Feet up!

Tips for Zoe

I'm a longtime user of Zoe as an email client, but I've found out a couple of new things today after I recently broke it with an upgrade.

Normally an upgrade is trivial, as the Zoe wiki says: "Copy the new binaries over your old installation. That's all". Well nearly...

I did that and I was getting a Java error on trying to start Zoe up; being a Java-dunce I didn't know what I'd cocked up, so I got the latest JDK from Sun on the suspicion that my Java install was elderly and possibly crufty anyway. That didn't fix it, so I had a harder look at the error - java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: org.apache.lucene.search.BooleanQuery.setMaxClauseCount(I)V

Seeing as Lucene was something that had changed in the upgrade I had a good look at where I'd installed the new binaries and sure enough there were also 3 or 4 old Lucene related jar files. I deleted all the jar files from this directory, copied the new binaries in again, and all was well!

For some reason I also had to reset the authentication too, but that was nicely described on the Zoe general list.

All in it's a nice app, and the docs - distributed as they may be - help you fix 99% of the problems easily.

[Sat, 29 Jan 2005 13:47] | [tech] | #

Jabber Client Wanted

I'm on the look-out for another good Jabber client that runs on Symbian Series 60 phones.

I've been using Agile Messenger for quite a while and it's a nice product, but it's got a few minor niggles and the latest version has dropped Jabber support altogether, so I'm stuck with an old version for now. Kudos however to Agile for providing a pretty good product for free and to their tech director for replying to my query about Jabber support in the latest version in under 30 mins. Brickbats for dropping IM's premier protocol though.

Suggestions for an alternative?

[Fri, 28 Jan 2005 12:59] | [jabber] | #

Russ hits 21

On an otherwise un-inauspicious day, at least one good thing has happened. Young (almost) Russ officially reaches 21 (in hex anyway). Happy birthday Russ, have a beer or two for me tonight!

[Thu, 20 Jan 2005 17:44] | [general] | #

S60 Getting Started and Moving On

I'm a bit split on this one, my wiki page about Getting Started with Series 60 has started to take on a life of its own since I first mentioned it here back in the summer.

Since then I've probably doubled the number of useful links on the main page, and added a raft of (sparser) pages about individual phones and Symbian information, there's even a stub-like Getting Started With UIQ page. Given the amout of traffic I'm getting from search engines, I assume this is proving to be a useful resource, and I'd like this to remain so, but I really don't habve the time available to do full justice to keeping up with such a wide range of potential topics. Especially when someone like Rui Carmo is providing similar, but more extensive resources.

So the big question is, how do I go forward? There's 3 options as I see it

I'm aiming for option 3, option 1 is futile and it's not a war, I'm more than happy to link to anyone with useful content and I really don't have the time to catch up with Rui nor his access to new phones. Option 2 is rather pointless, in time I'll have a sea of dead links. Option 3 seems the best to me - using the wiki as an index to all the best things I can find - and with the amount of Google juice it seems to be getting, it should help to lead others to the nuggets too. As for fuller content, I've spent the last a year or so spreading myself too thin, but I don't want to give up any of the places I write yet (better time management ahead). I am aiming to get a lot more of the factual content onto Wikipedia and All About Symbian, with musings and analysis spread over All About Mobiles, Mobitopia and this mobile category.

Wikipedia in particular is light on good up to date mobile content, so that's certainly worthy of everyone's care and attention.

[Sun, 16 Jan 2005 22:00] | [mobile] | #

Blocking, One Step Forwards...

...and one step back.

The blocking ideas I suggested earlier sounded great at the time, but the "deny from sbl-xbl.spamhaus.org" line really is just a waste of time. If I'd spent more than few seconds working out how DNS Blackhole Lists worked I'd have understood, fortunately I've now got a nice simple Pythonic solution that I'll be publishing shortly.

In the meantime if you've been blocked from reading this site directly, it'll be because you're a spammer (mail, comment or referrer) or just dead unlucky, if it's the latter contact me and we'll see if I can help resolve things.

[Thu, 13 Jan 2005 22:02] | [blogging] | #

Using Blackholes to Block Spammers

Nothing earth shattering here, but in a simple move to reduce the level of spam I've been getting on the wiki I've blocked a few sites with Apache's .htaccess file.

It's a "one strike and you're out" approach, any ip address that grabs forbidden files from my robots.txt file, or engages in comment, wiki, or referrer spam will probably be banned; it's my site, I can be as irrational as I like! My inertia and can't-be-arsed factor will affect the results here...

For those of you who also have high can't-be-arsed factors, here's a potted guide to using Apache's order, allow, and deny directives in an .htaccess file for this purpose.

For testing, try entering your ip address in the deny line; you should get 403 errors when you try to view your pages. To block further ip addresses just add further "deny from n.n.n.n" lines.

For added hilarity and possible unwanted consequences I've also added "deny from sbl-xbl.spamhaus.org" which should block all ip addresses in Spamhaus' sbl and xbl blacklists, I have no idea whether this really works yet; I'll have to track down all the 403's in my access logs and see if I can establish why they appeared. I'm not a huge fan of blacklists, but I've noticed that a number of my regular unwanted customers already appear in this blacklist so it appears to be worth trying out.

In summary, what I've done so far is very trivial to implement, but it requires some manual updating. I'm going to observe how well it works in practise for the next few weeks before automating the process further or abandoning the experiment. I'd like to think it proves to be effective. I don't think it'll be too resource intensive as despite it appearing that every hit will cause a dns lookup, in fact dns does a lot of caching and I suspect my local dns server will handle 90% or more of the requests.

[Wed, 05 Jan 2005 21:18] | [blogging] | #

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