How To: New Mail Notification

mbooth commented on one of my last post (How To: GNOME GMail Notifier) informing that he/she uses mail-notification. I was curious to check it out for mail via IMAP and I found it way more useful as compared to Gnome Gmail Notifier. I especially like the option to configure it to check the mails every ten seconds. Thats way cool for anxious people like me :) Keeping in mind the huge advantages of mail-notification, I thought of writing an howto for configuring it :)

Install Mail Notification

Installing something can’t be simpler. Just use the following command as root

[root@fedora ~]$ yum install mail-notification

Configuring mail-notification is very simple. Its as easy as it can get but there are tricks for special cases like Gmail forĀ  Google Apps hosted websites.

Launch Mail Notification

Mail notification loses a point here. It doesn’t show up in any of the menus. You have to launch it from command line. You can launch mail-notification from System -> Preferences -> Mail Notification (Thanks mbooth for correcting). Or use the following command as normal user to launch mail notification

[saini@fedora ~]$ mail-notification -p

Configure Status Icon Behaviour

On mail notification properties windows, select Status Icon tab and choose the appropriate behaviour.

Mail Notification Status Icon Action

New Message Popup Settings

Now go to Message Popups tab, and select appropriate options. If you don’t enable popups, using mail notification doesn’t really make sense (though none can prevent you from doing so :) ). Keeping popus stacked is good because it shows you all messages in case you get more than one new mails in an interval. Also, you can configure the expiration time for the popups.

Mail Notification Message Popups Settings

Add New Mailbox

Now select General tab and click of Add button. Mail-notification supports checking new mails from Evolution, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Mail, any IMAP and POP3 Server and moreover your system mailbox :) Select Gmail for mailbox type. Enter username and password for Gmail account.

Mail Notification Supported Mailboxes

Mail Notification Add Gmail Account

Now move over to Details tab and set delay between checking mails. I keep it 10 seconds :)

Mail Notification Gmail Account Settings

Add a Google Apps Hosted Email Account

This is totally optional :) Now we’ll add a Google Apps hosted account. This is a bit tricky. For mailbox type, you’ll have to select Gmail. For username, you’ll have to provide your email address.

Mail Notification Add Google Apps Hosted Account

Also, the mailbox name has to be modified in this case to make things work. Move over to Details tab and change mailbox name to your email address.

Mail Notification Google Apps Hosted Account Settings

Add a new IMAP mailbox (Gmail)

This is totally optional :) Keep mailbox type as IMAP. IMAP Server has to be imap.gmail.com . Username and password are same as Gmail Account.

Note: For this mailbox to work, you’ll have to enable IMAP in settings tab in Gmail.

Mail Notification Gmail IMAP Account

Now move over to Connection tab. Connection for Gmail IMAP has to be SSL enabled. So, select “SSL/TLS on separate port” and make sure the port number is 993.

Mail Notification Gmail IMAP Account Connection Settings

Well thats all you need to do for configuring things for getting new mail notifications lightning fast :) Now sit back and relax until someone sends you a mail :)

The only major disadvantage that I found with mail-notification is that it doesn’t stay in notification area all the time. It appears only when there is a new mail.

 

Review: Spicebird – A Collaboration Platform

Well, I happened to attend this workshop on “How to build business around open source tools” organized by Twincling Society and IIIT Hyderabad. There I came to know about Spicebird. Spicebird is a single platform for many collaboration needs. It provides e-mail, calendaring and instant messaging with intuitive integration and unlimited extensibility. Spicebird is being developed by a Hyderabad based Indian start-up named Synovel (All four founders are alumni of IIIT Hyderabad). Below we look at some features that Spicebird provides.

1. Tabbed Interface

The tabbed interface for different utilities like mail, calendar, contacts, tasks etc. looks pretty clean. The interface is not at all cluttered in any way and navigation to different utilities is straight forward. You don’t have to brainstorm before getting something done.

2. Familiar Interface & Crisp Icon Set

Spicebird has an interface similar to loads of mozilla based application out there. The settings, preferences and the way things have been managed are familiar. So people who are switching from other open source email clients will not face any problems at all. Spicebird uses icons from Tango Project. The icons used are really good looking.

3. Nice Home Tab

The way Home tab has been organized is really appealing. You can add applets which includes rss feeds from you favourite blogs, mail folder views, calendar, upcoming events and Date & Time. Geeks love rss feeds. And what can be better than having it on your home tab all the time along with your mails. Event applet comes handy to remind you of the upcoming meetings and deadlines. And its on home tab all the time :) Date & Time is specially helpful when you collaborate with people in different timezones. So you can add their timezone on home tab and you know when is the right time to ping them.

Spicebird Home Tab

4. Email

Email experience is more or less like any other open source email client. But Spicebird provides some intitutive features like if it finds that the content of a mail is about a meeting, it’ll give an option for creating a calendar event for the same. This is a really good feature and this is just the begining. Spicebird is still beta.

SpiceBird Intutive Mail

5. Instant Messaging

This is a really cool feature from collaboration point of view and which makes Spicebird different from the masses. Spicebird is supporting IM via any jabber server. So if you are a startup, setup your own jabber server on Intranet and use it for collaboration. Mind blowing!! This also includes Gmail/GTalk. So you can just say bye bye to your messenger and start using it right away with GTalk. Plus this will import all your contacts to your local address book. Another real good feature which is not there in lot of other email clients.

SpiceBird Instant Message using Jabber, GTalk

6. Calendar & Task Management

Another good feature. Integrated calendar and task management. You can quickly add tasks and events. And you need not check your calendar for upcoming events, add upcoming event applet on home tab and you will have them all the time in front of your eyes :)

Spicebird Calendar and Task Manager

Conclusion

Whether you are a startup which is looking for tools to collaborate or a user who is excited about using open source tools, just go and download Spicebird from here and explore a new way of managing things at a single place :)

You can look at Spicebird Roadmap here and checkout the video demo of Spicebird here.

 

How To: Configure Evolution

Well if you already know it, don’t waste your time. But if you don’t know just go through it. Today I started using evolution mail for viewing my mails at the students mail server. Its very attractive as you have vast variety of options for making contact list and its fast and easy way to have your mails at hand. Filters are provided with different specifications. You have your calendar to schedule your jobs and much more to explore. Following are the configuration steps.

1. Start evolution mail by clicking this icon Evolution Icon on you panel or in start menu go to internet and click Email or evolution mail or run command “evolution” from the terminal.

2. A window like this will appear

Evolution  Startup

Evolution Startup

click forward to have this …

Evolution Mail Account

Evolution Mail Account

after adding user yourname@students.iiit.ac.in click forward ….

Evolution Mail Account Preferences

Evolution Mail Account Preferences

choose imap as server type and fill other required information and click forward ….

Evolutoin Mail Server Preferences

Evolutoin Mail Server Preferences

fill information accordingly as it suits you and click forward …

Evolution Account Name

Evolution Account Name

name the account and click forward …

Evolution Finish

Evolution Finish

click apply and it will ask your password for the account give the password.

Now enjoy the facilities provided in the evolution mail browser.