Thursday, November 27, 2008

Google Apps mail, formmail and missing emails!

Sometime ago I signed up with Google Apps to have them handle all my email. Initially everything went very smoothly and I was pleased with the decision. However, I soon noticed that I wasn't getting any emails from the contact form on my web site.

After many hours of searching I finally found the cause. The 'contact us' page used a fairly standard formmail type script. This sends email out using the server's MTA, in my case, Postfix. My out of the box Postfix was actually setup to deliver any email addressed to locally, rather than sending it out to my remotely hosted email service, in this case Google Apps Mail.

The solution was pretty simple and I eventually found it here. All I had to do was edit the /etc/postfix/ file and change the mydestination variable to:

mydestination = localhost

Then I restarted the Postfix service and tested my contact form... and it worked! I hope this helps anyone else in the same situation. Remember to backup config files before making any changes though, in case this solution isn't the right one for you :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Was A4UExpo 2008 any good? My review

Just got back from a packed few days at the A4U Expo, my first year there (albeit it only their 2nd year anyway!). I went for the full conference/exhibition pass and glad I did as the exhibition area was pretty small and full of companies I already knew plenty about (think CJ, Affiliate Window, etc) - i.e. not really worth coming just for that to be honest.

I know people (including myself) have short attention spans and love lists, so here are some quick highs and lows from the event.

Good things...

  1. Met some great new people and caught up with some familiar faces from other recent events, including Mike Green who runs a popular pre-ordering affiliate site, James Little who I pestered to introduce pool 468x60 ads on Affiliate Future, Darren, Mick and few others. It's a great place to meet new people that's for sure.
  2. While it might sounds a bit 'American' or show-off, Al Carlton's million dollar blogging seminar was really excellent, probably the best one over the 2 days. His down to earth style and practical advice was great - I just hope he sends me those Wordpress plugins list as I gave him my business card at the end!
  3. Affiliate Doctors Live was an interesting session where you could put forward your site and have it reviewed by Chris Garrett, David Naylor, Marcus Tandler and, standing in for 'el Presidente' Bob Rains (where's my 'urgh' smilie?!), we had Joost De Valk. I was particularly impressed with the generosity of advice given by David - not to say the others weren't good, but he seemed to lay off some of the "wooah, when the heck was this site made" or the "this site is crappy" from Marcus - true as it was!! :D
  4. The 'Meet the Super Affiliates' session was at the end of day 2 and started off with a typically British approach from the various panel members who denied that they were super affiliates. I really do prefer this kind of self-deprecating attitude over that of the 'look at me, look at me' that you tend to get over the pond. Anyway it was a great session, no massive secrets revealed, but they made it clear that you can still make money even in a saturated market providing you can build a page that converts. I was also impressed by Doug Scott who, despite his sometimes 'in your face' style (in the nicest possible way, lol!) provided some great advice and generally motivated me and others I think.
A few bad things...
  1. Food. I know it's not an affiliate show and not all about the food, but it seemed to be a problem. At the launch party the food had run out within an hour which, as I like to avoid blame, was clearly the reason I had a hangover the next morning... drinking on an empty stomach, urgh. Also the river cruise was really lacking in food and it all got a bit silly with people literally raiding the poor waitresses as they came out the kitchen with tiny bowls of food. To his credit Matt Wood of A4U did sort out some extra chips back at the Novotel Bar :)
  2. Moderation. As much as I enjoyed the Affiliate Doctors Live session, it could have done with a moderator to keep things moving along. At some point the audience was left sitting there as the panel browsed the 'target' site on their laptops. Also the Effective Voucher Code session was moderated, but not particularly well (sorry!). In the end Kieron even called out from the audience to point out that we were running out of time - in the end we finished about 10 minutes late. One guy I thought did a really good job was Ciaran Norris who moderated the Extreme SEO Strategies conference.
So there you go, I hope that's of use to anyone who stumbles across this blog. As you can see from my post history I'm not about to win any awards for content, but having been to such a great event I thought it deserved my longest post to date!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Don't like GoDaddy's new design

I'm generally a big fan of GoDaddy, they offer a lot of features you can't get elsewhere and their obviously very cheap. The checkout process is a bit of a PITA with all those added extras but you can skip past them pretty quickly. The main issue I have now is that they've redesigned their home page and it's really fugly now and I can't imagine it's very 'newbie' friendly. I'll probably get used to it, but hey I like to rant and my initial opinion was negative.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Facebook Ads : No business profile rant

So I was interested in experimenting with Facebook Advertising. I went to their site and started to complete the sign-up procedure. It then asked me to sign-in to my Facebook account, but the only one I have is my personal one which wouldn't be suitable for a business (as we need multiple people to login and change the ad campaign). I signed up with a generic sounding name, uploaded my campaign and it was approved pretty quickly. Good start. But...

Logging in later I see that the entire account has been suspended because they didn't like the name on the account. I emailed support to explain all we wanted was to advertise on Facebook, we are not interested in having a profile and that I couldn't use my personal FB account as that would mean I'd have to share the login details with colleagues. Their answer is they don't support this! Does this mean that every company has to have a nominated individual willing to share access to his/her entire FB profile in order for them to run advertising? Madness.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Nitro PDF Error 2738 and Regsvr32 Error 0×80004005

I finally gave up my search for a free pdf editor today and decided to test both Foxit's and Nitro's offerings before, theoritcally, buying one for about $99 (£55).

Anyway, the first error with Nitro was "Error 2738". This is to do with registering VBScript engine within Vista. The solution from Nitro is as follows:

The VBScript engine can be quickly registered by following these steps:

1. Run Command Prompt as administrator
1.1 Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories
1.2 Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
2. Type cd %windir%\system32 into the Command Prompt and hit Enter
3. Type regsvr32 vbscript.dll into the Command Prompt and hit Enter

However, when I tried this I got another error (doh!) from Windows, referring to a Regsvr32 Error 0×80004005. This was caused because I didn't run Command Prompt as an administrator - i.e. I skip-read point 1.2 above and missed the "right click" part. So there you go, I hope this stops you making the same mistake as me!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CAPS lock stuck on in Photoshop 6

Having used Photoshop 6 for several years it was only today that I discovered the "All Caps" feature - by accident! I was trying to add some text to a photo and it kept writing in CAPS only. My caps lock key was off, I shook all the dirt (!) from the keyboard to check the Shift key wasn't stuck, but it still persisted in writing in CAPS. Anyway, after a bit of searching around I discovered you could enable/disable this by doing the following:

In Photoshop, go to the menu Window > Show Character

Then in the Character window open this menu and disabe "All Caps" as shown in the image.

Hope that helps - in the meantime I still have no idea how I turned it on in the first place!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Formmail not working with Google Apps mail

Having moved one of my domain's email services to Google Apps, I noticed that my contact form (formmail style script) no longer seemed to work. Emails coming from the form weren't getting spam tagged by Google... they simply wasn't getting there at all!

In the end I found a solution thanks to this thread, and for my own records, here it is:

REMOVE the domain from /etc/localdomains
ADD the domain to /etc/remotedomains (if it isn't already in there)

Then I restarted cPanel (service cpanel restart) although I'm not sure if that was necessary. Hope this helps anyone else that stumbles across this blog!

*Update*: Found another issue with Google Apps Mail and Formmail on another server, where the output of a formmail was going missing (due to being delivered locally rather than via Gmail). I blogged about it here.