23 August 2007

Tacheback again...

It's nearly September, and September is Tacheback time.

Tacheback runs every year and basically involves being sponsored vast (well, some) sums of money to grow a moustache. The money raised goes towards male cancer charities and you can find out more here:

I'm doing it for the third year now and hoping to achieve something which actually looks OK and not - as one teenager once told me on a train - a "poo-tache". Regardless of that, I need your money, and I need it now. Right now.

You can donate online at https://www.bmycharity.com/maltpress2007 - I'd appreciate as much money as possible because I think it's a great charity. And because I'm going to look very, very stupid and I think that's worth cash.

Come on - stump up.

16 August 2007

More about diary software

Following yesterday's post - and today's comment suggesting a Wiki - I've got a bit of a follow-up.

I've installed a local version of Wordpress, which is running very nicely and will do some of what I want. Coffeelover's comment, however, suggested a personal Wiki, and this is also something worth thinking about - and something I might also try out.

Wordpress seems a good solution at the moment - I can tag all my posts with their project code and keep them all together like that. I can also look at my learnings chronologially, which might be handy.

I've got a couple of problems with the way Apache is configured on my local system at the moment, though, I think - which means I can't directly link to files on the local system. Once I get that sorted I should be OK - except because I use Thunderbird and IMAP email it's difficult to link to emails unless I re-save them in project folders, which is a bit of a stress. They're nicely organised in Thunderbird anyway, though.

Above all, it's resulted in me having a local instance of Apache and MySQL which means I can learn a lot more about PHP and database-driven apps - and, if I try a wiki too (something I've never done) I'll be learning loads from this experience. It also means I have a great local system to test blogs on before launching them.

15 August 2007

Diary software

I'm still learning loads about working for myself - and what's involved in each project. It's been suggested that I keep a diary of my projects - writing notes on each one and what's involved, what I've learnt, how I feel about them etc.

I was all for doing this in a hard-backed A4 notebook I've got - it's just sitting there waiting for something to be written in it, and after hearing an investment fund manager proudly talking about getting through his 50th notebook on the radio the other day there's some kind of romanticism about the idea. Problem is, most of the information I have is stored electronically - and ideally I'd like to link to documents, emails and so on.

If I was a big company with a server and all that sort of stuff it would be easier - I'd have a web-style intranet using a content management system and set up a kind of blog on it. As it is, I have a PC, and a mac, although most important bits are on the PC - or at least final documents can be moved over to it easily enough.

So - any ideas for a cheap (free if possible) blog-type bit of software to keep all my project notes in one organised place?

06 August 2007

Getting my money thoughts in order.

So - I've been reading the Motley Fool, looking at my bank balance and thinking about finances - again. A scare with the car (which turned out to be nothing, thankfully) brought it home to me that at the end of quite a quiet period I've not really got enough put aside at the moment to cover myself for emergencies.

I also found out today that if I start putting money aside for a pension when I'm 30, I'll need to save over £400 a month... which I don't have.

So what to do? Well, one of the first things is to stop reading websites and get on with getting more work in. I really need to have a couple of nice busy months to earn a decent amount and save up for the next quiet period. That, of course, is quite difficult to do when I'm actually fairly busy - so it looks like it's going to be a month or two of not going out.

Which, in itself, will be a good thing. The less I go out, the better off I'll be. Perhaps it's time to live like a monk again? The current situation makes that pretty difficult - I'm doing masses of driving and I have stuff all over the place, and not having my own room makes things very awkward and expensive. But I really, really must stop spending.

And I really, really, must keep working.

03 August 2007

Email back!

OK - for the time being, email is back up, with most of the bounce-backs being automatically deleted. A few are slipping through the net but for the most part things are running.

Over the weekend things may be lost, however, so please copy maltpress@gmail.com into vital emails just to make sure it gets through.

I've got my patience back now - it was wearing a little thin earlier...

Email is down

My email - and the form on this site, which sends to my email address - are currently down, and if you try them it'll bounce back.

This is due to what's known as a "joe jobbing" attack - a spam-bot, somewhere, has started sending out thousands of emails spoofing addresses from my domain. Lots of them are bouncing back - I received over 2000 emails yesterday - and it's brought my mail server to its knees.

There's nothing I can do but wait it out - I've scanned all my systems and they're all clean, so I know it's not got anything to do with me. I'd suggest all my (Windows-based) contacts do the same - there are a couple of decent online system scans available such as www.kapersky.com or you should really have your own - Panda (www.pandasecurity) is the one I use.

Anyway, the upshot is my email will bounce back at the moment, so please try maltpress@gmail.com - it's my spam-trap but I'll be carefully checking it today.