Entries Tagged as 'News & Gossip'

Migrating from BlogCFC to Mango Blog

Jibber Jabber , News & Gossip 1 Comment »

It has been a long time coming but I have finally got around to upgrading my blog software and I chose to switch from BlogCFC to Mangoblog, which thankfully was a pretty painless expereince. My main reason for wanting to upgrade was to stop comment spam, which I have been getting a lot of as my version of BlogCFC has no way to stop this.

The last time I looked at doing this there was no easy solution, I of course looked at updating to the latest BlogCFC, but this turned out to be the most complicated solution of all, as I would have needed to apply a lot of old incremental updates first and do a lot of manual work, so I dismissed this option. So I looked at Mangoblog which I have used on cfmldeveloper and really liked, but there was no easy upgrade route there either.

So I then decided if I was going to have to do this much work then I may as well move to Wordpress which I have really come to regard as the mother of all blogging software and then some. I had made a good start on this several months ago, I had Wordpress installed, chose a theme, got all the config done, all I needed to do was write some scripts to import all my blog posts and comments. However when I next looked at my Wordpress site several months later the permalinks had broken and I could not get them working again, so I got pissed off and decided to give Mangoblog another look.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the current version had an import tool for blogCFC 5.x, I had my doubts it would work but thought I would give it a go.

Well I am happy to report that the import tool did work, flawlessly, which was good considering I did have a very old version of BlogCFC (5.5), it imported all my posts, all the comments and categories. However it is not perfect as it did not import blog subscribers or comment subscriptions and did nothing at all with images in posts, so all the img url's remained the same.
This is not such a big deal as I don't really care about comments on old posts and a simple post on my old blog advising readers of the new URL will get them to update. The image issue is also easy to resolve, you can either:-

a) copy the folder that contained your images over form your old blog to the new blog.
b) do some url rewriting to redirect the image requests to the old url.

As my old blog is actually just a sub-directory inside michaels.me.uk and I will be keeping it running for a while until Google indexes the new one, I chose option b, and here is the rewrite rule in case your interested (I use Isapi_Rewrite on IIS btw).


RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^images/(.+) russ/images/$1 [QSA]
RewriteRule ^enclosures/(.+) russ/enclosures/$1 [QSA]
And here is the rule on my old blog to redirect the RSS feed
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^rss.cfm http://www.michaels.me.uk/feeds/rss.cfm [QSA]

If you have any custom CSS for formatting CODE blocks and the like then you will also need to copy this across as well.

As I mentioned I have used BlogCFC before and here are just 2 of the cool Wordpress type features I really like about MangoBlog .


  • Extensible with plugins
  • Themes , it is also very easy to skin or modify existing themes.
These 2 things alone make it very nice to work with and easy to customise if it doesn't do what you want, especially if you are used to the flexibility and power of Wordpress.
One other thing I like is that Mangoblog generally won't bomb if there is an error, the component or plugin will fail gracefully and the error will be logged.
With regards to my original comment spam problem, Mangoblog comes with a plugin called "cfformprotect" which so far has worked 100% with zero false positive over on cfmldeveloper  so I expect it to perform just as well here, and it is much better than captcha which can be really annoying when you can't read the letters on the captcha image.



Android 2.2 update on Dell Streak

News & Gossip , Product Reviews No Comments »


dell_streak_7_android_tabletThe Android 2.2 update for the Streak has had many people screaming with impatience and moaning about every extra day they had to wait for it. Me I was quite happy to wait, the phone came with Android 1.6 and I had no qualms with it, a few niggles maybe but nothing major. I then updated to 2.1 a few months ago and found that I had more issues and it wasn't really an improvement so I was sceptical about 2.2, but if you haven't yet made the leap you can find the list of changes here.

Well finally last month my Android 2.2 update announced itself to me, but this time I decided to do a backup as when I did the 2.1 update I lost all my data as it was a clean install. This time round Dell have made it impossible to avoid the backup warning/suggestion as the update takes you through a step by step wizard and tell you to download the backup software, sadly this is however where the problems started.


To backup or not to backup, that is the question.
I downloaded the backup software, but then was stuck, there was no continue or next button, no instructions on what to do next at all. I eventually discovered have to hit back and go to the previous screen to do step 2. DOH! I bet I am not the only one who got confused by this.

So I ran the backup software but it kept telling me to insert an SD card, WFT! I of course had an SD card plugged in and it was working as I could see it from my PC.

So off I went to the forums and found someone with the same issue who said he had just gone ahead and done the update and all his data had been intact, so I thought screw it, I will risk it. I tried the backup one last time and bizarrely it worked, did my 2.2 update, and low and behold everything remained intact, this however was to be short lived.


You didn't want your contacts anymore right ?

The first time I went to make a call I discovered all my contacts phone numbers had vanished, all I had was email addresses. After some investigation it turns out that the Facebook app is set to sync your contacts with Facebook by default (regards how you had it set before), which overwrites all your existing contacts, so be warned, turn this option OFF before your phone has a chance to sync. This is a royal pain, but at least you can just re-sync your phone with your PC and get your contacts back right ? WRONG!!


No more Outlook Sync.

It also turns out that the DEL PC Suite software is no longer compatible with Android 2.2, so you have to download and install the new Dell Mobile Sync by Nero instead. I could not get this to download from the Dell site, all you get is some download manager which kept telling me there was nothing to download. I finally found a link to a direct download on the nero site and got the software that way.

However after installing I was shocked to discover that this new software only sync's photos, music and video, there is no option at all for syncing with outlook, so there was no way to get my contacts and calendar over to my phone, oh how fricking wonderful, what a useless piece of software. What idiot at Dell thought this was a good idea, whoever you are you are a total A**hole.

So I had to find another way to sync my contacts.


Luckily I subscribe to Plaxo, which provided my solution. Plaxo will sync with Google Gmail/Apps and so will Android. So you basically just use Google as the connector. Obviously because I already use both Plaxo and Google Mail this was not a big deal for me, however for others this would not be an ideal solution. If this solution is an option for you, then here is how to do it, you will need a Plaxo premium account. If you do not use plaxo then you can find tools out there to sync Outlook with Google, e.g.
- Google Calendar sync.

- Google Apps sync for Outlook


Sync with Plaxo

Login to your Plaxo account , and go to Plaxo Premium and click Google Sync and follow the instructions.




Now on your phone, go to Settings -> Accounts & Sync -> select your gmail account -> choose which options to sync (mail, contacts, calendar)





If you get stuck with anything try the Andoid forums. The Dell forums probably wont be much help as they mainly full of people with issues and no-one with answers and Dell do not bother reading their own forums or responding to anyone.


Let me end by saying that I do still like the Dell Streak and think it is a great Tablet/Phone, but Dell have made some big cockups with the rollout of all the updates by the looks of it and their support seems to be non existent. I have emailed them a couple of times and so far no reply at all.

Free ClamWin virus scanner moves most of Windows into quarantine

News & Gossip No Comments »

A "very unfortunate coincidence" when updating virus signatures and scanner software caused the free ClamWin (ClamAV for Windows) virus scanner to run amok and move large numbers of files into quarantine on Windows systems. On the ClamWin forum, various users reported that 25,000 files, including system files, were moved into quarantine as a result – more or less the entire system.


The flaw has reportedly been fixed, but some users are struggling to restore their systems. The ClamWin developers have produced a batch file that allows the files to be restored to their original locations, but the batch file uses the information stored in the ClamScanLog.text file to do so – and the log file has a size limit of 1 MByte. For some users, this potentially means that numerous file paths won't be listed, so they will have to manually restore the files to their original locations.

Worcester Sauce Twiglets are Back

News & Gossip 5 Comments »

Do you remember Worcester sauce twiglets? they were only around for a short while and then vanished off the face of the planet many years ago never to be seen again.

It turns out they were a special promotion that Jacobs obviously decided was not very popular. Well some of us disagree, I loved those things, which is guaranteed to seal their fate as every snack I have found that I loved has been discontinued.

However it appears they have made a comeback back in July, which is a surprise as I haven't seen them, but I'll be off to hunt them down tomorrow.

Here is a response someone got back form Jacobs.


Thanks for your email. These (Tangy And Worcestershire Sauce flavoured Twiglets) are available now from Asda, they will be available from July 1st, at Morrison's and Waitrose and from 19th September they will be available from Tesco.

Unfortunately I can't say whether they will be available at your local store as we deliver to the central warehouses of these stores however, if you are unable to find them then please find below the Head Office numbers who should be able to advise:

Asda: 0500 100055
Tesco: 0800 50 5555
Morrison's: 0845 611 5000
Waitrose: 0800 188884

I hope you enjoy them!

Best regards
Anna Swalwell
Consumer Services Dept.

Sign into multiple Gmail accounts at once

News & Gossip No Comments »

Do you have multiple Gmail accounts? Then you will be happy to hear that Google is rolling out a new feature that lets you sign into multiple Google accounts at once. This is a pretty great feature, and one that will save many people a lot of time.

As far as multiple login goes right now, you can currently be signed into only two separate accounts at once — one Gmail Account, and one Google Apps account. This lets you be logged into your personal stuff, and your work stuff at the same time.

Until now though, there was no way for you to be signed into multiple Google Accounts — say, three Gmail accounts. People maintain multiple accounts for various reasons, now switching between them is a whole lot easier.

In supported applications, like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sites, Google Reader, Google Voice, App Engine and Google Code, there will be a dropdown that lets you choose which account you want to look at. I suspect it will be something like Google Analytics, where you can choose which account you want to view.


To set up this functionality, you have to visit your Google Account page, and enable multiple logins — you may not see it yet, but according to Google Operating System, it’s on the way.

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