Archive for December, 2008

User Friendly Form Spam Block

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

SPAM, SPAM, SPAM. How do I hate thee.

Well, it finally happened again – abuse of one of our web pages by spammers.  This time, it is form spam – an automated web crawling tool (I assume) has discovered the “save/send/share” feature of  That form lets users email their custom bingo designs to friends, family, or themselves. This form is now used by a spam bot network to send poor quality spam using our “invite” emails.  I’m currently getting about 10 bounce backs a day and growing – it has to be stopped before my VPS gets blacklisted for spamming.

I could setup a CAPTCHA, but I hate them – particularly the’s.  So, I will try to foil spammers with simple tricks to fool “dumb” automated spam software.

I’m trying a hidden to humans “fake” email field.  This post Quick tip to fight email form spam is the model.  The basic idea is to create a form field with “email” in the name and hide it with CSS (display:none) so that humans will not see or fill in the field.  Then deny attempts to use the form where the hidden field has been filled in.

We’ll see how well this works.

Merry Christmas!

Free New Year’s Bingo Cards

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

It’s almost time to say good bye to 2008!

So, if you are snowed in like those of us in Vancouver, you can get a head start on preparing for your New Years party by creating your own customized New Year’s Bingo cards – free from  Be sure to add a few 2008 specific terms to really make your bingo cards unique.

Of course, if you’ve got hundreds of cards to print, an upgrade to our premium access is only $10.

A free schtasks.exe equivalent for XP Home edition

Monday, December 15th, 2008

It’s funny how one stumbles upon the finer differences between XP Home and XP Professional once in a while. Every good geek knows the biggest limits to XP Home such as no ability to join a corporate network, no Remote Desktop, and no encrypted file system (EFS).  But who knew about a tiny utility that will run a Windows Scheduled Task from the command line? That would be “schtasks.exe”, and it’s not included in XP Home.

The background: I needed a Limited User in Windows to be able to do something requiring Administrative permissions.  There are a few ways to do this, but in this situation, running a scheduled task was the obvious best choice because the task was already there as an overnight maintenance job.

A quick Google search for “run scheduled task from command line” will lead you to the aforementioned schtasks tool.  Well, I could copy the file from an XP Pro workstation, but that would violate Microsoft’s copywrite.

Fortunately, more searching will turn up a reference to an old MS tool “jt.exe” from it’s Windows 2000 Resource Kit.  You can get individual tools from the W2K ResKit here: The license to JT and is much more permissive.  You’re free to use it, but at your own risk.

The “JT” syntax is not straight forward to me.  But these the two examples will probably help:

This lists all tasks: jt.exe /se

This will run (“activate”?) a task (you do not need to include the .job in the TaskName): jt.exe /sac TaskName /rj

On the XP Home Edition computer I was setting this on, the Limited User could run all the scheduled tasks, even when it couldn’t “see” the task in the list. YMMV.

One could  make this end-user friendly by wrapping a batch file around it and put an icon with a link to your script on the Desktop.

Customizable Christmas Bingo Cards

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

It’s that time of year again!  Our Christmas tree is up.  Is yours?

If you’re a teacher, event host, or group organizer that is looking for a fun way to celebrate the festive season, Perceptus suggests that you visit our web based bingo card generating site, and generate your free (and customizable) Christmas themed bingo cards.

Of course you’re free to create non-Christian bingo themed cards for the holidays. You can start your custom bingo cards by editing our word list for the Winter Holidays.

As always, basic use of our site is free. But you’re welcome to upgrade to a Premium access account for only $10.

Merry Christmas!

Crazy Canadian Coalition Political Bingo

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Politics in Canada are certainly interesting this week!

I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’ve already got an opinion on the matter, I know that I do.  But this isn’t a political blog…

Today, I mark for posterity the insanity of the entire situation with a set of custom bingo cards from our site You’re free to use them for a laugh, or maybe to teach a class lesson about the political issues at hand.

So, click here to load our Crazy Canadian Coalition Political Bingo design.

As always, basic use of is free, but you’re encouraged to upgrade for $10 to get more features.

Comments are always welcome on this blog, but keep it clean and civil.