Saturday, 28 March 2009

firefox won't delete cookies

This morning I could not log into my Gmail account. I would type my username, password, and be returned to the very same page with NO error message. Soon, I discovered that I couldn't log into anything Google - blogger, docs, groups, calendar, picasa, reader... you get the point. After doing some quasi-research I was frustrated that I couldn't fix the Google error. Fortunately, I could access my Gmail account using IE. I started to wonder if perhaps it was a Firefox error...

Turns out that there was a cookie problem with Firefox. I tried to wipe clean all my cookies from the Delete Private Data option, but they re-appeared again on restart. I manually deleted all the cookies from the Tools > Options > Privacy menu, but those sneaky little guys appeared yet again on restart. I've had some cookie problems in Firefox in the past, but I'm using the latest version (3.0.8), and I thought this wouldn't be an issue anymore. It's always surprising, but it turns out I was wrong.

The solution? Get rid of cookies.sqlite:

  1. Start > Run
  2. Type "%APPDATA%"
  3. Open Mozilla > Firefox > Profiles > (your profile)
  4. Delete cookies.sqlite.
  5. ** Note that this will permanently delete ALL your hard-earned cookies! **
Ah, basking in sweet success...

Thursday, 19 March 2009

automatically BCC in Outlook 2007

Have you ever wanted to automatically bcc all your outbound mail to a specific email address? I wanted to send a copy of ALL sent mail from Outlook at work to my Gmail address. You could try to do this via Outlook's Rules and Alerts, but there's no option to bcc...only cc. I'd prefer that all my work contacts not know my personal Gmail address, and it's not very professional. I also don't want to manually enter my Gmail address in the bcc field of every outgoing message... the solution? Visual Basic Scripting.

The steps (MS Outlook 2007):

  1. Open MS Outlook 2007
  2. Under the Tools menu, select Macro > Visual Basic Editor (or Alt+F11)
  3. In the left menu bar, expand Project1, Microsoft Outlook Session, and open ThisOutlookSession
  4. Enter copy & paste this code, making sure to substitute with your real email address:
Private Sub Application_ItemSend(ByVal Item As Object, _
Cancel As Boolean)
Dim objRecip As Recipient
Dim strMsg As String
Dim res As Integer
Dim strBcc As String
On Error Resume Next

' #### USER OPTIONS ####
' address for Bcc -- must be SMTP address or resolvable
' to a name in the address book
strBcc = ""

Set objRecip = Item.Recipients.Add(strBcc)
objRecip.Type = olBCC
If Not objRecip.Resolve Then
strMsg = "Could not resolve the Bcc recipient. " & _
"Do you want still to send the message?"
res = MsgBox(strMsg, vbYesNo + vbDefaultButton1, _
"Could Not Resolve Bcc Recipient")
If res = vbNo Then
Cancel = True
End If
End If

Set objRecip = Nothing
End Sub

Save the session, close the Visual Basic Editor, restart Outlook, and you're good to go! (make sure that you've allowed Outlook to run macros) You can verify that your emails are being cc'd by (1) checking your alternate email address or (2) looking at the bcc field of one of your messages in the Sent Items folder.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Outlook: archive it!

I'm a huge fan of gmail. Although it takes some getting used to, I'm sure everyone who uses gmail loves it after some time, and would have a hard time going back to other clients. My problem is that I must use MS Outlook at's inescapable. One feature I've grown quite fond of in gmail is the ability to Archive messages instantly. This allows you to get more work done by leaving only the action items in your inbox (which is what an "inbox" really is, isn't it?).

Here's how you can accomplish this in Outlook (2007):
  1. Open MS Outlook 2007
  2. Create a new sub-folder inside the Inbox named Pre Archive
  3. Under the Tools menu, select Macro > Visual Basic Editor (or Alt+F11)
  4. In the left menu bar, expand Project1, Microsoft Outlook Session, and open ThisOutlookSession
  5. Enter the following code:

Option Explicit
Public Sub ArchiveSelectedItems()
MoveSelectedItemsToFolder "Pre Archive"
End Sub
Private Sub MoveSelectedItemsToFolder(FolderName As String)
On Error GoTo ErrorHandler
Dim Namespace As Outlook.Namespace
Set Namespace = Application.GetNamespace("MAPI")
Dim Inbox As Outlook.MAPIFolder
Set Inbox = Namespace.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderInbox)
Dim Folder As Outlook.MAPIFolder
Set Folder = Inbox.Folders(FolderName)
If Folder Is Nothing Then
MsgBox "The '" & FolderName & "' folder doesn't exist!", _
vbOKOnly + vbExclamation, "Invalid Folder"
End If
Dim Item As Object
For Each Item In Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection
If Item.UnRead Then Item.UnRead = False
Item.Move Folder
Exit Sub
MsgBox Error(Err)
End Sub

  1. Save the code and exit the Visual Basic Editor
  2. Under View > Toolbars > Customize, select the Commands tab
  3. Click on Macros
  4. Drag Project1.ArchiveSelected command to any toolbar above
  5. Rename your button to Archive by right-clicking
  6. From the right-click, you can also Change Button Image
  7. Click Close

  1. Open any message in the Inbox folder
  2. Click the Customize Quick Access Toolbar button on the title bar
  3. Select More Commands
  4. Add the Project1.ArchiveSelected command and configure the same way as above
  5. Make sure you have allowed Outlook to run macros.
Done! You now have an Archive button that archives unwanted messages from your inbox. I also recommend modifying your AutoArchive settings to no longer archive anything from your Inbox. Instead try archiving your Pre Archive folder every couple of days.

(click to enlarge)

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Enable macros in Outlook

So you've decided that Outlook out-of-the-box isn't exactly productive software and you'd like to start making a few changes here and there. If you want to customise Outlook and boost efficiency, you probably need to start using macros.

Writing macros allows you to do almost anything in Outlook, so long as you can code it :-). You can add an Archive button or automatically bcc all outgoing mail, and much, much, much more.

This post doesn't teach you how to write macros, you can try Googling "outlook macros" for that. In this post, I'm simply showing you how to set up Outlook to accept macro commands.

  1. From the menu bar, select Tools > Trust Centre
  2. In the Trust Centre's left navigation menu, click on Macro Security
  3. Select either Warnings for all macros or No security checks for macros (the first option requires you to enable macros every time Outlook starts, the second option enables macros automatically).
Enable macros in OutlookYou're now ready to go! You can start customising Outlook today and make up for Microsoft's mistakes :-)

Monday, 9 March 2009 - cool!

I'm sure you've encountered this before...Facebook asks "what are you doing right now?" LinkedIn asks "what are you working on?" and Twitter asks "what are you doing?" How do you keep track of it all?

Here are 14 popular social media services, all of which continually ask you for a status update:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Plurk
  • brightkite
  • TwitterMonitor
  • Plaxo
  • Friendfeed
  • Bleeper
  • Xing
  • Frazr
  • niimo
  • Rejaw
If you subscribe to even 3 or 4 of these services, you know that updating your status in all the applications simultaneously is pretty tricky and time consuming. That's where comes in. is a one-stop-shop that synchronises all of your social media statuses. One dashboard, from which you can update and track the status of all 14 services!

I'm only a recent user - but so far, so good! As always, there's a down side. is in closed beta, meaning you can only use it if you receive an invite. The good news? You can request one here (as I did), and it doesn't take long to get approved.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Webmaster: what's got that I don't got?

Have you even stopped to consider the title bestowed upon those who manage our websites? Webmaster. Web-master.

As I spoke with my company's webmaster yesterday I couldn't help but think that he must be a superb individual. A super guy. After all, he's the webMASTER isn't he? Not the Web Manager or the Web Supervisor, but Web Master. This begs the question: what's he got that I don't got?

Why do we have Sales Managers, but not Sales Masters? Or Project Managers but no Project Masters... Floor Supervisors but no Floor Masters. He manages the website, he hasn't mastered it...has he? I want my position to be revered and idolised.

I'm going to pitch a title change to my boss. You're looking at the first ever "Project Master" :-)

Our new webmaster (child)

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Too legit to quit: MC Hammer on twitter

Break it down, MC Hammer's on twitter!

MC Hammer (or "Hammer" in this decade) joins many other current & former celebrities online via the miracle of twitter. And boy is he using it! As of today, he has 166,686 followers, is following 25,026 people, and has posted over 2,600 updates. Want to reach out and make some new, high-profile friends? They're only a tweet away... so take a few minutes and browse, your favourite celebrity may be in the list below:

So be bold, reach out! Maybe you're only a few days of sore thumbs away from instant celebrity. Maybe not, but c'mon, who doesn't want to tweet back and forth with MC Hammer :-)

(do you have a celebrity twitter profile that I missed? email me and I'll be sure to add it)

Google execs get paid how much ??

What do most of us want from our average job? 80k? 90k? Six figures? How about seven :-)

This may come as no surprise to most of you well-informed hi-tech readers...but I'm astonished to learn that Google's top 4 execs just received 7 figure bonuses! That's right, bonuses. Not salaries, not commission, but flat out end-of-the-year bonuses. We're all familiar with Google's unique working environment, fun-loving culture, and impressive perks... now there's proof of Google's true blue American roots: rewards and performance incentives!

To be fair, these execs at Google have practically reinvented the way we communicate online. Take a look at this article from 2007 listing the many projects Google was involved in then. Over the last year or two the organisation has solidified its position as internet guru/ king of the technological world. Who knows, maybe they deserve it...

Monday, 2 March 2009

Is it time to ditch your old laptop?

Gateway MX6958 LaptopAs I type away the thought occurs to me that you and I are looking at the exact same current laptop: the rip roarin' Gateway MX6958. I bought this factory refurbished laptop on ebay in July 2007, and I'm wondering if it isn't time to start looking again. With 1.6 GHz dual core and 1Gb of RAM, this baby isn't exactly the youngest girl at the ball. However, she's not the oldest either, and this laptop has been performing quite well for the last couple years.

But recently I've had to perform a few fixer-upper maneuvers. In the autumn of '08 I replaced a SATA hd. In the past I've had to flash the BIOS to get the OS to boot, and now I'm dealing with a failing CMOS battery. End result = my laptop doesn't always boot, and I'm constantly backing up my data to external disks.

"But Andrew" you say, "just replace the CMOS battery and all will be forgiven." It's not so easy. Do you know just how many CMOS batteries exist for a laptop that's no longer in production or supported? Not too many. I found one on ebay a couple weeks ago but can't seem to reconcile the $20. Besides, who trusts a guy selling used CMOS batteries on ebay? As wasteful as it may be, I'm closer to just buying a new laptop.

I'm always told that technology is changes too rapidly for someone to keep the same computer for more than a couple of years. This is a facade. The truth is that they just don't make 'em like they used to...

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