GMail Update

So I've been using GMail for a little under a month now and I am still very impressed. I am still unsure how it would fit into a larger organisation (with 10+ seats) there are 2 things I dislike about it at the moment.

Firstly there's the username issue, I finally managed to get my username straightened out and in fairness I may have been partly to blame. I had assigned my required forename.surname as an alias to my current account, so I was unable to rename until I removed this alias - so after waiting the required 5 (or was it 7 days? I actually waited 14) I finally started to rage at Google, hammering my keyboard with search terms until I finally gave up and decided to mess around with my account settings the error message in a round-about way lead me to believe removing the alias would work, and it did!

Secondly I don't like how the username you sign into email with follows you across all of Googles sites. Now for most people this isn't a problem and its actually benefits them but for me it doesn't. For my personal business I have my own domain and therefore use that for all my email, I have a separate signon for Blogger and for YouTube (although I think I somehow ended up managing to link the Blogger and YouTube accounts)

It's not really a problem, but it is an annoyance.


How things change

So a little under 2 years ago I started the Drop50 blog, it's always been something that I've done "when I felt like", some months I'll try and do a blog a week, others I simply forget about it completely.

What I've realised lately is that I haven't really been looking at the "whole" picture, I have no idea when Blogger decided to start offering these very dynamic and fluid looking blog templates, I happened to notice and icon informing me that I could upgrade. BOOM Drop50 looks different. I like it, I hope you do to =]


Google Chrome

I never got caught up in the hype of Google Chrome when it first came out. Since I first got online I’ve been a massive fan of tabbed browsing and I used to use a bit of software called “Kitty Browser” This is back in the Windows 98 days but I believe it just wrapped IE5 and added some additional functionality. Fast forward a number of years and we now have Firefox (and recently IE7,8 and 9) thrown in some “Add-ons” and you have a very solid browser.

Enter Google Chrome, I tried it a year or two ago and quickly uninstalled it after 30 seconds. Today I’ve tried it again and given it a really good go. I’ll report back anything of note but my first impression is that rendering of web pages is amazingly quick, this thing is like lightning compared to IE/Firefox, I’d dismissed what others had said about it but having now used it I am very impressed. 


Canoe Day

Myself and Laura were invited along to “Canoe Day” the trip involved canoeing from Ross-on-wye all the way down to Symonds Yat. It was the first time I’ve been canoeing and it was an enjoyable experience. The 14 mile (approximately) trip did take a staggering amount of time (6 hours or so) the guide did say with 1 stop for lunch it would normally take 4 hours. Not sure Maddy enjoyed the whole boating experience, while the life jacket we bought her might have been a little bit over the top I still think it was worthwhile as it restricts her fidgeting in the back of the car and also has a convenient “grab handle” on the top of it, which made getting her in the canoe a breeze, I’d also still urge on the side of caution around water flash flooding is called flash flooding for a reason. Costs around £20 per person (£40 per canoe) to hire one and is very good value for the money.


I’ve run into this problem before and it serves are reminder of how anal Google can be at times. Internet at my home as gone down (BT line problem) as a result I have no email as everything was coming into an Exchange box in my attic. I’ve now decided to shift my email over to Google.

The Google Apps for Business (http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/index.html) is an excellent bit of software, it really is. The migration wizard (step by step guide) explained things and provide further information if needed. I’d say within about 5 minutes I was up and running, now this may have been where I went astray. Google only allows a username to be created once (and it ignores . [full stops], so forenamesurname and forename.surname are the same) Having signed in at admin and created 2 new (additional users) I started to look at how much this would cost, a reasonable £2.75 per user per month (if signing up for 12 months [£33]) however Google wants me to pay for 3 accounts! Administrator and my 2 users, so I promptly set about deleting myself and trying to rename the admin, however as I’d already created a user (even though I deleted) I am now unable to sign in with forename.surname@domain, very annoying. What solution do Google offer to this? Adding forename.surname as a nickname (alias) to the admin account, this is just stupid. I tried it and also fiddled around with the reply-to address, but it still always shows as admin@domain

The only possible saving grace in this is that I think the username may become available again after 5 days... it still seems farcical that I only made the username 5 minutes ago but I now have to wait 5 days in order to reclaim it  (very annoying considering I own the domain name)