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How-to: Fixing macOS spellcheck and dictionaries

Over the last few months I’ve been annoyed to no end by Apple macOS’s stupid and illogical dictionaries.
Correct words getting corrected to a language I don’t know or care for. Questionable grammar decisions and other nonsense.

This started happening in macOS Sierra, but got better with updates. It then happened again in macOS High Sierra and I thought; “oh well, annoying, I’ll just turn it off”. And from what I found on the internet that’s what many people did.

But now in macOS Mojave it’s the worst – And adding Spanish to my vocabulary I kinda requires me to have a working spellchecker and functional dictionary. My Spanish sucks…

So, on-and-off I’ve been looking for a solution. Resetting this, deleting that config file. Installing Grammarly (or considering it). Scouring forums for answers. The general consensus seems to be that Apple sucks at words and you should turn off spellcheck.

But then I figured it out…

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AdRotate Geo service updates

The AdRotate Geo Service got updated again. This time we try to tackle sites who slow down the server too much by just being slow. This kind of slowness is usually caused by crap hosting packages. You know, all those $1 hosting setups. Or people who have outgrown their shared hosting but won’t admit it…

Over the last few weeks I’ve been flooded with monitoring messages that the overall state of AdRotate Geo is deteriorating quickly. Some investigation turns out that (currently) 14 websites can not respond quick enough to handle the AdRotate Geo response.

This basically means that those websites process the AdRotate Geo response too slow, causing other sites to slow down as well. As a result of the slowdowns I’ve put the following rule in place.
If your site is slower than 750ms you’ll be denied access to AdRotate Geo for 2 days. If this happens you’ll receive a email notification.

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Howto: Installing MySQL on macOS with root password reset

Following the recent macOS Mojave update I figured I should update MySQL 5.7.16 to 8.0.something, too. This didn’t work out because of the impossible security hash introduced with it. None of my tools are compatible with it apparently.

After some frustrations and loosing all my databases (Migration/Upgrading also didn’t work) I went back to 5.7. The latest version of MySQL 5.7 is 5.7.24. Easy enough, right? Wrong…
It took me a few hours to figure out. But here is my “first launch” setup guide.

After the installation is complete the MySQL manual sort of tells you you’re done and good luck. What it doesn’t mention however is that the temporary password you get is expired before you even use it. You get your password and as far as I can tell their Password Reset instruction is lacking completeness, too.

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The importance of using ‘nofollow’ in affiliate links

Using affiliate links on your website or blog can provide an interesting new revenue stream via a few well-placed links for products you endorse.

Search engines, such as Google, crawl and index your website constantly. But they also monitor if the site contains too many paid links. Most major search engines penalise you where it hurts the most. You show up less in search engine results!

how to promote affiliate products without getting punished?

In this post I’ll provide you with a simple solution to protect your site from getting a bad rating.

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AdRotate Pro Nulled

A “nulled” piece of software is a hacked and modified version of that software. It is made suitable for use without a license. Using it is illegal and there are some big risks using such software.

You are looking to safe a few bucks, at great cost

You are looking for ways to run your website the cheapest way possible. Often that results in cheap hosting and using free software and plugins. Some even go as far as using nulled or hacked versions of paid plugins.

As with lots of paid plugins, there is a nulled version of AdRotate for WordPress floating around. This, “fortunately”, is an older version of AdRotate Pro. Therefor it lacks newer features and has some bugs that have been fixed since.

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Caching to improve your lousy hosting

An interesting thing and general misconception about website caching is that caching is good. Well yes, it can be. But do you really need caching? I think most people do not…

This post is not about how useful Caching can be. It is about how people misuse caching and the illusion of making things better.

most people use caching to make up for sloppy shared hosting

That’s right. You have found the cheapest hosting provider you could get and now you discovered your site is slow. Like any sane person everything is to blame but the server. Because the provider says its “quality premium ultra hosting on fast and reliable servers” and they’re experts.

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How to start with AdRotate for WordPress

Congratulations! You are about to monetize your website in the most efficient way possible with the AdRotate for WordPress banner-management plugin.
Online advertising is the most effective way to earn money. And there are many affiliate programs you can join.

Let’s get started and increase your income!

What does AdRotate do?

AdRotate plugin is one of the best and widely used WordPress banner-managers for people and businesses who wish to make money through their website. AdRotate for WordPress has the possibility to put multiple adverts in a group and shows them alternating on your pages and posts. So no more repetitive displays of adverts if you don’t want to, which in turn won’t scare away the visitors.

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Howto: Supercharge your wifi network

Check out my tips and hand-outs on how to make your wifi network faster. I use Apple’s Airport Extreme base station as an example. But the general tips and settings apply to every access-point of any brand.

I did a lot of experimenting and some research on what does what and where and how it works best. These settings make my wifi network more reliable and much faster.

What works for me…

Everything in this article works for me. That doesn’t necessarily mean it works for you too. My house and surroundings are different from yours. That said, the general rule of thumb is to just try and see what works best. The settings I use are all fairly generic and will apply to many people. But you may have to tweak a few things to your situation.

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Howto: Solve email issues in macOS

Dealing with email issues in macOS can be a tricky thing. And is not always straightforward – Is the issue with the account? Your server or with macOS Mail.

Here are some tips and methods to find out what may be going on. How to interpret certain error states and error messages. I’ll recommend common settings and warn of cave-ats. And how to fix stuff in macOS mail.

If your mail is not working

Your first step is to restart the macOS mail client. See if it works then. If not. Go to the Window Menu and click “Connection Doctor”.

A new window should open, checking all your settings.

Interpreting the error

Connection doctor lists all your email accounts 2 times, one for incoming and one for outgoing email. In the above example I deliberately broke one account – It’s marked with a red dot and the exact error is displayed behind it.

This means I have to check my settings, check the username and password. In my scenario the password is missing. When I add it in settings and check again everything shows green.

Checking settings

Of-course once we know what’s wrong with the email settings. I can go into settings and correct what macOS Mail thinks is wrong with it. In my case something with the username and password.

Things to check

View the screenshots here – And especially the items marked with a red arrow which are essential for a working mail account. Reach these menus via the Mail > Preferences menu.

Common Email ports:

Secure IMAP – port 993
Secure POP3 – port 995
Secure SMTP – port 465
Standard IMAP – port 143
Standard POP3 – port 110
Standard SMTP – port 25 / 587

Disable automatic settings detection

There are 2 easy checkboxes to disable this silly behaviour and give some freedom over what macOS Mail does.

In Mail Preferences, under each account in Advanced there is this little checkbox.

And in SMTP Server List for each server in Advanced is this similar checkbox.

Uncheck both and set your settings as you need. Save and restart the macOS Mail client.
Why? Since Apple knows just about *nothing* about your hosting providers servers it can’t possibly guess the right settings with any accuracy. Some hosting providers have a autodiscovery feature that may work. But in my experience Apple can’t seem to interpret that too well.

IMAP vs. POP3

If you receive your email on multiple devices you should try to use IMAP. This means that your email is synced via the mail server to all your devices. POP3 can not do that and will download emails on the device that asks for them first. Leaving the other devices without those emails. Having an asynchronous email setup like that is very 1995 and not very efficient. Most providers support IMAP these days. If you can, ditch POP3.

Security and privacy concern

If you can, always use the secure option. Check with your email provider if this is possible! When using a secure connection your email is encrypted end-to-end so nobody can snoop around and you can feel more comfortable sending eyes-only information.

Saving the settings

Saving the settings is done by either moving to another tab (top), selecting another account (left sidebar) or closing the settings window completely and confirming at the prompt.

Note: This post applies to pretty much every recent version of Mac OS X and macOS. So Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite and Sierra *all* have this tool. Probably older versions too.

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6 ways to a faster and safer WordPress

Having a WordPress website is often great, but it also makes you vulnerable for all kinds of attacks and mischief – Or maybe not vulnerable, but it invites many wrong doers to try and attack you. You’re an easy target. Let’s make it a bit less easy for them without using plugins!

Recently I’ve been plagued on another website by slowness, the occasional downtime and other annoying stuff. Paying more attention to usage stats and the error_log it turns out there was a bunch of stuff going on. A few of IP Addresses constantly tried something with wp-login.php and some other pages and files being loaded over and over again for no apparent reason.

Another issue was the RSS feed WordPress generates. Sure, it works fine. But if you get almost 10000+ requests on it per hour, that’ll slow things down, too. Sometimes.

So I did some research and have come up with a few things to try and prevent this kind of behavior. Of-course it’s no use blocking IP addresses but you can prevent access to things or if they access those things lessen the load on your server a great deal.

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