Changes…

… is the subject of the virus mails I had in my SPAM-Folder today. And Changes there are: It seems that the most current mutation of virus-what-ever-its-name-may-be now uses HTML to format the ZIP-Password I’m supposted to enter in green and bold typeface. *sight*

And It’s not about those Mails I’m unhappy about. I have a SpamAssassin based filter on the server and the SpamBayes Plugin in Outlook (and Mozillas own Spam-Filter in Thunderbird) which protect me quite well from actually seeing all those messages.

No. Its three different type of messages I’m getting that I’m concerned about:

  • Per day I’m getting about 20 messages telling me that I presumably sent a message containing a virus which has been eliminated by super-tool 2000 ™. Stupid, as my PC is completely virus free and everyone knows that those viruses and worms fake their sender adresses. Although not happy, I took the consequence and updated my filters to catch those things.
  • About 50 messages per day are out-of-office replies of people I never met. I hate those as they are completly unnecessary. After all Email is not a real time medium and if it’s really important that your customers get an immediate response, you can tell them in advance that you are not there or have someone else take over the communication. Filtering those messages proves difficult as I’d be generating the source for quite a lot false-positives
  • Finally I’m getting all those non delivery messages from MTA’s all over the world. Some because of integrated virus scanners (sometimes I’m getting even two messages per virus I’ve not sent: One commercial for a virus scanner and one non delivery report) and some because the destination users do not exist. Because the virus fakes the sender adress, I am getting those messages. And because I have the postmaster@<many domains>-Adress, I’m getting even more of those. Summed up, we’re talking of about 100 messages per day. Additionally, I must not filter those. I mean: There are about 1000 useful cases for non-delivery reports.

So, you see: The amount of messages I can filter with a good conscience is actually only a small percentage of junk mail I’m getting per day. Where does this lead to? How can it be fixed? I’ve no idea.

Debugging

Debugging can be so much fun if you just know how to entertain yourself while doing it. I’ve taken the screenshot below when I did some debugging on a stupid AV and finally found why it happens. Then I’ve added a Gexperts Debug-Statement to visualize whether I was right.

debug_fun.png

It seems, I was…. Talk about programs not knowing when it’s time to die. If only Delphi itself could tell me before it’s crashing…

(read the thing from bottom to top: 19:00 ’till 19:02 I was debugging and the app was crashing. Then I found the problem, added the debug-statement which checks for a NULL-Pointer and outputs the message if there’s indeed one of them and at 19:02:42 I ran the thing again and it warned me that it’s going to crash. At 19:05:46 it was fixed)

Just another feed

While experimenting around with FeedDaemon I came to the conclusion that an XML-Feed containing the whole entry (instead of just the [autogenerated … I know. I will probably change that sometime] excerpt) would be really nice as it makes FeedDaemon a very useful tool.

Other blogs, I’m currently reading (I definitely will update my templates to include links to them) also provide this service.

Now I’m not really sure about this whole RSS-Stuff, so I did some copying and pasting from asterisk* and then validated it using Feed Validator and I quite like the outcome.

For now I don’t link this new feed with the full postings from every page as it’s just a test for me. If you can and have more clue about RSS, try it out: RSS 2.0 Feed with full content

In another step, I told MovableType to create the excerpt from 50 instead of 20 words to put a little more value to trackback-pings and the old fashioned RDF 1.0 Feed

Slowly but steady I’m really getting into this blogging-stuff

23rd Post

asterisk* modified the Page 23 idea a bit and came up with this:

  1. Go into your blog’s archives.
  2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
  3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Well… my 23rd post was about Apples X-Server and the fifth sentence (not counting one-word thingies) was:

It launches in about half a second on Richard’s Mac and launching Eterm or nedit just happens instantly without any remarkable delay.

(links added in this quote. I should have made them back then)

A programmers Editor…

… doesn’t have to take that much care of usability. And the installation routine of EditPlus certainly doesn’t.

edp.png

Besides the fact that this dialog appears when it’s already too late (after the installation has completed) and that it contains redundancy (the “Send To” entry and the additional context menu entry do practically the same), the marked wording is very ridiculous or can you imagine a mouse button with an attached (?) editor?

As usability would not matter (remember: programmer’s editor) that much, a more useful and less ridiculous wording would be “Add EditPlus to the Context Menu of Explorer”.

The wording is one of the things that are very often very wrong in software by semi-professional companies (not excluding my own software) and this usually gets even worse in the installers as they are often not very well tested (or not at all). Those InstallShield things are the worst as many developers just click together the installation, then click through the dialogs and put the thing on the web.

This is the reason why my parents still have not succeeded in installing software on their own while nearly everything else went quite well the last year.

Apocalypse 12

It seems like Larry Wall has done it again and released Apocalypse 12 (linked to the print view as you definitely want to print it out). The Apocalypses are nothing religious, but Larry Walls ideas and definitions about the next version of Perl (although I am inclined to call it something else as it’s going to be quite different – if it’s ever released).

The Appocalypses are quite nice to read. They are not only great from a technological standpoint but from a linguistic and humorous one too. If you have no problems reading 72 pages of technical definitions on quite a high level, go for it and read it. It’s a real pleasure and I looked forward to this for over a year now