Posts Tagged ‘gmail’

Gmail has an estimated 190 million users worldwide. Many even have multiple accounts, the forwarding and ‘send mail as’ features of Gmail actively encouraging this practice.

Which is why it was a rude shock to roughly 40,000 Gmail users when they logged in last week, only to find that all their data-emails, attachments, chats, contacts and documents-had vanished, and their accounts had been reset. The only thing these unlucky users had in their inbox were the automated ‘Welcome to Gmail’ emails.

However, all was not lost as Gmail keeps multiple copies of the data (even including offline, tape-based backup of user data) and they set about restoring the bug that caused the problem. Google later identified the issue as a software bug in a recently released storage software update. More than the number of users affected, this obviously got far more attention than it deserved and outlined the importance of not using Gmail as the sole repository for several gigabytes of critical data.

If the recent Gmail bug scared you enough to act, Here are multiple different ways to back up all your Gmail data so that any disruption in services, no matter how rare, won’t affect you in the least:

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Gmail-Backup

Gmail-Backup is a software tool which you can download for free from gmail-backup.com. To use it, you need to have IMAP access activated in Gmail. To do this, sign in to your Gmail account, click on the little ‘gear’ icon in the top right corner and click ‘Mail Settings’.

Here, under ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’, you can enable IMAP access. Gmail-backup will use IMAP access to create a complete backup of your accounts data on your hard drive.

Depending on how much data you have and the speed of your internet connection, this could take quite a while. Your computer and internet connection will need to be active for the duration of the transfer.

The softwate also has a restore function, to copy locally stored data back into a Gmail account. Gmail-backup’s website also has a forum which can address any issues you may have.

Create another Gmail account

In the event of another software bug or system crash, the chances of all Gmail accounts being compromised is minimal. Even when Gmail rolls out new features, they do so in phases – and this is primarily to identify and fix any teething issues.

Therefore, all you have to do is create another Gmail account and import all mails and contacts from your primary account.

To do this, sign in to your new Gmail account, click on the little ‘gear’ icon in the top right corner and click ‘Mail Settings’. Here, under ‘Accounts and Import’ you’ll be able to import mail from your old account.

Switching account

Hotmail may have lost out to Gmail when it comes to number of features, but they still have an estimated 364 million users-the highest in the world for any free email provider. And they want to make it all the more easier if you decide to make the switch from any other free email account to Hotmail.

To do the switch, Hotmail has tied up with TrueSwitch (trueswitch.com). TrueSwitch is normally a paid service that makes it easy to transfer all your email from one account to another. In this case, Hotmail will bear the expense, if you decide to switch. But you can use this feature to back up your Gmail data and still keep on using Gmail. To use the service, head to secure5.trueswitch.com/winlive and enter all the required credentials.

Mailstore

Another free solution for email backup, Mailstore (mailstore.com) can access multiple online email inboxes using POP3 or IMAP access. The process is easy enough; just download the free software and enter in your email credentials. Like Gmail-backup, Mailstore has an online community which can address backup problems.

Gmail Keeper

For a one-time price of $19.95, Gmail Keeper (gmailkeeper.com) offers a Gmail-specific backup tool that is easy to understand and can backup all folders and labels in Gmail (including the inbox, sent mail, starred mail, drafts and so on). It can backup everything as a .ZIP file to your hard drive. It also offers the ability to back up multiple Gmail accounts at the same time.

Backupify

Backupify (backupify.com) can backup all kinds of online services that you use, such as Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Zoho and Blogger. Once backed up, you can search through, download or restore the data at any time.

They offer three plans; a free plan that can backup up to 5 accounts with a storage limit of 2GB per account, a Pro 100 plan that can back up 25 different accounts with 20GB storage per account for $4.99 a month and a Pro 500 plan that can back up an unlimited number of accounts with unlimited storage for $19.99 a month.

Local email client backup

This is a no-brainer, and should be done even if you continue to use online access for Gmail and other accounts. Any email client like Mozilla’s Thunderbird (mozillamessaging.com/thunderbird), Eudora (eudora.com), Apple Mail, Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail can be used to download your mail.

You need to enable POP3 in Gmail (once again in the ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’ in the Mail Settings area of Gmail). The settings are simple enough; incoming server name is pop.gmail.com, protocol is POP, port is 995 and your Gmail username and password will have to be entered of course.

If you have more tips share them in the Comments section of this post, also in the next week post I will share my top alternatives to Gmail, so check them back…

Aren’t you the one of 100,000 lucky users who got an invitation to Google Wave, hmm then nothing to worry you can get a preview of it right here in my blog..

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Google’s real-time communication and collaboration service, which entered its public preview last month, has a fascinating motivating concept behind it: The service combines e-mail with instant messaging and real-time collaboration in a way that’s as confusing as it is clever. So what is Google Wave Really

“Google Wave is “a personal communication and collaboration tool” announced by Google at the Google I/O conference. It is typically a web-based service, computing platform, and communications protocol designed to merge e-mail, instant messaging, wiki, and social networking. It has a strong collaborative and real-time focus supported by extensions that can provide, for example, robust spelling/grammar checking, automated translation between 40 languages, and numerous other extensions”

If you use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari as your Web browser, you should all set, but if you use Internet Explorer you’ll first need to install the Google Chrome Frame plug-in. (Sorry Opera lovers—that browser isn’t supported yet.) Just head over to wave.google.com and click on the “Request an invitation” link to apply. Once you’ve been approved, you can just sign in with your regular Google account and start using the service. The design is a three-panel layout, with navigation and contacts down the left, the inbox in the center, and the actual wave content on the right. (For purposes of discussion, a lower-case “wave” indicates an instance of communication; an upper-case Wave refers to the Google app itself.) Any of these can be minimized to give more space to the area you want to concentrate on.

Google Wave is designed as the next generation of Internet communication. It is written in Java using OpenJDK; its web interface uses the Google Web Toolkit. Instead of sending a message and its entire thread of previous messages or requiring all responses to be stored in each user’s inbox for context, objects known as waves contain a complete thread of multimedia messages (blips) and are located on a central server. Waves are shared and collaborators can be added or removed at any point during a wave’s existence

But What Will We Use Google Wave For?

Personally I can’t wait to use it to take meeting minutes collaboratively and to co-write documents like blog posts and articles on line, also you could see using Wave as group chat—but with in line and private replies, which are key. Also there is the live multiple editing feature where more than one person can work on a document at the same time. Google Wave provides federation using an extension of XMPP, the open Wave Federation Protocol. Being an open protocol, anyone can use it to build a custom Wave system and become a wave provider. Google hopes that waves may replace e-mail as the dominant form of Internet communication. A key feature of the protocol is that waves are stored on the service provider’s servers instead of being sent between users. Waves are federated; copies of waves and wavelets are distributed by the wave provider of the originating user to the providers of all other participants in a particular wave or wavelet so all participants have immediate access to up-to-date content. The originating wave server is responsible for hosting, processing, and concurrency control of waves.

Wave is a completely extensible platform, like Firefox. Wave extensions come in two flavors: gadgets and robots.

A gadget is a piece of rich content that you can add to a wave. A few example gadgets are available in the Gadget gallery.

Here is one interesting gadget I saw on the Wav, it’s Ribbit conference call gadget. Add it to a wave, and everyone adds their phone number to it. (You only see your own number, not everyone else’s.) Click the “Start Conference” button, and everyone’s phone rings—and you’re on the phone, while you collaborate on a wave.

Robots are email addresses that you add to your contact list. Then, when you are in need of their services, you add a bot to a wave so they can perform some action on its contents. A robot can modify the contents of a wave, and several already exist that do silly to useful actions.

For example, Eliza the Robot Shrink will chat with you about anything—useful when you’re the only one of your friends who has a Wave invite and you’ve no one to talk to.

It’s hard to know what Google Wave will look like in its final form. Right now, it’s as intriguing in its possibilities as it is frustrating in its disorganization. If a third-party developer can iron out the organizational problems, Wave should be a winner. Also, more rights controls are needed—you may only want some participants to view the wave, and you might want leaders to be able to veto others’ actions. As it is now, anyone can edit any other participant’s contributions. It’s clearly not yet time to pass judgment on Wave—it’s a new implementation of an idea with lots of potential as a communication platform that could become either the wave of the future or another Google Lively.

Here is a complete Developer Preview of Google Wave:

Leave a comment if you are interested and let me see if I can get back-link to get a easy invite to Google wave.