GMail Tools

I’ve been thinking about moving some of my older email out of a rather large Outlook PST into GMail, mainly for backup purposes. However, since this is far from a unique idea, I decided to see what others have done to solve this problem.

First I discovered Mark Lyon’s PHP-based Google GMail Loader (GML), which in addition to loading email, it can also be used as a remote to backup tool (I think there’s a 7.5M file limit imposed by Google).

It doesn’t yet natively parse PST files, but Mark has made available a handy command-line tool called readPST that will convert a PST file into MBOX format supported by his script.

Cheah Chu Yeow, inspired by Mark’s GML, wrote his own GMail tool with a GUI in Python called gExodus. It also only supports MBOX mail files, but includes a nice feature for applying labels to your imported mail so you don’t clutter your GMail inbox.

Finally, in the works is a Windows-only tool called GmailerXP, which in addition to importing MBOX and PST mail formats will also act as a rich-client for GMail. Allowing you to read your GMail, apply remote and local filters, manage contacts and configure your GMail settings.

GmailerXP is certainly the most robust of the GMail tools. Yet I’d likely only use the import PST features. It’s not available for download yet, but it is being actively developed on SourceForge.

MT 3.01D Upgrade

Last night I decided to upgrade Movable Type to version 3.01D. The upgrade went very smoothly. I’m very impressed with the seamlessness the MT crew created with this upgrade. Overall the system feels much faster too.

I think the hardest part was backing up my current installation and database, which really wasn’t that hard.

I’m attempting to re-enable commenting and trackbacks, but I think I have to rebuild my site to get the TypeKey registration working correctly.

I may have to experiment with some of the older plug-ins I have running as well, but so far I haven’t encountered any show-stoppers.

One-up-man-ship: Google, Yahoo and of course Microsoft

After a week on the beaches of the Outer Banks in North Carolina with family I feel refreshed and recharged — perhaps not recharged enough to ride up l’Alpe d’ Huez, but I digress…

During my week away there were a few notable acquisitions made by Microsoft, Yahoo and Google.

First up is MSFT acquisition of my current favorite personal search tool Lookout, which integrates well with Outlook and complements my archive of NewsGator subscriptions nicely.

Perhaps this and the other acquisitions by Yahoo and Google were driven simply by one-up-man-ship.

But in MSFT’s case, I think the purchase of Lookout was partly, as Joel Spolsky nicely put, “one of those “HR Acquisitions,” wherein Microsoft buys a company for a few bucks because it’s the only way to hire someone they want.”

Also, since the personal search promised in Longhorn is still years away (2007?), I suspect Lookout was an easy feature steppingstone.

I expect Lookout will tie into MSN’s new web search shortly as well. This doesn’t bode well for X1 and others in the space.

Additionally, Anil pointed out that Lookout uses a variation of the Apache Jakarta Lucene full-featured text search engine library, which is something I didn’t realize.

Apparently this marks the first time MSFT software is licensed under an Apache license. (Is that really true?)

In other news, Google’s acquisition of photo management software vendor Picasa seems to be another move in Google’s quiet quest of becoming a consumer portal.

I find it intriguing that Google choose a Windows Application Developer and Service Provider (ordering prints). I wonder if Google’s plan is to migrate this “service” into GMail? It seems to be a natural fit.

Lastly, Yahoo’s purchase of the well liked and little known Oddpost Web-based Mail Client seems like a definite knee-jerk reaction to the elegance of Google’s GMail web client.

From what I remember of Oddpost, it certainly gives Outlook 2003 Web Access a run for the money. We’ll see if it can scale to user needs of Yahoo Mail.

Oh yeah, one unrelated final thing…

This year’s Tour de France is again incredible — with Basso as Lance’s new threat and the amazing tenacity of Voeckler! Wow! This is a supersport!

I’m very saddened that Tyler had to dropout. Tyler, you’re still Tyler “Freakin” Hamilton. We’ll see you next year! Regards to Tugboat… he will be missed.

Brewster Kahle Universal Access to Human Knowledge

The other day I watched Brewster Kahle’s inspiring presentation at last month’s NotCon session titled, “Universal Access to Human Knowledge” (Page with 54 Minute MPEG @ 120 MB — worth every bite ;-)

For those that don’t know Brewster Kahle, he was an early member of the parallel supercomputing company Thinking Machines. From there he went on to develop, found and sell to AOL WAIS, Inc. which was probably the internet’s first global search engine (years before the web took off). Later Kahle started Alexa Internet (the “related links” service in IE), which he sold to Amazon.com.

After the sale, Kahle has focused his attention on the Internet Archive whose mission is building a digital library of the Internet.

However, more recently Kahle has expanded this mission to provide universal access to all human knowledge.

There’s not doubt, this guy is a big thinker.

In particular, he is evangelizing and I believe funding the effort to digitally scan the world’s public domain out-of-print books and making them available on-demand via Internet Bookmobile, which is essentially a computer, printer, binder and satellite that can be stationed anywhere.

In fact, he says that it only costs $1 to print and bind a book, whereas it costs US libraries $2 to issue a book.

Of course there’s the upfront costs of scanning an entire book, which Kahle says costs $10 per book, but you get to keep the book! No more late fees!

Anyway, this is just a glimmer of what Kahle is up to these days. The video or audio of Kahle and other speakers at the NotCon event is certainly worth a view/listen.

2004 Tour de France

The start of Le Tour is just hours away and I am already on the edge with anticipation. No matter the outcome, I guarantee that it is going to be an epic battle. Far more dramatic and compelling than any over-hyped “reality show” could force feed viewers.

Kudos to the Outdoor Live Network (OLN-TV) for their live unabridged coverage. I or my STeVo will be there from Liege to the Champs-Elysées in Paris!

Also, for anyone even remotely interested in The Tour you simply must check out Frank Steele’s Tour de France Blog, which I believe is his third year blogging Le Tour.

I’ve been subscribed to Frank’s feed for over a year and I feel like I’ve been kept up-to-date on the entire cycling season. Thanks Frank!