New blog section (in progress)

I’ve imported my old blog into this website.

Some things to note:

  1. The blog is currently using a WordPress theme. In due course, I’ll change this to match the rest of the site (especially the typography!).
  2. A lot of the content is from several years ago.
  3. The posts are all there, but some of the content is missing, specifically reblogging of other people’s writing.

Enjoy. Or not.

Can’t install WordPress in a subdirectory (Please provide a valid username)

Installing WordPress into a subdirectory today produced an error “Please provide a valid username” (wp-admin/install?step=2).

No matter what I tried, WordPress wouldn’t accept the username, even though it fulfilled the validation requirements.

It turns out that if you have a .htaccess file in the root of your website your username won’t be accepted. Temporarily rename .htaccess and your installation should be accepted. (Don’t forget to rename it again!)

Thanks, Crimbo!


Joomla vulnerability?

Joomla logo

Scripting vulnerability in Joomla?

One of our former clients let us know that a viewer to their website had been alerted to a virus.

As I still have access to the site, I had a quick look to see what was on the remote server, and noticed a file called “spongy47.html” in the document root.

This file appears to run a script from a so-called “adult” domain (interestingly it doesn’t appear to have been bought yet – and no, I’m not interested in buying it!). And don’t get me started on the meaning of “adult” here!

The content of the file is simply (domain deleted):

<html><head><script>location = ‘[some dodgy domain]’;</script></head></html>

Naturally, I’ve removed it, and asked everyone to change/upgrade their passwords.

Perhaps this is just getting ready for an exploit, as that domain isn’t registered yet. I couldn’t find any references on the web to either the filename or the dodgy website.

Comments welcome!

Dreamweaver is currently interacting with a server – Answered


When uploading files to a remote site in Dreamweaver you may have seen the annoying box

Dreamweaver is currently interacting with the server.
Since putting a file on save requires interaction with a server as well Dreamweaver can not currently perform this task.
Please try again when the server task is complete.


Since there is only one option, i.e. click [OK], I just got into the habit of hitting [Return] to allow the server to get on with it. But is there way to avoid this?


After extensive searching, I found the following answer:

  1. Go to Site > Manage Sites >[sitename] > Edit… > Remote info
  2. Deselect (uncheck/untick) “Automatically upload files to server on save”
  3. Hit [Return] or Click [OK]

This solves the issue. Now we just get a sometimes lengthy “Waiting for server…”. Usually it’s just a few seconds, but at least it doesn’t require any user interaction.

In fact, uploading files automatically on save can cause real problems if you’ve made a mistake. At least if you’ve only saved the file locally you can Get the Remote file in order to correct your mistakes. Just save your local file under a different name first so you can retrieve any useful changes you’d made (e.g. change filename.php to filename1.php, as when you get the remote file DW will ask you if you want to overwrite the file.

Thanks to Nancy O. of for this solution:

Comments welcome!

Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium (Classroom in a Book)buy from

COUNTA() function in OpenOffice

Just discovered the COUNTA() function in OpenOffice (probably also in other spreadsheets like M$ Excel).

This enables you to count the number of cells that contain any text, unlike COUNT(), which only counts cells that have content in numbers (e.g. “2,4,6, eight” would return “3”). The same sequence using COUNTA() returns “4”.

I found this to be useful when recording marks for students. I can put their grades in the appropriate cells, then use COUNTA(cell range) to record how many I’ve completed (and can therefore bill for!). Excellent!


1 Alice
2 Bob B B B    B1
3 Chris C A A  A3
4 Dan C C C  C2
5 Eilidh B C B   B3
6 Fionnuala
returns “4”

Romero the Musical: all you need to put on a performance

Now online: Romero the Musical – resources to enable schools and community groups to put on a performance of a new musical about a modern iconic martyr, Oscar Romero, and support development projects in El Salvador at the same time!

Digital downloads are available, together with YouTube links to listen to the songs and watch parts of the first performance in Worth Abbey.

via Romero the Musical: all you need to put on a performance.

Website design and functionality by The Typehouse, Dunblane, Scotland.

Helping a client access gmail on her Samsung Jet phone

Today has been quite frustrating , trying to enable a client access Gmail on her new Samsung Jet phone. Loads of web searching, producing lots of useful (or not-so-useful) ideas.

At last a link led me to a page on Samsung’s own site
where you can complete the settings online, and then have them downloaded to the phone. And we can now create a message too. Hooray!

Oops, spoke too soon. Message stuck in Outbox, despite using various combinations of what should be the correct  SMTP settings. Frustrating… Aha, deleting previous attempts at setting up email profiles seems to have done the trick.

So, success at last: using the Samsung website to send settings to the phone seems nearly to work
(although you need to change a few settings manually – see below),
providing you only have one email profile,
and – somewhat bizarrely – that you access Googlemail through the Games menu
(rather than the more intuitive Google widget accessed from the front page).

Summary of Google Mail email settings needed for Samsung Jet phone

Use SSL: Yes
Port: 995
SMTP Server:
SMTP Port: 587
Secure connection: TLS
Incoming Server: POP3
POP3 Server:
POP3 Port: 995
APOP login: [unchecked/not ticked]
Secure connection: SSL
My address:     your original isp address ( or
User Name:     your Gmail username (excluding ‘’ or ‘’)
Password:     your Gmail password
SMTP authorisation: [checked/ticked]
User name and Password [same as googlemail or gmail]


Microsoft banned from selling Word

So, Microsoft have, once again, been in trouble with the courts. This time it’s in the USA.

In their latest skirmish, they have been found guilty of infringing patents (oh, the irony!) relating to XML in their flagship programme Word™.

As the BBC News website says,

XML is used in recent versions of Microsoft’s word-processer (sic.) Word.

Texas district court judge Leonard Davis also filed an injunction preventing Microsoft from selling Word.

M$ have also been ordered to pay over $290m.

Although the ban on selling Word applies only to the US, folks everywhere might like to try an alternative: OpenOffice, which is free (both as in speech and as in beer!). OpenOffice is

an Open Source project. It is sponsored by Sun Microsystems, which is the primary contributor of code to the Project. Over 450,000 people from nearly every curve of the globe have joined this Project with the idea of creating the best possible office suite that all can use. They do so under the auspices of “open source.”

“Open source” means that you can contribute to make the product (and Project) better by joining the community (italics mine – see

Now that’s quite a contrast to our friends from Redmond.

(We’ve been using OpenOffice since version 1; the most recent public version is 3.1.)

Romero the Musical

Romero logo red

Working on a website for a new musical about Oscar Romero, Archbishop in El Salvador, assassinated in 1980 for daring to speak out for social justice. The musical was written by George Daly (text) and Liam Bauress (music), and orchestrated by Richard Benbow.

This website aims to provide a complete downloadable package to help any drama group stage the musical and to play its part in the world-wide commemoration of the
30th Anniversary of Romero’s martyrdom.

The website – which will be at – aims to provide a complete downloadable package* to help any drama group stage the musical and to play its part in the world-wide commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Romero’s martyrdom.


* We expect to use e-junkie to deliver digital downloads of the required PDFs:

  • vocal score
  • libretto
  • director’s pack
  • orchestral parts (28 parts for pit orchestra)