Posts tagged: gmail

POP3 on Yahoo! Mail and my Outlook

By , July 29, 2013 3:33 pm

When my Outlook pst file exceeded 20Gb, funny things occurred to my Outlook 2010. Read on some tech forums that Outlook doesn’t handle large pst file, and when the pst file reaches that size, it can’t be compacted.

I’ve been using Yahoo! Mail for registering to online services (because the mailbox size is unlimited so it can withstand spams). The massive amount of emails to my Y!Mail caused the pst file to gorge.

Gmail allows good controls of POP3. Outlook mail (the new hotmail) more obscure. Y!Mail POP3 is very limited e.g. no option to "download arriving emails only". Therefore, ALL emails to Y!Mail are downloaded on every single device when I connect Y!Mail account to an email client.

I am deleting the Y!Mail account from my Outlook and switching back to the web interface.

How social networking in Vietnam is different from other countries in the region

By , November 20, 2011 4:12 pm

10 years ago the first thing Vietnamese learn about communicating through the Internet is chatting. There were some services targeting Vietnam market before Yahoo! Messenger came to dominate all communication channels.

Yahoo! Messenger’s domination in Vietnam opened up the way for Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! 360. In recent years, the email market share is largely chipped by Gmail. Yahoo! Messenger, while the top IM client, faces competition from Skype. Hotmail, Live Messenger and Gtalk are not widely popular in the country.

A growing trend is, however, that people start to learn about social networking and Facebook. Many sign up for the Internet to, first thing first, communicating via social networks. The same is happening in other South East Asian countries.

The social network battle in Vietnam in 2011 boils down to the dual-horse race between the two leaders Zing Me and Facebook. While Twitter and Plurk gain traction in other countries in the region, micro-blogging in Vietnam has never taken off. Even technology-enthusiasts use Facebook for live reporting (which Twitter is logically most suitable for) and viralling current events.

Why? My attempt to answer the question:

  1. Vietnamese language comes with diacritics thus requires a lot more than 140 characters to express a full sentence
  2. Vietnamese users are more familiar with “Add Friend” relationship than “Follow” mechanism
  3. Most importantly, Twitter doesn’t satisfy the gamification demand crazed by Vietnamese users. Vietnamese teenagers go on Zing Me mostly to play webgames. Many also go on Facebook sheerly for games rather than for connecting. Foursquare has received lots of attention probably thanks to the rewards and Mayor competition.

The next question pops into my mind: if gamification is so important, why hasn’t Plurk known in Vietnam while it is very popular in Taiwan and the Philippines? Again, my attempt

  1. Plurk hasn’t been covered by local media which is crucial in the growth of services. Facebook received local media coverage.
  2. Many influencers don’t know what Plurk is. As for me, I deactivated my Plurk account after collecting many medals.

Thanks @salsabeela and @kounila for sharing the information on social networking in your countries.


Tumblr is growing rapidly in Vietnam.

Ngoc Hieu has an explanation on the adaption Twitter: Vietnamese users like colors and emotions, neither of which Twitter offers.

Ambiances to take into accounts

By , February 10, 2009 3:31 am

The three stories that trigger this post

I’ve been occupied with some thoughts resulting from some articles I read or discussions I joined for some time. Here are three of them:

Story 1: focus

AnhHung and I had a discussion in our three blog posts on whether companies would want to pick a direction and fully focus or experiment with their ideas.

Just a quick note: I explicitly express my support for neither, in my post I pointed out where experiment is sensible.

Story 2: the registration form

Here is the story of how changing a button brings $300 million revenues.

I didn’t get it. That was not a small change in “only a button”. That was a major change in flow + database + architecture + graphic design, and it resulted from an R&D result.

With a change at that level, the Product Manager, Business Analyst (if any), System Designer (if any), Project Manager, DBA, Developer should be involved. Why does the article only highlight the designer?

Story 3: prototyping

Today I read about how great products like Gmail and AdSense were born from experiments and thought about where innovation should be placed. Before Paul had done what he did, AdSense had been a laugh, and because he did his experiment, Google had a billions-worth business.

However, some Gmail’s siblings from Labs didn’t make it.

So should they continue their experiments or should they focus?

The points we missed

Comparing different ambiances where the stories took place helped me realize the points we did not take into accounts which could somehow relieve the thoughts in my mind.

1. Type of product

1a. The reason why I put the flow from story 2 on the table was that we once had an issue when a developer changed a flow to make it more convenient for users and changed a form design to make it more attractive without going through the Business Analyst. When I saw the changes I freaked out as the they violated some regulations of the industry and we had to quickly revert the system before releasing to clients. It is not to blame anyone, it is to clearly state that there are might be reasons why something so inconvenient stays in the system.

However, for products that come from new & creative ideas, innovation deserves its space and time. If changes and new features suggestions must go through a lengthy process, two things could arise: the product does not move fast enough and the idea initiators might get frustrated and gradually lose their passion.

1b. Another aspect is whether the product is commercial or customized. Commercial products are offered to a large number of clients, and customized products are usually ordered by specific clients for their use only. For commercial products, the product team to brainstorm improvements and clients’ input take the form of feed backs. For customized products, users’ response can be obtained by taking the product directly to the client.

2. Software methodology

If the team employs Rational Unified Process, changes must go through change management process. If the team goes Agile, changes can be implemented quicker with more clients involvements. Smaller teams might be even more flexible.

If RUP is used then it’s valid to question where the Business Analyst is in a change, but if the process is different, it’s perfectly okay for the web designer to initiate a usability improvement.

3. Corporate type: established or startup

A good example to take is Google itself. There are tales about how open it was and how data was easily accessible and how anti-corporate the team was when the company was still a startup. But now Google is a mature enterprise with corporate hierarchy and naturally enough management practices are in place.

How large the companies are is a big factor in their choosing strategies.

And it’s funny if we compare a public company with 20 thousands employees to a startup with ten people.

4. Era

The time when Gmail took of and the time 6 of her siblings were axed are not the same. 2004 was a good year to start a new service and 2009 is when companies need to cut costs.

5. Position

Lastly, the arguments people brings to a discussion of one topic vary depending on their perspective and position.

For example, the product builder might want to try out with different intiatives, the analyst might want to draw the patterns, the marketer might want to emphasize the position of the brand, the venture capitalist might want to see a business model out of an idea.

It’s fascinating how we have different people with different interests joining together and personally this reminds me that sometimes we can never reach a consensus from a debate.


This entry is meant to organize some fighting thoughts inside my mind and that’s all it should do.

I don’t intend to make a point here, but I hope you enjoyed the articles that I quoted. Here they are again for your convenience:

Jared M. Spool, The $300 Million Button

Paul Buchheit, Communicating with code

Google services officially in Vietnam, eventually. Why and how?

By , August 22, 2008 3:12 pm

“Within the next 5 years, Google Vietnam will have been Google Indochina.”

Read the article here: Google’s Advisor for Vietnam

That article was all the way back to early 2007.

We are now in August 2008 when we receive this big news: Google has officially set their foot in Vietnam.

Google Vietnam homepage

Where is Google currently?

Currently, Google has 3 web properties standing in top positions in Vietnam market:

  1. at #2, after
  2. at #7, after 4 local news portal
  3. at #10, after another 2 news site. Read more: Vietnamese bloggers go to YouTube chiefly looking for embed code

Source: Alexa August 2008

Google in Vietnam on Alexa

Gmail is second to Yahoo! Mail

Many Vietnamese also love spending time on Wikimapia.

A predictable and inevitable move…

No need to mention the localized version of the search portal, Google’s presence in Vietnam could be predicted since their AdSense for Vietnamese browsers has recently displayed contents in Vietnamese, and frequently with Gmail and Orkut.

Vietnamese Group on Orkut

An Orkut screenshot, click on the image to view the original version.

The 20-million-internet-user market is rich and potential to Google as well.

…getting over certain issues

It’s important to mention some issues with Vietnam market for Google

  1. Volume of frauds in AdSense from Vietnam
  2. Buyer habit
  3. Revenues the business expect to gain from selling advertisements to Google services
  4. e-Commerce law

(2) is changing dramatically and is driving (3).

We’ve seen signals to improvements to (4)

So I guess it is high time Google was here in this rapidly developing country.

News is just news, no news is bad news.
Or is it no news is good news?

What do you think when you know the news?

I’ve observed various reactions from people in the industry.

1. “Hitting the market first” is getting tighter it’s hard to breath.

Many service providers have aimed to push their products to the market before Google comes to Vietnam.

Now they do!

Any plan to pre-ampt Google would be extremely hard.

2. The non-technical users are not as excited as the technical communities

While most agree that Google search is powerful, many non-technical are happy with Yahoo! services including Messenger, Mail, 360, 360plus and other local service providers.

Another thing to look at is connection speed. Vietnamese users suffer from bottle-neck effect to international websites. However, even with that, Google search result load speed is surprisingly amazing with their distributed network.

So all in all, non-technical users have very few reason to celebrate

3. Technical communities are jumping up and down in joy now

Because they have established the habit of relying on many Google services.

Well I have two things to say

Firstly, I don’t want to be forced to use the localized version of Google without an option to revert to the international version. I have tested the result from Google international search and Google Vietnam search and they’re much different. I’d prefer the international version, thanks. And I appreciate that Google provides the URL for the international version.

Secondly, I have to ask this: does Google really love Vietnam?

No I’m not kidding. You may want to know that Coca-cola doesn’t invest too much on marketing and market penetration to compete with Pepsi in Vietnam. They’re here to make locals aware of their presence and not to let Pepsi equate cola to “Pepsi”. You may want to know that Honda introduced the Click and the Airblade with heavy subsidy in Vietnam not to head on directly with Yamaha’s Nouvo series, but not to let Yamaha dominates the whole market. This is important to keep in mind because in Vietnam, “the web” is equal to “Yahoo!” for many beginning users.

We want to see how strongly Google will push the Vietnam market…

How these Firefox 3-compatible addons save me one hour per day

By , August 18, 2008 11:38 am

I’m on Firefox 3 too, and I utilize addons to enrich my web experience too, like most of you there.

There have been countless of entries to useful Firefox addons, but what’s different about this post is that it measures the costs that can be saved for users when using these extensions.

What are the costs of usability and how much are they?

The descending order of severity of the costs are

  1. Screen loads: this is a pain when internet connection is slow. It usually takes most time of all interactions with the computer
  2. Mouse movements: mouse movements severely damage the wrist and this should be minimized
  3. Mouse clicks: mouse clicks are less severe than mouse movements, but are also expensive
  4. URLs: an URL takes time to type in
  5. Enters: it hurts the little finger
  6. Hot keys: hot keys usually consists of at least 2 keys, but are regarded as less expensive than Enters because they are mostly done with the left hand, reduces damage to the right hand

Now, let’s start with the addons!

The first six in the batch: Google Toolbar, Diigo Toolbar, StumbleUpon Toolbar, TwitterFox, CustomizeGoogle, Better YouTube

Google ToolbarGoogle Toolbar for Firefox

Google Toolbar provides search, “I’m feeling lucky” and images search functions without having to go to

It also supports Gmail notifications and Google PR check

If I don’t use this addon If I use this addon
  1. Ctrl+T
  2. Alt+D
  3. Input: or
  4. Enter
  5. Wait for one screen load
  6. Enter
  7. Input search keywords. Enter
  8. Wait for one screen load
  1. Move mouse to the toolbar
  2. Input search keywords
  3. Enter or move mouse to “Search the Web for images”
  4. Wait for one screen load
Cost saved
  • Two mouse movements
  • One screen load
  • Two hot keys
  • One URL
  • Enters
  • This can save me 10 seconds

Diigo Toolbar

I have used Diigo as a replacement of delicious (I still love the old brand

Though delicious tagging is smarter and usability is better, Diigo supports web-highlighting which makes it an advantage.

Diigo toolbar allows user to bookmark their favorite web pages for later reference. With Diigo, all bookmarks are centralized when users move from computer to another.

If I don’t use this addon If I use this addon
  1. Alt+D to move cursor to the address bar
  2. Ctrl+C to copy the link to post
  3. Ctrl+T
  4. Alt+D
  5. Input: diigo
  6. Enter
  7. Wait for one screen load
  8. Move mouse to “My Bookmarks”
  9. Click
  10. Wait for one screen
  11. Move mouse to “Add a bookmark”
  12. Ctrl+V
  13. Enter
  14. Move mouse to “Tags” (assume that I ignore “Description”)
  15. Input tags
  16. Move mouse to “Add New Bookmark”
  17. Click
  1. Move mouse to the “Bookmark” button
  2. Click
  3. Input tags
  4. Click
Cost saved This can save me 60 seconds

StumbleUpon Firefox addonStumbleUpon Toolbar

StumbleUpon works on an interesting concept: when you hit the Stumble! button, the addon takes you to a random interesting page that matches your preferences.

The StumbleUpon toolbar makes it more convenient for you.

If I don’t use this addon If I use this addon
  1. Alt+D to move cursor to the address bar
  2. Ctrl+C to copy the link to post
  3. Ctrl+T
  4. Alt+D
  5. Input: diigo
  6. Enter
  7. Wait for one screen load
  8. Move mouse to “Post new blog”
  9. Ctrl+V
  10. Move mouse to “Post new blog” button
  11. Click
  1. Move mouse to the “I like it!” button
  2. Click
Cost saved This can save me 45 seconds

CustomizeGoogle Firefox addonCustomizeGoogle

This powerful addon modifies Google search results and display preferences. It supports options for Web Search, Images, Groups, News, Products, G Answers, G Books, Gmail, G Galendar, G Maps, G Docs, Video, Reader, Cache, Blogger, History, Privacy and Filter

If I don’t use this addon If I use this addon
Costs From Google Images Search screen

  1. Move mouse to the thumbnail
  2. Right-click to open context menu
  3. T
  4. Ctrl+Tab
  5. Wait for half a screen load (only need the thumbnail to be loaded)
  6. Move mouse to the thumbnail
  7. Click
  8. Wait for one screen load
From Google Images Search screen

  1. Move mouse to the thumbnail
  2. Right-click to open context menu
  3. T
  4. Ctrl+Tab
  5. Wait for one screen load
Cost saved
  • Half a screen load
  • One Click
  • This can save me 30 seconds


If I don’t use this addon If I use this addon
  1. Ctrl+T
  2. Input
  3. Enter
  4. Wait for one screen load
  1. Move mouse to the Twitterfox icon
  2. Click
  3. Wait for one mini-screen load
Cost saved This looks like it costs even more than the web version. However, the time to load the mini-screen is much less than it does to load the full web page

Better YouTube

This Greasemonkey-based addon loads the YouTube video faster and allows downloading the video. Generally it saves me half an hour per day for one video.


With the intensity of these service I use everyday, these addons easily save at least one hour each day for me.

I can use this one hour for other business purposes which can generate other benefits.

What is your experience? What do you think of my approach when analyzing these?

Tai Tran's Choices (and dilemma) of Media

By , July 30, 2008 4:07 pm
Service vs. Service I choose: Why? But…
Self-hosted WordPress vs. Self-hosted WordPress Branding & Plugins
Facebook vs. MySpace Facebook Facebook is more organized vs. diigo diigo Web high-lighting My community is on
Twitter vs. Plurk Plurk Timeline GUI My community is on Twitter
Digg vs. reddit vs. Mixx Mixx Less hostile toward content creators
Yahoo! Mail vs. Gmail vs. Hotmail Yahoo! Mail is easier to remember for my connections I really want to use Gmail
Yahoo! Messenger vs. Windows Live Messenger vs. Gtalk Windows Live Messenger Twice the maximum number of friends one account can add compared to that of Y!M is easier to remember for my connections

What is your choice of media channel? Do you have dilemmas of choosing them?

Picasa integrated into Blogger

By , May 1, 2008 12:58 am

After the acquisition of Picasa, Google has developed it to a powerful photo-sharing service.

Recently, Google has taken the next step to integrate Picasa with Blogger.

Integration between services is a must-do, and Google has done very well with their web properties, and in a smart way too: Gmail and Docs for business, now Blogger and Picasa for expression.

Gmail Lifecycle

By , October 14, 2007 8:10 pm

Gmail glossy icon

Gmail in real life – a symbolic video of life collaboration.

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Source: Official Gmail Blog

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