Getting Around the Sync Error: Google Outlook Sync Tool

I’ve been working with a client to migrate their email systems to Google Apps Premier, as most folks’ emails are being kept on their personal computers and there is a good chance of losing a chunk of work amongst other things.

The task for me was to personally help with uploading all of the disparate systems up to Google Mail, Calendar and Docs. We’ll also be moving some wiki content onto Sites over time but the main issue right now is that we need to get those emails up!

The Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook tool is pretty good at getting everything working with Outlook directly, as well as uploading your existing emails.

Set up is straight-forward, but sometimes an error crops up that is commented in the forums and in the known issues page.

I found that the “Sync Errors” folder that is created doesn’t actually get synchronised. The easy fix is to either upload the folder with the Email Uploader tool, or simply create a label with the same name in Google Apps Mail. Once done, sync should continue to work.

Google Down! World Stops!

Well, it’s been going on for about an hour now. Google Mail appears to be having problems. The logon page is slow, logging in times out. Active sessions are broken.

I’ll mark this day in my calendar.

This has also affected Google Apps mail systems, including the educational packages that I’ve set some clients up with.

Will we ever recover? Will the world care? What impact will this have on the global economy?

Only time will tell.

Hiding the tricky PDF data

Sometimes, you don’t want people reading the fine detail on a PDF document. Especially if you’re lying about when the document was created.

Can you image the conversation?

“Hey, Jeff – I got your report on the bug monsters.”

“No worries, Dave. Just annoying when the email goes missing like that.”

“Er, yeah. By the way – I checked the document summary and it said you only created it an hour ago.”

“Ummmmmmmmmmmm…”

Well, fear not! Help is here! After spending about an hour searching for a useful open source tool, jPDFtweak came to the rescue!

To us this very effective tool, simply download onto your computer and unzip the files. Once done, you can run the application with the following command:

<code>java -jar jpdftweak.jar</code>

Once loaded, you can open a PDF on the import tab

Now,

  • Click the Document Info tab
  • Tick the Change Document Info box
  • Click Load from Document

All the document data that is in the file is now loaded into jPDFtweak. Just double-click on the bits of data that you want to change, and type in the new data.

Once done, click on the Output tab, give your new PDF a name and then click Run.

Yeah, baby!

Fetch email with Fetchmail and Ubuntu

I decided that seeing as I’m making a serious crack at using Ubuntu, one of the serious issues is getting at my email.

To that end, I’ve finally got around to setting up fetchmail to grab my personal emails for me. For my work emails, I’ll still be using E.F.S., as that’s running on the mail server itself and is effectively 24/7.

So, here’s a guide to getting the thing set up quickly and with minimal effort, and keep it running on the system while turned on.

Step 1 – Create a configuration file for fetchmail

Because I’m not going to go into all of the parameters for fetchmail here (they are well documented), we’ll be using fetchmailconf, which is a GUI for configuring fetchmail configuration files.
Open the terminal and enter fetchmailconf. This will open up the fetchmail launcher.

Click ‘Configure fetchmail’ and run through either the Novice or Expert configuration. Once you have completed the setup, make sure that fetchmail works by clicking the first ‘Run fetchmail’ button on the configuration menu.
NOTE: It’s a good idea to select ‘Suppress deletion of messages after reading’ while testing so that your emails are not lost.

Step 2 – Copy your configuration file to the system settings

Back to the terminal window, and do the following:

  • cd
  • more .fetchmailrc – this should print the configuration file to the screen. If it does then great, we’re on the way. You should be able to recognise the settings that you have made
  • sudo cp .fetchmailrc /etc/fetchmailrc – this copies your configuration file to the system area for the fetchmail daemon to use
  • sudo chown fetchmail /etc/fetchmailrc
  • sudo chmod 600 /etc/fetchmailrc – these last two command set the file permissions for the fetchmail user to access the file, but otherwise keep your email password secure.

Step 3 – Set fetchmail to run when the system is booted

Now we’re just going to make sure that fetchmail is set to run in the background, and will run when the machine is booted up.

  • sudo gedit /etc/default/fetchmail
  • In gedit, change the line START_DAEMON=no to START_DAEMON=yes. Save and close gedit.
  • Back to the terminal
  • sudo /etc/init.d/fetchmail start – this will start the fetchmail daemon, while will run in the background on your Ubuntu system.

That’s it! Load up your email application and check that the email you expect to be downloaded arrives.

If you want to check that fetchmail is running, enter ps -A | grep fetchmail in the terminal. If fetchmail is running, you’ll see a line like this:

11985 ? 00:00:01 fetchmail

That wasn’t so hard, was it?