Windows Live Mail (2012) IMAP Folder Setup – Gmail

Many years ago, Gmail changed their folder structure so some of the IMAP settings tutorials are not correct anymore. Since Windows Live Mail (WLM) auto-configures Gmail, the special folders are automatically determined and they cannot be specified. Please leave Root folder path alone like this:

Gmail IMAP folder settings are automatically configured when established automatically in Windows Live Mail
Do NOT change the settings. If you do manual configuration, make sure you mirror these settings.

Basically Gmail decided with the exception of Inbox, which stays at root, all “System labels” goes under the subfolder [Gmail]. However user-created labels (simply called “Labels“) stay at root folder level. For example, I have a user folder called Save enabled for IMAP, the folder tree with the Gmail account looks like this:

Example of Gmail IMAP folder structure. Inbox and user-created labels stays on top.
ALL system labels go under the subfolder [Gmail]

Because you cannot specify where the Trash folder is, delete button really mean delete (to a recycle bin that’s purged in 30 days), not archive to a folder.

Also because Gmail is smart enough to save a copy in your [Gmail]/Sent Mail folder if you use their SMTP (out-going mail) server, the “Save copy of sent message in ‘Sent Items’ folder” setting on Windows Live Mail is irrelevant: you cannot choose not to save it.

And yes, I tried it checking this (for other non-Gmail accounts), and confirmed that Gmail is smart enough to save one copy (not one from the SMTP and one executed by the client).

So here’s a summary:

  • Gmail automatically configures and dictates IMAP’s special folders. You have no choice
  • No special folder choice means you cannot reroute ‘delete’ to mean archive/move
  • If you use Gmail’s SMTP server (likely), it will save a copy of outgoing mail to [Gmail]/Sent Mail folder. You cannot turn this off.
  • Save copy of sent message in the ‘Sent Items’ folder‘ is irrelevant if you use Gmail’s SMTP server. It will correctly save only one copy of the sent mail.

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Take back control over your data (1) – Email, Calendar & Tasks, Contact

One thing that 2020 and 2021 taught us is that we’ve foolishly surrendered our data to private companies for harvesting and subjected ourselves to being manipulated (behavior conditioned) by bots (artificial intelligence studying our habits), in exchange for a little convenience having big companies hosting our data (on the cloud) for free.

The conventional wisdom is that something is free without the pains (either hard to use or has advertisement), you are the product to be monetized.

Data is today’s new currency for world domination.

Their house, their rules.

Not only the big data companies know us better than we do, they also have the power to censor us at their own whims.

They are the ones who wrote the law, interpret the law, and enforce the laws. The unholy trinity has fused the 3 traditionally separated powers in democracies and became THE almighty.

Like it or not, private companies are dictatorships in all relationships: vendor, customers, employees.

Of course they bear the consequence of their actions, depending on how much de facto leverage they actually have, which is increases with their size. They are already effectively controlling the government with their extensive lobbying budgets.

We are all at the mercy of the big tech if we become dependent on their products.
THEY OWN US if we don’t own our data.

Not to mention that we are also rely on their IT security department that are constantly under attack since a centralized target provides a high return on investment in hacking attempts. Bad people only need to hack a big corporation once to steal 100 million+ user data. If the 100 million+ users’ data are scattered on many different servers with different software, configurations and locations, each attack will be much less worthwhile.

In some sense, it’s much safer for less attractive targets (nobodies) to risk security flaws in their own setups because nobody cared to go after them. More importantly, I don’t want to feed a monster with my data that they are going to bite me or other people I support whenever they wanted to.

Here are the basic minimum web services that we’ve become reliant on in our daily lives.

  • Email
  • Calendar & Tasks
  • Contact List (e.g. Phonebook)

In Google ecosystem:

  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar & Google Tasks
  • Google Contacts

Apple (iCloud) uses the standard protocols

  • Email: IMAP/SMTP
  • Calendar & Tasks: CalDav
  • Contact List: CardDav

If you are paranoid about full control over your data that nobody (including tech support) can see, you should host your own server (based on the protocols above). But if you are concerned about up-time, these services come pretty standard with most cheap (shared) web hosting plans at around $2/mo.

If your provider uses cPanel (e.g. namecheap), each email account comes with Calendar/Task (CalDav) and Contact List (CardDav) sync services. They typically come with a webmail client like horde/roundcube.

Namecheap has their own dedicated email service, but I think their shared hosting plan is a much better deal unless you really need the ActiveSync (Outlook, but you can do it for free with CalDAVsynchronizer) and the Open-Xchange productivity suite (which looked better than horde webmail client). You can also host websites and WordPress (blogs) with the hosting plan and have a FTP server for your files.

cPanel is the most popular admin panel for shared hosting, but there are companies like Dreamhost that doesn’t use cPanel and do not offer calendar/task and contact sync services natively so watch out.


In Android, I recommend the following setup after trial and error

  • Email: FairEmail or stock Email client
  • Calendar: Simple Calendar Pro (by Simple Tools) or stock Calendar
  • Tasks: Tasks.org
  • Contact List: Stock android contacts (phonebook)
  • CalDAV/CardDAV sync adapters (needed for Calendar & Contacts above): DavX5

These are ALL open-source free software (privacy respecting) available from F-droid.org, which do not require login/purchases (please donate). You might see the paid version on Play Store, but it’s just taxing the less adventurous people.

Many fancy email apps that autoconfigures the server for you often harvest your data or do analytics. Be very careful of that. As far as I know FairEmail is the only one that has advanced features comparable to Gmail and doesn’t harvest your data nor charge you.

Remember to turn on Push-IMAP in your email client so it’ll be as responsive as Gmail. In Fairmail, it’s under Settings -> Receive -> When -> Automatically Optimize ON + Always.

I’ve tried a few other Calendar and Tasks app on Google store (such as BusinessCalendar and aCal), and so far the stock Calendar app and Simple Calendar Pro’s built in refresh works correctly with DavX5 sync adapters. The refresh button for the rest did nothing so I had to open DavX5 to manually initiate a refresh if I don’t want to wait 15 minutes (fastest update rate allowed by DavX5).

As for Tasks.org app, it doesn’t use the sync adapter. Instead we directly enter the CalDAV login info with the server link provided by your hosting provider

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Namecheap Dynamic DNS Update Client for Windows

Namecheap provides a free Dynamic DNS client for Windows but unfortunately the client cannot be run as a service. To manage remote computers, the dynamic DNS update should at least run before any user is logged or we’ll run into a chick-and-egg problem: you want to log in remotely but the IP of the remote computer is not known (mapped/updated) until you logged in.

I initially tried to use sc.exe to create a Windows service but the program lacks a ServiceMain() implementation so the service won’t start:

Turns out there is a way to wrap a Windows executable not designed to be used as a service (without ServiceMain() implementation) and make it run as a service. Use a tool called NSSM – the Non-Sucking Service Manager!

Note that the default setting for “Log on as” is “Local System Account”, which will not work with this free Namecheap Dynamic DNS client. You must set it to “Log on as” an Administrator account.

To start the newly created service without rebooting, do nssm start <servicename>, where <servicename> is replaced by the name you choose for the service.

Note that the ‘Path to executable’ for the newly created service is nssm.exe itself, not directly the DNS update client program (like what it’d be if you create the service through sc.exe instead of nssm.exe). The reason is that nssm.exe is the wrapper that calls the underlying executable.

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Namecheap Dynamic DNS Update Service

If you have a domain registered under Namecheap, you dynamically update the IP address to a remote computer at no extra costs. If you use no-ip.com, you have to pay $29.95/yr to use your own domain name.

However, the process is not entirely trivial because Namecheap only offers the dynamic update through its BasicDNS nameserver, which has a few implications

  • BasicDNS nameserver means you configure the DNS records directly Advanced DNS tab when you manage your domain name. DNS records in the Zone Editor in cPanel is not active with BasicDNS nameserver
  • If you use the domain name with Namecheap hosting services, you can no longer have everything configured for you (managed in cPanel’s Zone Editor) by choosing Namecheap Web Hosting nameserver. You have to transfer the DNS record in Zone Editor (cPanel) manually to Advanced DNS tab (Namecheap). At minimum, get the IP address of the HTTP server and enter it as the ‘A Record’ for the main/sub-domain.
  • Setting up subdomain name or root domain name to be used with Dynamic DNS update service is simply entering ‘A Record’ with an any IP address as seed ‘Value’ (subdomains entered as ‘Host’). The value (IP address) will be overwritten by the update service/client.

Namecheap also offer an eye candy called ‘A + Dynamic DNS Record’ which is exactly the same thing but makes it easier for you to remind yourself that the ‘A Record’ is specifically used for dynamic DNS update.

It’s a daunting task if you haven’t done the work to understand how DNS record works since there are lots of new terms to learn.

However, it’s not that hard after you understand what ‘A Record’ does: map the domain name (or its subdomains) to an IP address. All Namecheap did is providing a web server (using REST API that accepts user inputs with certain syntax in the URL) that updates your ‘A Record’ (domain to IP address map).

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Lantern-VPN Free for Hong Kong & China (香港已經開始局部封網,快裝免費 VPN 藍燈 翻牆軟件)

網站「香港編年史」hkchronicles.com 已經被香港政府封。已經證明香港通訊設施已經被某支蝗軍直接管轄。封得一個,而後 Youtube 同 大紀元 都封得。大家準備翻牆。

Lantern 藍燈 快裝工具 VPN 非常容易用。無需登記,對香港地區用家完全免費。下載:https://github.com/getlantern/lantern

Android 版本只有一個開關掣。Windows 版本不用 管理員Admin 權限,直接裝到用戶的個人資料夾,沒有複雜的設定。一機多人用的話每個用戶自己裝一次,不會弄到一個人上VPN,其他也要一起。

藍燈獲得了美國國務院國家種子資金的資助,如果還是怕釣魚VPN,可以檢視原始碼

還有一個由開放網路基金會贊助的翻牆軟件 賽風 (Psiphon)。我未親身試過,教學可以到https://free.com.tw/psiphon/。對獨裁惡魔淪陷區用戶也是完全免費。

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Big Tech Alternatives

FunctionBig/Evil TechModern Alternatives
EmailGmailProton Mail (Zero-Knowledge Encryption. The host cannot decrypt)
IMWhatsappSignal (Zero-Knowledge Encryption. The host cannot decrypt)
Telegram (Better voice quality. The host so far won’t sell-out its users to tyranny)
DNSYour ISPVerisign (Privacy Respecting)
SearchGoogleDuckDuckGo (Privacy Respecting)
TranslateGoogle
Translate
deepL
Video ConferencingZoom,
Skype (Microsoft)
Jami (OpenDHT so nobody can ban you) / Jitsi

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尊重私隱的通訊軟件 Signal & Telegram

現在科網絡巨企業壟斷 網絡資訊 和替 某支邪惡政權 侵害言論自由 從而 偷取美國實質政權。今天 Whatsapp 宣佈 用戶資料 (尤其是通訊錄和通話記錄) 要和母公司Facebook結合。

大家請不要再使用邪惡利益集團的平台,然後讓他們任意宰割。為了避免個人資料(尤其是電話簿)外洩,要在今年(2021)二月前把 Whatsapp 刪掉。尊重個人私隱的代替品有 Signal App (signal.org) 和 Telegram (telegram.org)。

如果要保障資料不被出賣,Signal是首選!要好好記住密碼,忘記了的話,Signal方面沒有辦法解密(即是執法機關沒有辦法逼他們交出主人密碼)。Telegram 是俄羅斯富商自費研發的,從來不向獨裁者交出用戶資料。但技術上不可能被出賣 Signal 總比要看 Telegram 的主人的逆權鬥志安全。

Signal 是富商 Brian Action 離開 Whatsapp 後用自己的資金的 非牟利( 美國501(c)(3) )事業。他是和 Whatsapp 意見不合而離開的,應該不是和 FB/Whatsapp 一伙。

同話質素 Signal 比 Whatsapp/Telegram 差。而我的使用經驗到目前為止 Telegram 的最好,語音質素比 Whatsapp 好很多。打電話我會用 Telegram。

現時我的建議是兩個都裝,用Signal短訊,用Telegram打電話。

Signal 有中文版。不是應用程式裏面轉語言的。Telegram 下載時候是英文版,安裝後到這個網頁直接按下所需語言包的連結,Telegram 會自動下載語言包和轉換語言。

Signal Desktop 版需要 Signal App 掃描 QR code。如果沒有智能手機,只有 Telegram 支援用SMS短訊認證。

可能因為 Signal 的保安嚴密,如果要用瀏覽器界面,只有 Telegram 可以 (web.telegram.org)。

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Use SSD for bootable USB stick Linux liveboot

If you flash a Debian-style Linux live-boot image that’s intended for USB stick on a USB-SSD itself (for speed), it will get stuck at initramfs on boot because unlike USB sticks, USB SSD drives are not considered removable drives, yet the live-boot parameters (scripts) set to search only removable media, hence it cannot find the right device.

The solution is to remove live-media=removable as boot parameter (typically under append initrd). You can do that quickly on each boot by TAB key to modify this key-value pair out of the boot parameters and hit enter.

To make it persistent, you have to edit the scripts where these boot parameter lives. The live USB stick/CD was supposed to be mounted as a read-only volume, so we need to first remount it as writable in order to modify the scripts:

mount -o remount -w /lib/live/mount/medium

Note the -w parameter which means writable. -o means options. -o remount,rw means exercising the remount option as a writable drive (-w is alternate syntax for writable).

Make sure you have root access (to modify these files), and edit these live*.cfg files if it shows up in the following folders:

/lib/live/mount/medium/syslinux/live*.cfg
/lib/live/mount/medium/EFI/boot/live*.cfg

Then take out live-media=removable in for the boot menu item you normally use for each of these script .cfg files. Reboot after you are done.

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民主歌聲獻中華 Concert For Democracy In China 1989-05-27

Hong Kong people who grew up under the British rule (before 1997-07-01) generally respects freedom and genuine democracy (the western kind with separation of powers strictly enforced under the rule-OF-law, not Marxist-Leninsts’ People’s democracy which is the dictatorship of the Soviets).

They fought for freedom and genuine democracy in China in 1989 in response to the Tiananmen Square massacre. 30 years later the very same artists were bought by the Chinese Communist Party to relay their propaganda. It’s scary how many people will sell their souls and their freedom, especially other people’s freedoms, for some ‘easy’ cash (those easy cash has strings attached: you have to obey the CCP. It’s a contract with Satan).

The Chinese Communist Party did the same infiltration plans to America, which the Chinese Communist Party has made the break during the Clinton administration bribing American politicians which opens the door for them to WTO and other international organizations, allowing the evil transnational criminal organization Chinese Communist Party to have more access to trade and use the wealth to destroy and dominate the free world with communism. Time for us to either shoot down the communist party or be slaves of Xi Jin Ping.

For those who want to dive into the details, the infiltration plan is called the ‘Termite strategy‘ by Chinese Communist Party premier Zhou-Enlai: basically it sends infiltrators dressing up as innocent members of the society at all levels to emigrate to the victim country that the Chinese Communist Party wishes to corrupt. It goes as early as the 1940s, and the first attempt to subvert is the 1967 riots of Hong Kong. They did something similar with the underground communists worldwide disguising itself as the black rights movements (which repeats itself as the #BlackLivesMatter movement in 2020). There’s no surprise as the Chinese Communist Party has been sticking with the same plans ever since conception. Everything in between are just (like staying under the radar for a period of growth during Deng and Jiang dynasties) the process of helping them gain power to achieve the same evil goals of world domination by communism.

Here’s the playlist of the charity event “Concert For Democracy In China”.

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