Exporting “Safe Senders” from Windows Live Mail

This note relates to Windows Live Mail version 2009 (Build 14.0.8117.0416) running in Windows XP.

I found it impossible to export or copy ‘n’ paste the Safe Senders the addresses from Tools->Safety Options in my Windows Live Mail. I wanted to do this to import the list to the server-based Junk Mail filter provided by my email host.

A bit of digging about in the registry exposed the location of the Safe Senders list as


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\PerPassportSettings\0\Junk Mail\Safe Senders List]

Unfortunately each address is saved in a separate registry subkey, so a bit of text manipulation is required after exporting the above Registry key to a .REG file. I used Edit-Plus to sort the file, strip out the non-pertinent stuff and perform a find-and-replace on the lines containing the email addresses, which are of the format


"Exception"="goodfriend@gmail.com"

Here is a knockout formula

a = 2 (n – R)

I always like a good real-world application of mathematics, in this case algebra.

FA Cup draw
Photo by Matlock

The question

If you’re organising a knockout tournament for something and the number of players or teams is not a neat power of two, how many players have to be drawn in round 1, so that round 2 is a neat power of two? I figured this out by solving this pair of equations:

a + b = n
0.5a + b = R

where a is the number of players to be drawn in round 1, b is the remainder of players to be drawn in round 2, n is the total no. of players and R is the largest power of two less than or equal to n.

Solving the equations

0.5a + (n-a) = R
a + 2n - 2a = 2R
2n - a = 2R
a = 2n - 2R
a = 2(n - R)

An example

91 players enter our tournament, how many must be drawn in round 1?
n = 91, R = 64
a = 2 x (91 - 64)
a = 54
So we draw 54 players in round 1, which produces 27 winners to meet the remaining 37 players in round 2.

Top twenty Twitter clients

Following my experiment with sampling the public Twitter timeline this morning, I ran another sample, this time for much longer and at a time of day, when many American users would be active to get a slightly more accurate breakdown of the top twenty Twitter clients. Continue reading “Top twenty Twitter clients”

Sampling Twitter to determine client breakdown

sampling the public timelineThe arrival of promoted tweets on Twitter got me thinking about how people post their tweets, as the initial dipping of the Twitter toe into monetization will only impact users of http://search.twitter.com.

So, how many people actually use the Twitter.com website to post their tweets? What are the most popular clients? Continue reading “Sampling Twitter to determine client breakdown”

Windows Live Mail text colours are awful…

…but the workaround is even worse

I’ve been a relatively happy user of Windows Live Mail since I started using it 18 months ago or so. But Microsoft gave me no option recently but to upgrade to the latest version of Windows Live Mail when I decided to install Windows Live Messenger and the current colour scheme is shockingly awful and what is worse there are no options within the application to set up a user-defined colour scheme.

The main problem is that on your list of messages, Windows Live Mail now displays the subject text of read messages in an insipid barely legible gray colour. I googled the issue and found that there is indeed a solution, though I suspect there never was a more appropriate case for using the term workaround as the fix is arguably much more annoying than the Windows Live Mail problem it addresses. Continue reading “Windows Live Mail text colours are awful…”

Inflated Tweet Count: it’s not about the numbers, dude

On 25 Jan 2010, Twitter Support Team confirmed that some Twitter users had experienced an approximately three-fold increase in their Tweet Count; i.e. the number of 140 character posts they have submitted to Twitter.

As it happens, I myself am an Inflated Tweet Count Syndrome sufferer. I think my tweet count went from 3600-ish to 9600-ish overnight. To be honest, I don’t give two (or six) hoots about the numbers, but there are many on Twitter who are much more numbers-obsessed than me, so it’s an issue that’s causing ripples of irritation across the Twitter user-base.

Karen from GOAL posts tweet no. 50,000 for @mcawilliams
Karen from GOAL posts tweet no. 50,000 for @mcawilliams
Many users do keep an eye on their tweet count and treat milestone tweets as special events. Honourable mention here is due to the example of @mcawilliams who raised money for Haiti in the run-up to his 50,000th tweet. He invited a representative from Irish charity GOAL to post tweet no. 50,000 on his behalf. I note that John’s tweet count has now also succumbed to the hyper-inflation that’s going round…either that or he has passed milestones 100,000 and 150,000 in superhuman time.

The thing that irks me about this whole thing isn’t the faulty counts themselves but the low-priority status Twitter are giving to the problem:


UPDATE: 02/02/10
– This bug is a low priority issue because it does not prevent users from fully using Twitter. We do not expect to have this issue fixed in the immediate future for this reason. Please leave a comment below if you are affected by this issue. Thank you!

Continue reading “Inflated Tweet Count: it’s not about the numbers, dude”

Twitter’s new retweet feature: more good than bad?

Gerry sings out his RTsThanks to a conversation on Twitter earlier today with @thegurrier, I now feel the urge to express (in more than 140 characters) why I think that Twitter’s “new retweet” feature is A Good Thing™ on the whole. As a Tweetdeck user I was pleased to see it implemented so quickly and it is interesting to see that the new feature is being adopted by many users from what I can see in my own timeline. Posting a Retweet has been integrated into Tweetdeck very tidily, but a huge amount of confusion remains about how the new-style retweets are appearing (or not) in our twitter feeds regardless of client. Continue reading “Twitter’s new retweet feature: more good than bad?”

Overpayment Cheque Scam from Dubai

Detect scams with your suspicion antennae
Take heed of your suspicion antennae. Don't be taken in by scams.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been the victim of an attempted Overpayment cheque scam. In such a scam a person or business enters into an agreement to purchase an expensive item or product you are selling, usually on the internet. They will send a cheque to your bank that vastly exceeds the amount agreed. The cheque is a forgery, but before it clears the fraudster will engage you in some long-winded explanation about how an overpayment was made and how you can refund most of the balance, usually keeping a tidy amount for yourself. Continue reading “Overpayment Cheque Scam from Dubai”