Customising GMail with Google Mail Labs

I've been playing with a few of the Google Mail Labs plugins over the past couple of months and this post is about my 'must haves'. There are three that I am very pleased with, which have changed how I use GMail to the point that it is now the only tab within Firefox that I MUST have open.

Here is a screenshot of my GMail page with the relevant labs highlighted, details follow below:



Right-side labels

This plugin shoves the labels section of the GMail page over to the right-hand side, meaning that you are not scrolling the page up and down to see your Inbox and your labels.

Google Calendar gadget


This tightly integrates Google Calendar into the left-hand side of GMail meaning that you can keep an eye on what is coming up without either having a seperate application running (which is sync'ed with Google Calendar) or another tab open.

Title Tweaks


This is a recent addition (yesterday in fact) but looks quite useful - it simply rearranges the page title so that the selected folder (inbox, chats, labels, etc.) is first and so shows up on the tab.

They are all such 'simple' changes which just make GMail all the more useful. I've also started playing with the 'Offline' lab but I'm not got much to report on that yet...

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The Spring User Group comes to the North West!

My friend Bill Comer forwarded on an email today about the the UK Spring User Group coming to Manchester on the 8th April.

It's a free event starting at 6pm at Manchester University, and they have a number of speakers lined up including Rob Harrop (architect and lead developer at SpringSource).

This sounds like a great event for any Northern Spring developers and it's nice that they have left London for a change! :)

More details can be found at the Skills Matter site.

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How to move an existing Cygwin installation

Although Cygwin is a self-contained installation with little in the way of the normal tendrils hooked into the dark shady corners of Windows there are a few hidden catches to moving an existing installation.

Cygwin creates a number of mount points for your drives, and it's these that cause the problems when you move your installation directory around.

Here are the steps to move your Cygwin installation:

  1. Save off existing mount points
    mount -m > /usr/bin/mountCommands.bat

  2. Unmount existing mount points
    umount -A

  3. Copy Cygwin directory to new home

  4. Update any Windows shortcuts & Start Menu items

  5. Update the Cgywin path within $CYGWIN_HOME/cygwin.bat

  6. Update mount points within $CYGWIN_HOME/bin/mountCommands.bat

  7. Re-mount to new location
    • Start Cygwin
    • ./mountCommands.bat
    • Close Cygwin

  8. Restart Cygwin, and carry on with life

This tip was compiled from information about Backup Your Cygwin installation

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