Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Format of the initialization string does not conform to specification starting at index

When I recently moved a site from the dev location to the live location, I got presented with Format of the initialization string does not conform to specification starting at index when trying to make a database connection.

This obviously wasn't happening on the live and the connection string, which was in the Web.Config file, was correct. I was using SQL authentication and the password had both semi-colons (;) and ampersands (&) in it. I wasn't sure which character was causing the problem. As I was able to, I changed the password for the user (removing the ;&). All worked a treat then :)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Test a POP3 Connection (Telnet)

I often find myself needing to be able to check a username and password combination for somebodies email connection (normally because they have forgotten their password - again!). A really quick and easy way to do this is using telnet. Here's the easiest way to do it, from the DOS/command prompt:

> telnet
> user my_user_name
> pass my_password

At this point, if all is good, you will have made a successful connection. Show all messages as a list using:

> list

If you want to see the contents of a specific mail then use:

> retr mail_item_number

If you leave the connection with no activity then it close the connection itself, but preferably use:

> quit

There are some more telnet commands here. Also, if you using an IP address, you may well have to use a port number (usually 110). e.g. 110

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel with authority

I recently had this error (Could not establish trust relationship for the SSL/TLS secure channel with authority) when trying to make a remote call from a C# web app. I hunted around and came across this article on

ServicePointManager.ServerCertificateValidationCallback = new System.Net.Security.RemoteCertificateValidationCallback(
        return true;

So I used the suggested code to bypass the certificate verification, but got a trust level permission error. In order to get round that I modified the Web.Config file to have the trust level set to Full.

Just for the record, this is a quick and dirty hack while I sort out what the actual problem is ;)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Free File Recovery

We've all been there - deleted a file we shouldn't have - oops! Well, thanks to this article on LifeHacker we can take a big sigh of relief and use MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

It's free for personal use and chargeable otherwise.


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