• Anti Email Spam in the UK

  • Many years back I began investigating anti email spam in the UK as a way to defend against the amount amount of email spam we were receiving to certain email addresses.

    The reason this email address was getting so much spam is because it was harvested by a website spider bot, as the email address was placed on company website by the previous webmaster. Read More »

  • The history of the pagerank.php script

  • Introduction

    Google PageRank is a scoring system created by Google to give websites a rank. Generally, the more popular your website is, the higher your PageRank is.

    Google offers the PageRank lookup in a number of places including on their directory and on their toolbar. It wasn’t long before webmasters wanted to monitor or display their PageRank.

    The idea of this is so you can display the Google PageRank of a website. This is mainly a webmaster tool, regular uses generally have little use for such information.

    The Original Source

    To begin with I found:

    This offered an on-site PageRank lookup tool, the tool was offered as closed source and consequently created quite a presence in the industry because of this. Some time later:

    I used this script for quite some time, however over time I began using a combination of web servers with different operating systems and with different versions of Apache and PHP.

    The Problem

    I discovered that when I used this script on one server it would work fine, yet when I used it on another I discovered that google would throw me back a 403 Forbidden error. At first, like others I believed this was due to google blocking the IP ranges of my servers therefore preventing abuse of the service.

    This was wrong. I soon discovered this after checking the checksum generated by the toolbar, then the checksums generated on working servers and non-working servers.

    The main issue was that my development server was running on a different platform than my production server. I discovered that the problem was down to the way the “ch” is generated by certain versions of PHP, and the way they handle bitwise operations.

    The Solution

    The solution was to either use a perl script and pass the details back and forth via a PHP script, but this would be a very dirty way of doing what we want. The best option would be to produce a native PHP script that would function on all servers.

    I tried to revive this concept in a number of places in an attempt to get a functional solution. I went back to where it began on the MobileRead Networks forum Pagerank thread. A user named “AboutSledge” offered a working solution, which was the Pagerank Checksum Caculator Source Code for Python, for C and for PHP.

    This script works well, and have not experienced a problem generating a checksum. As a result of this I have created a user friendly script which uses the same algorithm which means you can display the pagerank on your site.

    The Update

    Phurix sponsored the launched of a PageRank viewer site that uses the script

    The Future

    Is Google PageRank here to say? For now, the answer is yes…

    The source code is now an official PHP PEAR package:

  • Using Remote Assistance via e-mail on Windows 7

  • This section explains initiating Remote Assistance via e-mail to a Helpdesk. Home users can also follow this procedure to send a Remote Assistance request via e-mail.

    In this scenario, novice user Joe has a new computer running Windows 7 Professional. A dialog box appears informing Joe that he must contact an administrator in order to install antivirus software on his computer.

    Instead of calling the Helpdesk, Joe decides to use Remote Assistance. Here’s the steps he needs to take:

    1. Open Remote Assistance by clicking the Start button . In the search box, type Remote Assistance, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Remote Assistance.
    2. Click Invite someone you trust to help you.
    3. Click Use e‑mail to send an invitation.
    4. Follow the instructions.

    Joe will now see a windows which contains a “connection password” and a new email message (in his email client such as Outlook) which is written out with the subject “You have received a Remote Assistance invitation” and a file attached called “Invitation.msrcincident”.

    Joe sends the “connection password” and the invitation to the Helpdesk.

    The Helpdesk can now remotely connect to Joe’s computer. When the Remote Assistance screen opens showing Joe’s desktop. With Joe’s consent, Helpdesk can now control Joe’s computer to diagnose his problem of not being able to install antivirus software.

  • Makeover: Suzuki4u logo and forum

  • I’ve been running the Suzuki4u website since 2004. It’s now the biggest UK Suzuki forum.

    However, because it was running outdated forum software it was getting over run by spam bots.

    I reacted and updated the software to the latest version.

    I also went ahead and updated the logo, but before I show you the new logo, let’s take a quick look at the logos over the years…

    Suzuki4u 2004-2007 Logo

    Suzuki4u 2007-2011 Logo

    Suzuki4u 2011 Logo, ready for 2012 and beyond!

    Anyway, checkout the updated Suzuki4u website and forum:

    I’ll be introducing a new website in 2012, so watch this space!

  • How to check if that website is dodgy before you buy

  • Earlier this year someone close and dear to me got in touch about a website they were tempted to purchase from:


    I immediately did a whois lookup and gave them a copy of the address on the record, which of course, was an address in China.

    There was a high probability that any purchases from that website would result in receiving fake goods or no goods at all, especially since in 2009 the BBC covered how companies in China are selling fake goods into the UK.

    You’d hope this would be enough to discourage someone from purchasing from a website without thinking twice…

    Read More »

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