Adventures in email

Do you use Office 365 to host your email? Good for you! If you also want to use the Android native mail app, there’s a quirk to be aware of when setting up the account.

In a world where everything works smoothly, when you add the email account the client finds your autoconfiguration DNS records and uses that information to connect to the servers. And that’s mostly what actually happens. Should you happen to be connected to a Wi-fi network, things go sideways. The routing gets goofy, and the app stalls at “Checking Incoming Server Settings “. Fortunately there is a simple solution: Turn off the Wi-fi, which forces the connection to your 3G/4G network. Seems counterintuitive, but it works. Once the account is set up, you can turn the Wi-fi back on.

Of course, you always use the Outlook app.

Is your domain registration current?

It’s something you should put in your annual checklist.  I recently got a call from someone wondering why their email had suddenly stopped working. Turns out the domain registration had expired a year ago, yet GoDaddy was still happily serving up mail. Seems that mail hosting is a separate subscription,  so everything was fine until the squatter cleared the MX record. Because the domain had expired, and any redemption period had long passed,  the only way to recover the domain would be to pay off the squatter. As this was not their main public interface, it was cheaper to just register a new domain.

So, how did this happen? Doesn’t the registrar send out a notification of impending expiration? They do, but if the contact information they have is for an email that no longer exists, then you’re not going to get anything.  Do yourself a favor and check that right now. Make sure it’s something you check regularly that isn’t tied to your ISP. Gmail and accounts are good for this sort of thing because they never expire.

The antivirus that wouldn’t die

Today’s bit of fun involved trying to uninstall Bitdefender, which had developed a nasty habit of preventing Quickbooks from functioning properly, if at all. Ran the uninstaller, Windows Defender still reported a second antivirus in use. Tryed Revo Uninstaller, same result. The answer finally came from here:

In short, some files are being left behind in the system that wind up spoofing a functioning antivirus. Here’s the fix:

  1. Stop the WMI service.
  2. Delete C:\Windows\System32\WBEM\Repository\
  3. Start the WMI service.
  4. Reboot.


Backups are important

Today’s tale of woe begins with a failed hard drive. The owner of this particular computer does a manual backup about once a week, when he remembers. I was called because they got a message stating “Cannot find boot device.” the disk drive makes a quiet beeping noise, likely from the head assembly trying to fly. there is no evidence that the disk platters are actually rotating, though.

At this point, the disk is unreadable, short of sending it to a service like (If you do have need of their services, use discount code DS24181) Because of the existing backups, it’s not the end of the world, but they have lost a good week of work. This is where a continuous backup service like Carbonite can save your bacon. Once you have a subscription and install the software, files are backed up, securely and automatically, through the Internet. To see the products available and get a discount on your first year, use this link:

Adding some more activity here

Judging from the number of lockouts due to Bad Behavior,  spammers look for sites that haven’t been updated recently to target for their attacks. this post aims to reset that clock.

If you’re in the Long Beach area this weekend, be sure to have some hearing protection, as the Long Beach Grand Prix will be running. it’s 3 days of motorized madness, with everything from historic Can-Am cars to Indy cars.

I hate spammers

We’re starting anew, because the site was compromised by some spammers, who promptly began spewing their crap over the internet. Needless to say, things are a bit more locked down now.