Horde is awesome!

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I just wanted to say that the personal information manager (PIM) Horde is awesome! I set it up for use at mc-kenna.com and after a little fiddling it is working great! Lovely work!

Useful plugins for Mozilla Thunderbird (email client) (UPDATED)

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We use the program Mozilla Thundebird for doing all our email. Its pretty easy to use, reliable and does what we want. One of the best things about it is that people around the world have written lots of plugins for it to make it that little bit better. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Enigmail gives you an easy way to encrypt outgoing decrypt incoming messages. You need GnuPG or PGP to use it.
  • Bork Bork Bork! changes your messages to read like the Swedish Chef from The Muppets :-)
  • CompactFolder adds a toolbar button to compact the open mailbox. Very useful.
  • Contacts Sidebar is something I wish Thunderbird had built in, but now I can have it anyway. It shows your addressbook under the mailboxes sidebar for easy access. Simply wonderful!
  • Easy Get Mail Button adds a "Get Mail" button to your toolbar that only fetches mail for the account you've selected - handle if you've got oodles of accounts (like we do).
  • Display Mailing List Header adds an extra row to the message header with links to subscribing / unsubscribing from email mailing lists.
  • Leet Key is kinda like Bork Bork Bork only lets you convert text (either what you write or read) to l337 5p3@k, morse code, etc.
  • MailTagger adds smileys to your messages, what more do I have to say? :)
  • Move Search Items moves the Find and Search fields into the toolbar or titlebar to save screen space.
  • Quote Colors lets you change the colors displayed for different levels of quoting (i.e. for replies to replies).
  • Text Size Toolbar adds a very simple feature missing from Thunderbird - you can now easily select the text size !
  • Timestamp simply adds the date & time to a message you are writing.
  • View Headers Toggle Button lets you easily select between showing the summary headers or all headers.

Here are some others that look good:

  • AddressContext adds extra menu items to context menus. I haven't tried this one yet.
  • Attachment Extractor simplifies saving out attachments from multiple messages at once. Could be useful.
  • MessageFaces lets you view avatars that some people add to their emails.

Custom made t-shirts, mugs, you name it!

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There's a company out there that lets you sell everything from clothes to postcards to posters to mugs and mouse-mats with a picture of your choice. All you have to do is upload a picture to them, say which products you want and how much mark-up, and they'll do all of the hard work. And the cost to you? Zilch! Zero! Nothing! What's more, once a month they send you a check with your portion of the income, e.g. if the base price on something is $10 and you sell it for $12 they'll send you $2 for each sale! Pretty awesome if you ask me.

One nice thing for security-conscious folks is that they have an option when you are setting up your shop to make it private, which hides it from website search engines and directories - not completely secure but not too bad either.

I finished Luxor!

Over the past several weeks Jen and I have been playing a came called Luxor after being introduced to it by Jen's sister. Its a really fun puzzle game where you have to match up spheres before they reach your temple.. blah blah. It starts off pretty slow and an average computer user (someone who's pretty good with the mouse) could get fairly far with it with a little patience. Some of the later levels, however, are a real pain, some of them I had to re-do six or eight times, but in the end I manage to finish it, with Jen's help. Oddly enough I kinda found the very last level easier than one or two of the others, but between good luck, good timing and Jen calling "green, left" at appropriate times, I was able to get through it on my third try. Yeehaw!

I just made my first RSS feed :-)

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I just made my first RSS feed for the site at work, and it didn't take long at all. What does that mean in plain English? You know how most websites have some sort of a news feed, either a page listing news items which you can read more, or maybe a weblog like this. Anyway, an RSS feed is a special way of presenting that news so that modern web browsers (Firefox, Safari, Opera) and stand-alone programs can read it, making it even easier to keep up-to-date with your favorite news. Furthermore there are marketing aspects whereby other sites can show your news on their site, syndicating it as it were. It is this last aspect that I plan on pushing at work, once I get some time to do some planning on it.

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