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Showing posts from 2009

Getting Outlook password prompt with Google Apps mail

This evening I was having trouble access a Google Apps hosted email account in Outlook 2003. It kept prompting me to confirm my account details, even though I knew they were correct. After a bit of Googling I discovered I wasn't the only one with this issue. Anyway, a quick thanks to this post for the solution, which is to visit www.google.com/a/yourdomain.com/UnlockCaptcha - remember to replace yourdomain.com with, well, your domain name - obviously!

My review of A4U Expo 2009 - Excel, London

Back at work now having spent the last few days attending this year's A4U Expo at Excel in London. As with last year's review, I'm going to review it through the use of handy bullet points. Please take the negative comments with a pinch of salt as overall I had a good time, but I think there's always room for improvement ;)

Launch party and day one
The launch party on Monday night was good, if a little quieter than 2008's I thought. The food was not that great (think thick school style pizza squares!) and ran out quite quickly, perhaps best to give up on that and use money towards the free bar, which dried up by 9.15, not that I was timing it or anything ;)
This year they had projectors showing a Twitterfall of the #a4uexpo tag, which was a good idea and encouraged people to tweet a lot more. However, I wonder whether the speakers might have felt slightly depressed looking out across a room of people playing with their mobiles and laptops the whole time!
Some good ses…

Preview of A4U Expo 2009

Just about to head off to A4u Expo 2009 following my first trip last year. Looking forward to attending a few more talks this year and doing a bit less drinking, shame there's no boat trip - but then I guess that would have been a bit 'samey' two years in a row. Not quite sure how we're meant to get back to hotels from 02 once the DLR closes, but sure I'll work something out.

A full review will follow, I'm looking forward to seeing Nadeem's talk on My 12 Biggest Affiliate Marketing Mistakes in 12 Years having met him a few times over the years, including one late night drip to McDonalds in Leicester Square! It'll also be interesting to see if I can meet up with Kieron to discuss content writing, as well as listen in on Meet the Super Affiliates

Want to keep up with developments as they happen? Check Twitter for #a4uexpo and also I'll update my twitter account from time to time at www.twitter.com/geoffblog

Cheers

Show actual URL in phpMyDirectory

Just making a quick note of this here for future reference. If you use phpMyDirectory (v1.x) and want advertisers to benefit from a direct / plain link to their web site (rather than a redirect through the script) then you need to do the following (at your own risk, etc. etc).

In listing.php add the lines in red

} else {
if (MOD_REWRITE) {
$template_content->set('www_url',BASE_URL.'/out-'.$listing['id'].'.html');
$template_content->set('www_url_full',$listing['www']);
} else {
$template_content->set('www_url',BASE_URL.'/listing_out.php?id='.$listing['id']);
$template_content->set('www_url_full',$listing['www']);
}
}

And then place in listing_default.tpl

< ?php echo $www_url_full;?> (remove space before ?, did that to show in blogger)

Thanks to 'Anneliese-PMD' on their forums for sharing that.

Nvidia GeForce "Cannot start device" (error 10)

At the weekend I thought I'd try and update the drivers for a GeForce FX graphics card in an old computer kicking around at home. I duly went to the Nvidia site to grab the latest driver and went through the recommended procedure of removing the old driver first, running Driver Sweeper in safe mode, and then installing the new drivers.

Cue about 6 hours of back and forth (including losing the screen completely at one point!) as I discovered that neither nVidia driver 175.19 or 175.16 worked - despite their site saying my card (5900XT) was supported!! Both of these drivers produced "device cannot start" errors when viewed in the Device Manager.

I eventually stumbled across a blog (sorry can't remember where, it was a few days ago) which stated the last driver that didn't produce this Error Code 10 (cannot start) was actually driver 169.21. So, I uninstalled (following procedure above), and installed this one and hey-presto it worked again. You can find old drivers f…

New Adwords Interface, Over-Engineered?

'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' is something you hear from time to time. Anyone who develops web sites or applications will have been guilty of it from time to time, you think you're going to improve something but then rapidly discover you've take a step backwards by mistake. I certainly have this feeling with the new Google Adwords interface that they've started push on to advertisers. It's chock full of AJAX (although may be something else, my geek powers are weak) and generally seems to be as cluttered as possible - with yellow "Dismiss" boxes left, right and centre. The old system worked fine for basic stuff and anyone doing advanced operations should have been using the excellent Adwords Editor application instead. I can only hope, although it will take time, that Google listen to the feedback (assuming it's negative like this!) and improve the GUI to make it easier to navigate and streamline / remove some of the bells and whistles …

Review: Online Marketing Show 2009, Olympia

Blink and you'll miss it. Sorry, that might be a little bit harsh, but this was probably one of the smallest industry shows that I've ever been to. The show was part of Marketing Week Live! (you gotta love adding exclamation marks to things) held at highly impractical location of London's Olympia. Why/how is this still a venue? Going to Earls' Court and then waiting up to 15 minutes for the special Kensington Olympia tube is a really annoying waste of time.

Anyway, having skipped the chaotic looking registration hall I strode up the steps and in to the show - or was it a music video? Immediately through the doors are your presented with a black corridor with brightly coloured lines painted on it and equally bright fabric 'waves' hanging from the roof. All very grand indeed! There were actually 3 other shows in the Grand Hall in addition to the OMS, each taking up a corner or so of space.

The OMS area was very small and full of the increasing number of bland compa…

Add author's photo & biography to Wordpress

Image
Just making a note of this for my future reference and for anyone else interested. This is based on Wordpress 2.8 but may possibly work with both older and newer versions.

To start with I wanted a way for an author to upload a profile photo directly to a Wordpress installation without having to sign up to a 3rd party site (Gravatar, etc.). I then wanted to display their picture on the author.php page. The fix for this was simple thanks to the 'Author Image' plugin (developer's site).

Next I wanted to put the author's description/biography on the page too. This is achieved by adding the following line in the appropriate place in the author.php file: (sorry it's an image as Blogger didn't like me trying to put it in to my posting :( )



I'm not sure who to credit for that as it's something I put in an older version of my modified templates, but thanks to whoever provided it originally and I hope this is useful for anyone.

Emails stuck in Outlook Outbox? Solution

Using Outlook 2003 I often get in to the situation where my browsing is working fine, but for some reason Outlook refuses to send emails. They just sit there in my Outbox and it informs me that it's trying to send them. The cause of this is when you accidentally have Outlook.exe running twice, normally because you forgot that you minimized it so you start it again. Anyway, to solve the problem simply close down Outlook (and ticking yes to the you still have items to send pop-up). Then do Ctrl-Alt-Del together and closed down Outlook.exe that will still be running (i.e. the 2nd instance). Then re-start Outlook and it should now send those emails :)

Solution for Vista USB stick not recognised

I've been pulling my hair out this morning as Vista was refusing to recognise my USB stick. I tried everything from installing updates to reinstalling the storage device drivers. At one point I could see the device in File Explorer but it reported that it was blank (mild panic!). Anyway, after the usual Googling for 'USB device not recognized' I came across a solution and had a sudden flash back to having done all of this before.

The solution is:

To shut down (not hibernate/sleep) your laptop
Unplug it from the mains power
Remove the battery
Wait a few minutes
Put it all back together and plug it back in again
Boot up Vista and plug in your USB stick

So there you go, a slight twist on the old "turn off and on again" trick. But it really does work. Obviously this advice is provided in good faith and should be used at your own risk, etc. etc. Also a quick thanks to this blog for reminding me of the solution and for sharing it, as I've now done, with the world :)

Review of Internet World 2009 by a 'VIP'!

Just returned from visiting Internet World 2009 at Earl's Court in London and though I'd post a review, to go alongside my A4U Expo review from last October. For some reason I was made a VIP ticket holder this year, which was far less exciting than it might sound - but more on that later! As with my previous reviews, I'll stick to some easy-to-read bullet points on the good and bad features of the show.

Good things...
No queues and quick entry. Unlike Ad:Tech London last year (which somehow I forgot to blog about) there was no queuing in the rain at Internet World. In fact they did a good job with clearly signed entry points for badge holders, returning visitors, etc.Usual mixture of companies, including a few new names (but not many small/start up types - more on that later!)
A couple of good seminars (i.e. ones that weren't pitches in disguise!). One that stood out was the Webcredible presentation on usability which consisted of slide after slide of practical and real l…

Error 2739 when installing Google Adwords Editor

If you're getting the Error 2739 message when installing Adwords Editor from Google, then don't panic - here is the solution and it's pretty straight forward. This is based on my experience using Windows Vista and I see that other bloggers have also shared the solution, so thanks to them and I've written my own version of the instructions here for future reference and because we've these ones you don't get any errors :)

Solution
Start button > (All) Programs > AccessoriesIn that list *right* click on "Command Prompt" and select "Run as administrator"When the black box (command screen) loads first type in:regsvr32 vbscript.dllthen press the enter/return key on your keyboard ... wait... then type in:regsvr32 jscript.dllpress enter and wait again.That's it! Now try installing Adwords Editor and there should be no more 2739 error!

PS. For some reason I didn't get a shortcut on my desktop for the editor, this can be fixed pretty easily…

Wordpress htaccess clashes with sub-directory

The situation:

Wordpress installed in root / with its default .htaccess file
I had another script installed in /otherscript sub-directory with .htaccess/.htpasswd protection.

The problem:

Trying to access the /otherscript sub-directory creates a Wordpress 404 error, rather than the pop-up login box you'd expect to see.

The solution:

Simply edit the Wordpress .htaccess and at the very top of the file add:
ErrorDocument 401 default
All thanks for this solution go to Andrew Rollins who blogged about this back in 2008 - I have merely made my own record of it here just in case anything ever happened to Andrew's page. Also if you check his blog posting you'll find some alternatives to the line above, such as specifying a custom 401 page.

Epson scanner web site fail

Looking for a new scanner, I searched Google for information on the "Epson Perfection" range. Trusty old Google returned a product page from the official Epson.co.uk site as the first result - so far so good...

I clicked the result, read the review of the Perfection 4990 Photo scanner and then decided I wanted to see what other scanners they had to offer. Right there, at the top-left of the Epson web site, was the conveniently named "Back to Scanners Link". Great... or not as it turned out.

Someone thought it would be a good idea to make this a Javascript history.go(-1) link, which in layman's terms, makes your browser go back a page in your history, in my case back to Google.

Whoever programmed/designed the page must have assumed you would only get to a product detail page from within the Epson web site and therefore going back a page would be fine!

Have a go yourself, before they fix it (err, how long will that take?). Simply visit this product detail page on Eps…