Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hold off on buying those Nehalem i7 Macs?

Via Slashdot, a Microsoft support document tells us the new Nehalem CPUs have some significant bugs...
Stop error message on an Intel Xeon 5500 series processor-based computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 and that has the Hyper-V role installed: "0x00000101 - CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT"

...This problem occurs because spurious interrupts are generated on the computer that uses Intel code-named Nehalem processors. These interrupts are caused by a known erratum that is described in the following Intel documents....
I'm close to buying one of the Nehalem iMacs, but it's not urgent. So I can just hold off for a few weeks and watch how this plays out. All CPUs have bugs, and new CPUs can have grave bugs. If this is a bad one we'll find out soon enough.
My Google Reader Shared items (feed)

Amazon has an Apple Store?

I didn't realilze Amazon had an Apple Store. I've always found Apple stuff there by searching on it, this is much better. Unfortunately today they are listing very few iMacs, I wonder if the supply has run out.

Incidentally, the above link is from Gruber's Daring Fireball, so if you use it and buy I think he should get the credit.
My Google Reader Shared items (feed)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Using OS X 10.5 iCal with Google CalDAV - cleaning up import disasters

I don't have a rich enough vocabulary to fully express my opinion of OS X iCal. Can a worse calendar program exist anywhere or anywhen?

And yet ... Google lists iCal as one of precisely two products that will work with Google's CalDAV services. I now use CalDAV with my iPhone, and at the moment I prefer it to iPhone ActiveSync.

That's nice, but not enough to make me bother -- until a recent Google Calendar import misadventure. Google doesn't give users a way to remove all events from a Calendar without deleting the calendar. I need something more powerful than Google's anemic calendar interfaces.

I decided to give iCal CalDAV a try with Spanning Sync as my backup.

First I had to clean out the old calendars, now abandoned since I'd moved my calendaring to Google. It was easy to delete all but the Home Calendar. You can't remove the iCal Home calendar [SEE UPDATE: This was a bug, you should be able to remove it.], and there's no UI to delete all Home Calendar entries (the iCal List view, in particular, having been famously deleted in 10.5 and replaced with the bizarre "." workaround).

I tried the "search on ." method to find entries in a list view and delete them, but there were several undead entries. They returned after deletion. Besides, iCal is sickeningly slow at delete operations.

In the end I had to remove all data in iCal using the Finder:
... Navigate to the folder ~User/Library/Calendars
Delete the contents

Navigate to ~User/Library/Application Support/iCal
Delete the contents...
Once that was done I followed Google's CalDAV setup directions. I now have about five of my Google Calendars in iCal. It's a good way to view a lot of Calendar data in one place.

In early testing, things look promising. I can in fact edit and delete CalDAV entries and the changes are reflected back to Google -- at one time I believe that didn't work. Alarms, however, don't get set in Google even when they're set in iCal.

Update: The directions work for Google Apps domains as well as standard Google Accounts. See also.

Update 11/29/09: You should be able to delete your Home calendar. I found this out while setting up iCal on some of our other machines. When I right clicked on Home the Delete function was black, it had been gray on the first machine I worked with. I went back to the initial machine, my old G5 iMac, and I was able to delete it there as well. I think this was related to the "zombie" recurring appointments (dated 2002) that I couldn't remove. When I deleted all the Calendar data in the Finder I cleared up that problem -- and the problem of the unremovable "Home" calendar. The most likely cause? Permissions, of course. The OS X permissions model needs to be shot.

When you can't use a signature with iPhone mail ...

The iPhone was originally designed to work with a single account. So it had a set of preferences that made sense for a single account.

When Apple added support for multiple accounts, they did a pretty good job redoing Except, of course, for the preferences.

Even though I now get my business email and personal email on my iPhone, I have only one signature. Since the only thing that's common between my business and personal email is my name, there's not much use for that signature. I've removed it.

Since you don't see the signature when you compose a message, this is a bit of a subtle problem. It could even be embarrassing if, for example, your personal signature was a bit risque.
My Google Reader Shared items (feed)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Why is the App Store boring and buggy?

I visit the iPhone App Store fairly often. Excluding games, most of the Apps that I look at are either dull or buggy -- and even good 3rd party apps are slow compared to Apple's apps. Even some of the apps I used to use, like, have become unacceptably buggy. Others are clones of applications I'm currently satisfied with.

Why is this?

I'd like to know. I'll hazard some guesses.

My first guess is that the current iPhone APIs are buggy. Apple's own iPhone apps are pretty responsive and reliable, but, obviously, Apple developers have insider knowledge. Perhaps Apple can use less buggy private APIs, or knows what to avoid.

My second guess is that it's very hard to write an innovative iPhone App. You can't use Location, because there's no background API for that [Corrected thanks to a comment]. You can't mess with the Calendar, because there's no API for that. You can't do anything resembling an Apple product because your App will be rejected. Maybe the dev environment is so challenging that, in addition to the above, you have to be a real hot developer.

A contributing factor is that the non-game developer market is oddly small. For competitive reasons Adobe and Microsoft don't do iPhone development. Apple itself doesn't sell iPhone apps. Google would like to play, but Apple's effectively banned them.

If you add up all of the above, there are very few people have both the capability and the motivation to do non-game iPhone development.

So the (non-game) App store is boring and buggy.

Any other explanation?
My Google Reader Shared items (feed)

Why Apple's and Voice are newly on my home screen

One of the design principles of the original PalmPilot was "no delays". In the time it took to get to the Newton's note pad, the PalmPilot and Palm III user would have entered their task item and put the device away.

I miss that philosophy. It takes about 30 seconds for may of my 3G iPhone 3rd party apps to accomplish simple tasks.

Apple's apps are much faster - though still not as fast as the Palm III native apps. So even though I like the 3rd party alternatives much better, Apple's and "Voice" are back on my home screen. The better apps are just too slow.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Google Reader: Experiments with notes, following and sharing

Google has been trying to make Official Google Blog: Google Reader and Reader Mobile more "social" -- and more Twitter-like. You can "Like" items, you can "Share" with or without a Note ("followers" see the shared items), and you can Comment on items others have Shared. When you "Like" an item Google tries to suggest similar items. More interestingly it puts you on a "Liked by" list; I use those lists to find new people to follow.

You can also inject "naked" comments into your shared item stream, and you can use the "Note in Reader" bookmarklet to create a Reader stream note on any web page. It's microbloggy-twitter-statusy-social-graph stuff.

I've been using this stuff on the standard and mobile web clients [1] for months, and it works for me. I don't have much use for Twitter, but I use my Reader Notes as a way to track ideas that might turn into blog posts, and to create an annotated repository of things I find noteworthy. That repository is searchable in Google Reader.

These notes are shared as well, but Google tells me no more than 2-3 people are following my Shared items (My wife reads them too, but as an embedded feed rather than via Reader. She's my favorite reader by far).

Whereas I'm not well "followed" (sniff) I truly enjoy reading the items shared by those I do follow, such as Jacob Reider, Thomas, Rahul, Jesse Stay and John Munro [1]. Their crowd-sourced items and notes have significantly broadened and improved the quality of my knowledge stream.

Reader gets more love than most Google products, but there are still issues. Here's a quick summary of stuff to watch out for ...
  1. Features are scattered and surprising. In writing this, for example, I found a "Comment View" that shows comments on my posts -- I didn't know there was a way to see these. Sorry Rahul, I've just now appreciated your comments!
  2. There's a strange intersection between Google Contacts "Groups" and the ability to "Comment" on a shared item. I don't know if it's necessary, but I added the people I "follow" to a Google Contacts Group I created called "readers".
  3. When I read a shared item with a Note, I want to reshare it with a Comment. However if I add a Comment it doesn't show up in my Shared or Notes view or my shared item feed. Comments are an awkward design fit.
  4. I sometimes Star items that I also Share w/ or w/o a Note. Sometimes the Starred Item shows the Note and the Noted item shows a Star, but sometimes I get separate Starred and Noted items.
  5. The Mobile version of Google Reader is due for an update. It's missing several of the key features of the standard version such as "Like" and "Tweet".
  6. If I read an item, I don't want to see it again. Sometimes this works, but if several of the people I follow share an item I may see it 4-5 times.
I hope Google's ADD holds off a bit and they continue to invest in Reader. At the moment it's one of their best products.
[1] I used to read on my iPhone using "Byline", but their quality fell off a cliff about six months ago. I gave up on them.
[2] His Profile taught me how to get a "Verified Name" badge, a strong identity stake on a Google Profile. This turned out to be more than a bit odd however, so it needs another post.
See also:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Google Profile now an OpenID URL

I’ve been using MyOpenID as an identity provider. I’ve been disappointed with their two factor authentication strategy, but I like their Persona support.

As of today, however, I’m supposed to be able to use my Google Profile, (note vanity ID), wherever OpenID is accepted …

Google Profiles Turn Into OpenIDs (Tech Crunch)

… Google has been attempting to unify its various account profiles into one Google Profile. And now it’s more useful. Google’s Brad Fitzpatrick has just tweeted out that Google Profiles can now be used as OpenIDs.

What this means is that you can sign into any site that accepts OpenID simply by using your Google Profile domain…

I just tried it with Slashdot, and my credentials were accepted. Slashdot also allowed me to bind my Google OpenID to my old Slashdot account.

I have appreciated MyOpenID, but it’s hard to beat the convenience of having my Google account as an OpenID provider. If only MyOpenID had listened to to my critique of their two factor authentication procedure …

Facebook application privacy

Facebook has dubious ethical relationship with application creators. The money has to come from somewhere, and it appears that quite a lot comes from how applications exploit vulnerable customers.

So if you use Facebook, you should probably take a close look at this privacy setting:
Facebook | Application Privacy
... When a friend of yours allows an application to access their information, that application may also access any information about you that your friend can already see...
Very few FB users understand how "applications" work, and how one may unwittingly grant applications privileges. They are not applications like "Microsoft Word", they are mixtures of services and entertainment purchased with personal information. The most successful applications, are, by necessity, invasive. Darwin would understand.

The key concept here is that a "friend" can essentially "sell" your personal information -- and be completely unaware of what they've done.

I've set every option on this panel to the most limited setting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Google Docs is really bad

Every so often I try to do something non-trivial using Google Docs "Documents".

Each time I come away with the same opinion. Google's is awful.

Try selecting a table embedded within another table row.

That's just the start. has lots of missing functionality. It's not stuff that's technically impossible to do in Ajax, it's just that Google isn't doing it. is not nearly so bad. You can even edit it on an iPhone. Unlike, say, a Google Document.

I don't get how people pretend this is some kind of alternative to Word. I am, to put it mildly, no fan of Microsoft Word. Even so, I can't delude myself for a nano-moment that Google's is in the same class as Word. Especially not Word:Mac 2008*.

It's weird that anyone pretends otherwise.

* I've only recently begun using this version of Word. I am disturbed by the suspicion that I might like it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

SurveyMonkey and web apps for meeting setup

I've seen this site used with quick group questions such as dates, places, etc.

... SurveyMonkey has a single purpose: to enable anyone to create professional online surveys quickly and easily...

In a similar vein are a number of products for setting up meeting times and spots ...
  • TimeToMeet: visual calendar sync
  • Doodle: this one's quite popular for quick scheduling. Probably next one I'll try. Apparently works without sign-up (smart). No OpenID!
  • Tungle: Read-write-web really liked it, I need to study it more. No OpenID! Can work with Google Calendar, but does it require a Google pw (kiss of death).
  • TimeBridge: Has iPhone client
  • When is Good: No sign up at all.

Ok, so why don't any of these support OpenID?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Big switch on my iPhone sync: CalDAV and Exchange server

In the last episode of ‘As the iPhone Turns’ our hero was getting business contacts to the iPhone via PST export to Outlook on home XP to MobileMe to the iPhone. Office calendar data traveled one way via Google Calendar Sync to Google Calendar. Google Calendar and Contacts went to the iPhone via Google’s Active Sync (Exchange Server) clone. Address Book on OS X synced to MobileMe on several machines. iCal was out of the picture.

Today it’s all shook up. I can now use Exchange server to bring office contacts, calendar and email to my iPhone. Since the iPhone can support only one Exchange Active Sync connection I switched my Google Calendar sync to CalDAV; for now office appts still go there via one way Google Calendar Sync. I still don’t use iCal.

Personal Contacts now go via MobileMe to the iPhone. Google Contacts don’t go anywhere (for now).

The downside is that my office contacts no longer appear in OS X Address Book, but the ease of updating and ability to edit on my iPhone makes up for that. My first impression is that CalDAV is a better fit for Google Calendar than Active Sync, and that Exchange sync works better with a true Exchange server than with Google Calendar.

Hope you followed all that, I’m not sure I did.

Update 12/3/09: I've seen one odd behavior that might be a bug. I can see and edit Emily's calendar. So when Emily invited me to an event I at first accepted, then realized I didn't need to see her event and mine. So I deleted the invited even, so only hers remained. Problem is, her appointment then vanished on my iPhone! but it was viewable on her iPhone and on the web.

So it was still around, I just couldn't see it. I removed the "invited, not coming" data from the event and changed it enough to force a refresh, it then reappeared.

I wonder if there's a problem with deleting an invited appointment while viewing the original appointment on another person's calendar.

iPhone App store boredom - some palliatives

For me the iPhone App Store went from nothing to thrilling to boring in a matter of months.

The excitement was just one casualty of the Battle of Google Voice. I gather there are lots of interesting games coming out, but I don't do games. I haven't found a good app in months; it's 57 channels and nothin' on all over again.

I did find some palliatives.

The App Genius button does work and it turned up one or two I've not considered. One of them led me in turn to the O'Reilly Best iPhone Apps site, which is two cuts above the competition. Between the two of them I'm looking at QuickOffice and iThoughts.

Even so, there's no cure for the App Store blahs. Cowardice is making Apple boring.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Address book sharing with OS X and MobileMe

Did you know you could share your Address Book through MobileMe, and even allow someone else to edit the entries?

I didn’t think so.

One of the oddest aspects of Apple’s “MobileMe” program is that much of the functionality is distributed between OS X machines, a user-invisible MobileMe repository, iPhones, and a sparse Web GUI. I expect most MobileMe functionality to be exposed through the web GUI, but it doesn’t work that way.

Address book sharing is a prime example (warning, Apple’s troubleshooting page on this feature is pretty much a warning not to use it! Obviously, you need to backup the desktop Address Book frequently.

I followed the directions and from my OS X desktop 10.5.8 user account I shared my Address Book with Emily (editing enabled).

Then, from her account I subscribed to my shared Addresses. I then did an iPhone sync to get everything cleared up and saved an archive of her Address Book [1]. Then, and only then, did I turn on MobileMe sync for her desktop contacts (Address Book).

I had to exit her Address Book and restart it to get my addresses to come over to her account. That’s typical of 10.5 Address Book.

It took quite a while, but now Emily has all of my Contacts on her OS X Address Book. They don’t, however, sync to her iPhone via iTunes. They also can’t be seen from the MobileMe web GUI, so I’m sure MobileMe iPhone contacts Sync wouldn’t see them either.

On the Mac though Emily can copy contacts from my list into her address book though, so copies can go to the iPhone.

It’s an interesting feature. We’ll see how useful it is, but to be safe I’ll disable remote editing.

[1] If you ever do a restore you need to immediately restart Address Book to complete it.

OS X Address book: labels and large numbers

I like Address Book far more than iCal, but even so I've underestimated it.

Great features: Mac 101: Two things I love about Address Book.

Update: Poking around Address Book I came across the “share feature”. It’s rather complex, but intriguing. I’ve a later post on how to use this sharing feature.
My Google Reader Shared items (feed)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Parental Controls - The wikipedia problem solved

I'm setting up a special account on one of our laptops that will be used by my son with light supervision. It will be much more restricted than the account he uses when closely supervised.

So I'm back with Apple's notoriously buggy Parental Controls. It's been a while, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that several old bugs are better in the latest version of Safari and 10.5.

One is acting strangely however. I wonder if it's a new Safari bug. When I limit access to listed web sites, many links within the sight are unavailable. This isn't how it's supposed to work (emphases mine) ...
Mac OS X 10.5: About the Parental Controls Internet content filter
... If 'Allow access to only these websites' is selected in Parental Controls, the Internet content filter blocks any website which is not on the list. When the blocking web page is presented, a list of allowed websites is also shown. If using Safari, allowed websites are displayed as bookmarks in the bookmarks bar.

Note: For most websites, the Internet content filter considers the domain name and not the path. For example, if is added to the list, then will be allowed, as will
The key word here is "most". In one site I tested it works as above. In another, only the main page is accessible. I can't find any documentation that explains why behavior varies by site. I'll try asking on Apple Discussions.

Update 11/20/09: I found a 2008 post on this topic. The user never found a fix, but later, on a different 10.5 machine, the problem resolved.

Update 11/21/09: Wikipedia has a nonstandard approach to IP addresses. I can use ping to find an IP address for, but I can't use that address in a URL. I suspect this is done to meet some security and confidentiality goal. However this approach may also defeat Parental Controls, which probably works from IP addresses.

Update 11/21/09b: We use OpenDNS on some kid machines, and OpenDNS supports a "shortcut" redirect like "simple" for Except it doesn't work for this domain. Wikipedia is doing something unusual with IP addresses, perhaps as a side-effect of protecting user IP addresses. I think Wikipedia manages IP addresses differently for logged in users, so I'm going to explore that option next.

Update 11/21/09c. I dance the geek dance of Dilbertian triumph. What worked for me is the combination of establishing a user account and secure server access (https to server). The sequence I followed is:
  1. From Admin account off content controls for the child account browser.
  2. In Child account create a user account on wikipedia and use their secure login: Create a bookmark to this page.
  3. Go to main page: Create a bookmark to this page.
  4. Now return to Admin account and limit access controls to the above listed bookmarks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LEGO Digital Designer is pure evil on OS X

I downloaded LEGO Digital Designer : Virtual Building Software for my Lego-crazed 10 yo. It's going to be hard to tell him it doesn't work on OS X.

I got it working on one account, but on another it says there's no internet access (cannot access internet) -- then it hangs. I have to kill it.

It looks and smells like a cheap hacked port from Windows, probably outsourced to the lowest bidder.

I'm one seriously annoyed customer. Maybe it's time to try to interest Ben in the non-Lego world. Lego doesn't really need our money this holiday season.

Update: It's incompatible with parental controls. If controls are enabled in any way, even if all web access is allowed, it doesn't work. I wonder if it uses some chat protocol to communicate with the server; I know enabling parental controls blocks jabber/google talk protocols in 10.5 (bug).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Microsoft Access 2007 – RIP

I’ve seen software die.

First the code gets crufty. Features pile on, but half of ‘em don’t work right. Old features might or might not work. There are security holes.

Then a bright new team gets the gig. Old code is hacked out, new ideas are grafted onto old models. Usually you end up with a cacophonous concatenation.

That’s how Access 2007 smells. I know the team tried hard, but it’s a train wreck.

It’s not just a few bugs, or one or two missing features, or a limited design flop. It’s all of the above and more. As a power tool for hacking relational data it’s following the FrontPage path to oblivion.

Yeah, I’ve written before about how bad Access 2007 is. Even so, I think I was in denial. It took trying to complete a significant data manipulation project to make me face facts.

Microsoft isn’t going to fix Access. They want to sell the latest iteration of SQL Server and their Sharepoint services – Access is a costly distraction that happens to work pretty well with the Great Satan (Oracle).

There will be another release or two, then it will follow the path of FrontPage - which was once part of the Office Suite.

See also:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Calling from Montreal to St. Paul using Google Voice

I've been using Google Voice for over a year to save about $1,000 on my mobile phone long distance calls from St. Paul to Montreal. I use Google's web tool on iPhone to call a number; Google first calls my cell then it calls the remote number.

It's been working very well, especially lately, even though Apple is a greedy coward for purging all GV apps from the iPhone and forcing me to use the inferior Google Web app.

It's good stuff, but of course there are limitations. The first connection in the two connection Google Voice call must be within the US. So if I'm in Montreal, for example, I can't useGoogle Voice to call from Montreal to St. Paul.

Except ... I slowly realized ... I can, from anywhere with a web browser, setup a call from one of my GV registered numbers to any other number on earth.

It's not calling from Montreal to St Paul, it's telling Google to call St. Paul, then, when someone picks up, Google connects to Montreal.

Got that? This Google Voice screen shot might help (imagine 111-1111 were a real number in Montreal, 1660 Stanford how I label our home phone number):

I can only create these connections to numbers that I've registered with Google (and that registration is all but exclusive, no more than two GV users can share a number), so practically speaking it's only useful for me setting up a phone call from my home to wherever I happen to be.

Still, it's an example of the kind of creativity the GV platform allows. (Apple, can we trade 99,000 iPhone apps for the Google Mobile suite?)

Friday, November 06, 2009

iWeb doesn't do tables - and OS X HTML Editor alternatives

I really do need to find a web page authoring solution other than FrontPage 98.

That's not easy. Yeah, FP 98 wasn't perfect. On the other hand, there's almost nothing to compare to it today. I'd stay with it, except it's a bit silly to fire up a Win VM just to run ten year old software.

I tried seeing if I could live with one of Google's many (many) HTML editors -- such as Sites, Google Docs, or Blogger. Briefly - yech. Google's templates are terrifically ugly. I'm no artist, but Google makes Microsoft look inspired. Sites layout seems to require tables -- but you can't make borders vanish. I've been waiting years for Google to stop sucking at this, and it's past time I give up.

So on OS X that leaves only a few options. I tried an early version of Karelia Sandvox, but it didn't impress and it's $60. I'm sure it's better now, but I do own iWeb '09. So that's a logical choice, but iWeb uses a proprietary database format - hard data lock.

As is common in modern software, there are no good choices. For now I'll do throwaway stuff in iWeb while I look for alternatives.

Which brings me to the title of my post. I know iWeb can't be really serious -- because iWeb doesn't do tables. Not at all.


Update: RapidWeaver has grown up a lot since I looked at it years ago. I was really impressed by this ...
...The RapidWeaver Sandwich file format (.rwsw) is a completely open file format. We call them "RapidWeaver Sandwiches" because it's easy to open them up and see the filling. In the Finder, they’re viewed as normal ‘bundles’ however inside it’s all developer-friendly XML...
Of course that doesn't mean I could do anything with this format, but I'm impressed they talk about it. I couldn't find out much about how Sandvox stores its data. I did get the impression that it can be tricky to move RapidWeaver work from one machine to another -- that's a serious problem.

I wish I wasn't the only person in the universe who worried about data freedom and exit strategies!

Update b: While it doesn't have tables, I have to admit that the iWeb page I did looks quite nice and it was very easy to put together.

Update 11/9/09: In my very first iWeb page I ran into a weird bug. This doesn't mean iWeb is necessarily unusually buggy -- bugs love me. I had a text field that had one URL in iWeb and another on the web. I tried lots of tricks to fix the bug, but nothing worked. Finally I deleted the text field -- and another object vanished with it! Somehow it was entangled with an image that had a link to. I had to carefully remove the text object only letter at a time, then recreate it to clear the bug.

Google Account storage allotment bug

Google has some paid storage issues.

When I look at My Google Account Personal Settings, I see I'm using 83% of my Storage Space (8.27 GB).

However, in Gmail it says I'm using 9.9 GB of 17.2 GB (57%).

In the manage storage view It says I'm using
  • Gmail: 1.6 of 8.33 GB (19%)
  • Picasa: 1 GB (100%)
  • Paid Storage: Picasa 8.27 GB (83%), Available 1.73 GB (17%)
So from some views I'm seeing the sum of my standard Gmail allotment plus 1 GB from Picasa, in other views I'm seeing a percentage of the sum of all my allotments, and lastly I see a view where all the storage allotments are segregated.

These are unlikely to all be correct.

Update 11/10/09: Google is redoing their storage plans, so maybe things will clear up. I don't see the new options yet.

Update 11/11/09: My primary storage now shows 80GB for $20. Here's how it's recorded across Google:
  • Gmail's view: 9.9 GB (11%) of 87.2 GB
  • Account Personal Settings view: 8.27GB (10%) of 80 GB
manage storage view:

Free (total is about 8.27 but Gmail grows continuously)
  • Gmail: 1.6 (22%) of 7.27
  • Picasa: 1.0 (100%) of 1.0
Paid (80 GB)
  • Picasa: 8.27 GB (10%)
  • Gmail: 0GB (0%)
  • Available: 71.73 GB (90%)
Purchase storage view
  • 8.27GB (10%) in use
So it's still somewhat scrambled but the Manage Storage Screen now gets things straight. I seem to have 80GB in my general storage pool, 1 GB in free Picasa storage, and 7+ GB (it increments continuously) of free Gmail storage. So I have over 88GB total. It's still not clear if I can use any of my Gmail allotment for Picasa work, but I suspect not. It looks like future Gmail overflow would go into my 80GB pool, but these days Gmail is back to growing faster than my use.

Now that my storage is north of 80GB however Google can take their time sorting out the varying reports. I have enough for now and I can go back to using Picasa Web albums freely. I'll stay with the $20 a year plan, this gives me headroom for the next few years.

So do this mean gDrive is finally coming?
My Google Reader Shared items (feed)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Google Dashboard - authorized access (revoke)

The most interesting bit of my Google Dashboard is the Account - "websites authorized to access" link.

That link showed all the sites that exchange data via my Google ID, including 4-5 I no longer use. I revoked their access.

Since Google owns my soul my Dashboard goes on and on -- but this was the one new thing I recognized. There are about 18 other Google Services I use that aren't on the Dashboard.

Google is my master.

My Google Reader Shared items (feed)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

When Google and Google Apps Collide

Most of our family Google Services are tied to our family domain and Google Apps. That doesn't work for Google Voice though, so I had to create "true" Google accounts for each family member with a GV number. I used our Google Apps emails as the user name.

Turns out, this has an interesting side-effect. Google binds calendars to a user name, so there's a calendar for emily@our_family_domain in Google Apps. So, you might wonder, what happens if you go to when logged in to the standard Google Account with the Google Apps email?

Then you find your Null calendar ...

Get thee to the null calendar!

Google struggles with their Google Apps/Google Account dichotomies.

My Google Reader Shared items (feed)