Ramin Hossaini

Finding large, old emails in Google Apps/Gmail


I have a consolidated inbox (or universal inbox) and love that I only have to check one email address for both work and personal emails. However, this also means that my account is filling up fast. Lately, I’ve been using the query below to find large emails that are older than a specific date so that I can download the attachments and move them into Dropbox for safekeeping.


For example, to find all emails larger than 1 MB and older than a year

SIZE:1048576 BEFORE:2012/02/25

Advanced Title Formatting in Winamp


To change the way Winamp displays songs in your playlist, go to Winamp’s preferences, then select “Titles” in the list on the left. You’ll notice the section titled “Advanced Title Formatting”.

I personally like using this (which also handles songs with no Metadata reasonably well):

$if(%albumartist% - , %albumartist% - , [%artist% - ])$if(%title%,['['%album%[ #$num(%tracknumber%,2)]'] ']%title%,$filepart(%filename%).$fileext(%filename%))

Which displays like this:

Or go over to the full Advanced Title Formatting reference and make your own.

An introduction to Yahoo! Pipes


Yahoo! isn’t exactly one of my favourite companies out there, and it isn’t hard to figure out why when you see how they’ve acquired and maintained technologies like Delicious and Flickr.

That being said, I have to say I’m a big fan of Yahoo! Pipes, and I haven’t been able to find an alternative that’s as good.

The name is derived from the Unix pipe where simple commands can be combined together to create output that meets your needs.


So here’s a very simple example: let’s say you have a specific RSS feed (in this example, the Guardian football RSS feed) you like – but you’re only interested in very specific news (in this example, we only want content relating to Liverpool FC).

Go to Yahoo! Pipes and create a new pipe. Then add the RSS feed as input:

Click on the input-box and you should be able to see a preview of what the input is like:

Under the ‘Operators’ menu on the left, drag a ‘filter’ module into your pipe, add some rules and then connect the boxes together:

Click on the ‘pipe output’ box to see a preview of the new output:

Once you’ve saved your pipe, click on ‘Run pipe’ and get the output’s RSS feed address:

I’m curious to see how others use Yahoo! Pipes – leave a comment if you think of something.

Ridding Twitter of Annoyances


Fact: Life is tough when you’re easily irritated online.

Twitter is an amazing service (if used properly). It’s a great way of getting news quickly, and personally, I find it to be a great place to find entertaining people. It definitely has its uses.

With that said, I have to say that every one of us have been annoying to someone, somewhere, at some time. It happens. However, with certain folks, it happens more regularly than others. Look – that’s fine. That’s what makes us all different. It’s also what makes me find you annoying.

The most common solution is unfollowing someone (or taking it a step further by blocking and reporting them for spam). Easier said than done. Sometimes you have a couple conversations with a person and fool yourself into thinking you’re friends. It happens. So what to do?

TweetDeck has recently (version 0.34+) implemented an amazing feature: Global filter

A Couple Essentials


Let’s face it. Justin Bieber exists. He also commands an legion of hormone-crazed teenagers online. Add his name to that filter list, as shown above, and you should be alright though. It’s actually a fortunate thing that he has a unique name. So you should be safe to filter it as a word completely.


Formspring is a service that allows people to ask questions anonymously. Seems very popular. I’ve noticed that this happens among people who seem to think they’re more famous than they actually are. I don’t have any intention of asking you anything.

The easiest solution is to add “www.formspring” as a keyword.


No real explanation needed for this one. Just block that keyword and be done with it.

Exaggeration and Excess-Enthusiasm

It’s a tough one figuring out the ideal number of exclamation-marks. Which number is ideal? I’m not entirely sure, but 6 has worked well for me (!!!!!!)

Again, it’s tough to say how many is the ideal number to filter here. My studies have shown that 5-S’s (sssss) is too much.

This is usually an indication that you should probably be following more mature Tweeters. Otherwise, “meeee” is a great keyword to filter.


“<3": You're better off unfollowing this person completely.

“♥”: I wish I could block this, but TweetDeck seems to have some sort of unicode limitations – you might have to put up with this kind of Tweet for the time being.

People using Twitter as an IM service

You’ve seen this happen. Mutual-friends reply back and forth, then keep going for about 30 or 40 tweets. Amazing. I hate you. Solution: Add both their names to the keyword filter-list with an ‘@’ as a prefix. For example: @AnnoyingPerson

Sources worth filtering


Foursquare is a service that allows people to act exactly like dogs pissing on trees marking their territory. Everybody fights for the “Mayor” position at a restaurant by “checking-in” regularly.

Block it by adding “foursquare” to your ‘sources’ filter-list.


Some Twitter accounts are linked to blogs. Each time a new article is published, a Tweet is published at the same time. I have an RSS reader, and I’m not scared to use it.


API almost always is a post by a bot.

Remaining Challenges

“your” versus “you’re”

Also known as the Inability to understand the difference between “your” and “you’re”. If done consistently, this serves as a sure-fire way of determining a person’s intellectual capacity. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a way of filtering this kind of stupidity other than unfollowing the person completely.

High-frequency Tweeters

Again, I have no solution for this. You might just have to add them to the from-people-list.


This is by no means an exhaustive list. Your annoyance-threshold may vary. If you have more suggestions, please leave a comment below.

Ubuntu: Installing Apache, PHP 5, and MySQL 5



sudo apt-get install apache2


  • HTML directory: /var/www
  • Apache2 conf: /etc/apache2/apache2.conf


Install PHP, and also enable the PHP and Rewrite module in Apache:

sudo apt-get install php5
sudo a2enmod php5
sudo a2enmod rewrite


  • php.ini: /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini


sudo apt-get install mysql-server
sudo apt-get install php5-mysql

Restart Apache

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart