My Google Apps Migration Is Complete

I mentioned [cref i-just-switched-to-google-apps-for-my-domain the other day] that I’d switched over to Google Apps, and had initiated a POP3 transfer of all my mail from my previous Gmail account to the new one. I’m happy to report that it finally finished. I started it POPing on Tuesday evening, 09/16/2008, and it finished some time this morning. It was pulling mail every twenty minutes or so for ten days. In case you’re interested, it pulled just under 30,000 emails over, which was just under 1 GB in size.

As I said the other day, I’d be happy to pay Google for a quick and easy migration tool. But, at least it finally finished.

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I Just Switched To Google Apps For My Domain

I’ve been using Gmail for a few years now, just having it send mail as joey@joeygibson.com, and not using the actual @gmail.com address at all. Or so I thought. Most email clients displayed email from me the way I wanted, but Outlook showed it like this

From: joey2048@gmail.com (on behalf of joey@joeygibson.com)

I knew about this back in 2006, but I thought it had been “fixed.” I put the word fixed in quotes, because spoofing headers isn’t really a correct thing to do. The thing was that most email clients showed the spoofed address, but Outlook showed the “correct” one. Anyway, it bugged me, knowing that people might be seeing my Gmail address instead of my proper address.

Enter Google Apps. I had heard about this before, but never really investigated it. I looked into it last week, and switched over on Tuesday. It’s free, and it means my Outlook problem is solved. For those who don’t know about Google Apps, you change your MX records on your DNS server to set a Google machine as your mail server. After making this change Gmail no longer need to spoof your domain in outgoing emails, since they effectively are your domain. (Don’t worry; they don’t become your web host, just your mail server.) I changed my MX records Tuesday night and then began migrating email from my old Gmail account to my new one.

Migration is one area where the experience is not so great, and I’d actually be willing to pay a bit for a better way to migrate. You’d think that migrating from one Gmail account to another would be a painless, quick and easy affair. And you would be wrong. The only way to get your mail moved is to have the new account make enough POP3 calls against your old account, pulling 200 messages at a time. I started POPing last Tuesday night (09/16/2008) and as of this moment, it’s still running. Granted, I had over 29,000 emails, which was about 900 MB of space, but still! Google ought to be able to come up with a better way to do this. Oh well, it will finish one of these days.

One thing I’d like to point out is that you need to add one more record to your DNS in order to make your Google mail SPF-compliant. I discovered this when I sent a test email from my new Gmail account to my work account. We have an Exchange server at work, and while the email did come through, the subject line had [spf] appended to it. After some checking, I saw in the headers that our mail gateway had marked it as failing an SPF check. I did some googling and found this article that explains how to set things up specifically for GoDaddy, but the general concepts should work for wherever your DNS lives. I setup the new TXT record, ran the test recommended in the article and things are good now. I just sent a test email to my work account, and the gateway must now be happy since there was no [spf] appended to the subject. There might have been a recommendation on the Google Apps setup screens about the SPF stuff, but I don’t remember seeing it.

Anyway, so far I’m happy with my choice to move to Google Apps. Besides the migration issue, the only other complaint I have is that I can’t use my @joeygibson.com id with Google Reader. I still have to use a “real” Gmail account for that. That’s essentially a minor annoyance, but it would still be nice to just jettison the old @gmail.com account altogether.

Chrome Is Cool, But No Mac Version Yet

Yesterday, the internets were all a-flutter about Chrome, Google’s new surprise web browser. Sure, I downloaded it, like everyone else, and I was impressed by its rendering speed. I used it for a few hours without any problems at all. It works with every site I tried it with, and speedily. I’m especially juiced about the JavaScript JIT engine called V8, and the fact that each tab is its own process, separate from other tabs.

But here’s the rub: for now, it’s Windows-only. How can this be? It’s built on top of WebKit, which is Apple’s updated version of KHTML, and both run on OSX and Linux. So what gives, Google? I know they say that there will be OSX and Linux versions “soon,” but how long is that?

I found directions for building Chromium, which says on its homepage, “Google Chrome is built with open source code from Chromium.” So I downloaded all the source code and tried to build it. Here’s 2,000 words about how it went

I guess I’ll just have to wait for the official OSX release.

Holy Clogged Arteries, Batman!

I love Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I mean love. Love, as in, if they were alive, I’d marry them. Love, as in, if I were on a desert island and a plane flew overhead and accidentally dropped something, I’d wish it to be a dozen or so Krispy Kremes. Thomas and I both refer to our local Krispy Kreme store as “Casa del Sugar Coma.”

I also love hamburgers. With cheese, preferably Swiss. Chili’s has a really good burger.

But never, ever, in my wildest, weirdest dreams, would I want to combine them. Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a cheeseburger. Ugh. But apparently the people at Google thought that was a good thing. I hope the plate they put those on has the phone number of a local cardiologist enscribed on it. Eaters of those things are going to need one.

Google Reader May Trump Bloglines For Me

I’ve been using Bloglines.com for feed reading for a few years now. I had tried Google Reader before, but I was quite happy with Bloglines, so I never switched. I’ve actually been using beta.bloglines.com, their beta site, ever since they made it public. But lately Bloglines has seemed really slow. Clicking on a feed resulted in a multiple second wait before the headlines showed up in the list. That may not sound like a long time, but it really is. And sometimes, clicking on a feed resulted in… nothing. The “working” indicator never went off and I never got headlines. Re-clicking the feed might work, but then the headlines had already been marked as read, so they didn’t show up without an extra click. Sometimes reloading the page was what was called for.

Another annoyance was that they kept rearranging the order of my feed folders. I am meticulous about organizing bookmarks and feeds; I have them categorized into folders, and those folders are in alphabetical order in the feed list. And Bloglines keeps moving them around, maybe once every two weeks, for no good reason. Very annoying, indeed.

So the other day I decided to give Google Reader another try. I exported all my subscriptions from Bloglines and imported them into Google Reader. Thus far, I’m quite happy. The response time is snappy and I like the fact that I can share things from my feeds into a public list which is available here and that can feed into my FriendFeed feed. I’m going to keep using Google Reader, and while I will check back in on Bloglines occasionally, it looks like I may have found a new feed reader.

Cuil Thinks I’m More Relevant Than Dr. Horrible

I was looking through my web stats this morning and I noticed that I had a link from cuil.com, the latest in a long string of supposed “Google Killers.” I clicked on the link, http://www.cuil.com/search?q=”dr horrible” and was quite surprised to get the results shown here

You probably can’t tell from the small version, so click on it for a larger version. Notice that on a search for “dr horrible,” instead of getting drhorrible.com, as you should, you get me. Twice, in fact; two different blog postings I wrote about Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog. That’s right. According to cuil.com, I am the best match for “dr horrible.” WTF? There have been lots of sightings of bogus results from cuil, but I was really surprised to find one featuring me.

Since I was already at cuil.com, I decided to egosurf and see if they had fixed their results for my name. Nope. Searching for me at Google returns a mostly-correct set of results. There are two link in there about the former Playboy playmate who shares my name, but all the rest of the front page results are about me.

New Version of My Google Blosxom Plugin

I’ve finally gotten around to updating my Google plugin for Blosxom that’s been languishing for several months now. No longer must you use the cheesy ‘KW:’ style keywords; I now use the Meta plugin, so you can add a meta-google_keywords: line in your meta area and get the same effect. I’ve left the old style support in, so if you’ve been using it, you don’t have to go through and change all your stories to the new format.

Thus, the old style was:

and the new-and-improved style is:

meta-google_keywords: comment spam

One caveat: make certain that the meta plugin runs before this one or your google links will show up one story too late. That took a while to track down. I renamed my meta plugin to 00meta and now all is well.

Get it here and please let me know if you have problems with it.