Moving away from webmail and/or archiving your emails

On using email:

Today I was backing up my server, and noticed that some clients have over 1 Terabyte of email.

Honestly, I’m surprised their email has not slowed to a snail’s pace, and been kicking up all kinds of errors.

What happens is this: every email you get is stored on the host’s email server. If you don’t do something about it, you can end up with 15, 20, or 30 THOUSAND emails, and each time you log in, they ALL have to be accessed; each time you search, they ALL have to be searched.

Things just plain bog down. At some point, you’ll end up getting a warning notice from the host to “clean out the stables.” Automatic mechanisms take over from the ISP and move older email out.

Here’s how you to get around that; how to archive and backup emails; how to move them from the server to your computer: Use an Email Client.

Unfortunately, if you are accessing your email ONLY by webmail (using your bowser) then you’re in trouble: your only option is to -delete- old emails, losing them forever. In some states, that is, in fact, illegal for businesses.

If you use an email client…

With an email client, the process is -extremely- simple: drag the emails from your INBOX to a mailbox -on your computer.- Yep: that’s it.

In fact, with an email client, you can automate this using “rules” (aka “filters”) so that emails that meet any given criteria you choose, can be routed directly to your chosen mailbox on your computer. That way you never have to worry about the server filling up with old, outdated emails.

If you use webmail exclusively…

If you use webmail because it keeps others out of your email, you’re still doing it the hard way, not to mention permanently stuck deleting, instead of backing up and keeping archives of your correspondence.

I >strongly< recommend you set up an email client on your computer instead of using your browser.

You can still create password protected email boxes using the client.
This will allow everyone to use the same computer for everything, >except< email.

If you want to protect more than just email; if you want only some things on a single computer available to only some few people, the process is to set up separate users. All modern operating systems, Windows and MacOS, offer the ability for separate users to have completely independant environments on a single computer.

But, if ALL you care about is email, then create a separate profile for each user in Outlook. Functionally, this exactly the same as you are doing now with webmail: signing IN, and then signing out.

Once you are using Outlook or Thunderbird or whatever client you choose, you’ll find organizing, tracking, replying and so on are MUCH more elegant and useful… and you can automate your archives.

For example, I have every single non-spam email I’ve ever gotten going back to 1993, and it’s all automated!

Here is how to do it on a Windows system, using Outlook:

___________________________________________

If the user needs to share a common desktop, then the best way is to create multiple Outlook profiles and then configure them with different email accounts. The user has to setup a password for the PST files within their profiles, so that other users would not access them.

Refer to the following article ‘How to create and configure an email profile in Outlook’ and check if it helps:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/829918

To setup a password for the Outlook data file, refer to the following link:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/set-a-password-to-help-protect-your-outlook-information-HA102749452.aspx

The other work around is to setup/create multiple Windows user accounts for the users on the computer and then configure their respective email accounts in Outlook. In that way each user would only have access to their own User profile.

To create additional Windows user accounts, you may refer to the steps mentioned in the following article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2782153

fixing the color on Roku TV : the TCL49S403

The TCL49S403 Roku TV is a heck of a deal for less than $340: 4K and almost 50″.

But it comes with flaws. First is the limited viewing angle: you need to be sitting nearly  directly in front of it to get any pop to the image at all. 30 degrees off center, and the picture quality goes to hell.

There is nothing that can be done about that – it’s in the hardware.

And second,  the color is, shall we say, less than spectacular out of the box. And the build-in controls don’t do much to help it. 

The color was “adequate” (the most commonly used word in reviews) but that was about it. And my 4K Apple TV was pretty much terrible (a big idappointment because that is why I bought the TV in the first place!)

But I’m not here to bitch – I’m here to serve. I got my Roku  TV serving up splendid colors, and I’m a happy camper.

To do that, I had to choose some unusual settings from the TV menu, and then (the real secret) use the advance settings which are only available from your Roku App on your phone!

One of the nice  features of the TV is that these setting can apply independently to each of the HDMI ports, so you can have unique settings for each of your devices.

I’m not saying that -my- settings will match -your- hardware, but I’m pretty sure they will set you off in the right direction

HDMI 1 (My Tivo box)

Brightness-brighter
PICT mode – sports
Gamma – 2.2. (2.4 is a bit too dark)
Noise reduction – off
Color temp – cool
Dynamic contrast – off
Backbite – 100
Brightness – 50
Contrast – 95
Sharpness – 60
Color – 65

HDMI-2. Apple TV

Brightness-brighter
PICT mode – bright hdr
Gamma – 2.4*
Noise reduction – off
Color temp – normal*
Dynamic contrast – off
Backbite – 100
Brightness – 50
Contrast – 95
Sharpness – 82*
Color – 69*

 

NOW… on your iPhone, first select the HDMI input  your’re going to adjust, and then try these settings in the 11-point color secction:

20 x 15 x 20. (Normal)
25-25-25. Cmyk

In short, you’re bumping up the color intensity by those percentages.

 

I bumped up the “Custom” setting in CMYK, and chose that for my Apple TV, and bumped up the “Default” setting by 20-15-20. (It was a little too green for my taste, hence the 15.)

I hope this helps someone else as much as it has helped me.

Print to PDF: Command-P Command-P

Yup: two command-P’s in a row, and you’re printing to a PDF. No more hunting thru menus!

Cool!     How?

You have to put in some effort one time. Here’s what you do:

Just add the second command-P as a short-cut:

System prefs/ keyboard / shortcuts / App shortcuts / +

You have be -exact- when adding it, caps, ellipsis and all:

Save as PDF…

that is … and not three periods . . . 

Use option semicolon.

Where did my disk space go?

There are lots fo reasons for missing disk space; most are well known.

Here’s one that I’ve just found and have not seen elsewhere.

 

I have 10 volumes I keep mounted (boot drive; photo work; video work; programming; data and so on) and a couple of shelves of bare drives I use for backup of all that, popping them into an external hot-swap enclosure as needed.

If any of that looks like what you do, then (based on yesterday’s experience) here’s a quick and simple check you might want to make.

Using Pathfinder (or however you make invisible files visible in the Finder – or the terminal if you prefer) visit the “Volumes” directory at the root level of your hard drive. (No: “Go” won’t suffice.)

What you should see there is a symlink to your boot drive and N number of aliases to other volumes you may have mounted.

What you should NOT see there actual folders which bear the name of your backup drive(s). If you see that, then the backup went to your boot drive, and not to the external drive you expected to use as the destination.

Until I discovered this “little issue” I was wondering where a significant chunk (113 GB) of my boot-drive space went.

Just “sharing” like a good Californian. 🙂

Using your NAS to develop websites

Most people think that network attached storage (NAS) is just a box with drives in it attached to your local network. In fact, NAS is a computer, minus the monitor and keyboard. As such, it can be incredibly powerful, containing its own CPU and memory.

I recently found another good use for my NAS in setting it up as a Web server to use when I develop websites. I added Apache, PHP, mySQL etc, and several virtual hosts for the various sites. (Yes, there are software solutions such as MAMP and XAMP, but these have conflicts with your mySQL database, if it is already in use.)

So, by having everything on the NAS, it is completely independent of my machine and serves as a more realistic test bed.

The most interesting thing, however, is that I set up my NAS as a DNS server too, allowing me to use my mac’s web browser and type in my development name for each site, such as site1.dev or worksite.dev, while still allowing me access to the internet as a whole. The Synology NAS will forward through to a web based DNS if it is unable to find the requested site locally.

Then, all I had to do was go to network settings on my Macintosh and change the DNS to point at my NAS instead.

I thought that was pretty slick. I can work on development sites as well as continue to surf the web without any changes to my workflow. Very convenient.

FWIW.

Do the bad guys have your password?

Not sure how many of you folks know about this site, but it’s certainly worth visiting, and signing up for. It will tell you if your email address(es) have been made public, and what info was released in the hack.

https://haveibeenpwned.com

Somewhile back, I signed up for their email notifications (free) and yesterday got one. This time the hack included passwords. Then I spent 4 hours pouring thru 467 1Password accounts from 2007 -2008 that I had (foolishly) used the same, simple password on. Fortunately, most are harmless forums or some such, but I did find about 40 which went to accounts with stores. I had to visit each one, and change my password.

THIS time, I’m taking full advantage of 1Password’s unique password generator for each site. At least I won’t have to go thru all this again.

Now I’m off to check that list a second time, and likely make more changes.

What a way to spend the day…

How to move emails from one ISP to an other

The other day, I moved a client’s domain from one ISP to another; from A to B. That involved moving their email addresses as well, while keeping them identical between the previous ISP “A” and the new ISP “B”.

Convenient as that is for the client, there’s one issue: all their email prior to the move are still on IPS “A”.  After the move, if they look for their mailboxes, they will all be empty.

Not a good thing.

Here’s how to move their old emails to the new service provider:

(You can do this on your own computer, BTW.)

Create two email accounts, one for the old ISP “A”, and one for the new ISP “B”. Obviously, the will be identical – same name; same password; and same address.

With one exception.

for ISP “A” -the previous ISP- the server address must not be the URL, the domain (which now points to the ‘new ISP) but instead needs to be the IP address of the previous email server.

So, if you were moving “mycompany.com” to a new server, and the email account accessed “mail.mycompany.com” to do the transfer, you’d have the new one still use “mail.mycompany.com” but the account you make for the old one would be “123.222.476.930” or whatever the direct access address is. (That may not be an IP address per se; it might look more like “mailserve.oldip.net”.)

Then, using your mail client, log into both. Wait a bit until the old email populate the inbox for the old account, and then just drag and drop them to the inbox of the new account.

That’s all there is to it.

notes:

1) I suggest that you verify success by accessing the new account via webmail. 

2) some email clients are better than others at mass moves. (MailMate for Mac has no troubles at all.) Outlook, OTOH, may required that you drag-n-drop in small batches.

As usual, YMMV. This worked for me without any trouble at all, but the risk of using any of my suggestions is entirely your own. Etc.

Are better cables better?

OK: take this FWIW:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004V74APY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It’s been my experience that better data cables are worth the extra cost, up to the point where some sleaze tries to sell you solid silver USB cables “for audio” for $125.

I do know that “real” CAT 6 ethernet cables are more reliable than the generic (and some not so generic) brands merely marked as CAT 6. (No: there is no regulator body. Yes, there is a spec for CAT 6, but that doesn’t mean a cable stamped as such meets it.)

http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articles/is-your-cat6-a-dog.htm

And AFAIK, it’s ditto for USB cables as well.

You can pretty much be sure that the USB 3 cable that came with your Acme RocketSpeed Doohickey Drive was sourced from the Chinese factory with the lowest bid.

However, and strictly anecdotally, when I replaced some critical USB 3 cables with the Lindy ones, things just seemed to be more reliable. Since doing that, I’ve not had any hubs suddenly drop offline, or drives magically dismount in the middle of a backup.

Does that mean that the Lindy is a better cable, or that my old cable was faulty, and any new one would have worked?

¿Quien sabe?

Lindy makes “enterprise” products, here in the USA. A typical cable costs $12, not $2.

Is it worth it? Maybe not to you, but I’m now a repeat customer, so it obviously is to me.

http://www.lindy-usa.com/

hth

Tracy
www.valleau.gallery

 

 

On moving to an SSD

(This is my answer to someone who was concerned about durability, size and speed, when thinking about switching to an SSD.)


Durability: pretty much forever, based on write cycles.

I have a 2 year old Samsung Evo 840, which has been on 15 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Samsung uses a wear-leveling indicator (SMART #177) which runs from 100 down to 1, at which point the drive should be running out of go juice (although tests by others indicate that there may still be a lot of life left.) After 2 years of intense photo editing, video editing, programming and internet use, my wear leveling indicator has dropped from 100 all the way down to 98. At that rate, the drive would theoretically last another 98 years, and will be running long after I’m dead.

Being an old guy, I can rather accurately predict that reality doesn’t work that way, but my point is that I’m a heavier-than-usual user; my drive has 11,509 hours on it, and it’s still rated as having 98% of it’s life left. Other tests indicate that drive life on SSD simply is not an issue.

As to capacity, my Evo is 1TB. It is my boot drive. (Actually, I have a number of SSDs, one of which is my boot drive.) I have over 4 million files on that drive. I moved my iTunes folder (500 GB) to a different drive, as I did my Apple Audio files (35 GB) and my Virtual Machines (ie Parallels) 116 GB. When needed, a symlink replaced them on the boot drive.

It’s pretty easy to find the files/folders eating up your drive space (DaisyDisk is much faster than GrandPerspective). Moving them to a different drive is generally very simple.

While some folks have succeeded in living with a moved /Users home folder, I tried it and do not recommend it at all. It works fine for a while, but if/when it goes bad, you’re in a world of hurt.

Speed: SATA busses are rated at 1.5, 3.0 and 6.0 Gb/s. If your machine has a 1.5 or 3.0, you won’t see spectacular speed improvements (because the bus speed is the limiting factor), but if yours has a SATA III/6 Gbs bus, I’d wager you will be mightily impressed (because the spinning drive is the limiting factor.)

So, if you’re not opposed to an external drive (I won’t mention how many I have, so as to not scare you), switching to an SSD ought to be pretty much all plus.

iTunes tips

I’m an old guy, and can’t seem to break my habit of using iTunes to do my updates, instead of Over The Air, the way everyone else does it.  If you’re part of the OTA crowd, you can quit reading now.

I’ve seen (with more regularity than I’d hoped) these two problems:

 

1) Often one or two updates will download painfully slowly, while the rest just whiz right by.

The fix is to open the downloads window and pause the download. Count to two, and resume. 99%  of the time, it starts downloading at full speed.

 

2) Sometimes (albeit much less frequently than #1, thankfully) I’ll get a message that “The app “(name)” was not installed on the iPhone “(name)” because an unknown error occurred (0xE800002D).” 

The fix is to show the list of apps on your device in iTunes by clicking on “Apps” in the left-hand column. You’ll get the  usual list of apps in a new column to the right, and another (larger) column to the right of that named “home screens.”  Now, in the list of apps, find one of the apps that would not sync/install, and click/hold/drag it to one of the screens and release.  So far, that  has always worked to re-initiate the sync attempt, and will sync not only that particular app, but all the rest that would not sync as well.

 

YMMV, but HTH.

Tracy