Tv series air dates

I’ve been trying to find the start dates for a few of my favourite TV series over the last week as I think this is the start of the winter season. I don’t watch that much TV, but I like to get hold of a few series and watch them when I get some free time.

I soon found that there isn’t a difinitive place (website) I can go to that clearly lists the next new episode of whatever series I’m interested in. I’m planning to rectify this in the near future with a simple (but hopefully useful) site thats sole purpose is to display this information. I know there are larger sites that have the information hidden among various other facts about the show but you have to search around.

Chances are I’ll never get the site listed very highly in search engines but its worth a shot. For now, these are the series I’m interested in and their air dates:

  • Heroes (season 3): 22nd September
  • NCIS (season 6): 23rd September
  • Scrubs (season 8): Unknown, apparently some controversy
  • Dexter (season 3): 28th September
  • Dirty sexy money (season 2): 1st October

Please don’t judge me. 😉 If in the mean time anyone finds a decent site that already does this, let me know!

Http spam?!

Over the last few days I’ve had thousands of requests from a small number of IP addresses. My bandwidth usage had doubled and when I logged on to find out why, I was dissapointed to find it wasn’t a huge surge in new visitors! :p

I’ve since blocked the IP’s in question but, is this common? The main culprit was 78.108.81.41 but not a lot comes up in a search on google for it. The IP resolves to a russian website that looks like it could be a web host or a portal, nothing that looks suspect anyway! Very strange.

Woods appointments don’t deliver

I don’t like to name and shame companies and I hardly ever do it, but I’d hate to see anybody else potentially lose money by purchasing leads from Woods appointments without seriously considering whether you may end up in the same position as our company.

My business partner was phoned a few months back and asked if we would like to purchase some ‘meeting leads’ in the local area. Woods appointments would be in charge of calling up and arranging meetings on our behalf and we would pay something like £25 a lead. It sounded worth a shot and we purchased the minimum of I think 5 leads. I’m not at the office now and forget the exact amounts but I know we paid £140 via google checkout.

£140 isn’t a lot, and we weren’t expecting much, if anything, to come of the leads… but we were expecting some leads or some contact from Woods appointments at the very least. Having sent payment we haven’t heard anything back from Woods appointments, they seem to have disappeared.

The payment was over 90 days ago meaning Google checkout won’t mediate the payment. They suggest we get mastercard to do a charge back, which of course we will. I’m not completely surprised this has happened but it is a shame we’ve had to deal with the hassle of requesting our money back.

If I hear from Woods appointments and they have a reasonable explanation I will without hesitation revoke my comments. Until then I hope this warns at least one other person of the risks of dealing with Woods appointments. We have a phone number from a Google checkout invoice that may be worth trying if anyone else is in the same boat, just drop me an email.

P.S. I didn’t see the website until after this little debacle but it should have been obvious not to trust a company that has a website with the title ‘Untitled document’.

PHP script for call status when using linksys/sipura devices

At the office we recently upgraded out phone system to use sip phones and chose some linksys SPA-941’s. I was looking for a way to display the caller ID of an incoming call on our computers and potentially the office display screen.

Ideally I wanted something that would connect on the SIP protocol and although there is probably something out there I haven’t had time to find it yet. As a quick (and slightly cumbersome) solution I rewrote a perl script I found here in to PHP.

It’s basically a class that connects to a linksys/sipura phone configuration page at a specified IP and reads the status out of the HTML, also grabbing the callers name and number. You’ll have to adapt it as necessary to poll the phone every x seconds. I’ve included an example file on how to use the class; at the moment the script will just print out the caller ID but you can do whatever you want with it, some examples could be:

  • store it in a database for call records
  • send the information to growl (mac only) to pop-up a message on the desktop
  • integrate the script in to your intranet

If anybody knows of a better way to get the caller ID from these phones, or by using a SIP client on a PC, please let me know!

Download the script here: php-linksys-status.zip

P.S. You’ll need curl (probably already installed) and PHP5 for this to work.

Deleting duplicate mdir emails using php

In an attempt to speed up my imap access I moved old emails in to folders based on year. This speed up process majorly backfired when imap/mdir decided to make 7 copies of each email in the same folder. I ended up with 27,000 emails in my 2006 folder!

With my mailbox quota full I needed a quick solution… and couldn’t find one! Thunderbird has a plugin that will search for and delete duplicate messages but it runs over imap which crippled the server trying to handle all the requests.

Using Google I stumbled across this solution for finding and deleting duplicate messages using reformail but after getting reformail installed I found it to be very slow and the number of messages to delete didn’t add up so I had to abandon this approach.

In the end I decided to write my own PHP script that would cycle through the specific mail directory, search for duplicate messages based on the Message-Id (or a checksum of the email if not available) and then delete the unnecessary, duplicate emails. It worked a treat, and went through the 27,000 emails in less than 5 minutes! If anybody wants the code, its below!

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