Magneto 1 – Customer database full of spam

So, one day, I noticed one of my servers was sending a ton of emails out to dodgy looking …   or  …  addresses.  UH OH!

At first I thought the mail server on my webserver had been compromised. On further investigation I managed to see to that the contents of these mails were account registration validation emails.  Looking in the Magento admin (Customers>Manage Customers) I saw them…thousands of new customer registrations – with Russian copy in the name fields and, on the whole [something]  or  [something]   addresses but also some with [something]

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New Google Chrome – Oh Where, Oh Where Has My www Gone?

OK, so as lovely having ones browser update automatically to the latest version (see that IE you annoying thing) the recent Chrome update (currently at 69.0.3497.81 – fine incrementing there lads) did something rather strange.  Aside from the oddly curvy address bar and tabs (hey this ain’t no MAC) the peeps at Google have decided to remove/hide the www. part of URLs in the address bar.

So  will be displayed in the Chrome address bar as

Apparently this is the same for m.  subdomains but I don’t have of those to test.

Anyway…for me this is REALLY ANNOYING as I have local development copies of sites without www. but that look similar to their live counterparts. Besides, in many situations the sub domain IS important.

Fortunately this odd functionality can be reset back to normal using one of the chrome settings flags. Enter this as your URL in chrome:


and you can change it. Yes!  Grumble over. I wonder how many updates away we are from this being reset.


Centos: Making sure your web services auto start after reboot

Your server had to restart, either by design or after some bad event, and now your website doesn’t work – “connection failure”.  Looks like your important web services are not set to start automatically on boot up.  Here is what to do to get your httpd and mysqld services running on restart.

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Google Share Button Does Not Validate – Not Valid HTML

So you have run your site through the Nu Html Checker  and everything is tickity-boo except the Google share button.  Bah! You get an error that looks like this:

The text content of element script was not in the required format: Expected space, tab, newline, or slash but found { instead.

If, like me, you wanted to change the language of the share button and ended up with some code that looks like this:

<script src=”” async defer>{lang: ‘en-US’}</script>

…then this will be where the problem lies.  Here is why and how to fix it.

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Saving the page HTML in Chrome without reloading

This chestnut can drive developer crazy.  In Google Chrome hitting “save as” or “view source” will reload the page.  On pages where sessions or cookies are cleared (shop checkouts for example), form data is submitted, or the like, then the reloaded source may no-longer be the same as the page you were just looking at.  Argh. Here is my solution to the issue. Continue reading Saving the page HTML in Chrome without reloading

Chrome ‘internal’ URLS

As a web developer I use Chrome a lot.  The dev tools are good and, in general, it is a good browser.  Sometimes, though, I find some odd behaviour like the browser has cached some DNS settings that I have since changed, or I want to switch the experimental features on or off for some testing.  Here is how you get to access those settings and then the page to see all the available option/settings URLs.

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Applying Magento SUPEE Patches on a Windows environment

Ok, for reasons of general simplicity and familiarity I like to develop my php applications in a Windows environment using WAMP.  However, this can be problematic when needing to apply SUPEE patches to development instances of Magento projects.

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MS Excel: Adding quotes round text for .csv export

Just a quick one this.  When exporting columns of text for .csv files you will probably want to have the text blocks encased in double quotes.  To do this in excel, before saving as .csv, simply

  1. highlight the cells you want to quote-up
  2. right-click on them and choose “format cells”
  3. choose custom from the “Category” list (under the number tab)
  4. in the “Type” box type the following:   \”@\”
  5. hit ok

The backslash is the escape character used to say “use the symbol that comes next” and the @ can be considered to be the wildcard or placeholder for the current contents.

Saves having to use your code/text editor to add in all the quotes.