Gmail: Can it be trusted?

In Mail and Gmail and More on Mail and Gmail, I discuss my move to Gmail as my main avolio.com mail server.

Gmail Glitch Shows Pitfalls starts off with “When Google Inc.’s online-email service shut off for over two hours earlier this week, it brought to light concerns about whether businesses can safely rely on software that their employees access over the Internet.” The Wall Street Journal On-line article goes on to say, “… companies are finding that going online to do business-computing tasks via services like Google’s … comes with a risk: When something goes wrong, customers must sit idly while waiting for someone else to fix the problem.”

I say this is FUD. Who doesn’t have to suffer occasional outages? Servers go down, ISPs disconnect occasionally, cables get cut. Owning the servers and employing those who run them may feel safer, but I suspect does little to mitigate the risk of an outage.

Is it worth the risk? I think so.


I am embarrassed to say I am strangely intolerant about two things (but only two :-)), both in the PDA realm. The first, is people referring to any and every Palm Computer as a PalmPilot. As Wikipedia says,“The first two generations of PDAs from Palm were referred to as “PalmPilots”. Due to a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by the Pilot Pen Corporation, since 1998…” Back then, US Robotics manufactured the PalmPilot, and I had one. Probably, no one has a PalmPilot today, yet people still call it that.

And on the Apple discussion groups and elsewhere, people will talk about there iTouch when they mean iPod touch. Yes, even spelled with a lower-case “t.” You have an iTouch if you have an this iPod touch knock-off.

iPod touch and “Shuffle Albums”

Older iPods had a feature that would allow you to shuffle songs or albums. It would play a random album in its entirety, then another, etc. This is not available on a touch (an unjailbroken touch).

What I mean by Shuffle Albums,” is really randomly find and play an entire album. I started to want this recently when “shuffle songs” would turn up a song I haven’t listened to in years. I would have a “Wow,I remember this album,” moment. This is a simple, obvious way to get this functionality.

1. I select songs to list all the songs on my iPod touch.
2. I push the “Shuffle” command.
3. I push the Next Song” command until a song comes up from an album I’m interested in.
4. I select the list of songs on the album (top righthand side)
5. I select the first song in the album

It seems like a lot to go through, but really step 3 doesn’t usually take that long before I stumble upon .. shuffle upon … an interesting album.


Note to a Chinese Phisher

Sometimes I do a quick scan of my Spam folder. See the attached annotated image from my Google Mail Spam folder. (Click for a larger image.)


On-line Backups

I have written about the importance of system back-ups many times before. I talk about it specifically in System Back-ups.

Today, in my news aggregater, Macworld reported on BackBlaze. BackBlaze is a $5/month online backup server and service for Macs and PCs, and has no limit to how much you can back up.

Also, The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a review with shiny pictures.

I’ve not tried it yet, but I intend to. The questions that have come to my mind are all the obvious ones. They answer some on their web page. For many of you, the important answer is “It is better than the backup scheme you currently have,” knowing that many of you (twice I wanted to write “most”) don’t backup at all.

If you try it, let me know what you think. I will do the same.