Clean up Google Mail Folder Structure on your iPhone

If you use GMail, or Google Apps for Your Domain on your iPhone, you’ve probably noticed an odd folder structure, with most of your folders being found under [Gmail]. This looks ugly, and it turns out, is easy to fix:

  • In your “Advanced” Mail account settings, set the IMAP Path Prefix to “[Gmail]/”
  • (The trailing / is added automatically)

Now your folders will look flatter and much prettier. This works in on your desktop Mac too! And don’t worry — it’ll still be able to find the Inbox on its own.

Baby Update

Someone who randomly pops into our life, says something smart, then disappears for awhile, randomly popped into my life via IM today and asked why we weren’t blogging about the current pregnancy very much. So this one’s for Tara, and anyone else wondering…

It’s not a real big mystery. See we’ve been pregnant for the past 2 years, so its lost a lot of intrigue and excitement.

It’s not literally 2 years of course. There was a brief respite in there about 7 months ago, when I had my shapely wife back. But I promptly knocked her up again, and she’s back to cankles, and I’m back to bending at the waist to give her a hug — when we’re both standing up.

Click the image if you’re
considering getting pregnant

Yup, pregnancy #2 is progressing about as you’d expect. Better than the first one, in fact, so there hasn’t even been an excuse for an up-to-date ultrasound. The last one showed a nose, mouth and ears, so we’re assuming Abigail will look like a human when she’s done baking. We’ll find out in about 7 weeks.

Aside from a healthy, normal gestation, we’ve had a lot of other, more pressing, issues to focus on…

Thing #1 has had an ear infection for the past 3 months. When Nicole pointed out that it might be affecting his hearing, and thus his language acquisition, we pushed very aggressively to get this dealt with as soon as possible. They originally told us it would be another month before we could even see a specialist, but a phone call from a pushy dad got us in a lot earlier.
The specialist told us about what we already knew, and Benjamin is going to have minor surgery in February to have tubes put in his ears. This is a little scary for us, because it involves a General Anesthetic, which means he’ll be right out for about 20 minutes. But its a pretty routine operation, so we probably have nothing to worry about.
Right now his hearing is a “tiny bit below average” so we’re gonna nip this in the bud before it becomes a problem for him.

So that’s February. Abi’s due in March, but before she arrives we need to get our tax money back, plan for Nic’s move in April and arrange the movers for the big haul in May. Couple that with an upcoming release date at work, and we’re pretty much too busy to worry about things we can’t control. Abi will arrive when she’s ready, and Ben will adapt — kids usually do.

So far he’s doing fine with the belly. Sometimes he pets it like the cat — we’re teaching him “gentle” since he also likes to pull the cats tail. Once he thought it would be funny to smack the belly. He doesn’t think that any more.

We are, of course, looking forward to a bigger family, and to a smaller Nicole, but these things have happened on their own timing for thousands of years, and now that we’ve got the experience well documented, we really only think about it if something unusual happens. And so far it hasn’t…

7 weeks and counting. We’ll be sure to let you all know when it goes down 😉

How-to:Change your iPhone IMEI

Disclaimer: Modifying the IMEI on a wireless handset for the purpose of using a previously stolen handset is unlawful. The following information is listed for legitimate purposes only. Any use of the following information is at your own risk and subject to the local laws of your jusidiction. CodePoetry assumes no liability for any damage that may occur to your equipment. Use of the following information will likely void your warranty.

There are a few legitimate reasons as to why you would want to change the IMEI on your phone. The most likely is that your phone was bricked by apple and the IMEI was changed to a generic IMEI so that they can tell you bricked it and void your warranty. Or, if you are using an iPhone on a pre-paid AT&T plan and want to be able to use SwirlyMMS to send/recieve MMS messages, you will have to change your IMEI to be that of a non-iPhone so that AT&T’s periodic scans of the network will not disable MMS for your phone number.

In adition to a mac, you will need the following items:

To get started, open up PwnageTool, choose the options for original iPhones, select Expert at the top, and hit next.

Select your original firmware v2.1 file. If you don’t have PwnageTool in the same folder as your bootloader files you will now have to tell it where to find those. If it offers to search the web for you, hit no, and choose the ones you already downloaded. We are going to be making two custom 2.1 restore images. The first one will be the “neutered” restore file, and the second one will be the “clean” restore file. For the first one, select General and hit next. Ensure Activate Phone, Upgrade Baseband, and Disable Partition Wipe-out are all selected. I left my root partition size at the default of 500 MB. On the next screen, you need to have Neuter Bootloader selected, Update Bootload, and choose Downgrade to 3.9. This is very important! Also, choose unlock baseband and Auto delete BootNeuter. Next you can add any Cydia packages that you want installed by default, I left this blank and moved on.

What's happening to me?

Last week I downloaded some music from Journey.
Yesterday I was strangely driven to download some from Kansas

Let me be clear, early 80s music has never before appealed to me. Is this some side effect of aging? Does everyone, at some point in their life, find themselves drawn to the music they might have heard while they were in the womb? Cause I’m listening to ‘Carry on my Wayward Son’ and find it oddly… rockin…

Using with multiple users — using AppleScript: Part 2

The previous post, about hacking multi-user support into, seems to have struck a chord, and there have been lots of great questions about how to extend the script, or customize its behavior or appearance. Things tend to get lost in the comments, so I figured I’d create a part 2 to answer some of the questions that have popped up. If you haven’t already, check out part 1 to get caught up.

Some of these might seem a little basic to long-time users, but lets remember that not everyone has been using a Mac since OS 7 (or earlier!) and cut the newly Mac-faithful some slack…

Evan asks: Absolutely perfect, exactly what I was looking for. Well, almost. How about adding a 3rd account?

A third account is done very easily by modifying the script slightly. (Update: If you’d like to do more than 3 accounts, see the solution in the comments which changes our user interface to a listbox)

The first thing you’ll want to do is update our crude little user interface to ask about the third account. This line here decides what options show up in the dialog box:

display dialog "Choose the Mail account to use" buttons {"Jon", "Nicole"} default button 1 with icon note

You can add as many up to 3 options as you want, just by comma seperating them, so instead of {“Jon”, “Elizabeth”} you could have {“Jon”, “Elizabeth”, “David”}
Then you need to modify the “if” statement to support each individual referred to. In the original we said:

if the button returned of the result is "Jon" then
-- do stuff to change account to Jon
-- do stuff to change account to Elizabeth
end if

The else is a problem now because it assumes only two conditions. Instead of an else, we can do an else if — one for each individual we want to switch between:

if the button returned of the result is "Jon" then
-- do stuff to change account to Jon
else if the button returned of the result is "Elizabeth" then
-- do stuff to change account to Elizabeth
else if the button returned of the result is "David" then
-- do stuff to change account to David
end if

Inside each condition you’ll need to disable all the other accounts (set enabled to account X to false) and then enable the account they’ve chosen.

Eric asks: I would like to attach to the script the mail icon or a similar icon. Then when I added it to the dock, it is more obvious to click it to run.

This is one of those tricks that long time Mac users will know well, but is not very obvious for newer converts. You can copy and paste any icon from any application/document/folder to any other in the finder. Just click on the icon you want to “borrow” from and hit Apple + I for “Get Info.” In the info dialog, click on the icon and hit Apple + C to copy the icon to the clipboard. Now find your target icon (such as the script you just made) and “Get Info” on it, click the icon in the dialog and this time hit Apple + P to paste. Now you have a pretty icon!

Note: This will be limited by permissions, so if your user doesn’t have permission to ‘write’ to the target object, you won’t be able to paste.

Eric, having figured out the above on his own, then asks: My 2 problems are: 1, I can not add the script to the dock. 2, when I click the script icon, it take me to the editor where I then have to click RUN.

A script, by itself is just a document. In order to make it into a runable application, you have to save it as such in Script Editor. From the File / Save As… dialog change the File Format to “application.”

Under most circumstances you won’t want to check the box for ‘Run Only’ because once you do, you cannot edit it in Script Editor again. Also, uncheck the box for ‘Startup Screen’ to make it run a little more gracefully.

You may also find that the Dock is not the best place for your script — since it will essentially give you two Mail icons. What I did instead was to enable the AppleScript menu and use that for all my common scripts.

If you want to do this, open the Application AppleScript Utility in the AppleScript folder and check the box for ‘Show Script Menu in the menu bar.’ You may also want to uncheck the box for “Show Library scripts” to hide the example scripts Apple includes to make your menu shorter.

Note: For scripts to show up in this menu you’ll have to save them where your Mac expects your scripts to be: In your user’s Library folder you’ll find a folder called “Scripts.” Put them, or an alias to them, in there.

Found on the back of my coffee cup…

So-called “global warming” is just a secret ploy by wacko tree-huggers to make America energy independent, clean our air and water, improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles, kick-start 21st-century industries, and make our cities safer and more livable. Don’t let them get away with it!

– Chip Giller

Embracing My Inner Geek: Part 1 – The User Group

We heard a sermon a couple weeks ago about giftedness — about focusing on your primary giftedness, because that’s where God wants to use you most.
Whether I like it or not (and sometimes I don’t) my primary giftedness is technology. Despite everything else I think I am, or wish I was, there will always be people out there who when they see me will think “maybe I can get him to fix my computer…”

So for the next couple months, aside from the incredible amount of work we’re going to have to do for this move (frustratingly, none of which can be started yet), I’ve decided to embrace my inner geek, and focus on what I know I’m strongest at.

But rather than babble about code snippets and hacks I’d like to try to talk about the more personal side of being a geek. To communicate the spirit of who we geeks are, and maybe help some people understand what it is about being a nerd that is so compelling.

For example, in most careers you can guess at a person’s successfulness or competence at their job by evaluating their outward appearance: a salesperson who has nice shoes, a good hair cut and who drives a nice car is probably good at their job.
nerd46422fm3.jpgIn my field, and in my experience, the inverse is frequently true. The more unruly the hair, or crazy the beard; the more out-of-date the wardrobe; the larger the glasses, the more likely it is that the individual is a sheer genius, and the most brilliant coder you’ve ever met.

Of course that’s a broad generalization. There are some of us geeks who aren’t computer science types, but adequate coders which occasional glimpses of genius, who also happen to have a decent eye for style or design.
And while some engineers’ are so in-tune with the code they develop that they lack basic social skills, some of us, while not as likely to bleed in binary, are able to express solutions both in code and in words. Some of us are even articulate and not entirely socially awkward.

Its the combination of the different skillsets that makes a good team. One such combination, between an awkward but brilliant engineer and an articulate geek, started a company called Apple Computers back in the 70s. And whether you’re using a Mac or a PC (or even a business iphone) because you’re reading this site, you are benefiting from what they wrought.

Back before there was Internet — or at least before you and I could use it — there was the UG and the BBS. A BBS, or bulletin board system, was usually run by a guy who had a computer, a couple phone lines, and a couple modems — although you could run one with only one phone line if you wanted. They functioned as a chat room, a message board, a downloads page and a place to play crude games. Most BBSes used strictly text and keyboard symbols, often in different colors to define the online “world.”

I remember once being given a list of phone numbers that may have been associated with a BBS and ‘war-dialing’ them on my Atari computer (with a 300 baud modem) looking to see what I could find. It was pretty cool to find people on these boards that shared common interests with you, but whom you’d probably never meet.

I did actually meet one System Operator (or SysOp — someone who ran a BBS) who lived near-by when I was about 13. He was deaf, which limited his options in real-life, but online he was a god of his own little empire, respected by his users solely because of what he knew and who he was as a person.

Even better than the BBS, though, was the UG or User Group. Nothing in the new age of the Internet can compare to the UG. If you’ve ever been to a swap meet, you have a small idea of what an UG might be like. I was much too young, in this early age of computers, to drive myself to meetings, but I can remember a couple occasions where my dad drove me to a MUG meeting (Macintosh User Group) in London, and what I remember most was the atmosphere.

A User Group encompasses all levels of geek. There would be little old ladies who dreamed of writing their memoirs on a computer. There would be business people and teachers who wanted to get more organized. There would be hard-core geeks who loved to hack at hardware or at code to make their computers do things the designers never dreamed of. And always there was toys to be found, seen, traded or discovered.

To this kind of geek, a computer isn’t a device. Its an extension of self. Its a quill in the hand of a poet, or a hammer in the hand of a skilled carpenter, or a piano under the fingertips of a talented musician. It provides a hundred different ways to express yourself — and it invites you to invent a hundred more.
Of course, its a source of constant aggravation when things don’t work as expected, but even in that it is a problem to be solved, a challenge to be tackled, and a way to connect with other people. For every problem your computer presents you, there are, and always have been, a dozen other people who’ve worked through it, and found a solution — or better, a part of a solution that complements what you’ve discovered so that the victory is shared.

0596007191_lrg.jpgA geek is not judged by their appearance, nor by any external factor. We are judged by the elegance and beauty of our solutions. Even on competing platforms, two ideologically different geeks will share the same respect for a righteous hack.

In many ways the Internet, while being the possibly the greatest thing ever invented, has destroyed the geek community. Now that any newbie can get online, there are no rites of passage left, and no proving ground to establish yourself as worthy. Any knowledge-less retard can join in a conversation he doesn’t understand and start a flame war, and “users” are so much more inept than ever before. There’s no passion required, no problem-solving skills necessary to get online any more. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that there’s still a MUG running meetings only a few miles from where I work!

In fact there’s dozens of them still around, and if their websites, devoid of any attempt at marketing or otherwise making them look appealing to the average user, are any indicator, the spirit of the UG of the 80s and early 90s still lives on. The one near me still puts out a newsletter — in dead-tree format, even!

I’m going to next month’s meeting. I’m going to put on my Weezer album (the blue one, from back before they were temporarily cool), dust off the Mac Plus, and geek out like its 1994. And I’m going to enjoy every second of it.

After all, if God made me a geek, why fight it?