shiny things in messy little piles

Tag: google

Leaving Gmail. It’s Not Me It’s You.

New Look Sux.

That’s the title of an email thread that went around my uni­verse. No one likes the new look of Gmail. You can search the web for details of the usabil­i­ty night­mare. But let me just offer this one tid­bit. The CSS is so bro­ken that the pages often don’t ren­der well in Google’s own brows­er.

That, and so many mis-steps with pri­va­cy and cross prod­uct snoop­ing and then there are some things that the Google uni­verse just won’t do for me. (I need bet­ter cal­en­dar man­age­ment. I can’t keep track of my glasses…)

Not that my Google account won’t be going away alto­geth­er. It’s just going to go back to being what it was intend­ed to be in the first place. A quar­an­tine for mail­ing lists that allows me to just not see them when I need to focus on oth­er stuff. A decent chat client. An RSS aggre­ga­tor. A web­site ana­lyt­ics man­ag­er. Lots of things. But not a mail man­ag­er and not a cal­en­dar manager.

What to Do About It

I have access to Microsoft Office 2010 and Office365. I have domains that I can use for email address­es. I can move away from GMail to an Exchange serv­er. Impor­tant­ly I can move to an Exchange serv­er that I don’t have to man­age. That’s a vari­ety of black mag­ic that I don’t have time to learn right now.

My choic­es are not appro­pri­ate for every­one. . If you aren’t doing busi­ness with your email address­es or you enjoy the arcana of run­ning your own email servers you can leave GMail for a lot of oth­er prod­ucts. But those paths are not what you’re going to find here.

First up… A Plan.

There are 4 parts to this dance.

  1. Get all of the data out of Google.  I“ll need Gmail, Chats, Con­tacts, Calendars.
  2. Pre­pare local machines with copies of Office 2010. [a]
  3. Set up Office365. Microsoft­’s cloud based Office prod­uct. [b]
  4. Set up mobile devices to use the new Exchange based account. [c]


[a]  There are lots of these machines. All except the one I’ll actu­al­ly be using for email already have Office 2010 on them. Fig­ures does­n’t it?

Office 2010 final­ly does con­ver­sa­tion thread­ing — the one thing I most desired in an email read­er. And the biggest rea­son I haven’t switched before. It also allows back-dated entry in cal­en­dars. Some­thing Google cal­en­dars does­n’t. I real­ly need this. I track most things in a Mole­sk­ine, only trans­fer­ring them to the elec­tron­ic cal­en­dars at the end of the week. Mole­sk­ine’s only hold 6 months worth of stuff. I need at least a year’s worth at tax time, no?

[b] I’m only using the Exchange serv­er. Office365 also offers Share­point (Mag­pie makes a hex ward­ing sign) and an online meet­ing thing and oth­er busi­ness stuff that I don’t use. Yet.

[c] I’ll miss my better-than-Apple’s-lame-version cal­en­dar app. Oth­er­wise this is a no brain­er. Fol­low the direc­tions giv­en in the set­up menu.

Morning Linkage (May 21)


Sweet lit­tle pho­to gallery of cars par­tic­i­pat­ing in a recre­ation of the Mille Miglia. Includ­ing the win­ning BMW 328.  Don’t miss the ulti­mate ped­al car.

And here’s a gallery of black & whites from the inau­gur­al MM won by the BMW fea­tured above.

More old stuff. 1915 Indi­an, 8 valve board­track rac­er. Run­ning and unre­stored. All the mov­ing part­sare  hang­ing out in the open on this fire breath­ing dragon.

Pret­ty girls and bikes. It’s been going on a long time, as this 1951 por­trait of the win­ner of the  Miss Cal­i­for­nia Motor­cy­cle Beau­ty Con­test show.

Science and Technology

An inter­est­ing muse on the nature of “curat­ed com­put­ing“and why the iPad is rel­e­vant to the future of infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy. Note that I said infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy; the _author_ is call­ing it computing.

More good news. Google will begin allow­ing https con­nec­tions to Encrypt­ed search­ing is now yours.I plan on using it.

Art, Images, and Design

Yeah I know there’s almost no excuse for post­ing some­thing this inane. But come on, pho­to­shopped dogs doing yoga. It just makes you smile.

Absolute­ly lus­cious travel posters. Adver­tis­ing steamship lines in Japan at the turn of the (last) cen­tu­ry. Some­thing here will inspire you for the day.

Friday Animation

Lost Howdy Doo­dy car­toon. Howdy Doo­dy and His Mag­ic Hat. Found in the dank con­fines of the LoC. Brought to you by the fine folks at Dinosaurs and Robots.

and that’s the week…

Oh, and some­body get this fixed for me ‘kay?  (min­ions, not minkies, clear­ly there are idiots in shipping.…)

Morning Linkage (Mar 9)


I love the tail treat­ment on this Tri­umph. Such a sweet, round butt.

The post title says it all “Enjoy Some Gra­tu­itous Clas­sic Lotus Porn.” Pics from the Lotus archives. (SFW)

A bad jump start once cost me a ECU/BCU pair for a Mer­cedes. If the surge sup­pres­sor in these smart jumper cables works I’d be will­ing to pay a whole lot more than $35.

Just a note — Top­Speed has been removed from my read­er. Their refusal to include links to sources and the web­sites of orga­ni­za­tions they report on has final­ly dri­ven me over the edge. Nom­i­na­tions for good sources of motor indus­try news sought. I’d like some­thing that cov­ers cars and bikes, busi­ness, and cur­rent prod­ucts rather than vin­tage and custom.



Crea­ture Cast update.  Dr. Phil Pugh talks about the first time he got to see siphonophores from a sub­ma­rine. He had stud­ied these fas­ci­nat­ing, clone-based organ­isms for years with­out hav­ing the chance to see one intact. Mes­mer­iz­ing video too. (Audio Narration)

Huge data sets and mas­sive com­put­ing pow­er seem like they should allow sci­en­tists to find more and more sig­nif­i­cant cor­re­la­tions and depen­den­cies. The oppo­site may be true. More data and more ways of slic­ing it increas­es the chance that results are noth­ing more than ran­dom noise.

More data to play with, Google brings more data sets to Pub­lic Data Explor­er. Let’s all try to remem­ber that the plur­al of sta­tis­tics is not information.


Art, Images, and Design

The 50’s are often con­sid­ered the gold­en age of com­mer­cial illus­tra­tion. From the time the author first noticed a hand­ful of images with the sig­na­ture Lucia to a cor­re­spon­dence with one of her col­leagues, this look at Lucia Lern­er’s career in Chica­go is a won­der­ful intro­duc­tion to this world and a rather unusu­al member.
Olaf Hajek. I don’t know what these images were made to sell but this series of five “the new secret lan­guage of sym­bols” sells me.(mildly NSFW)

Anoth­er excel­lent pho­tog­ra­ph­er with a huge Flickr stream. Batintherain is Andrea de Poda of Pesaro, Italy. A gen­tle­man with a fab­u­lous eye for architecture.

I put this here most­ly so that you can share my won­der at Cory’s descrip­tion of the hulk­ing naval(?) object in the photo.

good luck with that…