The cloud of labels

Although I’m not using it at present, this is the way to create a Label Cloud, on Blogger, (for the “I’m writting about”… section): link.

Using Google Apps for email: stopping email being marked as spam

One thing about using Google Apps for your email is that sometimes outgoing mail can be marked as spam.

One possible reason is that mail is now being sent via a different domain (i.e. and not . This is a common technique by spammers, they use 3rd party domains to spoof email addresses.

To solve this I changed my DNS settings again to include a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record. SPF is a mechanism by which you add a TXT record to your domain stating the allowable servers that can send mail on behalf of this domain.

I added the following record to my domain’s DNS records:
TXT v=spf1 ~all

What does this mean?

v=spf1 This is the version of SPF being used The server is allowed to send mail on behalf of this domain
~all All other servers are not allowed to send mail from this domain

SPF works on the receiving side. If the receiver (most do) supports SPF it looks at the domain the mail allegedly came from, looks up its SPF record and determines if the actual server it came from is allowed to send mail. If not it’s considered spam.

Using ZoneEdit with Google Apps (Fasthosts example)

Google Apps provides great web hosting and email for free using a custom website address like this one.

Firstly, register a website name like this one: Mine is registered with Fasthosts and these notes show what to do using a Fasthosts registered address. Fasthosts charge £6ish per two years for a address.

The first thing to notice is that Google Apps requires the creation of a series of DNS entries which are not allowed for the Fasthost nameservers. Therefore you need to move the nameservers elsewhere and I use ZoneEdit.

This is reasonably easy to do! Start by creating a new ZoneEdit account at

Once you have done that, you can control the DNS records from ZoneEdit. Changes to the ZoneEdit data will take effect very quickly.

You need to make three sets of changes:

1. The MX records: follow this:

2. The CNAME: In ZoneEdit create an alias for each subdomain you are using e.g. In each case point at You only need to type the word mail into the input form. You’ll have to configure this way as that’s what you’ll use in Google Apps to post the website.

3. Your address will not work when you use CNAME. Create a new Web Forward. In the form leave the "New Domain" box empty and add to the "Destination" box. Check "Cloaked" too. That should then make both www. and work.

With ZoneEdit ignore any instructions you will see about having a final dot on server names, and the need for " " in the expressions.

Google also expects you to confirm ownership of the site by creating another CNAME. Follow these instructions too

Once everything is correct, it’s time to swap the nameservers. In your Fasthosts control panel go to Domains and Packages and then Domain Registration settings and then Advanced DNS. This is where you change the DNS server names from Fasthosts to ZoneEdit.

The nameservers to use are given in your ZoneEdit control panel under "nameservers"; use names like "" and not the IP address. It can then take up to 48 hours for this to be implemented around the world, but I find that it starts pretty quickly.

That’s it!

Creating an image of a website page

Load the website up in internet explorer: hit [shift] + [PrtScr]:

Open your image editing software, or return to document, powerpoint slide etc,: either right click – paste or [ctrl] + [V]

That pastes the image of your Internet Explorer screen, you can then resize it and crop it as usual.

That annoying autocomplete in Outlook

Outlook XP introduced Autocomplete in the To: field.

This feature shows addresses of people you’ve sent messages to previously as you begin typing in the To: box, and you can select matches . You can’t seed the list with names from your address book, the feature collects them when you send new messages or reply.

Needless to say its blessing is also its curse, as the list can contain mulitple identical names and old and unusable addresses

You can clear the autocomplete cache by:

deleting the *.NK2 file for your profile

delete one address at a time by using the down arrow key to select it as you type and then hit [Delete].

Hate it? You can turn it on or off in Tools, Options, Email Options, Advanced Options, Suggest names.

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