Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Zimbra Desktop – Auto Close Download Window

Another tweak for Zimbra Desktop. If you are accustomed to the downloads window auto-closing in Firefox, this is for you. Every time you save an attachment out of ZD, the downloads window stays open by default, which can be annoying.

To change this (steps are for Mac – slight variation on file locations will be required for other platforms):

  1. Shutdown Zimbra Desktop
  2. Open up ~/Library/Zimbra Desktop/profile/user.js
  3. Find the line that says:
    user_pref("prism.shortcut.aboutConfig.enabled", false);

    and change it to:

    user_pref("prism.shortcut.aboutConfig.enabled", true);
  4. Save and close the file.
  5. Start Zimbra Desktop
  6. Press <Shift>-F7, which will bring up about:config.
  7. Filter on “download” to find the line that says:

    and double click it to change the false to true.

  8. Press <Shift-F7 to close about:config, and Zimbra Desktop will reload with the changes.



Spamfighting: Auto Add to Blacklist with Postini

I have for a long time been borderline-obsessive about fighting spam with my personal e-mail. Back in the days when I ran my own e-mail system based on Hula (R.I.P.), I had a fairly complex implementation of Spamassassin that worked quite well. When I switched to Google Apps for my home domain several years ago, I started using Postini for spam prevention. It does work pretty well once you tweak it to strike the right balance between too many false positives, and too much spam getting through.

The one thing I missed from my old homegrown setup was the ability to move a message into a “blacklist” folder and have it learned as spam and added to the blacklist by Spamassassin.

One Saturday morning, I decided to do a little research to figure out if Postini had the requisite facilities to allow for this. Lo and behold, I discovered postini-ezcommand-shell.

What follows is a tutorial on setting up a “blacklist” folder in your e-mail that will let you drag spam into the folder and have Postini blacklist the sender automatically.


  • You will need some sort of shell account with the ability to run bash and perl scripts, and schedule cron jobs.  I use DreamHost.
  • fetchmail must be available, or you will have to download and compile it with SSL support.
  • Create a folder in your e-mail hierarchy called “Blacklist”.  This should work with any e-mail provider/client, but I am using Gmail along with on the Mac.  You simply need the ability to drag and drop e-mails from your inbox or other folder, to the Blacklist folder.
  • All of the scripts and commands below use conventions like “/homedir”.  Be sure to adjust all paths for your environment.

Continue reading ‘Spamfighting: Auto Add to Blacklist with Postini’


Fixing the Home & End Keys in Zimbra Desktop for Mac

When I first switched from Windows to Mac several years ago, there was one huge annoyance I had to overcome.  By default, the Home and End keys behave very differently than they do in Windows.  In Windows, they move the cursor to the beginning and end of a line, respectively.  On the Mac, they move you to the top or bottom of a screen/document.

There are a couple of fixes out there that work great for OS X in general, and Firefox specifically.  I’ve been using both of these for several years with great success.

Well, over the weekend my work e-mail was migrated from Exchange to Zimbra, and this issue resurfaced when I started using Zimbra Desktop 7.  After a bit of digging, I figured out that ZD is based on Mozilla Prism, which is a bundled version of Firefox for offline-capable applications like Zimbra Desktop. Unfortunately, ZD does not really support the use of Extensions, even though there is one included and enabled by default.

To make a long story short, I was able to take the Keyfixer Firefox extension mentioned above and customize it to work with Zimbra Desktop.  Thanks to Matt Ball for the original extension.  I’ve renamed it to avoid confusion, but his name remains in the files.

The extension is available here (updated 8/11/2011 for Zimbra Desktop 7.1.1).

This has been tested with Zimbra Desktop 7.0.1 and 7.1.1 on Mac OS 10.6.7.

Installation instructions

  1. Unzip the downloaded file, which will yield a folder called “”
  2. Exit Zimbra Desktop
  3. Copy the folder above to ~/Library/Zimbra Desktop/profile/extensions
  4. Start Zimbra Desktop and test the keys by composing a new e-mail
  5. If needed, you can verify the extension is loaded by pressing Shift-F6, clicking the gear in the lower right of the screen, followed by Tools, Add-ons.

I hope this helps others.  Let me know if you encounter any issues!


Snowmobiling 2010!

My friend Aaron Benson and I just got back from a 4-day snowmobiling adventure in Michigan’s upper peninsula. The conditions were very good, despite a big thaw and lots of rain about a week before our trip. Thankfully, temperatures plunged back to the teens and plenty of snow had fallen by the time we arrived.  It was cold, but not too cold.  Because we were sledding Sunday night through Wednesday, we missed the rush of all the weekend warriors and the trails were fairly empty and in relatively good condition.

Snowmobiling Temps

Snowmobiling Temps

We stayed at the Big Buck Cabin, right next door to and run by the same people as B&L’s 38 Lodge, where we stayed last time. The cabin is very nice and the location is great, right at the intersection of major trails 12 and 13.

A few photos of the trip are on Flickr here.

I’ve put our GPS tracks below, courtesy of my Garmin GPSmap 60CSx.  Click on each image for the full-sized version.

All told, we covered 505 miles across 195 square miles of Michigan over the 3 full days and one evening of sledding.

This is the combined map with the tracks from all four days.  Day 1 (really just an evening jaunt for dinner) is in red, day 2 is green, Day 3 is blue, and day 4 is in magenta.

Snowmobiling All Days

Evening 1 – 36 miles – elapsed time 2h 54m

Carl from SRS rental decided to drop off our sleds (Arctic Cat F570s) the evening we got there, instead of the following morning, which was a nice surprise.  We suited up and headed to the Parkview Grill for dinner.  This was a quick jaunt up trails 12 and 3 from Greenland to Twin Lakes.

Snowmobiling Day 1

Day 2 – 129 miles – elapsed time 10h 30m

We headed west on our second day, stopping in Ontonagon for breakfast at the Harbortown Family Restaurant.  I’m pretty sure we ate at this same place a couple years ago, and the food was great.  We were amused that they offer a choice of wheat toast, or homemade wheat toast.  We had to ask whether anyone ever chooses the non-homemade variety, but the waitress claimed it was pretty common.  I found this review of the place particularly accurate, as I noticed the locals staring at us the entire time.  After breakfast, we headed through White Pine and Silver City along the Lake Superior shoreline to the Lake of the Clouds overlook (upper left of the map), stopping at the Foothills Restaurant for a break.  We then trekked down to Lake Gogebic and stopped at George & Carolyn’s Hoop ‘N’ Holler Tavern right on the lake shore.  This tiny place was jam-packed with snowmobilers.  Dinner was in Rockland, at Henry’s Never Inn, a quaint little place with good food and a major Marilyn Monroe motif in the Men’s room.

Snowmobiling Day 2

Day 3 – 233 miles (!) – elapsed time 12h 55m

We definitely did not start out this day planning to go all the way to the tip of the Keweenaw peninsula.  We started by taking trail 13, a very curvy route through the forest, to Twin Lakes for brunch at the Parkview.  We hadn’t been on the trail for 5 minutes when Aaron buried his sled in a ditch by taking a turn a bit too wide.  Unfortunately I was riding ahead of him at the time, so I missed the moment.  He was fine, but it took both of us plus some passers-by to free his sled.  Within another 5 minutes after we got going again, I did my part by tipping my sled over in a turn.  It was almost like it happened in slow motion – just a little too much momentum in the wrong direction.  Unfortunately (again) for me, I was still riding in front, so Aaron got to witness my misfortune and laugh at me.  At least it didn’t take 3 people to get me back in action, though!  After the Parkview, we took another loop on trails 120/121 (also very curvy through the forest) up toward Houghton/Hancock.  We were running on fumes by the time we pulled into a gas station there – my sled had been warning me it was on empty for the last 4 miles.  Our next stop was the Coppermine Bar in Hubbell, MI.  There was a sign for this place on trail 3, pointing down a very steep and narrow side trail.  This place was huge, and we were the only ones there.  The owner had a show about the worst celebrity divorces on TV, which was fairly amusing.  She asked us if we were heading all the way to Copper Harbor (near the tip of the peninsula), and we said “Oh, hell no!”  It was already after 3pm, and we were quite a ways from the cabin.  For some reason, though, we ended up continuing Northeast, and eventually we figured we were so close that we might as well go all the way.  We pulled into Copper Harbor after passing over the Brockway Mountain pass, which was way up there.  We gassed up and took a break at the Mariner North restaurant, contemplating the 100-plus mile ride back to the cabin that we were starting out on at about 7pm!  We took a different route back where possible, which started on a very dark and deserted trail out of Copper Harbor.  Eventually we joined up with trail 3, which is fairly straight and fast in most places.  After gassing up in Hancock, we made a final stop back at the Parkview for a break and a beverage after the long ride.  From there it was only about 18 miles back to the cabin, and we got back there at about 11:30pm.

Snowmobiling Day 3

Day 4 – 107 miles – elapsed time 10h 45m

After the epic 3rd day, we were both looking to go fairly easy on the final day.  We started off by having breakfast at Grandma Myrt’s in nearby Mass City.  We then headed back to Lake Gogebic and Bergland, stopping at Becker’s Bergland Bay Bar (interesting web site).  I don’t think I’ve ever come across a shrine to sock monkeys before.  A bit further down the trail we made another stop at The Root Cellar, down the East shore of Lake Gogebic.  This was a pretty cool place, and we enjoyed some jalapeno poppers (always a favorite).  After that, it was a very straight, fast, and boring ride down trail 8 (the long straight line toward the bottom of the map) to the burgeoning metropolis that is Ewen, MI.  A little known fact about Ewen is that the woods around Ewen in Ontonagon County (pop. 7,818) supplied the world’s largest load of logs—50 logs or 36,000 board feet of timber—pulled by a single team of horses, for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. They are justifiably still very proud of that fact.  Finally, we headed back up to Rockland to Henry’s, dreaming of more jalapeno poppers.  Unfortunately, it was build your own pizza night at Henry’s, and the rest of the menu was unavailable.  The place was also jam-packed with sledders, including a group of at least 20.  We squeezed in and found a table crammed in the corner.  The pizza was fine, but it was definitely no Lou Malnati’s.  A short ride back to the cabin, and we parked our sleds for the last time.

Snowmobiling Day 4

Another great snowmobiling trip – I was really glad we signed up for only 3 days, because I think our bodies had just about hit their limit after 3 1/2 days of sledding.  We must be getting old.