Auto Zip Attachments Extension for Thunderbird 3.0

UPDATE: I have updated the extension to support the current version of Thunderbird (version 3.1).

What makes Thunderbird (TB) a kick-ass desktop mail client is its flexibility that makes it extensible through various addons/extensions and plugins.

One of my favorite extensions since TB1.5 was the Auto Zip Attachments, which automatically compresses (zip) attachments on-the-fly. This is especially useful for email messages sent with MS Excel or Word format attachments, wherein compression ratio are usually high. No more need to manually zip the files from the file explorer before attaching the same to email to save on bandwidth, which likewise translates to speedier file transfer.

Unfortunately, the developers of this extension appear to have forgotten about it and failed to update the same to keep it abreast of the new and more robust Thunderbird 3.0. It’s only compatible upto TB2.0. It seems that changing the max version in the install.rdf file is not enough. Instead, it involves editing further another file deep into the .xpi file, as described in one of the reviews for this extension.

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Following the instructions from the reviews/comments on how to edit the .xpi file to make it compatible with TB3, I successfully installed the Auto Zip Attachments extension into my own TB install. I took the liberty to make that modified extension available here for everybody’s consumption. Download link below:

Download and unzip the file, then install to your TB3 desktop client. Would appreciate feedbacks for any problems or issues encountered. Hope we enjoy Thunderbird 3.0 more with this extension.

Migrating from Tumblr to WordPress

Don’t get me wrong, Tumblr is great. But with my so many experience with the different blogging engine and even other CMS’s, I always find myself going back to realizing that WordPress is way better.

It had been said many times that it is very important to choose the right blogging platform from the very start. But what do you do when you find yourself making the same mistake as others when they started out their blog?

Here are two ways you can import your posts from Tumblr to WordPress. For purposes of our test, I had more than 1,300 posts at my Tumblr blog that I tried migrating.

Tumblr2WordPress Utility

The process basically involves visiting the utility page over at benapps.net, key in your tumblr url, tweak some settings, and download the WXR (WordPress eXtended Rss) file (in .xml extension) —which by the way is the same format when you export a WordPress blog.

Then heading over to the WordPress blog you want to migrate your posts into, you would import the same just as you would a regular WordPress WXR file.

The results:

  • 1,218 posts were successfully imported, that leaves me missing with more than 100 posts — more or less 90% successful import;
  • As expected, comments were not imported. But that is something we can have a work around later with the Disqus plugin for WordPress (I was using Disqus as well in my Tumblr blog);
  • Posts like photos, audio and videos (which don’t really have post titles by Tumblr standard) have blank titles — that leaves too many polishing yet to be done;
  • Media are still hosted at Tumblr — media files weren’t imported;
  • Tags are properly reflected in the new WordPress blog;
  • WordPress can very well handle post redirection from the original Tumblr permalink structure;

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The Posterous Route

If you have not yet known, Posterous has a feature that can import your whole Tumblr blog. On the other hand, WordPress.com has a feature to import from a Posterous blog. Using this route, and the same Tumblr numbers from above, we have noted:

  • Only around 700 posts were successfully imported — a dismal 50% turnout;
  • Comments were not as well imported;
  • Posts like photos, audio and videos (which don’t really have post titles by Tumblr standard) have common post titles, i.e., “Untitled” — that leaves much more polishing to be done;
  • Media files were actually imported into WordPress.com servers;
  • Actual tags were not imported. Instead, posts were categorized accordingly as Photo, Audio, Video, etc.
  • A new permalink structure, different than the original Tumblr structure that included post ID’s — this would surely lead to bad links;

Conclusion

So far, these two are the only viable solution to migrating from Tumblr to WordPress. Either way can be a pain, especially if you already have a huge blog at Tumblr. Either way, you pay a price for not starting out with the right blogging platform — charge to experience. But in the end of the day, you have to do it if you really need to.

We just hope someday there’ll be a better and smoother solution to help us Tumblr users out migrating to WordPress.

WordPress 3.0 "Thelonious" is Here!

The moment we WordPress users have been waiting for has finally come — the release of WordPress 3.0 codenamed Thelonious. Deuts.NET is of course already upgraded to the latest version.

Watch this video to know more about the new features of WordPress 3.0.

So far, the list of new great features we’re most excited about and would love to employ in this blog (and other blog projects as well) are:

  • A new default theme, called Twenty-Ten, paves the way to be an example on how to take advantage of the new features;
  • Custom background support lets you easily enable your heavily customized theme to support custom backgrounds and custom headers. Moreover, you can assign further custom headers for each post;
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  • Multi-site Capabilities and WPMU Codebase Merge is probably is the main feature of this new release. I hope to turn this blog into a multi-site one and utilizing the domain mapping plugin would probably consolidate my other projects into one big Deuts Network site;
  • Custom Post Types reduces the need to fiddle around with custom fields. This brings WordPress to be much more of a CMS.

Some other features are, well, add to the bloat. We’ll just continue to wish for the development team to develop a WordPress Core only and that other features can be easily turned on or off.

Windows Mobile 6.5 and the Automatic Data Connection

I have a Samsung Omnia Pro B7330, a Windows smartphone (non-touchscreen) running on Windows Mobile (WinMo) 6.5. What’s one thing I hate about it is that some programs running in the background are actually using data connections without my prior intervention–i.e., without me actually initializing them.

I have installed the SPB Wireless Monitor to monitor which programs have actually invoked the use of the data connection, and at what time were data connectivity used. I discovered the following are some of the programs that were started and used data beyond my control:

  • gpsdriver.dll
  • rilgsm.dll
  • dhcp.dll
  • system
  • home.exe
  • WINDIAG.dll

They actually used minimal data, just a few KB and most are less than 1Kb, but were connecting at different times or intervals during the day. I find this not a problem if I’m using Globe’s per KB charging. But I totally switched to TIME browsing since I really need to download some emails and attachments while on the go–that which I’ll be charged based on a per 15-minute interval.

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I’m not actually sure which one is causing this problem, either my particular phone unit or WinMo 6.5 itself. Nevertheless, if I don’t have the control over when these programs or processes run and use the data connection, that means I won’t have the control over my courier charges as well. There has got to be a way, which fortunately I found from this forum post: Tip: Disable Data Windows Mobile 6.5 (Disable 3G & GPRS).

The solution (which should apply to any Windows Mobile 6.5 and even previous versions):

  1. Create a new connection. Under Settings>>Connections>>GPRS>>Create New. Connects to “The Internet”. You can leave the “Access point” and other settings blank. We can also call this connection “Disable Data”;
  2. Use the connection “Disable Data” when we don’t want the phone connected to the internet via GPRS/3G. Under Settings>>Connections, click on Menu and select Advanced. Internet connection should be set to “Disable Data”;
  3. Use the regular connection when we need the access to internet. In No. 2 above, after selecting Advanced, select the regular connection for the label “Internet Connection”. For Globe subscribers this should be “myGlobe Internet”.

I know this is a bit tedious process that requires additional steps to start connecting to the internet using the data connection, unlike when I was yet using a Nokia E51 phone wherein unless internet connection is actually invoked, no data charges are incurred. But this is the only workaround so far I found. Hope this post help all other WinMo users as well.

For questions and comments, feel free to lodge them below.