Category Archives: Uncategorized

No, your email account is not about to be suspended.

This week we’ve had a rash of those scams that say “Hi, we’re the WOU email management, honest! Your account iss about to be suspented. Please send us your login name and password or you will loose your account! Please believe that this email is legit even though we misspelled a bunch of words! Scary scary scary, be afraid and don’t think!”

OK, OK, they aren’t that blatantly false, but I feel sort of insulted that people believe we would send out an official notification with such poor spelling and grammar.

The weird part about it is, we’ve had people fall for these things even when our spam filter added a big fat warning!

This boggles my mind! Why could we possibly need your password in an email when we could just ask you to log in to your account? Or go to Account Lookup? HELLO, anybody home between those ears? You’re at a UNIVERSITY! That means you are supposed to THINK! If you’re a student, you probably grew up with the Internet… how the heck did you not learn about fake emails before now? Didn’t your friends in high school ever play email pranks?

OK, look. No request to email your password is legitimate. EVER! It’s that simple! Everybody you have an account with, whether it’s us, your bank, the Miley Cyrus fan club, and anybody else, knows how prevalent these scams are and doesn’t send real requests like that! Or if they do ask people to do that, they need to lose their Internet access and go sit in the corner until they learn to stop muddying the waters.

Let me repeat in different words. If an email says it is from us and asks for your password, it is not really from us! Really, you shouldn’t tell anybody your password, ever. Even if it’s your best friend standing right there in front of you so you know it’s really them, what possible legitimate use could they have for your password? They’re probably just going to mess with you, or give it to someone else for free access, or whatever. How do you know they’ll never walk away from a computer while logged in as you? Or get their wallet stolen with your password written down in it?

Wow, that actually worked!

OK, so it actually did publish. But the thing is so ssllowww… it took 3 minutes to republish my whole blog.

But you know… we still can’t actually use this, because it can’t put blogs into the main website. Crap. So we’re back to trying to compile that $%*&^}$(*$#{$!!! DBD::mysql module on firefly again. For freak’s sake, this was supposed to be done a week ago now!

Testing video embedding

I want to see if I can embed a youtube video in a blog post. And not just any video… it shows one of the greatest Rube Goldberg contraptions ever designed. The video has been making the rounds lately so you may have seen it already, but check it out!

Well, it looks like the size isn’t exactly compatible with the standard Movable Type layout even if you have a wide screen. Such is life. I’ll need to fix that whenever I get around to making a custom template for this blog, though.

Incredibly exciting project update.

It turns out the Moodle course population thing isn’t going to be used until summer, but that’s OK since it’ll be ready to go whenever they need it and meanwhile I can turn to other projects.

Right now the main ones are updating the user account deletion system, automating the resetting of guest user accounts, and setting up a system for automatic creation and changing of email aliases. All very exciting stuff, I know. I’ll take a minute so you can stop jumping up and down and get back in your chair.

Seriously, though, even though these kind of things are dull as dishwater to talk about, they are important. Updating the user account deletion process will let us clean out thousands of unused accounts from our servers, and free up a lot of space. This means we can go longer before having to buy more disk space, and it means a time savings for those of us in UCS who administer these accounts; several processes go way too slow because of the sheer number of accounts. Every minute we don’t spend waiting on pages to load is a minute we can spend solving problems for you. The guest account reset and email alias update automation will save significant time for some of us, who can then get on with other projects.

So, even though projects like this aren’t sexy and cool, they are important. Saving time and money is always a good thing. but even more so right now.

New blog server version

So, one of the projects I’ve been working on is the blog server upgrade to version 4. (4.0.1, to be precise.) It’s been a real struggle, but it’ll soon be ready to test.

You can go to and log in with your normal blog password.

That test server is a clone of the existing one as of a month or two ago, so your more recent entries will not show up. (And if you’ve changed your password recently, you might need to log in with your old password.) You can create entries, and they’ll show up at your real blog address… but your more recent entries on the real server will disappear until you go back to the real server and rebuild your blog there.

Once problem with the test server I’ve not yet been able to fix: sometimes when creating a new entry, you can’t enter any text in the main text box. If that happens, hit the Preview button, and then it should work.

That’s it for now.