Tag Archive for 'software'

Love/Hate/Linux

Linux is awesome in the sense that any and all kinds of software you’d ever need, is available for free – legally. It’s easy to see why people are so fond of it, because it’s an amazing experience.

Until you need to install new hardware, that is. A graphics card or, in this case, a TV tuner card. Then all hell breaks loose.tuner Continue reading ‘Love/Hate/Linux’

Spam, begone!

I’ve been fighting spam on my sites for too long: recent stats tell me that out of all 2640 comments that I received in a given period, only 14 of them were real! So 99,5% of my blog comments are spam and only 1 in 200 are real. I’m happy to announce that I have finally found a solution that seems pretty damn watertight:

logo

CleanTalk* is a business that offers plug-ins for many platforms (including WordPress and phpBB) and it’s honestly the first software ever that succeeds in reliably stopping the flood of spam on my sites. Best of all, it does it completely without bothering the user with silly tests – and it. just. works. correction: screenshot of spam filter settingsunfortunately my initial setup blocked some comments but I found them in the logs and the CleanTalk support staff quickly helped me resolve the problem (see thumbnail on the right, click to enlarge), so all is well. I’m still keeping an eye on the logs though – but even this is so much better than all other anti-spam plugins I’ve tried so far.

I’m very happy with this now. Of all the thousands of comments and registrations that were attempted since I set this up, no spams were published, and no non-spam (“ham”) was blocked. Only 2 spams got through CleanTalk and were subsequently placed in the WordPress review queue. “Two” being a manageable amount to deal with in WordPress, it was easy to reject them.
Continue reading ‘Spam, begone!’

Excel tip: Alt+Enter works in formulas, too!

I’ve been using Excel for exactly thirty years – I still have a Macintosh floppy disk with MS Excel version 0.9 – so you’d think I know my way around Excel pretty well.

Yes I do, but that’s not to say that I don’t still learn something new. Pivot tables? I remember my dad trying to explain the concept to me twenty-five years ago but I never understood them well enough to use them, until I changed jobs in 2010 and it became a focus.

Today though, I came across something that blew my mind, and that was not because it’s complicated but because it’s so obvious and yet invisible: Continue reading ‘Excel tip: Alt+Enter works in formulas, too!’

Paying unexpected bills without stress

My wife and I maintain a family budget. Yes, we actually sit down once a month and talk about what we think our expenses might look like next month. There are various categories such as Clothing, Groceries, Mortgage, Fuel, etc. Some of these are pretty predictable: our Groceries expenses only vary 1-2% from month to month. Other categories are hard to predict, like Car repairs: We normally don’t know of any upcoming repairs being needed, but we expect that something will crop up eventually. So we have been putting a small amount into that every month.

This works well for us: A short while ago, some electronics started acting up and we knew: uh oh, this problem is going to cost a few hundred to fix. How fortunate that we have nearly a thousand set aside for things like this: we could just pay the bill without hesitation and without having to shuffle money around and without getting stressed about where to take it from! Continue reading ‘Paying unexpected bills without stress’

Keep track of your favorite blogs

Following a blog is a great way to stay up to date on what the author is doing. The problem is that you have to visit them each individually, and often you’d discover that nothing new had been posted since your last visit. If only there was a way to be notified – without having to register and subscribe to each blog.

Good news: there is a way to do this!
Continue reading ‘Keep track of your favorite blogs’