Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Solving the email quota problem

Now, as I've mentionned before not everyone is disciplined with email and with the amount of email I get every day I blow-up my server quota every week. Until now, I had to delete every large attachment, save it on my disk drive and add something like <> to find it again (I have Copernic installed on my laptop, so I can just key in the file name, and then drag-and-drop it from Copernic into a message. This is a manual process and I've been looking for Outlook add-ons to automate it. I've searched a long time and found free ones that were also buggy and not satisfying.

The best one I've tried is from MAPILab and called Attachments Processor for Outlook. It does what it says on the box: it's quite simple to use and configure, just sits on your Tool menu and in the toolbar. There are a few nice options, like you can have renaming filters, you can do several rules to run automatically or manually, etc... For now, I've just created one to scan all sent items and detach them but you can run it on all outgoing items. I have yet to figure out the Archive feature though. There's even a function to reattach automatically files that were detached which I am very much found of. The complete feature list is impressive and since they're now at R4.2 I would think it's a pretty mature and bug free product. OK, it's not free but at $24 it's not expensive either if you can save a few hours trying to bring down your mail folder size when you're stuck in a remote country with only intermittent WiFi or slow PSTN access (it happenned to me during a trip in South Africa). Email deprivation syndrome is terrible...

The only snag is that I now have an attachment directory that duplicates with the files I had already stored on my HDA so I'll be looking at ways to deduplicate files on my disk drive although as space now seems so abundant it's a more long term priority (the main issue comes with backing up my HDA but then I've got a NAS).

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Petrol rip off?

I subscribed a while back to to try minimise my petrol bill. It's a great service that tells you where petrol is cheaper. Except that the petrol industry seems to be very good at making sure prices are in line in a given neighboorhood.

As you can see below, there's a huge difference between prices in Reading and in Richmond but with those areas prices are very similar... Looks like a scam to me...

5 cheapest stations in Reading for Unleaded...
Station : Shell/sainsburys Shinfield
Address : Shinfield Road, Reading, RG2 8HA
Brand : Shell
Distance: 2.22 miles
Price : 91.9p
Updated : 23-09-2007
Station : Asda Lower Earley, Price : 91.9p
Station : Shell Fairfield, Price : 91.9p
Station : Tesco Reading Extra, Price : 92.9p
Station : Morrisons Reading, Price : 92.9p

5 cheapest stations in Richmond Unleaded...
Station : Shell Oak Lane, Price : 93.9p
Station : Studley Grange Service Station, Price : 94.5p
Station : Sainsburys Richmond, Price : 94.9p
Station : Brentford Filling Station, Price : 94.9p
Station : Chiswick Flyover Service Station, Price : 94.9p

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Update on the update on the North Sheen station footbridge

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Following onto our campaign for a second footbridge at North Sheen station, we chased up our MP, Susan Kramer, who in turn chased again Network Rail.

It has been slow progress, not for the lack of trying from Susan's office but because of inertia at Network Rail.

In the meantime, the same Network Rail is spending its money on radio ads to keep reminding us how much level crossings are. We'd rather see them actually removing level crossings or making them safer: according to them, "an average of one person a month is killed at level crossings", most likely on one of the 1,521 sited on public roads.

Read also:

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Offices or homes?

This article from the Richmond and Twickenham Times states that the bourough lacks affordable housing.

What really puzzles me then is why the council wants more offices in the vincinity when so many stand empty?

Read my other post on the area behind the fire station (Market road, Garden Road and Orchard Road) which is due to be re-developped. The concil wants to change the designation from light industries to heavy industries, including offices. A developper in the meantime wants to build houses.

As a related issue, area behind the fire station (Market road, Garden Road and Orchard Road) is due to be re-developped. The concil wants to change the designation from light industries to heavy industries which angers residents. If there is a shortage of affordable housing, why adding more offices when so many stan empty on Lower Richmond road?

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

TSA security

For anyone having travelled to the US of A, this clip should bring back memories:

The daftness of the airport security regulations is at best annoying, if you add the gross incompetence of the so-called security staff it's actuall no laughing matter...

11/09/07 Update: even high-ranking officials are caught by the over-zealous-iditotic US aiport security: Cahill voices anger after customs detains his family over fruit [The Boston Globe]

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Read today's Time

The Times has a great article on Richmond council barking against motorists:
Drivers under siege from the council that hates cars - Times Online

Personally, my issue is not that much that they're againsts car but rather that they don't provide any other solution. I could go on for ever, but it's like Red Ken charging people to go to London: a) it's not a new idea, it's even medieval, b) it's expensive to administer, c) a private company makes a lot of dosh, d) only rich can now enter London (not nurses or teachers) and f) there's no alternative as the trains and tubes are over-crowded and not reliable and the cycling network is just a joke.

If Richmond council provided secure bike parking in all train stations, enough places to lock your bike when you shop and a proper cycling network we could speak again about taxing car. But not before.

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