archive for January, 2005

Gmail and Thunderbird

Whether you already have a personal webmail account or now, you might want to try Gmail and Tunderbird. Gmail provides 1000 MB of email storage, and the best web interface for email I’ve ever seen. Thunderbird is an email application from the Mozilla Foundation that’s loaded with great features. Combining the two creates an unbeatable email solution.

If you’d like to try it out for yourself, here’s how to do it:

1) Create an email account on Gmail.
Gmail accounts are by invitation only, so you’ll have to ask someone who already has an account to invite you if you don’t have one. I have plenty of invitations, so just email me if you want one.

2) Enable POP access.
Gmail allows you to check your email over POP (an email protocol) for free. To enable it:
2.1) Sign in to your gmail account.
2.2) Click the Settings link at the top of the page.
2.3) Click the Forwarding and POP link to change to that tab.
2.4) Select “Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on”.
2.5) Set how you want to happen when you download email. I recommend “archive Gmail’s copy”.
2.6) Click Save Changes.

3) Install Thunderbird if you don’t have it.
If you aren’t already using Thunderbird, download it here and save it to your Desktop. Once the installer has finished downloading, just run it by single clicking or double clicking (depending on your Windows settings).

4) Configure Thunderbird.
The first time you run Thunderbird, it’ll ask you to create a new account. If you already have Thunderbird, you’ll need to open it up and go to File->New->Account to create a new account. Once you’re in the New Account wizard do the following:
4.1) Select “Email Account” from the types of accounts to create and click Next.
4.2) On the Identity screen, enter your full name in the “Your Name” field, and your gmail address in the “Email Address” field, then click Next.
4.3) On the Server Information screen, select POP as the type of incoming email server, enter “” (without the quotes) as the address for your incoming server, check the box for Use Global Inbox, and click Next.
4.4) On the User Names screen, enter your full gmail address as your username. For example “”. If you don’t already have an SMTP address (outgoing account), you can user your gmail address as your Outgoing user name. Once all of this is set up click Next.

4.5) On the Account Name screen, enter your gmail address as your account name (this should be the default), then click Next.
4.6) Verify your settings and click Finish.
4.7) Go back into your account settings by clicking Tools->Account Settings on the Thunderbird menu.
4.8) Select Server Settings under your gmail account, and check the following boxes: Use Secure Connection (SSL), Check for messages at startup, Check for new messages every 10 minutes, and Automatically download new messages.
4.9) If you’re using gmail for your outgoing (SMTP) account, click on Outgoing Server (SMTP) on the list on the left. The server name should be, the port should be changed to 587, and Use secure connection should be set to TLS.
4.10) Click OK to Save these Account Settings.
4.11) Click the Get Mail toolbar icon to check your email. You’ll have to enter your gmail password at this point.

If you had any problems configuring Thunderbird, or if you’d like to use Gmail with a different email client, sign in to gmail, and go to the POP client configuration list. There you’ll find directions with pictures on how to configure your email client. As of today, they don’t have directions for Thunderbird 1.0, so check out the directions for Thunderbird 0.x; it’s almost exactly the same.

Winter of 2004 Holiday Vacation

As you might have noticed, I haven’t blogged for a while. I’ve been out of town for a week. While I have had access to the Internet and could technically have blogged, I haven’t really been thinking about it or collecting my thoughts for a blog. I’m going to try to catch up a bit and talk about what I’ve been doing for the last week. Sorry if it isn’t well organized; I only have enough energy to do a brain dump today.

Christmas eve, Christmas day, and most of the day after Christmas were spent at my mom’s. We had a really good time hanging out, and the weather was great. Jesse got me a Nintendo DS that I mentioned. I don’t have any full DS games except for the Metroid preview, but it has still been a lot of fun.

Last Sunday, we took the red-eye from LAX to Pittsburgh. I got some shuteye, but no real sleep to speak of. I thought we’d take a nap on Monday, but we ended up staying up all day. Jesse’s whole family was at her brother Erich’s house for most of the week, so we got to spend a lot of time hanging out together. Jesse’s mom and one of her brothers got the stomach flu that has been going around. Luckily it’s only bad for one day.

We watched the BBC version of Tom Jones which turned out to be a 5 hour marathon. The movie was well done, especially for being such an old story, but wasn’t really my thing. As a trade for watching a movie of their choice, we got them to watch Napoleon Dynamite.

We played Texas Hold ‘Em, Pass the Pigs, and Scene It. All of which were a lot more fun than I expected.

The English toffee we tried to make failed. I’m not sure what went wrong, but somewhere around the hard ball stage it totally crystallized.

Last night we ate out at Shakespeare’s Restaurant. I had a chicken and pasta dish with marinated artichoke hearts and red bell peppers. My only complaint is that it was too much food, and I couldn’t take it home with me because of the flight.

I did my part in spreading Firefox by installing it on four computers over the past week. In the process, I found a nice little extension called ForcastFox that shows you the upcoming forecast in your status bar.

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