Category Archives: Applications

Painlessly switch from Google Apps to Microsoft Part 1:Email with


Just a back story: I did attempt to move my custom domain to Microsoft’s service awhile back and it was not friendly nor did it look like it was actively supported at the time, so I decided to stick with Google until now. Microsoft uses a service called to handle custom domains routed to live services, such as, profiles, calendars, etc. Instead of using a or or, or passport email address, you can use your own purchased domain to utilize their services. Since I am using all MS products now (laptop, phone, surface and xbox), I thought it was the time to try it again. Heck, maybe things have improved since 4 years ago.

Prep your gmail settings to ensure that you have “Pop” enabled to download all mail.

Log into and go to the Gear -> Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP

Set to “Enable POP for all mail”

Gmail POP


Go to and log in with your Primary Microsoft Account, or create a new one if you don’t have one. I suggest picking an account.


Custom Domains


Add a custom address and make sure “Setup for my domains” is selected


Add Domain03-conifrm-add


Verify the ownership by adding a MX and TXT record with your custom domain registar or host dns




Copy the MX and TXT records enter them into your DNS / MX settings. For me, I use FreeDNS to manage my records. I simply replace what I had there for my Google Apps records.

06-add-txt-record 07-add-mx-record


Once verified, select your Active domain and add a new member account




Now, logout and login into with the new account you created to confirm your new account.




Once in, it is time to add you Google email so we can import your messages.

Go to Gear -> ” More mail settings” -> “Your email accounts”




Add a send and receive account, for your Google hosted email. 13-send-recieve-account



Name the account something other than your existing email, like



Tell it to move all mail to your inbox. btw. this will retrieve all mail (inbox and sent) and place it into your inbox.


Let it retrieve all your email.

For me, I let it go overnight.

Clean-up Inbox

Google puts all mail (inbox and sent) together and adds flags to them to seperate them into virtual folders. When you import your mail into, it will get all mail (inbox and sent) and import it into your inbox.

  1. Once all the mail is retrieved, do a sweep and move all messages from you (your email account), to your sent folder.
  2. Select all email in each folder and choose all records, then mark as read.


At some point, Google will no longer receive your emails because of the MX record changes and your outlook will no longer fetch them (new mail) as the mail will be coming directly to you new outlook email.



You will get an error on the account status page, because it cannot send a verification email to the temp email you set up in 8.3. You can ignore this as you wont be sending from this account anyways.




Import contacts in CSV format to Windows Hotmail

Contacts to Hotmail

Now-a-days everyone is linking accounts and data, rather than keeping them in sync. So if you have multiple accounts with an addressbook or contact list, it makes it hard to keep them up-to-date, especially once you unlink them.

1. First export your contacts from your program or web app of choice. For me it was Google’s Gmail.
2. Then from Hotmail, click on Contacts, Manage, then Import.
3. Remember, clicking on an app will link the contacts, not sync. We must choose ‘Outlook’, which will take you to an upload form.

4. Browse and attach your csv and upload.

5. After the upload is complete, you will have the option to merge duplicate contacts.

Upgrading Redmine 1.2.1 to 1.3.0 fails on Windows, Mongrel


I previously upgraded my Redmine install from 1.1.0 to 1.2.1 an needed to supply a mongrel.rb file in the config/initialization folder. This was needed because of special requirements for use with Mongrel 1.1.5.

After upgrading to 1.3.0, I copied my normal configuration.yml and database.yml to the config folder following the upgrade instructions, as well as the mongrel.rb to the config/initialization folder. I also updated Rails per the requirements for Redmine 1.3.0 to 2.3.14

I restarted the Redmine service and got a blank white screen. After doing a little digging, I realized that the mongrel.rb was missing the entry for Rails 2.3.14, so I added it, restarted and voila! Fixed.

An updated file can be found here.

Outlook crashes with ispConfig hosted mail

ispConfig and Outlook

I had a problem for over a year now with a mail account hosted on my ispconfig server.
The first thing I noticed was that there was a phantom folder with no name under my email account.

Then after it performed a Send and Receive, Outlook would crash.

It turns out that there was a bug in ispConfig that inserted a extra line break in the Mail Subscription file. Even though I was running, my email was created while in the previous version.

Locate and edit your subscription file at:
vi /var/vmail/

Remove the first line and save. :qw

Restart Outlook and you are all good.