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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gmail & Imap

What do you use when accessing email from multiple computers? For most people that's not really a problem nor has it ever been for myself. I have several email addresses and three different computers I use regularly to read it. Most of my email addresses are set to forward into my long standing earthlink account. From there I pickup up my mail using Thunderbird on one of two desktops or my laptop. The two desktops are set to read the mail but leave the messages on the server and the laptop removes the messages when it reads them. All computers check for mail every ten minutes and the desktops automatically download the messages. The laptop only notifies me of mail and I have to click get mail to force the download and removal from earthlink servers. It actually works pretty darn well and I rarely have to bother with any kind of synchronizing. Every great once in awhile I download something to the laptop before it gets picked up by the desktops but I know to watch for that.

Now I know some people think their world revolves around email. Pretty foolish really. If you know something is important best to get on the phone and have a little back and forth and know things are being taken care of. But what really are the choices if you need multiple access?

Most isps provide only POP mail servers and webmail. POP works fine most of the time but not for multiple access if you need to stay synced. Webmail isn't bad but once again there is really no way to sync up things like mail you send from the web interface (well you can cc to yourself but then your sent is really now a copy in your inbox).

So what are the choices? You can get synchronizing software. You could set up your own mail servers (come on, are you really big enough to justify that?). You might have an isp that provides imap instead of pop mail servers(rare). You might use gmail that is free and provides imap service. Now without going into details on the works of an imap mail server and client lets just make the point that it is a service designed for multiple access. Google makes it trivially easy to set a gmail account to imap and it's trivially easy to setup in a client like Thunderbird. As I explained above I not sure I have a need for it, so just for fun and experience I've changed my gmail to imap and will be playing with it. So far looks good.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Foisted on their on petard.


Microsoft's Office 2007 Word documents do not conform to the newly-approved Open XML (OXML) international standard.

Alex Brown, who heads up the group responsible for maintaining the OXML standard at the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO), revealed the less-than-pretty findings in a blog post late last week.
Microsoft had tried to fast-track OOXML via Ecma International, the group which originally rubber-stamped the format. However, a vote of the draft failed to gain sufficient approval last September.

The Ecma-approved version of OOXML conformed to Office 2007 documents, but, following the changes made at the BRM, the wheels appear to have fallen off.

Oh yeah.