Sunday, January 24, 2010

Google's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 101

Google has recently released an excellent beginner's guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Google SEO Resources for Beginners.

It is not only a good systematic introduction to SEO, but also provides tips and suggestions for both beginners and experts alike.

Link: Google SEO Resources for Beginners

Thursday, January 14, 2010

All About Google Chrome Extensions


NEW ADDITIONS UPDATED: May 25, 2010

Since December 2009, Google Chrome has added support for extensions, which are similar to Firefox add-ons. The selection of Google Chrome extensions is puny, compared to the vast library of add-ons for Firefox. If you want to experiment, here is a round-up of various recommendations for your reference:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Keeping Your Firefox Plugins Updated

How often do you update your browser plugins or check whether you have the latest versions? It is a chore that most people often overlook. Keeping your plugins updated to the latest version significantly reduces the risk of attack by malware, viruses, etc. that exploit flaws in older versions of the plugins.

If you are a Firefox user, Mozilla has created a Plugin Check page to allow you to check whether you have the latest plugins and to update your plugins by clicking "Update."

Official Link: Mozilla Plugin Check Page or click the banner below:
We can check your plugins and stuff

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Using DavMail Gateway To Allow Thunderbird To Access Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 & Earlier

Your employer uses Microsoft Exchange and allows you to access your e-mail, calendar and contacts via Outlook installed on employer-issued computers. You want to access your e-mails, calendar and contacts on your own computer using a client such as Mozilla Thunderbird. Your employer refuses to enable IMAP access, citing security risks. Microsoft Exchange uses proprietary MAPI protocols, which are incompatible with the open protocols that Thunderbird and other clients use.

With IMAP disabled by your employer, you are forced to use the clunky web-based Outlook Web Access. What do you do?

Enter DavMail Gateway.

DavMail Gateway is an open-source POP/IMAP/SMTP/Caldav/LDAP exchange gateway that enables users to use any mail/calendar client (e.g. Thunderbird with Lightning or Apple iCal) with any Microsoft Exchange server.

DavMail Gateway's mechanism is deceptively simple yet elegant: it uses Outlook Web Access to retrieve your e-mail, calendar and contacts from your employer's Exchange server and then retransmit them to your local client using open standard compliant protocols (e.g., LDAP, SMTP, IMAP, Caldav, POP).

DavMail Gateway is compatible with Microsoft Exchange 2007 and earlier. It is written in Java and officially tested on Windows, Ubuntu and Mac OS X platforms.

Here is a visual schematic of how DavMail Gateway works:


I have tested the latest version of DavMail Gateway with Thunderbird 3 on my home computers running Windows XP and Ubuntu 9.10 to access my employer's Microsoft Exchange 2007 server at work and I am pleased to say that DavMail Gateway works like a charm, allowing the Thunderbird installed on my Windows XP and Ubuntu 9.10 systems to access my employer's Exchange 2007 server without any problems.

No more clunky Outlook Web Access for me.

DavMail is hosted on sourceforge.net.

Visit DavMail Gateway's official site -- http://davmail.sourceforge.net -- for detailed setup instructions, latest versions for downloading, etc.


SETUP INSTRUCTIONS:

NB: This method does not apply if you are accessing your e-mail through Outlook.com. You can still use Thunderbird to access your Outlook.com e-mail. For detailed instructions, see my blog post: Accessing Your Outlook WebMail Using Thunderbird.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Changing your Domain Name System (DNS) to Open DNS or Google Public DNS

Most computer users use the default Domain Name System (DNS) that is provided by their Internet Service Provider (ISP). A Domain Name System is a network service that converts a web address (e.g., http://www.anyname.com/) into its numerical equivalent (e.g., 123.345.567.789).

If you are dissatisfied with your ISP's DNS, you can define your own DNS either in your router's configuration screen or in your operating system's network preference. The two principal public DNS service that are widely used are:
Open DNS's IP addresses are:
  • 208.67.222.222
  • 208.67.220.220
Note: You do not need to sign up for an Open DNS account if you only want to use the basic Open DNS without additional services. You only need to enter the above two DNS IP addresses into your router's or your OS's network configuration.

Google DNS's IP addresses are:
  • 8.8.8.8
  • 8.8.4.4
Don't know how to change your DNS server? Google has easy to understand instructions. If you plan to use Open DNS's servers, use the two Open DNS's numerical IP addresses instead of Google's IP addresses.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

15 Hacks Every Dropbox User Should Know


MaximumPC.com has come out with an excellent discussion of "15 Hacks Every Dropbox User Should Know." If you are a Dropbox user, you would want to read this article, which gives you tips on how to be a Dropbox power user.
Currently, Dropbox is running a promotion whereby if you sign up using my referral link, both you and I get 250 MB of bonus space. In other words, if you sign up using my referral link, you will get 2 GB+250 MB space. This is certainly a win-win situation for you and I.