K9-Mail Icon Change – Alternative Icons

Till now I have been using the default mail apps that came with my android phones. They worked just fine. Few weeks back I bought a new phone, a Lenovo VIBE P1. So far there is nothing to complain about, it is a great value for money phone. The huge battery is what I always wanted, even if it means the phone is overall a little bulky.

One thing that I did not like though is the missing mail app. Googling revealed that this is the way to go for newer androids. Not to worry, can always download a free mail app from a galaxy full of free apps on the play store right? But there’s always a catch with all things free! While googling the top free mail app I stumbled upon a post which pointed out privacy concerns. Little digging revealed that almost all “free” mail apps had privacy issues (same for most paid ones).

Now although like most of us my mails are not the “burn after reading kind” not even close. Still I do not want a “no background LLC” to read my mails and profile me for “more targeted” ads. Worse I don’t know how safe there data protection is. If one day someone breaks there servers all the app users passwords would end up in the hands of the cheapest bidder(s)! So I searched for an open source solution… atleast we can peep into the code to see nothing fishy going on there.

I zeroed in on K9-Mail, it has everything I need. More importantly there is nothing that I don’t want. Its free and ad free, couldn’t be better. There is one thing that I do not like (to say the least). I say this with no disrespect to the developers / designers, the icon looks horrible!

So, I recompiled my own version in which I changed the icon to a standard android mail icon. Then I went a little further and compiled with a few more (using free icons I could find on the web). You can download the one you like by clicking below links. All are based on K-9 Mail 5.008 with nothing but the icons replaced.

Android DefaultCreative FreedomiOS StyleOffice StyleMinimalPlain White

I particularly like the one by Creative Freedom. I would recommend Adams blogs for anyone who wants to get a head start in icon designing.

Note: Just like my other projects I may not be able to provide support. Furthermore, I may not be able to upload new versions.

Voluntary disclosure: I’m in no way related to Creative Freedom / Adam Parrish. I do like them a lot!

hMailServer External Copies

This is an old script, don’t plan to update/support it. I’m leaving it here for reference only!

I was recently asked by a friend to help setup a small mail server at his office. I found the hMailServer the best free option for small business. I would personally recommend anyone looking for a simple powerful (not to mention free) mailserver to try this one. I setup a global catch all account on the hosting provider (GoDaddy) and using the external account feature to download and distribute locally. So, we setup the server and all was well.

The very next day the guy called me and said although everything works fine, they are getting multiple copies of same mail. Further investigation revealed that everytime someone mailed 2 of more people in the same company, they all get multiple copies (depending on how many people were in the TO: CC: BCC:). Initially I couldn’t figure out what was causing this to happen. Later it was clear, everytime someone sends a mail to multiple people the external account (with catch all enabled) receives a copy for each mail address. When hMailServer download from this account it gets multiple mails and it forwards each one to the recipients. This is not a problem with hMailServer but it does bother everyone.

Finally I came up with a solution and so far it seems to work fine. I wrote a small script that computes a hash of every incoming mail and checks if it is an exact copy. The subject line of copies are marked allowing them to be deleted.

The script could be found here or here.

This is to be placed in the hMailServer\Events folder. If you have other scripts in the existing file you’ll need  to copy and paste the script manually. Now to delete copies just add a global rule that deletes all mails with -~!GLOBAL MAILBOX COPY!~- in subject line.

Hope this works for you!

Image Block

Image Block is an extension for Mozilla Firefox

This addon first showed up in 2007 for Firefox version 1.5. Since then its has tried to support all Firefox versions (absolute legacy support), even if it meant compromising on some features (e.g. toolbar button, which is finally movable now). The last thing I wanted was for a user to change there installation just for Image Block to work.

Another key issue that everyone kept pointing (other than the immovable button) was images not being blocked on certain sites (e.g. Google Image search). This was done on purpose, as these images are embedded in data, “blocking” them was not possible. They could only be “hidden”, which would not help in faster browsing or less data use. However, I have finally added this (I’m still not fully convinced if this is the way to go).

Then there were (are) the endless demands of black-lists, white-lists, conditional blocking, flash, tab specific, auto reload, blocking content other than images… so on and so forth. Well, I don’t plan to do any of that. The whole idea is to keep it simple, so that everyone can use it… even my mom! Its easy to make tons of buttons and give every feature possible to the user, but making everything work with a single button sets the user free. Most human beings like simple tools!

Last version was released for Firefox 3.5, it worked till now without any changes to code.

Below is the original description (last edited in 2010!)

Image Block adds a toggle button that conditionally blocks/allows loading of images on webpages. The toggle button is added to the navigation toolbar (extreme right) by default. Blocking images results in faster browsing, especially helpful on handheld devices or slower connections like GPRS/EDGE/3G dial-up etc.

Recently in a review one user pointed out that Image Block is quite useful when you visit websites which show dirty and adult advertisements, while also containing useful information. If you are not sure of what you are about to see on a webpage, just block images to avoid possible embarrassment.

It can also be used at work where your boss doesn’t allow you to surf the web or social networking websites!! They look very different (hard to see which site you are viewing) with image blocking on.

- Version 2.1 fixes a couple of bugs, adds tooltip and french language ( thanks to Vincent Caron for this update).
- Version 2.0 fixes compatibility issues with Firefox 3.5, it also adds the button to the navigation toolbar by default.

Very simple image blocking extension, hopefully useful!