Paypal IPN from the sandbox not working

I spent two hours today trying to figure out why paypal wasn’t sending any instant payment notifications (IPN) to one of our new projects. Everything seemed right, I had notify_url in the form, the script could be accessed remotely, I had logging on for http and the script itself. After processing a payment I had 0 requests from the paypal servers hit our development server.

I read around various blogs and discussion forums for obvious problems, of which there are many (see below), but I was sure I had done everything right!

Eventually I stumbled across some posts on the paypal developers forum where a few posters were complaining that the sandbox IPN posts were either really slow (hours) or just never got sent. Worse still, there was one post where paypal acknowledged that payment notifications just did not work on the sandbox for two months!! Continue reading “Paypal IPN from the sandbox not working”

Magnets + macbook pro = bad

It may seem obvious to most, in fact, its obvious to me… but, don’t leave a magnet resting on your laptop (above the hard drive) while you go to lunch!

I came back from lunch today and the guys in the office were looking at me worriedly. I asked why and they went on to explain that while I was away my laptop began to make loud clicking noises. They soon realised it was the magnet and moved it away but it seems all too late.

Why did I put a magnet on my laptop? I have a couple of those twizzly gadget magnets and I was fiddling with them while I tested out the paypal sandbox (see next post). I decided to go get some lunch and without thinking just popped them on my desk/laptop. Same thing? No.

Plus I hadn’t backed up my photos in a month (all work related stuff gets backed up anyway) so lost all my pictures of Rome and the trip through France. Bummer!

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 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’.

Radio times website is always down

I’ll often check out the radio times website to see what is currently on TV if I get some spare time. I’ve noticed that 1/5 times I go to the site, it is completely down and it is often very slow to load.

I imagine the site could be quite busy but surely a site that popular (and with a decent budget I’d imagine) must be able to sort out some decent hosting for their website?!

I wonder how it is hosted.. possibly in-house?