All Over The Road
Slowly but surely I am creating my web presence. I imagine it will take a lot of discipline to keep any blog up to date. And it probably takes a big ego to think that you have a something interesting to say every day. Well, let's hope I can find enough to keep talking - although talking to oneself is talent worth developing.
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Remote File access

Remote File Access Through E-Mail | My Technophilic Musings
Remote File Access Through E-Mail
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Download: shantz-outlook-remote-file
Version: 0.1
Updated: March 23, 2008
Size: 1.19 KB
Hits: 796


This is a (proof-of-concept) outlook macro that you can use with an outlook rule to retrieve your files from your home/office PC by sending it a mail with a subject having a predefined special keyword and the body containing the names and paths of the files. The remote PC will then mail you the files on a predefined e-mail ID.

This project came into being after reading this post at lifehacker (original post and solution here). It listed a method to retrieve mails on your home/office PC by sending a “magic email” to it, but it was only for mac’s. Seeing that people wanted it for windows as well, I thought of making something up during lunch time at office.


1. Download the attached zip file ( and unzip it. It has a VB module “shantz-outlook-remote-file-access.bas” (can be opened with any text editor)

2. Create a new macro in Outlook. Copy the code contained in Module1.bas to the main source file of the macro.

3. Edit the code to change the e-mail ID to which the files will be e-mailed. Save the macro.

4. Create a new rule in Outlook. Choose to run the rule when a specific word is found in the subject. e.g. use “SendMeMyFiles”.

5. The action part of the rule should be “run a script”. Here you can choose the macro that you just created from the list shown by Outlook.

6. Save the rule and you are done.

Now try, sending a mail to the account that your outlook is configured to receive mail for, with the special keyword in the subject and a list of files (with their complete absolute paths on the remote computer) separated by semicolons (”;” without the quotes), and watch magic happen :).

e.g.: To:

subject: SendMeMyFiles

Body: c:\path\of\files\file1;d:\second\path\file2


* For this thing to work, outlook has to be running on the remote PC as this depends on a “client-side” rule.
* This is just a proof-of-concept as of now, so there is no error handling right now. Plus the e-mail body parsing is finicky and so the e-mail body should not have anything other than the file paths and names. This might change in future if I decide to update it.
* Don’t use it if your life depends on it. Use it for basic purposes and modify and improve it appropriately before you decide to use it seriously (You may submit your modifications here as well)
* It has been tested only on Outlook 2003, but might work on others as well.

Email productivity

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Top 10 Email Productivity Boosters [Lifehacker Top 10]

By Kevin Purdy on Top

The first message one could consider email was sent more than 30 years ago, and that's probably when people began associating angst and uncertainty with the words "Inbox" and "unread messages." The tools available to read and send emails have advanced considerably since then, but what you actually do with all that chatter, without eating up entire days of work time, is up to you. Luckily, we've covered a wealth of filtering and processing methods and software tweaks that make email less stressful and time-consuming over the years, and a list of our top 10 productive email boosters is after the jump.
10. Mark/Prioritize messages sent only to you
tbird_top10.jpgIf you're inside a big firm, or just part of a big email group, you probably get a lot of messages that aren't really addressed to you directly, but they land in the same bin as the others. Differentiate between need-to-see-it direct mail and group FYI blasts with color coding, available in the settings for Outlook and Thunderbird, or the simple > and >> arrows enabled in Gmail.
9. Set up essential filters
mailtrends_top10.jpgRapid-fire responses and inbox clearing get pretty old if you have to do them every day—the best way to actually knock down your over-bearing email is to figure out where it's coming from and place it where it won't bother you immediately. Using a strong set of customizable filters, you can separate needed information and tasks from repetitive reminders. Don't know exactly who should be filtered out? Use the Mail Trends tool to visualize your mail volume any way you'd like. (original Mail Trends post).
8. Master advanced message search (Gmail)
persistent_top10.jpgA big part of what sets Gmail apart from the wealth of other (totally competent) web-based email providers is its archive now, search later ethos—spend a little time once setting up persistent searches, and you won't have to spend time again digging through scads of messages to find the right one. Adam led us through Gmail's search functionality back when Gmail was still a new thing, but the lessons are just as helpful today.
7. Process email in batches
emptyinbox_top10.jpgSometimes we're our own worst enemies when it comes to email clutter. Sending "before I forget" messages on off hours, reading email when there's no time to act on it, and having loose reading and responding schedules all contribute to that feeling of being under a high-volume waterfall. Best-selling author Tim Ferriss offers his eight tips that help you how to keep email out of your evenings and weekends.
6. Retrieve a file via email:
filegrab_top10.jpgIf you're the type that leaves their email client open all the time, this trick could be a real neck-saver, or just a neat way to grab a file. Using a keyword and a filename, you can set up on Macs or Outlook on PCs to send you your files. If nothing else, you might convince your co-workers that you have magic email powers, and perhaps dissuade them from ever spamming you with quintuple-forwarded "jokes" again—that alone should save you some time and groan-induced headaches. (Original Mac and Windows version posts).
5. Group and organize your contacts
grouping_top10.jpgIt might sound obvious to some, but far too few people utilize and harness the power of contact grouping. Whether it's a project you're collaborating on, a group of in-the-know friends you regularly share jokes and videos with, or just a one-time blast email you're slowly adding names to, grouping is super-easy in Gmail, but Outlook and Thunderbird allow for nicknamed groups as well. Find your "Jokes" group almost going out to "Jon" the boss? Edit your auto-complete entries in Outlook with NK2View, or follow one Macworld editor's tips for avoiding mix-ups. (Original NK2View post)
4. Process/organize your email with a trusted system
trustedtrio_top10.jpgWhether personal or professional, pressing or put-off-worthy, your email needs a place to go and not get lost in the shuffle or take up unnecessary screen, or mental, space. Gina's preferred system is a three-folder Trusted Trio, which she derived from productivity guru Merlin Mann's Inbox Zero theories, and both are mainstays of our thinking here at Lifehacker. But we've also taken a peek at other systems that might work better for some, including an Outlook-specific, folder-and-flag-heavy "Zero Email Bounce" and the baby-stepping Inbox 0.5. And if you believe your inbox and to-do list should operate in perfect harmony, you can't go wrong with Remember the Milk's Gmail integration extension for Firefox. (Original Zero Email Bounce post) (Original Inbox 0.5 post).
3. Never forget an attachment
attach_reminder_top10.jpgFew moments warrant a forehead smacking more than getting an "I don't see the attachment" reply ... five minutes before you're about to board your vacation flight. Avoid such slip-ups with the Gmail Attachment Reminder Greasemonkey script, a similar Outlook attachment reminder macro, or just develop a system for never forgetting attachments. None are fool-proof, but they might slow you down just enough to realize QuarterlyResults.xls is not where it should be. (Original posts on Gmail, Outlook, and routine techniques).
2. Consolidate Multiple Email Addresses with Gmail
consolidate_top10.jpgIf you've read this far, you've likely realized we're pretty big fans of Gmail around here, but this hack is a great reason why. You can import mail from nearly any account into a common inbox, send and reply to mail from those same addresses, and generally put all your various email needs into one container, without having to send an address change notice to your entire contacts list.
1. Automate Common Phrases and Lines with AutoHotKey/Texter
texter_top10.jpgSome emails represent a true expression of unique ideas and conversational exchange, but a lot of them are simply "Thanks for the link!" or "Call me with any concerns" and the like. Our own Adam Pash realized this, got busy with AutoHotKey and came up with Texter, a simple-but-effective means of pasting commonly-used text, code, signatures, and other lines into any space on your Windows desktop. Part of his inspiration was just how helpful keystroke-replacing AutoHotKey was in knocking down repetitive email, and it holds true for similar tools like TextExpander for Mac and Snippits for Linux. If you're a Thunderbird user who doesn't need system-wide text replacement, check out the QuickText extension. (Original QuickText post).

What inbox helpers and tools did we miss? How do you keep your important mail close at hand without losing the less-important stuff? Share your tips, techniques, and triage theories in the comments.

Leeds United decision delayed yet again.

Leeds United A.F.C.Image by _moonpie via Flickr

It now looks like the arbitration into the return of the "illegal" deduction of 15 points at the start of the season will now run into Monday. There are also rumours that the decision might not be made public until May. This is untenable. The decision should not be delayed a minute longer than absolutely necessary.

And, on top of all this intrigue, the "drama queen" managers of the other League One teams (the same managers who voted nearly unanimously to punish Leeds with this illegal deduction in the first place) are crying that they will file protests if Leeds are given back their points so late in the season. Their contention is that they would have played harder if they had known that Leeds would not be handicapped with the removal of 15 points. It won't be long now till they are given their rightful place as second in the League - and the sparks will fly then. Guess the other teams just thought they could cruise through the season with a handicapped Leeds United stuck in the relegation zone. How shocked they must be to see Leeds in a playoff position in spite of their spiteful voting. And I hope they fume when justice is done and Leeds get automatic promotion.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Boy is back in Town.

"Irish" Jack Lyons - the man who was the inspiration for the lead character in The Who rock opera Quadrophenia, is in Dublin today.

"I'm being interviewed by Phantom FM to talk about my new book on the Frank And Walters and I'm doing some other bits and pieces of promotion around inner Dublin during the day. I also have to record a radio ad for a band from Mullingar called The Aftermath who have a new album out. I'm meeting up in a Dublin hotel close to O'Connell Bridge / Grafton Street area at about 5.30 or 6pm just to say hello to some musicians and Dublin Mods."
If you are a Who fan, you happen to be free this evening and be in Dublin, drop by either Hogan's Bar or The Central Hotel and you will get the chance to share a "pint of plain" with this legend of rock history.
For more info on "Irish" Jack, go to Long Live Rock

Handicapslock - avoid the dreaded SHOUTING!

You ever been typing away in your IM for ages only to realise that you hit the CAPS LOCK key ages ago by accident and have just shouted at that person you were trying to impress? Or perhaps you've had a similar CAPS LOCK accident?

Well, fret no more. Lifehacker Book Contest Winner Jeadly got sick of hitting the Caps Lock key without meaning to, and uses a custom utility to stop the madness without disabling it completely.

"I've written an AutoHotkey script that handicaps the Caps Lock key. I suppose I should call it "Handicapslock." With my script running, the Caps Lock key doesn't lock "on" unless you double tap it, so its behavior is more like the Shift key."
check it out ....

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AOR (All Over the Road) by dublinjames is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.