Test WooCommerce orders set to 'pending payment' with PayPal Sandbox

My first post on here in 5 years...! As ever, I'm making this note for myself - but if it helps you too, then that's great.

I was doing some testing on WooCommerce today, using a staging site and the PayPal sandbox setup. Had loads of trouble getting orders to show as 'paid' despite successfully doing the test sandbox payment at PayPal. I tried all manner of combinations of real and sandbox PayPal account details in the WooCommerce PayPal settings page, but it didn't really work.

It turns out that you need to turn on PayPal's 'auto return' inside your sandbox merchant PayPal account. I hadn't realised there was a whole dummy/sandbox PayPal admin account area for the merchant, complete with the sandbox balance, details of payments and, importantly, features like 'auto return'. So, using the merchant/business sandbox account that you created via PayPal developers sandbox area, simply login to click the S…

Solution: Can't start MAMP 3.2 on Mac OS X Yosemite

Trying to prepare my laptop for a bit of coding practice, so I decided to grab the free version of MAMP 3.2 to use on my Macbook Air. I download and installed the app and tried to fire up the servers, but I got an error: Apache couldn't be started. Please check your MAMP settings.

After a lot of searching, including a lot of old solutions that recommended changing envvars to _envvars, I finally found the solution. Manually trying to start MAMP via console I saw this error:

httpd: Syntax error on line 83 of /Applications/MAMP/conf/apache/httpd.conf: Cannot load /Applications/MAMP/Library/modules/ into server: dlopen(/Applications/MAMP/Library/modules/, 10): image not found So to fix the problem, I edited the httpd.conf file and commented out (#) the load module for mod_example and it worked. I've no idea why the default httpd.conf file references a missing module, but that seems to have fixed it!

Let me know if this helps you.

Stop auto-selection of text in Office 2013

In Outlook I found something very frustrating, when you select part of a sentence or word, it tries to 'help' by selecting the rest of the word. This isn't always that handy, for example when you're trying to copy something within brackets. I finally found the solution, thanks to Electroscribe_2014 on this thread. As ever, I'm recording it here for future reference in case the source gets edited/lost.

So, to stop automatic/smart selection of your text in Outlook 2013, take these steps:
In the File menu, choose Options.Click Mail.Click Editor Options.Click Advanced.Clear the checkbox next to When selecting, automatically select entire word.

Solution: Repeatedly being kicked out of Opencart admin with "invalid session token"

If you've ever used Opencart you might find this tip helpful. It seems to depend on your hosting company, but when installing Opencart at Vidahost/TSO you often get booted out of the Opencart admin area due to an "invalid session token".

No matter what you do, in terms of clearing your cookies or using different browsers, it keeps happening. Fortunately the solution is pretty simple and I actually found it on their parent company's forums:

Open whichever php.ini file you've set* your site to look at. Add this line at the bottom:

session.save_path = /tmp/php_sessions;
Save it. This should fix the problem.

* On Vidahost you need to tell it where you want the php.ini file to be. To do this, simply add this line to your .htaccess file in the public_html root:

suPHP_ConfigPath /var/sites/w/
Or you could put php.ini in a sub-folder, but if you do then just change the path above accordingly.

Creating a custom icon for web site

While there are thousands of great icon sets out there, such as Font Awesome, sometimes you just can't find an icon that you need. In my case, I needed an icon containing the client's logo.

After a fair amount of research, I came up with a process that seems to work fine. I'm documenting it here for my own reference really, but if you find it helpful then let me know.

First up I installed Inkscape which is a free vector editing package for Windows & Mac.

Then I went to and click on a random icon - selecting to preview it at 96x96 pixels. I clicked the "Generate SVG/PNG" from the footer menu to download it to my PC.

I opened this .svg file in Inkscape. The purpose of this exercise was just to get a correctly sized template. I then deleted the random icon and used its canvas space to create my own icon.

When I was finished I clicked on Path > Object to Path from the Inkscape menu before then saving it as a .svg file.

I then dragged this .s…

SwiftPoint mouse movements inverted on Windows

A few years ago I picked up a SwiftPoint 300 mouse which is a great little mouse that you can use as an alternative to your trackpad. Today I found it again in a draw and decided to try it out again. The only issue is that all my movements were inverted, i.e. moving the mouse up and down made it go left and right instead! The solution is actually to use the mouse's built-in calibration feature, as described on their official site:

1. Hold the mouse at a comfortable angle.2. Press and hold down both mouse buttons.3. After 2 seconds the mouse pointer will position itself at the bottom of the screen and move upwards.4. Release the buttons and move the mouse pointer in a straight line upward until the pointer moves in a small circle. The new up direction will now be set.

At point 3, as it moves up, continue to slide your mouse up in the same direction - this wasn't made clear in the instructions. It now works fine again. I've made the note here in case the official site goes off…

Windows Live Mail stuck in offline mode / won't go online

From time to time my Windows Live Mail will get itself confused and prompts me with:

"You are currently working offline. Would you like to go online now?"

No matter how many times I manically and repeatedly click "Yes" the prompt just keeps reloading. Disconnecting from the internet and restarting the PC has no effect.

Thankfully there is a solution, and it's found within Internet Explorer (no really!). It seems that Windows Live Mail takes its on/offline status from IE. So, to resolve this issue you need to:

1. Open Internet Explorer and press ALT-F to open the File menu.
2. Towards the bottom of the menu, there is Work Offline which you need to untick.

Do this and the go back to Windows Live Mail. This time, when you get the "shall I go online prompt" - click Yes and it works. Hopefully this is useful for you (if so, leave a comment!). I found this solution courtesy of the Windows Live forums

Using Windows: iOS provisioning files, private key and push certificate

While working on a project that involved a white-label (BYO) version of the Tapatalk app, I discovered the issue of trying to get the various iOS files you need in order to launch an app. The problem is that all the instructions from Apple are, unsurprisingly, based on the assumption you are using a Mac.

Thankfully others have been here before me and have kindly posted their solutions online.

Firstly, there is this YouTube video that takes you through the basics. Just take note of the comments, and in particular if you get an error message when trying to run the commands shown in the video then do use these tips.

1. Run CMD as administrator (right click on it)

2. Type in:
set OPENSSL_CONF=C:\OpenSSL-Win32\­bin\openssl.cfg (you may need to edit the path) Then press Enter on keyboard, then type in:
set RANDFILE=.rnd And press Enter again. Then try the video instructions again and it should work.

To create the .p12 file, first download your iOS Distribution certificate file from the Apple …

[Solved] "No service currently available" on Blackberry

A couple of days ago I mislaid my Blackberry. Unfortunately I'd also left it with call divert enabled which meant I couldn't ring it and run around the house / car / garden listening out for the ringtone. So, having turned the aforementioned places upside down, I came to the conclusion I must have completely lost it. I called Orange and reported it lost, which led them to block the SIM card and blacklist the IMEI number. Long story short, I found the phone a few hours later and called Orange to lift the blocks.

Fast forward a few days later and I tried to make a call, but got "No service currently available". Strange, as I had full reception, so I put it down to a temporary network error and used another phone. Next day, the same thing - regardless of what number I tried to call, I got the same error. What's really strange is that I could happily browse the web via the phone, I just couldn't make calls or send/receive SMS messages.

The SIM card was fine, I te…

W7 cannot access Vista files (error 0x80070035)

I needed to access some files on my laptop (Vista) from my desktop (Windows 7). I set up file sharing and it worked well, but only in one direction: Vista could access files on W7, but not vice-a-versa. The error code I got was 0x80070035. I spent hours searching for a solution, before stumbling across a fix.

My two computers are named as follows:

GB-PC (Windows 7)
GB-LP (Laptop, running Vista)

When I created a test shared folder on my Vista laptop, I noticed it assigned it the address of \\GB-lp\test rather than the address of \\GB-LP\test - i.e. the 'lp' bit was in lowercase. I suddenly wondered if this was the cause of the 'path not found' (0x80070035) error.

To test it, I returned to my W7 deskop and opened up the My Computer folder. In the address bar, where it  says "Computer  >" I deleted this and typed in \\GB-lp. All of a sudden I was prompted for my laptop's login details and it worked! So, my recommendation is to create a test shared folder …