On flexibility of popular email services
September 20th, 2005
Ted Leung posts an interesting view on impacts of recent developments of GMail and Yahoo! Mail:
Just when we finally achieved “model-view separation” for e-mail (IMAP and IMAP clients), the webmail world smashed those things back together. If Gmail and Yahoo start a competition around innovations in e-mail client features — something we’re desperately in need of — it reduces my ability to get the features I want because my mail data, my mail address, and the user interface for mail are not just bundled together, they’re welded together.
I can’t agree more. Flexibility to manage emails and email related data the way we want, together with reliability, should be the essence of every email system/setup. You want to have access to your email wherever you are, pull emails from different accounts including your own domains (even “host” them via MX records if you wish), be able to handle each one of those through a single interface (using different identities, signatures, etc). You also want to be able to easily back up messages or transfer them to another place if the need arises, synchronize with other accounts, easily import and export address books (what ever happened to writable LDAP?). Not to mention efficient and flexible spam blocking, rules, forwarding, alerting, searching…
GMail and Yahoo! Mail have attractive features but lack complete openness. For example, GMail doesn’t allow you to export your contacts (!?) and Yahoo makes external fetching of messages a cumbersome task for non-paying users (I’m talking about fetching into external accounts, such as regularly getting your Yahoo mail into GMail and the like). I guess we have to expect such things from free services. They need to keep you locked in. Free webmail is never free.
However, specialized (non-free) email services, such as FastMail.FM, Runbox or MailSnare do offer full flexibility. You are a paying customer and your mail is your mail. Their goal is to keep you as a customer and they do it by providing advanced and useful tools to boost your email experience. And yes, all of them provide IMAP, which, as Ted nicely puts it, allows a neat model-view separation.
Serbia and Montenegro
September 18th, 2005
For those of you that like discovering new exotic travel destinations, here are a few random images from my Serbia and Montenegro flickr sets:
So long lazy days
September 18th, 2005
It’s been a while since I posted. I’ve been on holidays in Serbia and Montenegro and have been in a lazy computer mood ever since I returned. The six weeks of meeting up with good old and some new friends, partying, relaxing and letting it all go have recharged me, and my programming and online activities are starting to gain momentum once again… It’s good to have the urge back
Favourite Internet Radio Stations
August 2nd, 2005
For me, Live 365 is one of the best sites on the Internet. I don’t really follow mainstream music and the bands I mostly enjoy listening are not always easy to discover and find. With Live 365 this task is much easier. For example, I enter an artists name and a list of stations that play his/her music gets listed. For those of you who don’t know, Live 365 is a huge collection of amateur and professional radio stations that broadcast over the net. It’s cool because broadcasters are located all over the world and literally all music genres are covered. I like the fact that people run their stations from their rooms using their personal music collections (of course, some stations are more professional than that). There’s something new to discover every day.
Anyway, today I wanted to add a list of my “Presets” (favourites) to the sidebar of my blog and was surprised that there is no RSS option available on Live 365, which is strange knowing that they offer podcasts. What I wanted was an RSS feed for my presets so I could distribute the link to my friends and let them know what new stations I’ve discovered lately. In the absence of an elegant way to perform this, I’ve manually added the list of my favourite internet radio stations to the sidebar of my blog. Take a look, you might like some of it!
If you’ve found a way to perform something similar automatically, please let me know.
Tags: Live365, Internet Radio
Recursively delete .svn folders on Windows
July 21st, 2005
Subversion offers a nice “export” command which will export a clean copy of your project. This is very useful for distributing source code without the .svn folders which are present in the working copy. However, there are times when you will find yourself in front of a deep hierarchy of code which was provided by someone who just zipped up their working copy with all the .svn folders included.
Removing these folders is easy on *nix systems, by doing something like this:
find . -type d -name ‘.svn’ -print0 | xargs -0 rm -rdf
However, this elegant solution is not possible on Windows. So, how do you do it? You could write a quick script (Python, Ruby, etc) or use Ant to perform the task, but if you’re using Total Commander you can do this very easily in a few quick steps:
- Invoke a search (Alt+F7) from the projects root directory
- Search for .svn
- When the results are displayed, click the “Feed to listbox” button (bottom right)
- In the list that appears select all the folders and delete (Shift-F8)
Tags: Subversion, Total Commander
July 21st, 2005
For months now I’ve been thinking of revamping the outdated homepage of my site. I liked the idea of including “headlines” of the few feeds I provide, so I started looking for an easy way to do so. Everyone seemed to recommend MagpieRSS so I gave it a spin and it worked perfectly from the start. It took just a few moments to set up, a few more to configure the format of the display and a little more to integrate it visually into my homepage. Within minutes I had headlines of 4 feeds displayed and together with other enhancements I made I’m quite happy with how it looks now. Thanks MagpieRSS!
SimpleTags - A WordPress plugin for generating Technorati tags
July 10th, 2005
The SimpleTags plugin is my first WordPress plugin. It was something I desperately needed and since I couldn’t find a plugin that would fully suit my needs I wrote this one. I hope someone else finds it useful too.
is a WordPress
plugin that will allow you to easily generate Technorati tags
at the bottom of your blog entries, like the ones below this post. There are several plugins already available for this purpose, but AFAIK, they all require you to use custom fields within WordPress. The SimpleTags plugin eliminates this need, so you can now easily generate tags with your preferred method of posting, be it by email, a blogging tool like w.bloggar
or from WordPress itself.
SimpleTags was inspired by TechnoTag. Thanks Gudlyf!
Tags: SimpleTags, Technorati Tags, Word Press
The perfect web host (or why I like Doorhost.net)
July 9th, 2005
If you run a website you know how finding the right host can be time consuming, stressful and risky. I’ve run across hosts with poor support, lack of all-around administration knowledge, poor uptime and lack of willingness to resolve issues. Well, for over a year now I have no such problems, so I thought I’d share my experience. DoorHost.net is a relatively small host, but one with fantastic support and dedication for its users. We all run into problems, and it’s the way we get help for those problems that makes hosting services stand out.
The guys at DoorHost rarely sleep (or so it seems) and are always lurking around their friendly forum
, helping out people with both serious and naive problems, even those that they don’t really have to deal with. Eric, the founder of DoorHost, is a guru in his field and has always been able to provide a solution to any problems I had. It is fantastic to have confidence in people running a service and a peace of mind knowing that everything is running smoothly and that if it doesn’t, someone will do everything in their power to fix the issue as quickly as possible.
So, if you’re looking around for reliable, friendly, stress-free and affordable hosting, look no further than DoorHost. You’ll love it too.
Finding the perfect web host can be quite the task. With so many web hosting services that are available it can be difficult to know which one will be best for you and your website. You need to find a dedicated server offering the type of web hosting you need. Do you want colocation, unix, linux, windows or some other kind of hosting? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when you begin your search.
Tags: Doorhost, Hosting
Locate32 - Fast file search
July 5th, 2005
In the world of full blown desktop search utilities such as Copernic Desktop Search and Google DS it might be hard to imagine why someone would use a filename search utility. Well, I very often find myself searching for particular files, not by content but by name (yeah, I still have a good memory for the useless little things) and the big guys are quite clumsy for that task, not seeing the forest for the trees (maybe it’s just me…). So after years of frustrations with some poor implementations of file searching apps I finally found the one I’ve been looking for - Locate32.
This is a very smart, quality application, based on updatedb and locate apps for Unix systems, which performs its main task extremely well and fast - searches for files by filenames on your hard, removable and network drives. It can be fully driven from the keyboard, returns results extremely fast, doesn’t use 100% CPU like some other tools (hardly went over 3% while indexing) and is a pleasure to use overall.
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RSS Reader Security
July 3rd, 2005
Although quite safe, RSS is not completely vulnerable to attacks. If you are working on a feed reader or just want to feel safe using one, here is a nice way to check out for any potential risks.
View this feed in your preferred RSS aggregator to test its security settings. This feed will not do any harm to your computer, but will give a visible alert when your aggregator is possibly unsafe.
This test is provided by IzyNews, an interesting RSS to IMAP service (enables you to view your RSS feeds in an IMAP client).