Thunderbird email setup with RackSpace email

This guide was written for Thunderbird on Windows 7.

Taken from here (tweaked to suit win7):

  1. Open Thunderbird
  2. If you cannot see the std ‘file’ ‘edit’ ‘view’… etc menu bars across the top:
    1. tap the alt key
    2. the menu bar should appear
    3. click view > toolbars > menu bar
    4. the menu bar should remain there all the time now
  3. Select File / New / Existing Mail Account:
  4.  Enter you name (This will be the name the recipients will see when they get an email from you)Enter the email address you are setting up with thunderbirdEnter the password for this email account, then click ‘Continue’:
  5. When you click continue thunderbird will try to autoconfigure the account for you, either wait for it to fail or just click ‘manual config’:
  6. You should now see the manual config box. In the “Server hostname” input boxes enter:
  7. In the port column set the inputs to:
  8. In the SSL column ensure both options are:
  9. In the authentication, ensure both are:
  10. In the username box enter the email address you are setting up. The manual config box should now look like:
  11. Now press the  the “Re-test” button. The box should now probe and look like (note that any old ssl scanner certs in avast mail setting may block things, delete any that are not required.):


  12. When it has found the settings the Authentication column should all be set to “Normal Password” like this:


  13. Now click the Done button.
  14.  The box will check the password and if all is ok, the box will disappear and you should see the account you just setup in the list of accounts as normal.

Hiding your server details

Normal PHP & Apache installations won’t hide the server details from request response headers.

To hide PHP & Apache web server version details from response headers, you have to edit few configuration files on your hosted server.
1 – Open your php.ini configuration file
2 – Search for ‘expose_php’. By default the value for this is ‘On’
3 – Change to ‘Off’ as follows

Open either for /etc/apache2/httpd.conf or  /etc/apache2/conf.d/security
Open, find and change to the following:

Now a simple ajax request will not be revealing your server os details.

This wont secure your server but it will hide more details from those pesky hackers!

(I personally don’t know why anyone would ever need these details in the headers anyway)

School report writing comment banks

Up to four times a year teachers are handed a monumental task of creating reports that are to leave an accurate record of their students’ performance in the classroom without making anybody cry. As a teacher, it is their duty to be truthful, but they also need to be tactful.

This coupled with general assessments, class planning, marking and more doesn’t leave much spare time in a teachers life. So it is no surprise to anyone that over the past 5-10 years there have been an array of tools pop up here and there to assist in this mountainous task of report writing.

Report-writing software generally allows teachers to pick from a bank of subject-specific comments, some of which may be included as part of the package and some of which the teacher, or other teachers in the school, will have added. The teacher then assigns a selection of these comments to individual students to form a report.

Here are a list of the more standard school report writing tools:

These tool are fairly standard these days and are quite prone to errors. Inserting the wrong name or pronoun at the wrong point easily results in badly formed reports. These systems require the teacher to read through lists and lists or comments picking out the one they want to use on any one particular student. Couple these lists with impatience leads to the wrong comment being used for a student rendering the over all report untrue.

One tool that has just been released which appears to have covered all bases is:

  •  DeRep works the differently to all the other systems I have seen to date. DeRep as a school report writing tool asks the teacher to assess their students against a list of attributes, such as ‘level of effort’ and ‘homework quality’. DeRep then uses these assessments in conjunction with either its own bank of comments, the teachers/ teachers friends, or even the schools to produce the bases of a report. The system then goes one step further, it allows the teacher to use these assessments and recycled very specific comments that do not fit very well in comment banks.
School Report Writing
1st Choice

2nd Choice

1st Choice (Primary school)

jQuery autocomplete on textareas, but simple.

I have plonked this into github:

After searching hi and low for a basic autcomplete for use within a textarea I gave up, had a look in more detail at what jQuery had in the example then tweaked and voila! Uber simple. An autcomplete for a text area with a list you can populate your own. All I changed to get it working is highlighted in red.

The github repos has the full html to play with.