Warum Google+ für mich (noch) nicht funktioniert

Ja, ich habe schon einen Google+ Account (koehntopp@gmail.com). Was ich sehe gefällt mir sehr gut, ist für mich aber nicht wirklich nutzbar: Ich habe einen Google Apps for your domain account, d.h. ich nutze die Google/GMail Infrastruktur, allerdings mit einer eigenen Domain.

Um jetzt Google+ nutzen zu können kann ich aber meine ‘normale’ EMail Adresse nicht nutzen (die mit meiner eigenen Domain), sondern muß eine alte @gmail.com Adresse nehmen. Das ist natürlich dämlich, weil ich mit der normalerweise nicht unterwegs bin und mich so auch niemand kennt/findet. Noch schlimmer wird es wahrscheinlich wenn ich damit eine Zeitlang arbeite und Google dann irgendwann mal Google Apps Unterstützung einführt – dann habe ich entweder zwei Accounts, oder die “alten” Posts und Verbindungen hängen in der Luft, und ich muss alle Invites, Circles etc. nochmal pflegen.

Technisch hängt das zunächst daran, dass Google Profiles für Google Apps derzeit nicht unterstützt wird. Tiefergehend ist das ein Identity Management Problem, dem sich Google dringend stellen sollte – bisher häuft man mit jeder neuen Anwendung nur neue Probleme auf.

Ich hatte dazu vor über einem Jahr schonmal gebloggt: http://www.gadgetguy.de/2010/02/22/google-desparately-need-to-implement-identity-management/

Best Linux Distro for a primary school?

Part of my yearly summer vacation duties is looking after my wife and kids’ primary schools computers. So far, I have 16 quite slow PCs running on Ubuntu Linux (9 point something or other). Kids are mostly working on text, or on a few education programs that run in WINE.

One PC has been the dedicated “server” where every other PC had an NFS mounted folder. That worked most of the time, but sometimes broke due to flaky network connections.

Next week we’ll try something new. I’m looking for a Linux distro that is cloud oriented, i.e. either gOS (is that still being maintained?) or PeppermintOS.

I’m looking for pre-installed Chromium browser and Google Apps support. I’ll be installing DropBox to share and backup (!) files, and replacing OpenOffice with Google Docs.

Has anyone done that yet? Is that a feasible approach? There aren’t going to be any dedicated email accounts, it’s all about backing up and sharing files. Is it possible to share the WINE drive via DropBox? Any creative ideas appreciated.

Google desparately need to implement Identity Management

I’m a really really happy user of lots of Google services. I have my own domain linked to Google Apps For Your Domain (GAFYD). I use Google Docs. I’ve been a GMail user before. I put pictures I want to share on Picasa. May contacts are in Google Contacts. Some of my appointments are shared through Google Calendar. Of course I jumped on Google Wave immediately…

So, all should be fine, right?


The trouble began when Google Apps For Your Domain became available, and I had to migrate my data over from the old GMail account. I ranted enough about this, so I’ll spare you the repeat.

Ever since I completed that move, I feel like a second class citizen for all services that use Google’s authentication system, and the worst thing is – this is even true for Google’s own services.

Picasa, for example, is not included in Google Apps, so I have to use a different login. That GMail login uses the same email address than Google Apps, but a different password. You can run face recognition, but unfortunately Picasa can not access the Google Apps contacts for names, faces or email invitations – you have to maintain a second set of identities.

I still have my old @gmail.com email account which uses the same email for login, so that makes for all kind of strange confusing messages. I now have two Google Calenders, two Google Docs sites, both completely separate yet under the same email address.

Do you know all those other services that allow you to pull in your contacts from GMail? You probably guessed it – they can’t access my Google Apps account.

It gets even better when you pull Google Wave (they give you _yet another_ email @googlewave.com!) and Buzz into the mix – complete confusion guaranteed.

This post has been sitting as a draft for a few weeks, only recently Gina Trapani picked up the issue on Smarterware. They found someone at Google with a half ass explanation, but do come on – there has to be a better way!

“When you add Android into the mix, Contacts get weird. Because, I think, you can add your Google Apps account to Android and not your gina@example.com “vanilla” Google Account. (GT: Yes, this is true.) But, when you sign in to Google Voice on Android, you will need to enter the password (which might be the same) of your vanilla Google Account. BUT, on Android, your Contacts are read from the system’s phone book. Not necessarily the vanilla Google Voice Google Account that has its separate contacts (accessible through the normal Google Voice webapp). Ugh. The “Contacts” issue is by far the most ‘hurting’ in this whole scenario.”

Eh… ok….

An update to the post brimgs it to the point:

“Clearly FREE vanilla Google Accounts get more preference than potentially-paid Google Apps accounts, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

Welcome to third class citizenship.

What’s your experience with this – how do you make it work for you?

GMail system wide outage?

Says http://newsgang.net/item/id=57514&from=twitter:

“Gmail is having a systemwide outage affecting multiple countries, and a whole bunch of its 100 million users are screaming about it on Twitter. Around 20 million people visit Gmail each day, according to Comscore, and they’re all seeing the same message. The first outages were reported at about 2 pm PST, 44 minutes ago. The Gmail blog is silent on the outage, instead giving readers some useful tips on customizing web clips.”

It doesn’t seem to affect Google Apps, which is running fine for me. I can also see other people signed into GMail on my chat window.

New GMail faetures available for Google Apps users


“Gmail’s revamped codebase was one such case, and we’re happy to mention this update is now rolling out to Google Apps users who haven’t already opted in to get the latest improvements. Employees, students and other Google Apps users will soon start seeing useful features like these:

* even faster interface
* group chat from the browser
* streamlined contact manager
* colored message labels
* improved keyboard shortcuts
* bookmarkable messages and searches”

That explains a lot – I was wondering if my DSL had suddenly gotten a lot faster ;)

New GMail Mobile version

Markus writes about a new version of http://m.gmail.com for mobile devices.

Unfortunately, the mobile version of mail in for hosted accounts (GAFYD) has not been updated. So, not only do Google Apps users not get the J2ME app, they also don’t get the new mobile html version.

Guys, I’m not sure I’m willing to take this a lot longer. If Yahoo decides to let me send emails with my own domain as a sender, I’m gone.

UPDATE 2007-10-12: Scott Hanselman has a solution!