Integrating and Optimizing Thunderbird for Google Mail


Let’s admit it, gMail is awesome (some of you would beg to differ), especially when you use gApps like I do. But I’ve always had a few requirements:

  • being able to access my most recent e-mail offline
  • without using a browser
  • large mailboxes (4+ GB)
  • use of certificates to sign or encrypt e-mail
  • integrated calendar, tasks, contacts
  • multiple e-mail account support
  • and recently, synchronize all this with my Android phone

My former method was to use Microsoft Outlook, but that program is riddled with problems and cumbersome. It also doesn’t seem to alert you when you have new mail if you use IMAP. Synchronizing Calendar and Contacts with my phone required a 3rd party program, which would be limited to just 1 calendar in Outlook and often create duplicate Contacts. On one occasion, the program got stuck with corrupted information and about half of the ~75 contacts in my list had about 25 copies each. (I fixed this shutting off Outlook & the sync program, exporting all my contacts to a Google CSV, and removing the duplicates offline.)

So in my quest for a more seamless & less troublesome e-mail client, the only VIABLE non-browser e-mail client turns out to be Mozilla’s Thunderbird. However, integration with Google Mail isn’t seamless or without quirks.

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Roaming Profiles: From Windows XP to Vista / Windows 7


Quick, short post today, but this will probably save you a lot of time searching for a pretty much non-existent answer to a new “feature” introduced in roaming profiles for Windows Vista and Windows 7. It cost me an hour to figure this out. Hopefully you’ll see this and solve the issue in a jiffy…

SCENARIO:
You join your brand new Vista or Win7 machines to a your domain and then try logging in with a roaming user account and get a popup notification error saying that Windows has logged you in with a temporary profile. You look in the event viewer and see the following:

All the permissions are set correctly for the share and folders for the roaming profile and the user can create files in the roaming profile folder, but the stupid “Access Denied” error message is still there.

SOLUTION:
Your roaming profile path MUST have a trailing slash at the end now… Likewise:

What the hell, Microsoft? All along you’re lax (*nix had this enforced all along) and now you change it. At least let us know? Please and thank you…

On a slightly different note, I also suggest that you set the following Group Policies to make your sysadmin life easier:
Computer Config\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\Logon --> Always wait for network at computer startup and logon [Enabled]
Computer Config\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\User Profiles --> Add the Administrators security group to the roaming user profile share [Enabled]
Computer Config\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\User Profiles --> Wait for remote user profile --> [Enabled]

As usual, cheers.