Email Problems

It looks like some of my email was down for a few hours this afternoon. If you sent anything to a email address anytime in the last 9 or 10 hours it most probably went missing. Please send it again if it was important. If it was spam don’t bother ๐Ÿ™‚
I think I will be moving my hosting in the next couple of weeks. This loss of email (and it appears nothing bounced, everything was lost) is the final straw. I’ve been very happy with my hosting for several years now, but recently things have gone down hill rapidly. The shared server is over shared, out of disk space, and the processes regularly grind to a halt. Customer service response time has to be measured in days at the moment.

This And That

It’s been a while…

I see that Amazon UK have started their DVD Rental scheme (like Netflix et al) [Link in top left corner of the page]. I also received an offer from WH Smith with a similar scheme. The WHSmith’s offer seems a little better if you watch a lot of movies. £13.99 per month for unlimited quantity, three at a time. Whereas Amazon’s offer is £9.99 per month but a maximum of 6 per month, three at a time. Other deals are Amazon £7.99 per month, four per month, two at a time, and WHSmith £9.99 unlimited, one at a time. Both offer free postage both ways; WHSmith says first class both ways, Amazon doesn’t specify. For my viewing pattterns, neither of them represent good value! I seem to watch less than one movie a month. But then if I has something as convenient as this, I would probably watch more. I’m sure Jan and Jamie would.

I’m pleased to report that Kittenโ€™s Spaminator is handling about 90% of my comment spam (up to 300 a day). A rename of wp-comment-post.php has eliminated a couple of brain dead script kiddies. WordPress’ own spam blocking comment moderation currently catches 99% of the rest, but I have to manually moderate those. I just need to eliminate the rest of those. I’ll investigate some more of the WordPress Plugins to stop the spammers.

I’m this close to implementing David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I’m thoroughly convinced, I just need to get over the hump of that initial process. Actually I have started and managed to throw away two bin bags full of old paperwork and magazines.

Gmail continues to impress me. I use it everyday and it is currently my main email system. Though now that Thunderbird has reached 1.0, I’ve installed that and I’m testing it too. I need to be careful though: I have (almost) all my email either redirected or copied to my Gmail account. But I can still pickup up some of it via POP3 with Thunderbird. I don’t think I want to then have Thunderbird also retrieve some of the same mail from Gmail via POP3 (now that is supported). I guess I really want an IMAP interface to GMail (I think it will come eventually) with Thunderbird as another way to access that and acting as a local backup by making an offline copy.

Gmail Looking Good

It has been a little over three weeks since I got my account on Gmail, Google’s web mail service. I have been using it daily and have quite a lot of mail directed to my account. Enough that I have about 1200 mails in my ‘All Mail’ label and that doesn’t include the spam and other trivia I have deleted.
Suffice to say, I have given it a ‘good go’. The verdict: I quite like it. I’m very impressed with some of the features, and less impressed with others.
One of the things Iwould change is the fact if you send an email to your self, gmail does not put it in the inbox. I often send myself notes and links to remind me of something when I get home. If I do that with gmail I have to remember to go drag it out of the sent folder and move it to the inbox.
Another wish would be to be able to mark two message as part of the same thread. Today I replied to an email with no subject, edited the subject in my reply and gmail decided my reply was not part of the same conversation.
I do like the search, I am getting used to typing ‘label:lego book’ to find all book mentions on the lego mailing list.
I love the threaded conversation mode (when it works)
I hate the fact that I can no longer just type text to find it on the page (a fabulous Mozilla/Firefox feature).
I don’t understand why it regularly guesses wrongly which parts of an email are quotes. It seems to think signatures are quoted material, and bizarrely, the last of the three links in a ‘comment for moderation’ email from WordPress!

However, it is certainly good enough that I have used up my first three lots of invitations recommending it to people. But now I have some more.
If you are interested in a gmail invitation, contact me and let me know why I should send one to you.

Comments Broken

Damn! It looks like my comments have been broken for a couple of days or three ๐Ÿ™
I can’t fix them right now, but I will do so later today.

Thanks to Sara for letting me know.

Update: The comments are fixed now.

Software Freedom Day

Apparently tomorrow, August 28th, is Software Freedom Day.

On August 28, 2004, we will celebrate the first annual Software Freedom Day. On that day, we will make the world aware of the virtues of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and encourage its widespread use. We will set up stations in public places to give away informational fliers and CDs with selected FOSS, including TheOpenCD and a Linux Live CD

This is a “a global grassroots marketing campaign” organised by the United Nations, through its International Open Source Network (IOSN) . It sounds like a worthy cause to support, pity I only found out about it on such short notice.