Archive for January, 2007

WIRED Blogs: Monkey Bites

Monkey Bites Blog: Vista Predictions Recap
Okay, this is funny (to me anyway) and well… it’s true. Here’s what others have to say about Vista. I agree with a lot of it. MY favorite highlights:

“Vista will become in 3-5 years the majority OS…not due to sales or upgrades but due to the fact that no new PC will ship with anything else nor will you be given the option to purchase XP or Linux. Ignore the eye candy and what do you really have? XP SP3 and a graphical upgrade.” –Anonymous

By the end of 2007 they’ll start talking about the next version of Windows that will have the features that they dropped from Vista, the same features that were droped from XP and NT before that. — Dave King

I found it! Apple - 30 years

Okay, I was looking around YouTube and I finally found the other “30 Years of Apple” video. This one is a little different than the one I posted earlier in the month. Someone posted a comment on the YouTube page for this. They said it was more like “6 years of Apple”. Either way, it’s pretty cool.

BDES: The Results

It’s time for the results of the Battle of the Domain Email Services. It seems that Gmail For Your Domain has a slight edge on RoundCube, if you take a few things into account. Here are the results.

1. Gmail For Your Domain (www.google.com/a/)
2. RoundCube Webmail (www.roundcube.net)
3. Plain Old IMAP or POP3.
4. Squirrelmail (included on most server accounts, www.squirrelmail.org)

If you want easy setup and very little management, or if you lack IMAP accounts and storage, go with Gmail For Your Domain. If you have enough IMAP accounts, storage, and expertise to configure it, you can go with RoundCube. RoundCube is for those of you who want more control over the look and feel than GMail offers. Both came very close in score.

Avoid Squirrelmail at all costs. Isn’t it funny that something intended to be an improvement on IMAP’s (or POP3’s) usability… well… isn’t really. It may have been in 1996, but it badly needs to be updated.

This concludes the Battle of the Domain Email Services… for now.

BDES: RoundCube

Today on the Battle of the Domain Email Services we have RoundCube Webmail (www.roundcube.net). This cool software package costs nothing at all, and it behaves a lot like a desktop email program like Thunderbird.

Basically you create an IMAP inbox on your server for each user. Then you install RoundCube by FTPing the whole thing, editing a couple of files, and adding some tables to a database. You can edit all the images and template files to your hearts content, making this email system look exactly how you want it. If you’re a PHP freak, you can even open up end edit parts of the script’s inner workings to customize things even further.

You log in by going to www.yourdomain.com/the_folder_you_installed_roundcube_in/. You enter your username and password and you’re in. The inbox sort of reminds me of GMail, but with more AJAX-based functions. You can drag and drop messages, select multiple items, and more.

This is one slick script. It seems that it would be capable of running a small email service (not Yahoo-sized). All you’d need would be a script to create IMAP accounts on your server.

Advantages:

  • Mega AJAX! This is nearly as cool as GMail for your domain.
  • The ultimate in customization.
  • Nice and user-friendly.
  • It’s all on your server so you have infinite control over everything.

Disadvantages:

  • You have to set everything up yourself.
  • This is beta software, so there are occasional bugs and quirks.
  • It’s all on your server, so make sure you have storage space.

Basically, this is a great email program for those of you with the experience to set it up. It’s the alternative you should go with if you find Gmail For Your Domain too limiting in terms of customization. If you know some PHP, this is the script for you. You can add a quick-login form to your site’s mainpage if you can script one (or if you ask on the RoundCube forum). RoundCube is a great option for domain email — as long as you have the experience to set it up.

I Knew It! (Google Video + YouTube)

Google has announced that Google Video will from now onward become more of a search engine than a video host. Starting today, YouTube results will now appear on Google Video. Basically YouTube will operate as it always has, and Google Video will become more like Google Images, a search engine for video. I’ve been theorizing that this would happen ever since Google bought YouTube.

BDES: Gmail For your Domaim


Now on the Battle of the Domain Email Services is one of my preferred ones, gMail For Your Domain. With GFYD you get the famous AJAX-based (with non-AJAX compatibility mode) interface of Google’s GMail, 2GB space per account, up to 100 accounts, and tons of customizations features. All you need is a domain, google hosts everything for you.

Advantages:

  • It’s GMail, only with your domain name instead!
  • Google hosts everything for you. All you need is your domain.
  • Google can register a domain for you for $10/year if you don’t already have one.
  • You get 100 accounts, plus unlimited “aliases”.
  • You can customize it to have your own logo, and make the login page look different, etc.
  • 2GB of space — and it’s on someone else’s servers!
  • An amazing easy to use interface — exactly like GMails.
  • Built in Instant Messaging/Chat network.

Disadvantages:

  • Could use more customization features.
  • You can’t put a login box on your site without messing around with some obscure API.

In short, GMFYD (google.com/a/) is an amazing way to get domain email (and it’s free). Unless you want to run your own email service with over 100 users, and let them register themselves (you have to approve everyone in the admin panel), this is the best service for you to go with. If it doesn’t meet your needs, you may want RoundCube (blog post coming soon).

BDES: Squirrelmail


Okay, next on the list for the Battle of the Domain Email Services is Sqirrelmail. This email system is sort of the industry standard for domain email. My advice: avoid it like the plague. See the screenshot to the right? You can see more at squirrelmail.org. Horrible isn’t it? It’s a usability nightmare. It may support tons of ancient browsers due t it’s lack of AJAX, but honestly, who would want to use this? It BADLY needs to be updated to work in the modern mail world.

Advantages:

  • It supports nearly every ancient outdated browser on the planet.
  • Nearly every webhost comes preinstalled with it.
  • cPanel has integrated it into it’s setup so there’s zero configuration for you to do.

Disadvantages:

  • No AJAX support.
  • It’s definitely not very user-friendly.
  • Could use more customization options.
  • It seems to be stuck in the ’90s. There haven’t many interface updates.
  • As soon as a user logs in they’re like “Aaagh! No! It’s Squirrelmail!“.
  • Did I mention it’s not user friendly, it looks horrible, and you can’t navigate very well?

Clearly it can’t hope to compete with it’s competitors much longer unless it gets a major interface overhaul.

BDES: Plain Old IMAP or POP3

First up on the Battle of the Domain Email Services is Plain Old IMAP or POP3. The advantages of this are:

  • You don’t have to rely on another company. Your mail is still kept on your server.
  • You can use Thunderbird or Outlook to read your email.
  • You get to pick how big your mailbox is and things like that.

The disadvatages are:

  • You have to use Thunderbird or Outlook.
  • If you use POP3 you’ll have a hard time checking your mail on more than one computer.
  • You have to set up everything yourself.

Battle of the Domain Email Services

Anyone who runs a website most likely wants to have an email account featuring their domain name. You know, sort of like redwall_hp@whatevermydomainis.com. The question is: how should it be set up? I’m going to answer this question with the Battle of the Domain Email Services. What’s that? I’m going do a post for each of the contending ways to get email at your domain. As I post, points will be tallied. At the end, the results will be posted.

The contenders are:

  • Gmail For Your Domain (www.google.com/a/)
  • Plain old POP3 or IMAP
  • Squirrelmail
  • RoundCube Webmail (www.roundcube.net)

Windows Live Domain Mail has been disqualified for several reasons. 1. It’s Windows Live Mail Beta. Bleh! That’s worse than Horrible Hotmail. 2. It doesn’t work right in Firefox. 3. It’s really slow. 4. It doesn’t work very well unless you have a new computer.

30 Years of Apple Video

All right, this video is amazing. I found it on YouTube a few days ago. There was a different version that had different music, but it seems to have disappeared (that’s the problem with YouTube: finding stuff again). This video seems to be a newer version. The special effects are amazing and it has the authentic “Apple Feel” to it. Press play and you’ll see what I mean. The cool part of the video starts after the “Get Mac” commercial at the beginning (why’d they add that to their video?).