Great Link: GMail Security

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Email security is always very important.  The Google Operating System blog posted a great security checklist for GMail.  As suggested in the post, you can head on over to Google’s security list first, then wrap up with checking the final list of items in the post.

So, check out:

Google Operating System: Gmail’s Security Checklist

After all, you can’t have too much security consciousness out there.

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GMail Notify Programs

I have noticed this nice little indicator-applet on the panel at the top of my Ubuntu screen, but I haven’t had much chance to use it.  I found the specs for it here.  By default, Skype and GMail don’t integrate into it, so I am looking for solutions.  I thought I would look for GMail first:

KCheckMail is one option, but it is for KDE.

The next hit I found was a little bit unusual.  Psi is another chatting application, and in the psi-plus-plugins, there is a GMail checker.  I found an interesting article describing the application and a link to configuring with GMail.  Come to find out, Google has some instructions, too.

Gnome-Gmail-Notifier is another option.  The Main Website has a little more information, but from the screenshots, it looks like it creates a system tray icon rather than using the indicator applet.

The Gmail-Notify program is a python/gtk option (not to be confused with the GMail-Notifier only available on Windows).  It’s goal is to provide an alternative for Google’s Windows only program.

The next item is not really a notifier applet: prism-google-mail.  It is actually a Prism application.  This installs the GMail webapp listed in the bundles section.

CheckGmail is the next option.  From what I can tell, it only looks like it works with a system tray icon.

xfce4-mailwatch-plugin is an option for XFCE.

KGmailNotifier is an option for KDE.

desktop-webmail looks like an interesting tool even though it isn’t a notifier.  The Gnome-GMail mentioned in the article looks like another thing to research although I didn’t see it in the repositories.

conduit is a tool that I had seen before.  It is not a notifier, but a cool app nonetheless.

mail-notification looks more generic but is a notifier.

cgmail is another option.  Again, it looks like it only creates a systray icon.

I also did a little searching on this, and apparently, I am not the only one asking this question — Ubuntu Forums: gmail in indicator-applet

The thread mentions gm-notify as an option that uses the indicator applet.  It is not in the repositories, but you can add it using Software Sources.  Add “ppa:gm-notify-maintainers/ppa”.  Then, you can install the package.  Here is what it looks like:

Desk 1_001

My next step is to check out this article to try to integrate Skype into the mix.  Before I upgraded, I had been using Cairo-Dock.  My quick search didn’t show the indicator applet for it, but I did see an article about AWN supporting the indicator applet.  I will have to put some more time into that.

Ayatana Project

The other day, I ran across the Ayatana Project.  I guess that is the parent project for some of the applets at the top of the Ubuntu desktop.  The home for the project is here.

I noticed that they have a Evolution indicator.  A Thunderbird version might be nice, and a GMail version would be even better for me.

The indicator applet is what got me started looking at this project.  I currently have Empathy (allows me Google-Talk access) and Evolution in this applet.  I saw a question about Skype, which looked really great.  I would love to see what else they can put in here, like GMail, Skype, Facebook, etc.

GCALDaemon

I just switched over from Thunderbird to Evolution because of an issue with our IPSwitch mail at work.  One thing that I had to search for was how to integrate my Google Calendar account with Evolution.

I found a tool called GCALDaemon.  It runs as a service in the background and keeps Evolution calendars synced with Google Calendars.

The installation was pretty easy although I didn’t find a package in the repositories.  The How To gives the instructions for installing.  But, I didn’t find any tutorials for adding it as a service that automatically starts with the machine or with login.

Another How To describes the steps for configuring it for Evolution.  It also helped to looked at the How To for Rainlender.

GCALDaemon looked like it had some other cool features like: Integration with GMail Notifier, Integration with SendMail, and Remote Controlling Your Computer with MailTerm.

Resources:

Ubuntu Forums: Syncing Evolution to Google Calendar, and devices — How?

winmail.dat

I received an email today from a user with Outlook.  The email contained an attachment called winmail.dat.  I tried to figure out how to view it in Thunderbird, and I couldn’t figure it out.  I finally was able to view it online in GMail.

First, I tried to install the LookOut extension, but it didn’t work.  I am guessing it doesn’t support new versions of Outlook.  I don’t know.

Then, I tried TNEF.  You can install it with “sudo apt-get install tnef”.  I downloaded the winmail.dat file and ran “tnef winmail.dat”.  The response was “Seems not to be a TNEF file”.

In synaptic, I noticed another program called ytnef.  I tried that: “sudo apt-get install ytnef”.  Again, “ytnef winmail.dat”.  Reponse was “ERROR: Signature does not match. Not TNEF.”.

Finally, I checked my mail online with Gmail, and it displayed the embedded image without even complaining about a winmail.dat file!

Sorry that is not much help, but it solved the problem for now.  Please comment if you know another solution.

Resources

Images in Thunderbird Signatures

Today, we were asked to include an image in our email signature.  So, I had to do some quick digging around to make it work.

It really wasn’t hard at all.  You just place the image somewhere on your hard drive.  In your signature html file, use the absolute url to the path — something like: file://path/to/file.png.

Resources

Mozilla Thunderbird image in signature

Thunderbird

Well, work demands are forcing me to begin to use a fat client for my mail.  Up until now, I have been using GMail successfully.  So, I am choosing Thunderbird.

Here is what I like about GMail:

  • I can access GMail from any computer (I used to work on multiple computers depending on the client/day of the week)
  • I can manage multiple email addresses (Each client was giving me an email address with their domain name)
  • I like the GMail interface
    • threads instead of messages
    • labels
    • Ability to type the name of a person in the to box

But, there were a few features that I needed that forced me to switch to Thunderbird:

  • HTML Signatures (or at least formatting)
  • Different signature for each email account
  • Use a third party SMTP server — sending through GMail leaves an “on behalf of” message even if you choose to send with another email address.

I have started with two extensions that I thought were helpful:

One of the frustrations that I found was that when I replied to a message, it would put the quoted message above my reply.  Most email programs place the original programs below the new message.  I found a thread that explains you can change this in the Account Settings, Composition and Addressing settings.

The signature is in the Account Settings as well.  It is on the main page for each account.  I created an HTML file in my home directory and attached it to account.

Zindus was easy to configure.  You can access the setings in Tools > Zindus.  I just entered my GMail account information and I was off.  I did have an issue with duplicate contacts because I had already sent a couple of emails to people already in my GMail contact list.  Thunderbird automatically adds to your contact list people to whom you send an email.  I just deleted those contacts, and everything synced fine.

The Lightning settings were in the Preferences — that is in the Edit menu for Linux and Tools menu for Windows.

The Provider for Google Calendar was a little more difficult to figure out.  I finally found some instructions on the wiki.  I had to open the Google Calendar web interface.  Then, if you click settings on the calendar list, you get your list of calendars.  Next, click on the link for your specific calendar that you want in Thunderbird.  At the bottom of the settings list, you will find the XML links.  I right clicked on the XML button for the Calendar address and selected Copy Link Location.  Once I had the link copied, I went to Thunderbird.  First, I had to click on the Calendar button on the lower left hand corner of the screen.  Then, I could choose File > New > Calendar.  I chose a calendar on the Network.  Next, I chose a Google calendar and pasted the XML link into the Location.  Then, it asked me to log into the Google account.  Finally, it asked for a name/description for the calendar.