28 Mar

jQuery 1.3 With PHP: quick tricks

As mentioned before, I’m writing a book for Packt Publishing called jQuery 1.3 with PHP.

I think I’m just about done with the first chapter I’ll be submitting, tentatively entitled Quick Tricks.

The book will include full explanations of how they work, but here are the examples.

In the last two examples, the demo is designed to show what happens in a failed save or delete as well as in a successful one.

Source is, of course, available.

13 Mar

419 con attempt

I advertised recently as a guitar teacher, and nothing happened for a while afterwards, then I got this interesting email:


Good day to you over there, I need good teacher for my son smith for 2 month Smith is 13years of age.I want you to taech him 60mint per day, 3 times in a week.


Kindly get back to me if you will be available for that time and you can as well get back to me with your total cost for 2 month.

Thanks and waiting to read from you..

I thought it was interesting, and a bit weird. The guy doesn’t say where he’s from, but the usage of “you over there” suggests overseas. Then, the guy’s son is called “Smith”, which is a surname. Then he’s insisting on 3 hour-long lessons per week. An hour is a very long lesson, and three times a week is /way/ too much – when you are learning an instrument, you only need a half-hour lesson once or twice a week.

I replied anyway with my usual rate (€15 per half-hour, €25 for an hour), asking what style of guitar “Smith” would like to learn.

Here’s the reply.


Thanks for your email,More so i am glad the way you have kept me posted on the (tutoring) and i have accepted your offer and its okay by me.

I have make contacts with my son concerning the arrangement of the tutoringwhich he told me is ok by him and i want you to know that i am going to pay for 2 month which is €600 and also my client who is in DUBLIN will be sending you a cheque of €4,000

And the rest of the money will be used to get hotel accomodation nearby your location for my son and his nanny and any other arrangement for the lesson so that the tuition can be able to conveniet for both of you,

As soon as you get the cheque cash you will deduct cost of price of the lesson and send remaing balance to my son’s NANNY so that they can ba able to arrange themself to come up for the lesson at your location.

Regarding this kindly get back to me with your full information to receive the cheque ,like your full name we be on cheque your full address where you can receive it, so that payment can be able to made out intime,

Because i want the lesson to start as soon as you received the cheque.

Thanks and waiting to read from you.


As soon as I read that, I laughed. This is a classic Advanced-fee fraud, but with a slightly different target than usual.

A greedy person that doesn’t think clearly may fall for that, but there are a number of things that don’t ring true about the email.

Why would a cheque be sent if a NANNY (uppercase, notice) is going to be arriving anyway. Why is the cheque so god-damned large? Why is DUBLIN written in upper-case (copy/pasted, maybe?). He has “[made] contacts with [his] son concerning the arrangement” – he’s 13 years old, man – you don’t “make contacts”, you tell him what to do! Why would someone be flying in from some place overseas to a small town like Monaghan for two months without even checking first to see if I can actually teach?

For anyone interested, the email address used was lewis_001@ymail.com – it’s been reported already.

09 Mar

jQuery 1.3 With PHP

Last year, I did a few reviews of books by Packt Publishing. This year, they got their own back – Packt have asked me to write a book for them called jQuery 1.3 with PHP.

The book is aimed at experienced PHP programmers who are interested in adding a bit of client-side magic to their sites. jQuery is used because it’s damned powerful, and you can get some very cool results without too much work.

The server-side code will only be described, and examples will be provided for illustrative purposes – the real target of this book is the client-side and how it interacts with the server.

The chapter list has been agreed, although there may be scope for adjustments as the book progresses. Here’s what we have:

  1. jQuery and PHP
  2. Quick Tricks
  3. Tabs and Accordions
  4. Form validation
  5. Image and file management
  6. Data-tables
  7. AJAX-based form submission
  8. Drag/Drop
  9. Optimisation

The chapters are a little more exciting than you may think. For example, Drag/Drop will cover cool tricks like cropping/resizing images, and Data-Tables will include inline editing of the content of the tables.

The time-table suggests that the book may be completed by late August – not sure when it will be out, but I’m guessing October or so.

As a project for the book, I’ll be writing an open-source newsletter system, which will demonstrate all of the code described in the book.