SMTP glorious SMTP

30 October 2016

You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
I’m writing this from a tiny cheap aspire one 10 inch netbook
that I bought used from a friend 7 years ago. I’m sitting outside on the
veranda in a hotel in Africa, where the temperature never
really goes below 75, and that they would consider a cold day. In Africa
you sweat at night and you sweat a lot more during the day, and after you
step out of the shower, you sweat some more, so you need another shower..
Here in a city of more than 82,000 sitting in one of the nicest hotels around
Both the internet connectivity (one single router sitting on the lobby desk)
and the power availability are suspect, and highly subject to going out randomly.
So I’m half-way through a post and… foom. the power is out, the internet is out.
And I just pray that my old laptop battery holds on long enough for me to hit “save”.
(God help you if you have an old school pc like some of the schools, universities,
and libraries here – I guess they are glad to have one at all).
But apparently that’s just how it goes in this part of the world.
Jimmy-rigging is not a thing to be looked down on. Here it is treated like
Miguivering and it is a necessary life skill.

All that said, the bandwidth/connectivity is shoddy at best, and slow,
and you better just thank your lucky stars that you are connected at all.
So when i discover that this tiny laptop that I’ve brought
(didn’t want to bring the firari of laptops in case it gets jacked)
is linux and therefore you must configure everything by hand.
If there is one lesson to be learned from the battle between mac/pc/linux it
is that configurable options are the antithesis of simplicity…. but I digress.
This lappy needs SMTP connection so that I can get my email before my beard grows again.
And in order to do that, I need all my major email addresses in one spot.
Does anyone else have one email from every provider or am I just greedy or something?
Anyways, So here is a table of the SMTP settings for the major free providers
and their appropriate ports, etc. Why couldn’t this just be preset?
Because everyone has different options and we wouldn’t want anyone to have any
fancy one-upmanship or something? I donno. here’s the table.

Server name Port User name Connection security
Incoming 993 your gmail address SSL/TLS
Outging 587 your gmail address STARTTLS
Incoming 993 your address SSL/TLS
Outging 587 your address STARTTLS

Aabaco Small Business – Preying on the helpless

20 July 2016

Today I had a 26:03 minute call with a nice lady from India.

Yesterday I had a longer call with the same lady, and two other Indian representatives, and today she did not recognize my voice.

I was charged $95.80, and at the end of the call, I was just happy to get away with such a little loss.  What was this call?

Did I suddenly have an urge to rekindle ties with the wonderful country of India?  Some deep spiritual searching that had led me to contact this Hindu friend amidst brightly colored skirts, synchronized dancing, and curry powder? No.

Instead I was trying to restore a web site from a friend who used to (against my protestations) host his website on Yahoo Small Business web hosting, which has now been sold off to a company called Aabaco.  Yahoo small business was an old tramp of a web hosting company who’s services had literally not changed in the past 20 years.  Seriously, after seeing the web interface again, I was reminded that I once hosted my own childish site there in the mid-nineties when I was learning HTML.

My friends’ site was a wordpress site which he had originally paid me around $500 to set up and build a template for a couple of years back.  I had told him at the time that Yahoo hosting was a bad idea and that there were better alternatives, but he hadn’t listened, and I didn’t press the issue (what do I care as long as I’m getting paid, right?).  Wrong.

Aabaco Small Business

Now I care.

I care deeply that this quivering pile of shit company is taking advantage of people, stealing their money, and getting away with it while providing the worst service I have ever experienced in my life, and putting me on hold for nearly an hour total.

tldr;  Aabaco is a terrible business, get your stuff off of their servers asap.  Just make sure you are the account owner (they check several times and asked me the security questions which I had just entered) and be prepared to spend 2-4 hours on the phone, getting no help at all.


Here’s how the whole thing went down…


Spammy Android notifications : Maxathon

16 January 2016


I recently saw a notification on my phone which read:

(“Dry leaf jewelry to join Anne Hathaway Surprise” according to Google Translate)

I had seen something like this before, and more or less decided to wage war against any app which tried this trick.


It turns out that the application sending this notification was Maxathon browser.
As soon as I see something like this, I immediately uninstalled the app.

Not only do I not need spammy applications to waste my time,
but I also am worried about the security implications of an app that chooses to be a host to this kind of application


FAML – Fucking Aweful Markup Language

2 June 2015

What is HTML?car

A globbity gloop mess of code, style, randomness, and someone’s twice eaten, puked up text which they stuck together using duct tape and rusty nails. Did I mention I *love* parsing XML? (gag)




Out of the frying pan into the fire

22 May 2015

“Maze runner” plot is that the maze is a lie, they’re test subjects, and they escape the maze only into a more intricate/controlled trap.


Systems are in place currently to “trap” us – Vegas is a controlled escape – one which not many people want to live in for long. Once the party is over and money is gone, and the hangover comes, you’ve got greenday blues. The flashing lights then just serve as a warning signal – like brightly colored poisonous frogs or wasps – stay away.

These systems make you want to go back to your normal, boring life…


Styling Differences Silverlight vs CSS

24 March 2015

asset list scroll bar theme
How to style scroll bars in Silverlight:

First five lines of silverlight style:


<Style x:Key="sdsScrollBarStyle" TargetType="ScrollBar">
      <Setter Property="MinWidth" Value="17"/>
      <Setter Property="MinHeight" Value="17"/>
      <Setter Property="IsTabStop" Value="False"/>
      <Setter Property="Template">


Saturday Morning Writing group

7 March 2015

Sipping silently on lotus dreamstims-desktop-image1

the usual suspects – an encyclopedia of oddities, heavily armed, our weapons are words

with which we spin our conspiracies, our fantasies, our lies

backed by the spirits of writers past, the whisper of typewriter tapping

tarries long after our passing.


3BL and The Ultimate Law of the Universe

15 September 2014

I just got back from touring the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral – if you get a chance to do the tour and get a glimpse you should totally take it, the spaceships are enormous and amazing.  Also, I’ve been watching the new show Cosmos.  Both of these things made me think of space and new life and also about that fact that we can’t really even govern ourselves, how do we expect to handle other species of sentient life?  We know that technology is advancing very rapidly, and that in a few years we may or may not set out to explore the stars and possibly make contact with other beings.


Refactoring the Code of Laws

14 May 2014

code: is system of rules to convert information—such as a letterword, sound, image, or gesture—into another, sometimes shortened or secret, form or representation for communication through a channel or storage in a medium.

law: a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior.


The Code of Hammurabi was a set of laws, written down for the ancient civilization of Babylon.  It included rules, most notably an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, which governed how we could agree to live together in community and expect predefined punishments if we broke any of the agreed upon rules.

Modern programming code has taught us a few valuable lessons about codes, standards, and how to build systems that pass the test of time.  One important aspect of coding best practices is refactoring, or breaking down and organizing your written code into small chunks that can be simplified and reused. Interestingly, it seems that no one has used these “best practices” yet to apply to the laws that govern our societies.


Some were taken, some left, some were never there to begin with

5 April 2014

stroke12A friend once told me, cherish the ones you have.
Feel blessed that you have a (parent / brother / sister / person) to (yell at, nag, bother, worry about, demand, pressure, guilt trip) you.
Not everyone has that person in their life.
They do these things because they love you, that’s the most important thing.  That someone out there loves you, and they could die at any minute.

Some were taken, some left, some were never there to begin with.


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