) and was reminded that one of my widgets was not working correctly. Nathan Oliphant wrote this widget to display bookmarks in the sort order of the users choosing. Unfortunately, it had two minor bugs which 1. caused changes not to be made persistent correctly with recent WordPress versions and 2. broke proper sort order selection. I fixed those bugs and added optional support for Ozh’s Click Counter plugin.

Again, here’s a direct link for your convenience, tested with WordPress 2.5.1:
Nathan Oliphants Bookmarks Displayer Widget (rename to .PHP after downloading)

MyBB Registration eMail Check

Today, I wrote a simple MyBB plugin, Registration eMail Check (RMC). The plugin first verifies whether the email has a valid format, then compares the email host with a number of hosts which were explicitly disabled by the administrator (the plugin comes with a decent list of well-known one-time address providers), and finally tries to communicate with the corresponding mail server in order to verify whether the address actually exists.

I wrote the plugin for two reasons: First, because I wanted to prevent automated bot registration with non-existing email addresses. When I look through lists of users waiting for activation I find an ever growing amount of accounts which were obviously generated automatically, using non-existing email addresses. Second, because I don’t want people to use anonymous one-time email addresses when registering in forums where a certain mutual trust is mandatory.

Here’s version 1.0 for your convenience, tested with MyBB version 1.2.12:
RMC – Registration eMail Check 1.0 for MyBB
The source code is now available on GitHub.

Internet Fraud

I saw the following advertisement on AutoScout24 today.

Too good to be true - Fraud on the Internet

5300 EUR for a 2007 Audi A3 ragtop. This looked too good to be true, indeed, but still I couldn’t hesitate to contact the seller. The telephone number shown in the ad turned out to be a fax number, so I tried to get in touch by email. I received a reply about 15 minutes later.

BlackBerry 8800 woes

I have a BlackBerry 8800 for work which is generally a good thing. I can read and write email, notes and calendar entries from anywhere, surf the web, get a route calculated from my current position and so on and so on.

BlackBerry 8800

Still, it’s a work gadget, so it would be just half the fun if it hadn’t a micro SD card slot and wasn’t capable of playing music and videos. So I installed a 6 GB card and copied some music on it. When I reinserted the card I was presented a message box saying, “Media card has been inserted that contains errors. To correct the errors please use a disk error checking utility on a computer.” (or “Es wurde eine fehlerhafte Medienkarte eingelegt…” in German).

In case you ever run across this message, make sure that your files on the media card have no spaces in it. The BlackBerry obviously can’t deal with them. Moreover, I removed all special characters from the files as a precaution. It worked for me then.

Hardware, again

After years on a 60Hz CRT at 1600×1200, I decided to get a 20″ TFT. It’s a Samsung SyncMaster 204B which is one of the cheaper models on the market, but it turned out to be a real bargain and I am really satisfied with it.

Samsung SyncMaster 204B #1

I like the pivot function. Although it is unfamiliar for me, I always wanted to have a better overview over the code above and below the cursor, and I know that this is the only solution left if you use a relatively high resolution and relatively small fonts. So I’ll try to get used to that. When I tried out the pivot function, I recognized the only drawback of the hardware so far: I found it quite hard to rotate it 90 degrees, and I missed snap points.

Samsung SyncMaster 204B #2

This is our game, DVW, at 800×600.

Samsung SyncMaster 204B #3

Another view of my hacker cabinett with flash. To the left you can see my old tube which I now use for chat and debug windows. Although the CRT takes a lot of room on the table, I will keep it as a desktop extension for my debug and chat windows, or to watch a movie while coding or so.

Windows Genuine Advantage

Microsoft now requires its Windows users to prove their right to download updates by verifying the serial number and the activation status. Within 24 hours, this check was passed over, as BoingBoing reports. But it looks to me like this one is very easy to fix for MS, maybe it’s even a debug flag which was forgotten.