Sunday, March 27, 2011

The dot in the Gmail email address

Learned this recently, the dot in the email address of Gmail account does not have any importance, it is just a place holder for easy reading. Gmail is actually geared to identify the email address without the dot. In other words, Gmail will deliver the message to your in-box no matter where a dot is placed in your email address.

For instance, all below address point to the same email box.

This could be handy if there is a need to open multiple accounts on a site with the same email address. While most systems consider these as different email addresses, Gmail will simply point it to one box. 

Picked this up from a tweet. Cheers.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Twitter or Facebook : Which one for what?

This is my take on how I use the two most popular social sites and how these assist me in my day-to-day life. Note, I say "assist" and not control.

I created a Facebook (FB) account with the intention of staying in touch with friends as well as making it a single source for all the information I need. I got in touch with a lot of my friends, some way back from school days. Great. But then something was wrong. FB was slowly taking over my life. There were way too many updates popping up on my device and I soon realized that a good chunk of that was a waste of my time. While I did love to read updates on life experiences and personal views, I hated those typical bragging or aimless updates. Note, this is just my personal preference. While such updates would be good for some, it was no-no for me. The bad part was that some need-to-know or important updates were getting lost in the muddle.

So FB was slowly turning out to be a white elephant. At this age, I would rather spend time with my family and interests than waste time digging into the status updates. Maybe, I would have enjoyed all sort of updates if I would have been few years younger. Maybe, I have an introvert personality that does not gel with all the extroverts out there. Maybe, I am a jerk! Point remains - FB is killing my time.

I need a filtering mechanism that could do some category or priority based feed. Something that would collate the incoming information based on my choice and needs and then present it to me. FB does not have any category based mechanism to filter updates and I have tried whatever it had to offer at the moment. Nothing at present works except preventing further updates from a source. This has its pros and cons that will be obvious to online folks. Disabling updates from some of the sources actually saved about 80% of my time on FB. Though I am still friend with these sources and can have a private chat, I am saved from their global updates.

 I tried Twitter next. Unlike FB, twitter is more in line with a short messaging system. You are allowed a short 140 characters tweet to all your followers and you got to make it sensible enough. I am currently following all sources of my interest. The good part is that the short no nonsense tweet gives you an idea about what is being fed, if interesting click further to read more or just let it pass. So I have got two advantages here - Follow what I am interested in and pick up what I want to read. Well, close enough for me. Yes I could make out that this service has also been abused and could feed you aimless tweets, choosing whom to follow is an important call here.

So my current status - I use Twitter for the information feed, the daily dose of tit-bits that I like to hog on and enrich myself.

I use FB to socialize in the true sense. Connect with friends and that's it. Of late, I am more active on Twitter and this is one reason why my FB responses have been untimely. Sorry folks, I am still working on it .. If you got a better idea, pass it on please..

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thunderbird : email data copy after reinstallation

Just a quick note. I had to copy my wife's backed up Thunderbird email folder to a new installation. Old one was on Vista and I was copying it to an XP installation. Following steps worked.

* From the original system, copied the %APPDATA%\thunderbird\Profiles folder. This folder has all the data.

* After installing Thunderbird on the new system, copied the backed up folder to D: drive. The software is installed on C: drive and I wanted data to reside on D:.

* Then located the profiles.ini file under %APPSDATA%\thunderbird\ folder. Modified it as below -




I provided the full path in the profiles file and set the "IsRelative" flag to 0. The path points to the actual data folder that was copied on D drive. Parameter "StartWithLastProfile" was set to 0 also.

* Fired up Thunderbird. All old emails and contacts available. New emails synced automatically.