Roadsign can't answer your call right now

"Out of office" (OOO) messages are generally a blessing. Set your email to wham back a "go away" message every time you fancy a break and you can quickly and immediately lower expectations as to when you will get round to that particulary pressing job of removing staples with your eyeball or whatever the task de la jour happens to be. Likewise, on the other end, you know exactly how disappointed to be at not receiving your demands within a few seconds. They rock.

However at times it seems they can be a curse. Check this sign out, from deep within Wales, where such critical things have to be translated into both English and Welsh.

How to hide your emails from the police

Big stories here and there for a while about John Darwin, a guy who faked his own death, even to his kids, in the name of future insurance fraud. But the most useful thing that the Poorhouse learnt from this came from an article in the Independent.

The jury was told that Cleveland Police accessed John Darwin's Yahoo account and found a total of 1,012 emails, of which 923 were unread. Police rules meant officers could only look at the 89 opened messages.

Ways to sell your "body-enhancing" pharmaceutical delights

Spam, spam, glorious spam - the Poorhouse is privileged to receive hundreds of "amazing offers" in his email every day. They tend to correspond to one of just a handful of themes, such as gambling, pharmaceuticals and, of course, what could at its most euphemistic be called "bodily enhancement".

Some might say this is quite annoying, but hey, some of the phraseology these elite sales-people use is funny enough to make up for at least 1% of the annoyance of dealing with said spam. Read on for some highlights...ummm...adults only though please, and slightly NSFW, in a textual way. They are largely along the lines of knob gags.

Setting up IMAP between Google Apps and Windows Mobile 5 Outlook Mobile

Well, for a while, the lovely email solution that is Gmail> (aka Googlemail), and the custom-domain Google Apps variant, didn’t seem to be getting much in the way of new features, despite big upgrades by its main competitors. Recently though, things have changed. We can look forward to a faster interface, a better contacts management solution, more storage space and, perhaps most excitingly in the eyes of the Poorhouse, IMAP.

IMAP, the Internet Message Access Protocol, is a technology allowing offline mail programs such as Outlook, Thunderbird et al. to read and manipulate their mail. Yes, Gmail has had an alternative technology, POP3, for a long, long while, albeit a rather dodgy implementation in some ways, but IMAP has the bonus of being able to keep in sync with the web-based Gmail proper. For instance, unlike POP3, if you read a message through an IMAP client then it will appear as read when you access Gmail or Google Apps over the web. You can move the messages between labels (usually termed folders under IMAP), delete them, star them and so on.

Using the Gmail Mobile App with Google Apps accounts

Update: Google have now released a version of the Gmail Mobile App for Google Apps accounts on devices other than Blackberries, so the information in this article is largely out of date. Visit from your phone to download it.

Google Apps is a lovely way to get your email, combining the loveliness of the normal Gmail interface with the ability to use your own domain names properly, without any of this Outlook "[email protected] on behalf of [email protected]" nonsense. And it's free! They also recently upgraded the email storage you get for free to that of a normal Gmail account, currently 3805 MB.

But there is one super-useful feature missing from the Google Apps product that you do get with standard Gmail - support for the Gmail Mobile App, a much nicer way to interact with your email from your (Java-enabled) phone or PDA than the standard web interface. Sadly it doesn't support Google Apps mail - but with a little trickery, it can.

Worst or best app ever?

When a program is described by some as the "Worst App Ever" ([1],[2]) and - rather fewer - others as "genius" (sorry no link - but apparently Nigel Powell of the Sunday Times said so), it clearly needs investigating.

Enter...3D Mailbox, a program so beautifully executed that its own website has a lengthy defense from the program's author that it is indeed not the worst software ever created.

Sort of "Leave on server" facility on Gmail's POP feature

Gmail (aka Googlemail) is beauteous in many, many ways - but its POP access is not one of them. Sure enough, it does have it, and for free, which is an improvement on many webmail services, but it's a bit weird. This isn't normally a problem because most often you might as well use the website rather than drag your email down to your computer using Outlook et al.

One such exception is if you have a mobile device that can't handle either the mobile website or the Gmail mobile application (which doesn't work on the Google Apps version of Gmail anyway) or can't always be online.

FW: Heartfelt thanks

[It's not new, big or clever, but its time for the annual airing of...]

Dear friends

With Christmas almost upon us, I'd like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send me "forwards" over the past 12 months. Thank you for making me feel safe, secure, blessed and healthy.

Using the Google

It's good to know the ins and outs of those people who rule our world. George Bush's catastrophic - but somehow still ongoing - reign is well documented in many ways (for instance, his achievements [1] or [2]), but until now we did not know about his search engine preferences.

This being the key question of our time, you will be pleased to hear that in a recent interview Bush did indeed declare that he used "the Google".

Bypass port restrictions on cPanel and WHM

cPanel and WHM are nice friendly systems that allow one to configure much of a web/ftp/email server with ease using nothing but your web browser. It is commonly made available by web servers that offer shared hosting packages, and includes a webmail package to allow you to access your personal email remotely. Just right for those boring office hours where you need a few hundred hours break from doing what you're paid for.

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