Why I like Gmail better than Inbox

I’ve tried to use Inbox for a while, and after few about a half year of usage, I determined Gmail interface is more of what I find more useful than Inbox in daily E-mail usage.

What I like about Inbox

Inbox has its own charm, it’s somewhat easier to navigate, and offers wide variety of snippets. If there  are attachments, they are highlighted, and I’d say, it’s more fun to use.

What Inbox is trying to do is very ambitious and is a very interesting attempt to improve E-mail as we interact today.

What I don’t like about Inbox

Then there are bit of complaints I have with Inbox, it’s mostly features available on Gmail, but not on Inbox.

No alternative signatures for alternative address

I have some alternative addresses I have set up, for example for the convention E-mail and such. What really bothers me is that I can’t set up an alternative E-mail signatures for them.

Send style defaults to HTML and there’s no way to change this

I don’t usually send HTML mails, because, they may hide invisible changes I don’t mean to send. Gmail allows me to switch between HTML and text, but Inbox doesn’t.

No “view source” option

OK. I admit, this is not something 99% of the population would seek for. I like to be able to view E-mail source to inspect headers. Why do I want check an E-mail header anyways? Well, it is one of the best ways to detect phishing E-mail.

Language specific reply header and I can’t change it

When you hit reply to E-mail with Gmail, I see something like this as a reply header:

2016-02-17 13:26 GMT-08:00 John Doe <johndoe@example.com>:

If I do the same on Inbox, I see this: (I set my UI default to Japanese)

2016年2月17日(水) 13:26 John Doe <johndoe@example.com>:

Why I like Gmail version better? Because it doesn’t matter whether I am sending my E-mail to someone in Japan, US, or any other countries I’m sending my E-mail to and make sense to everybody. Reply header that Inbox use only makes sense to Japanese people. At least I expect the option to change this.

Conclusion

From what I observe above, Inbox seems to be designed for more of casual E-mail users, perhaps consuming more E-mail than writing one. What I really want to see is either Inbox with more of Gmail features implemented, or vice-versa. Come on Google, you should be able to do that!

 

Raspberry Pi as VPN Host Point

My work has been used VPN for certain applications that requires static IP. Since the location of my work is pretty much abandoned by pretty much every single broadband companies (other than Clear), I’ve decided to move VPN access point off-site, to ensure I have access to this device at decent speed — even from off-site if needed to be.

At the office, I have connected the VPN router through one of PC running Linux. For taking this functionality off the company network, I wanted more power-efficient, portable solution. I already had one of Raspberry Pi, so I decided to take it a spin for using it as a VPN Host Point.

For providing the conduit to this system, I’ve decided to use recently open sourced SoftEther. The reasons I’ve selected this particular solution is:

  • It’s easy to configure
  • Provides a variety of emulation, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec (since SoftEther lacks client support for Mac, those emulation supports are very useful)

Another factor was the fact that I was already familiar with UT-VPN which has similar configuration styles.

Configuration for SoftEther went fairly smooth, only pitfall was that when kernel mode NAT was used in conjunction with the device, it obtained IP address outside of the VPN, thus, I had to set DisableKernelModeSecureNAT to true.
While vpncmd utility would provide configuration options, configuration options were bit confusing, such as natenable, and securenattable actually switches different part of the NAT system; I had to wonder why NAT was not activated. Once I learned to inspect both of them, it wasn’t too bad after that.

So far, performance seems to be satisfactory, and the next step will be to actually have dedicated Raspberry Pi for this purpose.

Vocaloid Songs (Seriously) Need Curation

Playing Project Diva F, it somewhat renewed my feeling that Hatsune Miku (and all Vocaloids) can really use extensive curation.

I might have said this elsewhere, but Vocaloid songs are very diverse, and that’s like a singer having enormous repertly. There are many good songs, but at the same time, they are intimidating to approach.

There are efforts like Karent that collects music for distributions, but let’s face it, discoverability, for instance from Spotify is pretty horrible.

Perhaps it is easier for someone active in Niconico may be able to find songs easier by composer’s name, etc.?

Despite that I use Vocaloid software, I hardly consider myself to be “in the community” and I’m not very sure how much of the mainstream approach from within the community is in consideration, but I can’t help noticing a lot of good content are being literally hidden from outside, and I feel like it can be improved for better!

A Japanese Language Edition of this article is here / この記事の日本語版はこちら

BitTorrent Sync

There are many P2P file sync systems like AeroFS and Tonido. One thing that BitTorrent Sync stands out is that it doesn’t require account registrations. Other services require creating an account prior to use. It almost makes me “why do I need to register to use a P2P system?” With BitTorrent Sync, it is as easy as exchanging a key.

You can try read only key of RBU7XLPET43IWGFSLNJEGREIOZI6V4YE2. It’s a repository of Emacs build for Windows and Mac.