Feb 25

Today: 25-Feb-2009: Recommended!

Category: today

So today my Outlook decided to be horrible non-responsive as it died under the deluge of rejection emails that the USQ Studydesk email received. I had fought with Outlook to set up a filter for the mailer daemon previously and had decided that given that the amount of messages wasn’t too bad I’d push it into a folder. How I was wrong. So now I decided that I’d immediately delete it. Upon looking at the Outlook 2007 Rules configuration a strange new “recommended rule” had appeared. I did a quick search and it looks like it can be quite nasty if I tried to downgrade from Outlook 07. Fortunately I’m still on Outlook 07, so I removed the rule. So I decided to alter the existing rule to delete hte messages. After a short while watching my deleted items autonomously rise I resolved to instead just to kill them without review.

Some how it decides that I must be running Outlook before it will automatically kill the message, however it will happily just delete the item (equivalent of moving) without user intervention. I must admit this differentiation between “server” rules and “client” rules is baffling coming from a Notes background. Notes, for all that is horrible about it, was in some respects really well designed. It wasn’t much to look at but it offered some really awesome features such as great document replication, offline modes that worked well and the fact that “applications” could run on the client or the server, so your rules always worked. This turned out to be really awesome for when I moved from a Windows box at TCC to a Linux box and found that all of my old email filtering rules continued to work perfectly fine even though I was working via IMAP at that point. Very cool in my opinion. Unfortunate that Exchange doesn’t have this ability and in fact even more of a shame that IBM sat on their heels and let it go to waste.

In other news I tried out the Safari 4 Beta today. The “Top Sites” feature appears broken for some reason appears ‘black’ on my computer. It sort of worked upon first install and its great to see Safari stepping out already and using a video tag for its intro page. It has in part some aspects of Google Chrome with top mounted tabs. I haven’t had much of a change to use it but it has a few changes. I’ve downloaded and installed it on my computer at home but I’m going to need to restart my Mac first. Funnily enough it saved the day for the Mahara/load balancer fun we have been having for the last few days.

For the last day or so the Mahara team has had fun trying to get the test system to deploy fine. After success with the development environment, the test environment with the load balancer raised many issues. IE returned nothing useful beyond that it couldn’t hit the page and Firefox returned a redirect loop error. I tried to use Firebug to see what was happening but couldn’t see it as Firebug seemed to temporarily work and then once Firefox determined it was in a redirect loop it killed Firebug’s output. At one point blame was laid at the load balancer, much time was spent reconfiguring the Apache server to get it to work including misconfiguring it and reconfiguring it. Eventually Safari was slow enough to display the redirects to figure out that the load balancer was redirecting to HTTPS whilst the Mahara was then redirecting back to HTTP. After quickly reconfiguring Mahara it appears that most things are working properly. Unfortunately this then lead us to a problem with the MySQL database which was strangely reporting tables existing with “SHOW TABLES” however when one selected against it the MySQL server reported that the database didn’t exist. We ran through all of the GRANT’s to ensure that it looked fine however everything looked right and so late in the day we decided not to bother much and leave it for tomorrow.

Last but not least is a shout out to one of my more favourite windows tools, the RockIt Launcher (RIL). The tool is great though it is no comparison to Quicksilver, which is the Mac OS X tool that I was trying to replicate. RIL is a launcher on its own however Quicksilver has a bit more power. However, RIL meets the need for a keyboard based launcher tool for Windows and its much appreciated.

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