Gmail automatic message purge

I've been running an AppleScript to automatically purge messages in specific IMAP folders (aka "labels") for quite some time. This approach works most of the time, but really puts a heck of a load on the Apple Mail client and makes the interface effectively unusable while the script goes through the motions. This wasn't a problem when the script finished in a few seconds. However, it now takes several minutes; not good. Also, the AppleScript assumes a blanket expiry age for all IMAP folders. Want one folder with a different expiry? Too bad. So with the interface problems and lack of flexibility, I decided to smash something out this morning using Google Apps Scripting.

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Father's Day

Today is Father's Day in Australia. I thought it might be an opportune time to commit to text some thoughts about fatherhood that have been percolating in the back of my mind for a while. Thoughts that have spurred me to action to ensure I can be the father my daughters deserve.

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Passwords may be a necessary evil...

I have banged on for quite a while now that reusing passwords is a bad idea, using dictionary words for passwords is a bad idea, using personally identifiable information as a password is a bad get the picture. I hear the refrain from users regularly "but remembering passwords, especially good ones, is hard!" and I agree with you! Here's my secret though; I don't remember my passwords at all. My Facebook password? No idea. Twitter account? Pfft, wouldn't have a clue. Flickr account? Couldn't tell you. They are all randomly generated strings of letters, numbers, and symbols exceeding 20 characters. Who the heck can remember that?! Better still, how the heck do you crack or guess it either?! And that is the entire point :)

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New Beginnings

Most people who know me, know I have spent the last 3 years working hard in various projects for my employer. This has been a wonderful experience where I learnt a lot, made heaps of new friends and achieved some great things. I spent time working in the USA, and got to explore some great landmarks on both the east and west coasts! It has been a good ride.

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Welcome to the new site!

Anyone who has been to this site in the last year or so would've noticed it's a bit stale. Ok, it's a LOT stale. One of the problems I've had is the time it took to make changes to the site was more than I had available and offline editing was a pain. Instead of going with an all-singing, all-dancing website with all sorts of features that no-one except myself really cared about, I've made it very simple. We have articles, news, blogs, some photos....and that's about it.

Given the online world we all live in is largely centred around "cloud" services, such as Facebook, Flickr and the like, I've simply made this site fill a gap in my own use case and scratch an itch. That's all. Hopefully this will allow me to update more regularly.

EDIT: 2018 - old site fully deprecated. For fun and nostalgia, check out the Internet Archive

In the meantime, here's a panorama from a recent trip to Honiara :)

My Brush with Decompression Sickness

An event that any SCUBA diver tries their best to avoid. A condition every diver trains to prevent, practises skills to avoid and plans their dives to render the risks of it happening almost nil. Nonetheless, it happened to me; a fully qualified, experienced, Rescue Diver. This is my account of DCS and I hope it serves as a warning and an opportunity to learn for other divers.

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Paypal - the new Grinch!

Have you heard the news? PayPal has decided that donating gifts and money to needy children and families is wrong. So wrong that they’ll take their cut of the donations, then require that the organizer refund all the money (that PayPal took their cut of); then allow the organizer to sell the (already purchased) gifts (and take a cut of the sales); then decide that because it’s not a charity for cats, but for kids, all of the sales have to be refunded (giving PayPal another transaction cut); and then, to add insult to injury, freezing the personal account of the organizer.

DShield and a Cisco 837

I've been a contributor to the global DShield project for quite some time and recently replaced a long-serving, faithful router with a Cisco 837. This introduced an interesting problem for me - the log format of the new router was completely different to the old one and as a result, my DShield script completely exploded. Not a huge problem, time to indulge my Perl regex geekiness and fix it!

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