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AdRotate Free 5.1.4 – Available now!

An update for performance and stability. The dashboard got updated in a bunch of locations to use links to my site more efficiently – Some pages have been moved and updated. This update removes a lot of unnecessary redirects.

A few texts have been reworded or rewritten to be more clear. The discount banner for upgrading to AdRotate Pro has been updated, too.

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How to deal with email changes the right way

This is a bit of a rant, but for good reason. And if you read and follow my quick advise further down this article the world will be a better place. At least in the world of email etiquette.

Over the last few months this has turned into a thing that happens multiple times a week, where I get a dumb and unintuitive auto-reply telling me the email address I tried to reach doesn’t exist anymore and I should re-send my email to some other address. Or whatever silly “solution” they came up with instead of doing something logical.

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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 Pro 4.16 – Improved Stats

This update improves a bunch of things in stats. Graphs draw now faster. Some numbers where shown incorrectly. This has been fixed.
More exciting is a new option for support.

Let me see

A common problem when solving problems is that the user (you) can’t explain very well what goes wrong and some are so bad to even get stuck at “it doesn’t work” (pretty much). This is frustrating for you, because in your perception my support sucks. And it’s frustrating for me, because I can’t see what’s wrong.

This has been made a little easier in AdRotate Pro 4.16 where the support form in your dashboard now has a checkbox to send me login details so I can take a look at your dashboard.

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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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Less responsive support until the 5th of October

A quick reminder that I’ll be travelling to and through the Philippines between September 28th and October 5th. During this time I may not respond to email, forum posts, chat or tweets. I’ll try to catch up with stuff in between. Depending on Wifi coverage I’ll be able to answer emails and forum posts.

I’m moving to this place 🙂 Doesn’t it look stunning?
Puerto Galera from the air

Follow my exploits on www.floatingcoconut.net.

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Announcement: I’m moving to the Philippines!

At the end of the month I’m moving to the Philippines. A few of you probably figured this already. I’ve launched a new site a few months ago which was part of the advert examples for a while. On there I’ll be blogging my experiences and stuff relevant to this new phase in my life.

End of the month

At the end of the month I’ll be travelling and trying to avoid Jetlag. I’ll be wandering through Manila to find my way in a strange new place. Probably with dodgy internet until I arrive at my destination on Mindoro in early October.

This means that between September 28th and October 5th I may not respond to email, forum posts, chat or tweets. If at all possible I will try to answer emails and possibly forum posts every few days. But I’m not sure if I’ll be able to.

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Facebook Chat for questions and support

Starting this week as a soft of experiment I’ll be available on Facebook for your basic support questions about my plugins and services. Notably Facebook chat. Their on-site messaging system via the AJdG Solutions page is a bit wonky. But chat works fairly easy. I’ve been using it for some time now and think I can use it to both our benefit 🙂

Get in touch

To make sure I get your message, add me to your friends. Just search for “Arnan de Gans” on facebook and look for my face.

facebook-search

Just hit me up, send me a message and check back for a reply when you can. Obviously I won’t be online all day or every day, but I’ll usually check Facebook at least once a day. And lastly, if you’re going to be a dick you will get ignored and reported for spam or griefing.

How to use Facebook Chat

Of-course using the tiny screens on Facebook isn’t very practical. But there are other ways.
You can enlarge the chat screen-thingy on the site.

facebook-chat

Or you can use a desktop client, like I do. Which, in my opinion is far superior.
And that may look something like this.

facebook-client

I use Goofy for Mac OS X Myself. If you use Microsoft Windows or some Linux version you can check out Messenger for Desktop instead.