Wayne on March 7, 2014

Holidays 2012!


The Castle Budawangs

Dad and the boys

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Wayne on March 2, 2014

This plugin a beauty for trimming a bloated akismet database from wordpress. See here my kismet has over 600,000 entries of spam – bloating my wordpress table and slowing my site down. This plugin removes them with a click. No need to use phpmyadmin.



Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 10.27.04 am


Wayne on February 1, 2014

A complicated problem. When you buy a new Apple computer the Time machine backup resets and you lose your backups.  This person writes about it better than I could.

Update: This is better: http://pondini.org/TM/B6.html

Wayne on January 28, 2014

Our 10 year old washing machine pump motor has a small leak around the shaft.
1. Download Fisher and Paykel service manual from the web.
2. Order new pump  from ebay (from ASAP spare parts) for $36.30.
3. Undo old motor and put new motor in – I DIDN’T EVEN NEED A SCREW DRIVER – It just had a plastic tab to flip and the pump motor screwed out with 1/3 turn.


Diagnose leaky pump: 15 min

Find and order part: 30 min.

Time for part to arrive: 4 days.

Undo old pump and install new pump:  5 min.

Thanks Fisher and Paykel.


Wayne on November 16, 2013

For those of you interested in health issues, I’ve started a little blog here keeping tabs on controversial health issues.


Got Your Back (GYB) is a command line tool for backing up your Gmail messages to your local computer. It uses the standard IMAP protocol but also takes advantage of some custom Gmail IMAP extensions.

Here’s how I used it to move all my email messages from one gmail account to another one.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wayne on September 13, 2013

Some good websites for cheap travel deals:




We got tickets from Sydney to Auckland for $108 each one way (Carry on baggage only)


We got tickets from Auckland to Sydney for $76.35 each one way  (Carry on baggage only)


So we also booked a couple of full cost seats with Air New Zealand and Jetstar with carry on luggage to go with the 5 cheap deals with no luggage.



Hire Car:


I got a hire car for 1 day in Sydney for $31.

I booked a hire car in New Zealand (Auckland) for $16 per day. Man that is cheap.



Hired a car for $36 per day in Queenstown, but this included one free ski lift pass per day at Treble Cone ($97 value!)

So the car cost $267 for the week but we saved on 2 ski passes so the car really cost $71 for the week.



If you are going to NZ and can be bothered filtering through junk emails, sign up here and you’ll find a good deal in amongst all the many not so good deals. Having said that, the good deals are VERY good!


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Wayne on August 21, 2013

good proportions for a healthy honey mustard dressing

10 olive oil

4 lemon juice

check balance


4 mustard
1/2 honey


Wayne on August 19, 2013
  1. Make sure you have most up to date wordpress
  2. change database prefix from wp_ to something else (WSD Security plugin will do this)
  3. change default admin username  from admin to something else (add new admin, log out, log in under new user, delete old admin, choose import posts option when u do it.)
  4. move config.php and files containing Passwords to MySQL to a secure directory outside of the public_html folder and then add this to to wp_config.php
    require(‘new path goes here…/yourconfigfile.php’);
  5. RESTRICT ADMIN TO YOUR IP so that no one else can login to your admin page:
    go to wp-admin directory and add to htaccess file:
    order deny,allow
    deny from all
    allow from your.staticip.goes.here

    1. BEGIN WordPress
  6. install wp secure plugin and select most of the options!
  7. Store your PHP passwords to access your MySQL databases in a file with a .inc.php and  place this file in a directory which is above the server’s document root.
  8. Run WP Security Scan


Remove the failed disk and put in a new formatted disk.

It will say ‘Pass Through’

Click on the drive and change from ‘Pass Thru’ to ‘Unconfigured’

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 2.17.11 PM


Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 2.17.33 PM


Now click on ‘Rebuild’ and it will rebuild the failed disk from the other disks.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 2.17.49 PM


wait for it to finish – 3-6 hours!

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Wayne on June 25, 2013

A surprising email:

It has come to our attention that your site is using an excessive amount of MySQL resources on your Bluehost account.

So some looking into it, the wordpress commentmeta SQL table for http://macintoshhowto.com was 2.7 Gig. Yes 2.7 GB!!!!!

More looking, it’s a bug with Akismet spam filter cleanup.


These two queries fix it.

select count(*) from dbname_commentmeta where meta_key=’akismet_as_submitted’ or meta_key=’akismet_history’ or meta_key=’akismet_rechecking’ or meta_key=’akismet_result’ or meta_key=’akismet_user’ or meta_key=’akismet_user_result’;

delete from dbname_commentmeta where meta_key=’akismet_as_submitted’ or meta_key=’akismet_history’ or  meta_key=’akismet_rechecking’ or meta_key=’akismet_result’ or meta_key=’akismet_user’ or  meta_key=’akismet_user_result’;


Then you need to repair and optimise.


Wayne on February 24, 2013


Wayne on February 6, 2013

In 2007 I had a problem with Virgin Mobile.

Here is the first letter I sent:

virgin complaint

I didn’t hear back so I sent a second letter:

virgin complaint 2

I still didn’t hear back so I rang the Telecommunications Ombudsman who said I’d be better of taking it up with my Credit Card people. So I rang the credit card people, they were very very good. They rang me back and said they had given Virgin a set time to fix the problem.

Since then you can now access your Virgin cap plan balance from the web.

My only advice is write everything down. Make notes of every conversation you have with a phone company.

1. Setup new directory and copy across all  old files.

2. Edit functions.php of old site.

Add these two lines to the file, immediately after the initial “<?php” line.


reload admin pages a few times. remove the 2 lines

3. Update URL’s in database tables.

On new site, replace all URL’s in database. Use ‘Better Search replace’ plugin on database with old url to new url (serialised that’s why you need this
plugin) on all tables

4. Redirect old site.



Wayne on December 27, 2012

This webpage:


allows you to extract information from a photo such as what camera took it, what time and so on.


Wayne on December 3, 2012

We did a bush survival theme kids club – it was one of the best themes we’ve done in terms of kids bringing their friends along. It included lots of Bear Gryllis style survival tips each week, including how to find water, (we tied plastic bags over trees at church) how to make a fire (using flint, magnifying glass, steel wool etc), signalling for help, making bush tools etc. It was all done at our church building (not in the actual bush!) except for the final camp out.

Teaching included can we trust the bible, why Jesus came and so on based round the survival theme  – see the booklet.

Resources are here: