Tag Archives: email

vcf2ldif … time saver

I’ve been using Thunderbird for years now on Windows, managing email for work. For me it’s more efficient and I can find things faster. However for personal mail I’ve always used Evolution even back when it was Ximian. It is an excellent PIM and has served me well over the years. But I decided to switch to Thunderbird the other day. The main reason is for simplicity and managing upgrades a little easier.

So moving mail wasn’t a big deal both use mbox format, copy the files that’s it, but contacts was another story. So my delima was add contacts manually or find a way to convert. Evolution can export contacts in CSV or VCF format but Thunderbird can only import CSV or LDIF. One might say no problem use CSV as it’s common with both. Well for me that wasn’t the case as the Evo export had some interesting labeling and when walking through the Thunderbird import more fields were wrong than right.

I wasn’t really ready to do that so I went looking for a way to convert VCF to LDIF. That’s when I found vcf2ldif. Cudos to Ryan Mills for creating this Java app as it did the trick and saved hours of manual work. I ran into a couple of errors on some address books relating to the number of fields per record, or so it seemed. But removing unnecessary lines in the VCF files fixed it.


Viruses, trojans, and worms

..are every where these days and for me I can gladly say I’ve not had to worry about them. Maybe it’s cause I’m lucky, maybe it’s cause I don’t get much spam… really it’s true, or maybe it’s cause I don’t wonder what the email could really be about from someone that I’ve never heard of. Better yet with a sender or subject that are not actual words.

Delete em don’t look at em … if it was worth reading it would make sense !!!

Then you have the phishing email asking you to confirm personal information… are you kidding me !!! If a stranger knocked on your door saying he was from your bank, asked you to fill out this form with information they already have… you’d really do that ??? Come on if common sense says don’t do it in person why does the internet make it ok.

And of course just putting a machine on the internet with no firewall can be dangerous. What was it 30 minutes ? Microsoft put an unprotected machine on the internet and in 30 minutes it was compromised … at least I remember that from a Microsoft paid advertisement for XP on G4Tech TV.

Some ammunition about why you should have a firewall can be found on Microsoft’s TechNet but that is not to say they should only be used for Windows® based machines. You should have one period.

This brings me to my latest personal challenge, cleaning a machine that is infected. A friend was having trouble with a PC when it accessed the internet. Luckily they had Norton Anti Virus Software so it would catch anything that would come in but it did not stop the annoying pop adds nor the rogue processes that would bring there surfing to a screeching halt. Now I can honestly say I am no expert at this but I did learn from it.

The short version of the long story is with help from SpyWare Doctor, the Internet and good old Safe Mode the machine is back to normal… for now. I say for now cause there is still an issue with Internet Explorer, did not have time to completely research and fix, but surfing is no problem with Mozilla’s Firefox and email is working.

So it’s not a perfect fix but does get them up and running till it’s replaced, which should be soon. With some help from Zone Alarm for a firewall their experience should be uninterrupted.

I’ve put in my two cents for replacing it with a Mac. Since pictures and video are on the list of important features they could be a convert. I did not mention LINUX cause that did not seem to be a good fit for what they use a PC for… but in time it will.

March 21 update ..

Well after hearing back from the friends what I thought was fixed was not. After a few minutes of surfing internet access was bogged down by rougue tasks from some executables in \windows\system. Funny how Norton and SpyDoctor did not detect them. But I had a feeling that might happen, task manager just didn’t look right. I went ahead and installed SpyBot to try another angle, which helped. I also took the time to research the tasks a little more carefully with some help from Answers That Work which pretty much took care of any questions I had about something being legit. After tweeking msconfig, getting rid of the registery entries that were bogus it now appears everything is back to normal.

We’ll see …