How to Turn off Mail Animations in Mac OS X Lion

How to Turn off Mail Animations in Mac OS X LionI’m probably one of the very few power users who still relies on a desktop email client — Mail.app that comes with Mac OS X, to be exact.

For years, I’ve been using Mail to connect to my Exchange 2007 account — despite the various problems that always seem to ensue (like the inbox failing to update without a manual rebuild, or having to open the mail activity monitor via Option+Command+0 to kill zombie mail processes).

I keep hoping that Apple will improve the best desktop email experience I can find for Exchange interactivity (and, no, Microsoft is still producing a bucket of fail with its Outlook product for the Mac). I never seem to have any issues with the iOS client — but that stability has yet to translate to the desktop Mail app.

Either way, I am always interested in software revisions that bring with them new features and functionality. When I first opened the Lion mail client, my first instinct was to revert to a “classic” view. Some people like the new interface experience, but I find it a bit too spartan for the desktop.

Then, I tried to find the option that doesn’t exist on the surface: Turn Off Animations in Mail.

There is no direct toggle, no switch to flip, and no checkbox to invert. With every single reply, I found myself growing increasingly annoyed. I’d open up a message, watch it animate to the last position on my desktop, then fire up through the menu bar at the top of the screen when I hit Send. That was cute the first time, but not after my fourth reply.

I crowdsourced the question, since the information had yet to surface on any Mac blog. Then, an hour later, a community member by the name of Adrian emailed me with this Terminal tweak:

defaults write com.apple.Mail DisableReplyAnimations -bool YES

After pasting that into the command line, hitting Enter, then restarting Mail, the superfluous animations were gone. This has been a sanity saver, and I knew had to be blogged for your future reference.

Email Privacy Is Protected By The 4th Amendment

In a landmark case, a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that email privacy is protected by the 4th amendment. If the government wants to obtain your private emails from your ISP, they will need a search warrant. The court stated that users expect to have the same level of privacy in their emails as they do in their phone calls and postal mail. This is what the court concluded:

Given the fundamental similarities between email and traditional forms of communication [like postal mail and telephone calls], it would defy common sense to afford emails lesser Fourth Amendment protection…. It follows that email requires strong protection under the Fourth Amendment; otherwise the Fourth Amendment would prove an ineffective guardian of private communication, an essential purpose it has long been recognized to serve…. [T]he police may not storm the post office and intercept a letter, and they are likewise forbidden from using the phone system to make a clandestine recording of a telephone call–unless they get a warrant, that is. It only stands to reason that, if government agents compel an ISP to surrender the contents of a subscriber’s emails, those agents have thereby conducted a Fourth Amendment search, which necessitates compliance with the warrant requirement….

I can see no reason why a company such as Google should be treated any differently than say the post office. We users have an expectation of privacy and this should be protected.

One would hope that Congress, when they have the time, would change the fundamental laws governing protecting emails in the same manner that phone calls and postal mail are protected.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Electronic Frontier Foundation

Create Quick Steps In Outlook 2010

There should be an image here!One of the more interesting features of Outlook 2010 is Quick Steps. In a nut shell, Quick Steps let you perform multiple actions quickly and easily. For example, by clicking a single button you can forward an email, send a reply and move the email to another folder.

If you’re new to Quick Steps, start with the predefined ones that you can start using right away. You can find the predefined Quick Steps from the Quick Steps group on the Home tab. Otherwise, you can create your own as described below.

  1. Click the Quick Step group from the Home tab and click New Quick Step.
  2. From the My Quick Step window, type in a name within the Name field.
  3. Click the drop down arrow under Actions to choose an action to be performed when the Quick Step is clicked.
  4. Specify additional actions by clicking the Add Action button.
  5. Click Finish.

[Photo above by konradfoerstner / CC BY-ND 2.0]

[awsbullet:microsoft outlook 2010]

Manage Add-Ins In Outlook 2010

There should be an image here!There are various add-ins available for Outlook 2010. These are supplemental programs that add additional features to your Outlook 2010 installation. Add-ins are available through Microsoft and various third-party vendors.

Once you install add-ins, you can manage them using the Add-in Manager. To access the Add-in Manager:

  1. Within Outlook 2010, click the File menu and click Options.
  2. Select Add-Ins from the list of options. The list of add-ins currently installed appears.
  3. To manage add-ins, select the type of add-ins you want to manage using the drop down arrow beside the Manage field and click Go.
  4. You can enable/disable add-ins from the window that appears. In addition, you can also add and remove add-ins.

[Photo above by konradfoerstner / CC BY-ND 2.0]

[awsbullet:microsoft outlook 2010]

Minimize Windows Live Mail And Messenger To The Status Bar

There should be an image here!One thing I dislike is a cluttered taskbar, which is why I love this tweak to minimize the Windows Live Mail and Messenger programs to the status bar.

Normally, when the programs are running, each has an open window (or button) on the taskbar when minimized. By completing the steps described below, you can force the programs to minimize to the status bar instead.

  1. Click the Start button, point to All Programs, then Windows Live.
  2. Right click Windows Live Mail and click Properties.
  3. Select the Compatibility tab from the Windows Live Mail Properties dialog box.
  4. Under Compatibility mode, click Run this program in compatibility mode.
  5. Click the drop down arrow and select Windows Vista (Service Pack 2).
  6. Click OK.

Launch Windows Live Mail as you normally would. Right click the Windows Live mail icon on the Status bar and click the Hide window when minimized option.

For Windows Live Messenger, complete steps 1 through 6, as described above, with the exception of step 2 where you will select Windows Live Messenger instead of Windows Live Mail.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Create Quick Steps In Outlook 2010

There should be an image here!One of the more interesting features of Outlook 2010 is Quick Steps. In a nut shell, Quick Steps let you perform multiple actions quickly and easily. For example, by clicking a single button you can forward an email, send a reply and move the email to another folder.

If you’re new to Quick Steps, start with the predefined ones that you can start using right away. You can find the predefined Quick Steps from the Quick Steps group on the Home tab. Otherwise, you can create your own as described below.

  1. Click the Quick Step group from the Home tab and click New Quick Step.
  2. From the My Quick Step window, type in a name within the Name field.
  3. Click the drop down arrow under Actions to choose an action to be performed when the Quick Step is clicked.
  4. Specify additional actions by clicking the Add Action button.
  5. Click Finish.

[Photo above by konradfoerstner / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Minimize Windows Live Mail And Messenger To The Status Bar

There should be an image here!One thing I dislike is a cluttered taskbar, which is why I love this tweak to minimize the Windows Live Mail and Messenger programs to the status bar.

Normally, when the programs are running, each has an open window (or button) on the taskbar when minimized. By completing the steps described below, you can force the programs to minimize to the status bar instead.

  1. Click the Start button, point to All Programs, then Windows Live.
  2. Right click Windows Live Mail and click Properties.
  3. Select the Compatibility tab from the Windows Live Mail Properties dialog box.
  4. Under Compatibility mode, click Run this program in compatibility mode.
  5. Click the drop down arrow and select Windows Vista (Service Pack 2).
  6. Click OK.

Launch Windows Live Mail as you normally would. Right click the Windows Live mail icon on the Status bar and click the Hide window when minimized option.

For Windows Live Messenger, complete steps 1 through 6, as described above, with the exception of step 2 where you will select Windows Live Messenger instead of Windows Live Mail.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

[awsbullet:windows live mail]

Manage Add-Ins In Outlook 2010

There should be an image here!There are various add-ins available for Outlook 2010. These are supplemental programs that add additional features to your Outlook 2010 installation. Add-ins are available through Microsoft and various third-party vendors.

Once you install add-ins, you can manage them using the Add-in Manager. To access the Add-in Manager:

  1. Within Outlook 2010, click the File menu and click Options.
  2. Select Add-Ins from the list of options. The list of add-ins currently installed appears.
  3. To manage add-ins, select the type of add-ins you want to manage using the drop down arrow beside the Manage field and click Go.
  4. You can enable/disable add-ins from the window that appears. In addition, you can also add and remove add-ins.

[Photo above by konradfoerstner / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Reading The ZIP Codes Of 3,500-Year-Old Letters

There should be an image here!Unfortunately, when ancient kings sent letters to each other, their post offices didn’t record the sender’s return address. It takes quite a bit of super-sleuthing by today’s archaeologists to determine the geographical origin of this correspondence — which can reveal a great deal about ancient rulers and civilizations.

Now, by adapting an off-the-shelf portable x-ray lab tool that analyzes the composition of chemicals, Prof. Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations can reveal hidden information about a tablet’s composition without damaging the precious ancient find itself. These x-rays reveal the soil and clay composition of a tablet or artefact, to help determine its precise origin.

But Prof. Goren’s process, based on x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry, can go much further. Over the years, he has collected extensive data through physical “destructive” sampling of artefacts. By comparing this data to readouts produced by the XRF device, he’s built a table of results so that he can now scan a tablet — touching the surface of it gently with the machine — and immediately assess its clay type and the geographical origin of its minerals.

The tool, he says, can also be applied to coins, ancient plasters, and glass, and can be used on site or in a lab. He plans to make this information widely available to other archaeological researchers.

Preserving artefacts for the future

Prof. Goren’s field intersects the worlds of geology, mineralogy and ancient technology as he tries to understand where ancient tablets and pots are made, based on the crystals and minerals found in the materials of these artefacts.

Traditionally archaeological scientists have had to take small samples of an artefact — a chip or a slice — in order to analyze its soil and clay composition. But as more and more museums and archaeology sites ban these destructive means of investigating archaeological finds, Prof. Goren’s new tool may help save archaeological structures while solving some of its deepest mysteries.

“It’s become a big ethical question,” says Prof. Goren. “Many museums will not allow any more physical sampling of artefacts, and it’s especially problematic for small tablet fragments and stamps which cannot be broken in the process. I had to find another way to know what these artefacts were made of.”

Records from a Jesubite King

In his recent study published in the Israel Exploration Journal, Prof. Goren and his colleagues investigated a Late Bronze Age letter written in the Akkadian language and found among the Ophel excavations in Jerusalem.

Its style suggests that it is a rough and contemporary tablet of the Amarna letters — letters written from officials throughout the Middle East to the Pharaohs in Egypt around 3,500 years ago, pre-biblical times. Using his device, Prof. Goren was able to determine that the letter is made from raw material typical to the Terra Rossa soils of the Central Hill Country around Jerusalem. This determination helped to confirm both the origin of the letter and possibly its sender.

“We believe this is a local product written by Jerusalem scribes, made of locally available soil. Found close to an acropolis, it is also likely that the letter fragment does in fact come from a king of Jerusalem,” the researchers reported, adding that it may well be an archival copy of a letter from King Abdi-Heba, a Jesubite king in Jerusalem, to the Pharaoh in nearby Egypt.

Prof. Goren is also an expert at uncovering archaeological forgeries and has worked on the alleged ossuary, or bone box, of Jesus’ brother James.

George Hunka @ American Friends of Tel Aviv University

[awsbullet:Christopher Moore]

Should You Use Instant Messaging Over Email, Or Vice Versa?

Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer to the question. The communication method you choose depends entirely on you, the message you want to convey and the result you want to achieve.

Both IM and email have their benefits and drawbacks. However, in certain situations, it is definitely advantageous to choose IM over email. For example, consider a situation where you need a quick response from someone. Email is likely not the method to use given that people can be slow to respond to email messages. You are more likely to get a timely response by sending a short IM.

Furthermore, there are some direct benefits to using IM over email, which tend to make IM much more appealing:

  • Given that the responses are short and immediate, there is little chance for misunderstandings.
  • Communication between people is instant and real-time. Furthermore, you can easily identify whether an individual is available by their IM status.
  • IM offers a quick method for transferring large files that may be too large for email.
  • IM is less formal than email and as a result, tends to save a lot of time.
  • With the ability to IM multiple people at once, it makes it easier to collaborate.

[awsbullet:mail+email+security]

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Best Practices

There should be an image here!Apply best practices for administering your Exchange Server 2010-based messaging systems-and optimize your operational efficiency and reach.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Best Practices captures the field-tested solutions, real-world lessons, and candid advice of practitioners across the range of business and technical scenarios-and across the IT life cycle. Gain expert insights on what works, where to make tradeoffs, and how to implement the best decisions for your organization.

Topics include designing your environment, planning and deploying Exchange Server 2010, content and web management, monitoring and tuning performance, disaster recovery, and other critical topics. Written by leading Exchange Server experts in cooperation with the Exchange Server team at Microsoft, this book shares the inside track on what works best.

Make Gmail The Default Mail Program

There should be an image here!Q: How do I make Gmail my default email program so that it comes up when I click on email addresses on a Web site? — Glenda

A: It’s really convenient to be able to click an email address on a Web page and have it open up a new message (or the ‘compose’ option) so you can jump right-in to create a message.

It’s equally as irritating to click on an address and have it open up a program that you don’t use like Outlook Express or Outlook when you want to use a Web-based service like Gmail or Yahoo.

If you use Microsoft’s browser, Internet Explorer, it’s no surprise that the only options you can choose are for Micorosoft’s email programs (Outlook and Outlook Express) or its Web-based services (Windows Live Mail or Hotmail).

There are some messy options for making Internet Explorer (and the Send To: option in Word) open Gmail or Yahoo Mail that I will discuss later, but let’s start with some easier options.

If you switch to a different browser like Mozilla’s Firefox or Google’s Chrome, it’s just a simple matter of changing the default mail setting to Gmail.

In Firefox, click on the Tools menu, then on Options, then on the Applications tab at the top.

In the Search box, type ‘mailto’ to bring up your options; click on the drop down box and select Gmail.

If you use more than one email program for different accounts, you can also set the option to ‘Always Ask.’

Oddly, if you use Google’s Chrome browser, having the ability to choose Google’s Gmail as you’re default mail system is not part of the basic browser. You must add a free ‘extension’ such as ‘Google Mail Checker Plus‘ to make Gmail the default mail program when you click on mail links.

In addition, Google Mail Checker Plus will allow you to see how many unread messages you have in your Gmail account as well as give you preview and management tools right from the toolbar icon it installs in Chrome.

As I said earlier, you can add a third party program to Internet Explorer to make Gmail the default, but I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to software, so I would only recommend going this next route if you really need to force Internet Explorer to use Gmail (or other Web mail systems) as your default mail program.

Affixa Basic is a free program that you can download and install to change how Windows itself handles the default email issue for ALL installed programs, so not only will it work when you click on an email address online, it will also interact with other Microsoft programs.

For instance, if you are in Microsoft Word and want to email a document from within Word (usually the Send To: or Send option depending upon which version you are using), once you install Affixa Basic, Gmail will become the default mail system that will be launched.

Equally, if you are in My Documents and want to email a file, you can simply right-click on the file and choose Send To, then Mail Recipient and Gmail will be launched (via a Web browser).

The reason why I would make this the last choice is that it requires configuration and is yet another program to examine when things get fowled up, so I highly recommend using the Firefox or Chrome options if at all possible instead.

If you decide to install Affixa Basic, make sure you turn on the option to ‘Launch your service after creating a draft message’ to make it work more seamlessly.

As I’ve written about in the past, there are significant advantages to migrating to a Web-based email system (like you’re no longer tied to a specific computer to get your precious messages and backup is no longer your problem).

So, if you decided to not try Web mail in the past because of this one inconvenience, you now have no reason not to give it a shot!

Ken Colburn
Data Doctors Computer Services
Data Doctors Data Recovery Labs
Data Doctors Franchise Systems, Inc.
Weekly video tech contributor to CNN.com
Host of the award-winning “Computer Corner” radio show

What Others Know About You And What You Should Know About Yourself

Every once in a while I stumble on an article that is too good not to share with all of you who read this blog. So today when I read this over at The Consumerist, I thought I would pass this on. Basically what The Consumerist has done is to list Web sites that provide information about us that others know about us. This is information that we need to know, especially if there are errors about our past history that need to be corrected. Some of those that are listed can be completed online, while others you need to mail in with a copy of your ID and also a utility bill [each site may be different] by which to identify yourself.

Here is what The Consumerist has posted:

Employment History Reports
The Work Number
ChoicePoint (866) 312-8075
Acxiom
Abso

Tenant History Reports
ChoicePoint (877) 448-5732
First Advantage SafeRent (888) 333-2413
Tenant Data Services
RentBureau
UD Registry (818) 785-3905

Auto & Home Insurance Claim Reports
ChoicePoint
Insurance Services Office (ISO) (800) 627-3487

Credit Bureau Reports
Equifax
Experian
Transunion
Innovis
Payment Reporting Builds Credit (PRBC)

Full File Disclosure/Personal Information Reports
ChoicePoint
LexisNexis

Check Writing History Reports
ChexSystems (800) 428-9623
TeleCheck (800) 835-3243.
Shared Check Authorization Network (800) 262-7771 Fax: (800) 358-4506

Health History Reports
Medical Information Bureau (MIB) (866) 692-6901

Prescription Drug Purchase History Reports
Ingenix MedPoint
Milliman IntelliScript

Social Security Statement
Social Security Administration

Purchase Returns History Reports
Retail Equation

Gaming Patron’s Credit History and Transaction Data
Central Credit

Other Reports
TeleTrack

Utilities & Telecommunications Reports
National Consumer Telecom and Utilities Exchange, Inc (NCTUE) Call 1-888-201-5643 for reports

I am currently checking online and mailing in requests for information on some of the history reports I am interested in.

Hope this helps.

Comments welcome.

Source.

Do Not ‘Reply To All’

Many people think they have to use the ‘Reply to All’ option when responding to email sent to multiple recipients. When in fact, all this does is fill up other individuals’ inboxes with potentially irrelevant messages.

There is a time and a place for the ‘Reply to All’ option. You should only use this feature when you are certain that the original sender and all people in the original email’s To: and Cc: field need to know your response.

You should not use the ‘Reply to All’ feature when:

  • The original sender is the only individual who needs to know your response.
  • The original sender and a few other recipients need to know your response.
  • You were blind copied (Bcc: recipient) on the original message. If you use the ‘Reply to All’ feature in this situation, you reveal yourself as a recipient of the original message.

Snailmailr

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, then you know that the United States Postal Service is in serious trouble. The amount of mail that goes through its system has decreased dramatically over the years, which means that it’s not making as much money as it used to. What’s the reason for this? The Internet. Instead of sending letters or postcards, a lot of people send e-mails, and instead of paying bills through the mail, many individuals are using online billing because of the convenience. With that said, there are still occasions where you may actually need or want to send someone a letter, and Snailmailr has made sending someone a letter almost as easy as sending an e-mail.

Using this service, you pay just US$1 to fill out an envelope, type a letter (up to four pages — additional pages cost more), and have it sent to the recipient through the mail all through your computer. Snailmailr takes care of the printing and mailing, and for an extra fee of US$0.15, you can even have its logo removed from the envelope. You can view using this service as being your way of helping to keep the United States Postal Service afloat.