Gmail server error

Like many others, I have now been hit by Gmail’s “beta” problems…

Here is what I get whenever I try to login:

Server Error

We’re sorry, but Gmail is temporarily unavailable. We’re currently working to fix the
problem — please try logging in to your account in a few minutes.

And there seems to be no fix for this – nothing has come up at Google’s site anyways! People are waiting for as long as 5 days…

Well….

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Moving back… from Outlook to Thunderbird

Finally, as expected, I had to move away from Outlook. I don’t have an Exchange account anymore and Outlook is pretty useless without an Exchange account! So I moved back to my old favorite, Mozilla Thunderbird again. This time, I decided to:

  • Use the nightly build, and to my surprise, it seems that Thunderbird is moving from 1.5 to 3.0! Will there be a 2.0 release (there are nightly builds for 2.0!)?
  • Use Lightning,  instead of Sunbird for my calendar!

Noticeable improvements:

  1. Tags Finally, there is an email client that allows me to create any number of text tags (as in gmail!). Just makes life so much  easier and structured! I wonder how the tags will be stored across different IMAP clients. As of now, I cannot see my tags through the web interface. I can even tag RSS feed (although, I will keep using Flock as my RSS reader!)
  2. Virus checking Every email can be checked by the anti-virus software before it loads up on my computer!
  3. Lightning makes the calendar an integrated part of Thunderbird. With the available Webdav and Caldav support, and especially, with extensions such as SyncKolab, which stores the calendar on the IMAP server, Thunderbird can  potentially compete with Outlook!

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Why I removed IE7 beta 3

Internet Explorer 7 has several improvements over IE6. But the "find bar" in Firefox tilts the scale against IE (and even Opera).

But, the reason that I had to uninstall IE7 beta 3 is the fundamental problem with a beta software, i.e., it is not yet ready! Several websites render so badly in IE7 that I wonder what is  the W3C standardization all about. We need a standard to represent, but should there be no standard to render?

For some sites, I had to "spoof the website" to make it appear as though I am in Internet Explorer 6. I got registry tweak from microsoft’s site. Here are some screenshots of the results:

  • The left menu in Seatguru is "rendered" useless

  • What is the use if one cannot download at Tucows?

  • Here is what it does to MSN.COM (the main Microsoft site itself!)

Here is how it looks in Flock  (which is also a beta software)

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Different renderings of Nikhil’s website in IE, Mozilla and Opera

This is how Nikhil Joshi‘s homepage renders in Internet Explorer 7, beta 3 (looks same in IE6):

Nikhil Joshi's website in Internet Explorer IE7

This is how it renders in Flock (looks same in Firefox and in Netscape which supports both Trident and Gecko engines):

Nikhil's website in Flock

This is how it looks in Opera 9:

Nikhil's website in Opera

All three of them are different! Assuming that Opera 9 is the correct version, IE7 has a different width for the left menu and adds in a right scroll-bar – an inactive one, while Flock/Firefox/Netscape moves the left menu down! Since there is no upper border, I am sure, Nikhil intended it to flush with the top.

On another note, I wonder why he has an “RTF” version of his documents.

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MAC and Viruses

The common perception is that MACs are “immune” to computer viruses. Apple even has an ad that hints towards this view

I wonder why companies such as Symantec, McAfee sell anti-virus software for Macintoshes, and why people buy and update them very regularly! And then there is a website called MacVirus.org that provides “Macintosh Virus and AntiVirus Worms and Trojan Information!”

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Music library? iTunes? Yahoo! Music engine? Songbird?

For quite some time, I have been using iTunes for all my music needs – buying, listening, ripping my CDs. It is literally my big music library.

In the meantime, I tried Yahoo Music engine and Songbird (0.1?). I am impressed with Yahoo music engine and I was impressed with Songbird 0.1 Now, Songbird not yet 0.2 has been released. I did not test it, yet. I am waiting for the version of a software that can do at least the following:

  1. Import all the stuff that I have in iTunes – I have several playlists/smart playlists, etc.
  2. Use the iTunes subnet to listen to other’s music and provide access to others to listen to it.
  3. Directly let me buy from iTunes or Microsoft or Yahoo or Realplayer and play any of my purchased music.

Is this really possible?

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Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2

I tested Office 2007 beta 2, and immediately, I have moved away from two of my previously favorite software:

  1. Mozilla Thunderbird: Microsoft Outlook 2007 has excellent support for IMAP and also for replying to emails. In addition, I have an Exchange account and now everything can be managed easily.
  2. Openoffice: Already, I was unhappy with openoffice for very poor support for bibliography (limitations on length of the journal title, etc.). Microsoft Word 2007 is fantastic. The equation editor is good and there is a built in support for bibliography.

In addition, the ribbon UI of Office 2007 is amazingly easy to use. Hopefully, other software may take some inspiration and come up with something better, if not the same!