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more mail crapola

After messing around with Thunderbird 3.1.6, Dropbox and "cloud POP'ing" between two computers, all I can say is that I'm glad I don't have to do mail that way. Yeah, it all works but what a mess it is to get set up. Needless to say, I was happy to go back to the web-based Yahoo! Mail.

I am really hoping when the new Y! Mail beta is out of beta that it doesn't screw up everything, because I don't like the alternative. Like most people, I like having all my mail in one place where I can count on it being there.

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cloud pop


I've been bouncing back and forth between the new Y! Mail beta and the 2007 interface. Every time I try the beta I almost immediately go back to the '07 version every time because the beta at present just sucks.

For kicks I downloaded Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1.6 and tried it out, because there's the slight possibility I may have to go back to it just in case the new Y! Mail is a complete disaster. I have this gut feeling Y! is going to use the beta UI as their sole interface once it's out of beta - similar to what Hotmail did.

TB 3.1.6 is actually really good and definitely isn't the wonky piece of garbage that 3.0 was. From this I might be trying a seriously crazy way of doing email.

Before I say what that crazy way is, here's a basic rundown of what's available when it comes to mail clients and mail protocols:

Is there a fourth option? In fact there is. It's something I call Cloud POP. It's a very wild, very different, very complicated way of doing mail, but it works and you're able to synchronize mail between two or more machines using plain ol' POP.

It would take me way too long to explain how it works, but here's the short-short description if using Mozilla Thunderbird and Dropbox:

  1. Create folder MyDropbox\mail\computer1
  2. Create folder MyDropbox\mail\computer2
  3. On Computer 1, create symbolic hard links to Thunderbird MBOX files linking to Dropbox mail folder for Computer 1.
  4. On Computer 2, create symbolic hard links to Thunderbird MBOX files linking to Dropbox mail folder for Computer 2.
  5. On Computer 1, create Thunderbird subfolder "Computer 2", symbolically link MBOX files from MyDropbox\mail\computer2 there.
  6. On Computer 2, create Thunderbird subfolder "Computer 1", symbolically link MBOX files from MyDropbox\mail\computer1 there.

That, in a nutshell, is it. Any mail downloaded by Computer 1 will sync and show up in Computer 2's TB "Computer 1" folder, and any mail downloaded by Computer 2 will sync and show up in Computer 1's TB "Computer 2" folder.

The reason for the separate folders is so no mail is lost. If both computers happen to be running TB, synchronizing them to the same store folders will inevitably result in mail being lost - not to mention the high risk of a corrupted MBOX store.

The reason for not creating the entire TB profile in Dropbox to begin with is because TB creates a lot of crap (like its indexing files) that you simply don't need to send to Dropbox. All you want there is the mail and nothing else - except maybe the address book which is the single file abook.mab. If you're sync'ing mail, you might as well sync the address book as well.

The single largest drawback to doing this is when you have large MBOX files. To get the fastest possible synchronization, you have to purposely keep the MBOXes you use most (usually Inbox and Sent) small. All this means is that you keep the often-used folders tidy so you're not waiting around for Dropbox uploads/downloads constantly. When an MBOX grows, just create an archive folder or use the 'archive' feature.

Other than that, this is a pretty darned good solution for Cloud POP'ing. It finally makes POP portable like IMAP without the wonky nature of how IMAP works. It also serves as a great backup. [Edit: Wrong, you don't have to use small MBOXes. The way Dropbox works is that files are calculated into blocks so that only the changed portion of the files are uploaded/downloaded. No need to split up anything.]

The best part is that if the cloud fails for whatever reason, not a problem. You have all the mail backed up local on two separate machines. And if either machine fails, again, no problem - all the mail is backed up to Dropbox. All bases are covered.

i struck a chord

This story is going to be half YouTube/Google crapola, half music, both related. Confused? Probably. But I'll continue anyway.

After seemingly forever, in September I finally got things straightened out with my Google AdSense account. Something wonked out with the AdSense Account/Google Account transition, my account was all messed up, but I did get it fixed. Yee-haw.

In October I applied in an attempt to become a YouTube partner user because since I had my AdSense fixed up I could finally go for it. Denied. Why? Because I had two copyright "strikes" against me - from 2007. Yes, strikes that are almost 4 years old at this point and they prevent me from being a partner user. Google/YouTube gives absolutely no instructions on how to get these strikes removed, and I wasn't about to go digging for the answer because it took long enough just to get my AdSense crapola fixed.

Even though I have 850+ subscribers, I decided to say screw it and start over with another channel I've had since '06. It has no copyright strikes.

At this point I had to find a way to notify my subs on my old channel that I had a new one, so I decided to do up a "power metal" song:

My goal was to do something really big and bombastic. A form of rock music called "power metal" is the way to go when you want to do this. I know how to do it fairly well. The key is to just sound big, as in cinematic. Big drums, big chords, "epic" sounding stuff, etc.

What you hear above took me an hour-ish of fiddling around with a riff, 30-ish minutes of synth programming and another 30-ish to record and post. Roughly 2 or 2.5 hours total. Something like that. I was very happy with the end result because yes, it did sound ginormous.

I purposely put the title of the vid IN ALL CAPS and included the word EPIC for extra effect.

The comments received actually surprised me. All positives and no negatives so far. That's rare for YouTube. Also I pulled over 85 subscribers in less than 3 days. Cool. Very cool indeed. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll have 100 before the end of November. Hopefully 200.

I guess I kinda forgot that a ton of movies and video games these days use music like this, so I figuratively and literally struck a very good chord there.

YouTube only allows you to apply for partner user once every two months, so what I'm hoping is to have 500 subs before that point, or if I do really good, 1000. When you crack the 1000 sub mark, that gets attention.

The reason I never got to 1000 with my old channel is because I only posted there when I felt like it and didn't really have any goal with it to begin with. With the one I'm using now I do have a goal. It's going to be all music or music related and videos will come a lot more often, If all goes well I'll crack that 1000 and get approved as a partner. That would be extremely cool. Or maybe I'll get partner even with under 1000. Guess I'll find out soon enough.

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