Archive for November 2008

Fix for 'Sender address is invalid' error on iPhone 3G


I started to have this error about week ago, out of the blue. I was not aware of making any changes, but suddenly could not reply to an email, send new email or even forward existing email in the iPhone default Mail application. I am using GMail account and because other clients on different platforms worked OK, I suspected either Rogers or Apple. I was trying several possible fixes (and used Safari and Gmail web access – which is not much fun).

Here is what did NOT resolve the problem:

  • deleting and recreating the account
  • upgrading to firmware 2.2
  • resetting and restoring the phone

Finally, the fix was to switch off all Gmail SMTP servers (for no particular reason there were two) and switch on the Rogers SMTP. To do that, go to Settings, Mail Contacts Calendar, click on account, select SMTP server.

I do not remember entering any of these servers, so they must have been created automagically when creating the GMail account in the Mail app. The Rogers account that works is all greyed out, the username and password is set to optional and the part of URL showing is smtp.rogerswirelessdata.c…

Because I have disabled BOTH Gmail server, the Default settings now shows under SMTP ‘No Server’ – but it works 🙂

How to save local copy of YouTube video


If you want to watch YouTube video on the plane (and Google TechChannel has some amazing collection of videos), here is how to save it to disk, without any tools or third party program, using just your Mac and Safari out of the box.

Go to YouTube page and select video you are interested in in Safari. While playing, press Option-Command-A which opens Activity window. Locate the video stream – it will be the largest item in the list. Double click it, which causes Safari to download it.

After finish, go to download folder, locate the file (usually named get_video) and rename it to SOMETHING.flv. Open with any FLV enabled player – VLC works like charm.

At the end usual disclaimer: you should always make sure you do not violate copyright law or law of the country you reside in. I am not recommending or endorsing any behaviour that would cause violation of copyright law, merely describing interesting technical feature of a popular browser ;-).

Sane version of Twitter


Since few weeks we have started internally use an interesting microblogging tool named Yammer. It works very similarly to Twitter, which means that you are posting very short posts, focusing on the stuff you are doing or working on. Unlike with Twitter, Yammer is company oriented and your posts will be visible ONLY to the recipients that share your company’s email address.

Yammer is free service with interesting business model: everybody can join your company’s network (if that person has proper email address), but to gain administrative rights, you have to pay dollar a month per user. I actually like this approach because it gives hope that the service will be around and available next year 🙂

Yammer offers browser version (very nicely done, btw), desktop client for both Mac and Windows and (finally) very usable iPhone application. This means that you can follow and communicate with your colleagues even while sitting in the bus or train. You can also post by email and receive posts via email, if you choose so – either as individual emails or as daily summary.

Latest update added option to create groups for really focused communication and managing the channel noise.

So far the uptake and experience within the company was very positive. What I really like is that it allows good alternative and communication middle road between instant messaging (which is too interactive and thus too distracting) and emails (which is too little interactive). It helps create better information flow and keep in touch with people that are out on client’s location – which is very important for a professional services organizations like us. It is also extremly important for distributed teams, and because my crystal ball foretells strong likelihood of geographical expansion in very near future, it may become even more useful.

Too bad this service (or Twitter for that matter) did not exist back in 2003 – I could have used it a lot while working in distributed development team spanning 6 timezones.


About time to break the silence


Several people asked what is going on with me: no blog posts for almost a month, litlle presence on Gtalk / MSN. It is simpler to answer this way that write same email over and over.

Unfortunately the reason for being quiet is not that I am taking time off and enjoying myself somewhere in Caribbean on a secluded island without internet connection. Those who know me well also know that I would never go somewhere without access to Web for longer period of time than week – and even that would cause serious withdrawal issues. I am in Ottawa or Montreal or somewhere in between – physically or virtually.

Also – I am OK and am doing great as well. Main reason why the blog was quite neglected for last 6 weeks is actually rather lame: work.

We have landed pretty large project with quite ambitious deadline. It is very exciting opportunity in eCommerce space, based on latest and greatest ATG Commerce 2007.1. This project was great opportunity to explore new features and update my ATG skills. If you know the framework, enough said. If you do not know ATG, it is in eCommerce space something like Ferrari or Lamborghini in cars – very powerful with many unique features, rather exclusive and consequently quite expensive. Enterprise Java in its very serious incarnation :-). I have spent lot of time on this project and have gained a lot of interesting insight not only in areas related to coding, but also in deployment, release management, clustering and so on. It absorbed me so completely that I stopped blogging, limited Web surfing, put my Ruby/Cocoa experiments on hold. I am way behind in my podcast listening (all in total, accumulated over 15 episodes only in TWIT network podcasts itself).

So what has changed that I am back ? Did the project end ?

Nope, quite the oposite, we are hitting QA phase which will be followed by Phase 2 enhancements and busiest time is still ahead of us, as we will be live and selling for this Christmas season. And also few more projects are on the horizon.

I simply realized that with the strong upward trend of our business (we had record month in October, November looks also very strong) and very exciting things in our immediate corporate future, I cannot simply put life outside of work and my other “pet projects” on pause and hope I woud get back to it later. Because there will always be much bigger demand on time and deadlines and challenges and delaying can very well be cancelling them.

Rather than postponing the “rest of it”, I am actively searching for better ways how to intertwine these two worlds. I will keep you posted about the progress 🙂