Apple Notes and Gmail Notes


I accidentally ended up creating some notes in the Gmail Notes inside my iDevice only to be completely confounded by the fact I could not see them in my desktop. I tried to find some resolution by looking at the instructions for the Apple notes, but got frustrated with the lack of information.

So, here it is how I solved my issue:

It seems that as an Apple Notes user, one can select to have the Notes saved “On my iPhone/iPad/Mac” or synced to any email account of one’s choice. If you chose the first option, then no issues there, but the “fun” part comes with the latter. In that case the application will send notes from the device via Gmail to the Gmail servers, or for that matter to the email account you designated under IMAP. This means that your notes are therefore treated as normal email and labelled as “Notes”. Not only that, they are automatically archived on arrival. The initial transfer is one-way only and this implies that the notes can’t be restored from Gmail to the device. In order to find your Notes in Gmail you have to search for the “Notes” label!

If you call up your note on your device, the application access it from Gmail and displays it. But if you deleted it, as many of us do, then the app gets confused as it does not know where they are… If they are deleted from the device removes the label in Gmail and thus they cannot be accessed by the device and they get zombiefied in Gmail! They will still be present in All Mail, but without label.

How to fix this… well it depends. If the Notes have been deleted from the Gmail account from the web interface they will still be there in the Trash for 30 days. You can “restore” then during that time and will be showing in the Notes App on the device.

If the Notes folder was deleted using the Mail App on the device, the notes will (probably) still be there under “All Mail” but without a label. You can search for them and re-apply the label!

My advice would be not to use the synching at all… it has caused more pains than it should be. Let me know if this helps.

Grace Hopper Doodle



Once again Google puts out a doodle worth mentioning. This time they celebrate the 107th birthday anniversary of computer scientist Grace Hopper.
In case you do not know who Hopper is, well, let me smile say that she is the amazon woman behind COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language), which is still very much used today.

Grace Hopper was born in  New York in 1906  and studied Mathematics and Physics (of course) at Vassar College where she graduated in 1928. She then obtained a master’s degree at Yale in 1930 and a PhD in 1934.

Hopper joined the US Navy reserve during World War two and she was assigned to the Bureau of Ordinance Computation Project at Harvard University where she was only the third person to program the Harvard Mark I computer. She continued to work at Harvard until 1949 when she joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation as a senior programmer.

She helped to develop the UNIVAC I, which was the second commercial computer produced in the US. In the 1950s Hopper created the first ever compiler, known as the A compiler and the first version was called the A-O.

Hopper continued to serve in the navy until 1986 when she was the oldest commissioned officer on active duty in the United States Navy.

She died in Arlington, Virginia in 1992 at the age of 85.

Grace Hopper behind my keyboard
Grace Hopper behind my keyboard (Photo credit: Alexandre Dulaunoy)


Syncing Gmail contacts with Mac (OS)

Aha… now that I have posted about Gmail contacts and iOS, it seems that some of us are having questions about syncing with Mac OS… Well, here is a brief post about this.

OPTION 1 – Synchronize with Google 

Open the Contacts App and go to “Preferences”. Go to “On My Mac” and you will see the following window:




Select “Synchronize with Google”, you will need to accept the terms and conditions and then authenticate your account. Note that, this method will bring all Gmail contacts under All Contacts (which includes everybody you have emailed) and they will be pushed to your Mac OS X address book. If you want to keep your Gmail and iCloud (for instance) or any other account separate from each other, then the next option is for you.

OPTION 2 – Separate Accounts

If you want to keep your Gmail contacts separate, then go to the “Preferences” in the Contacts app and follow these steps:

  1. Open the Accounts category.
  2. Click + and select CardDAV
  3. Type your full Gmail address for the User name and authenticate your account
  4. Under server enter “” and click “Create”

If you do not want to sync your Mail, Notes or Calendars, make sure they are not selected. After you do this you will have your Gmail contacts under a new account in the groups list.



Happy 306th birthday Euler!

In celebration of the Euler’s birthday, Google has created a doodle today. The doodle includes:

  • The formula for the Euler characteristic, V-E+F=2 , which relates the number of vertices, edges and faces of a spherical polyhedron and it shows some of these polyhedra.
  • It would not be a celebration of Euler without the identity that bears his name: exp[i pi]=-1, it is probably one of my most favourite identities! The doodle includes a geometrical interpretation of the formula too.
  • The second “o” in the doodle is a 3D representation of a sphere and it is animated!! This makes reference to Euler angles to describe the orientation of a rigid body.
  • Finally, they also make reference to the ‘Seven bridges of Königsberg‘ problem. With this problem, Euler effectively pioneered the area of mathematics known as graph theory.

Enjoy, and happy birthday Euler!

Euler doodle
Euler doodle


Fixed Problem with Sparrow Not Quitting

Sparrow (e-mail client)
Sparrow (e-mail client) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I first heard of Sparrow, a new email client (in beta back October 2010) that used the IMAP protocol and promised to be good, minimalist e-mail interface, I was indeed interested in finding more about it. At the beginning you could only use it to read GMail, but eventually it started supporting providers, including even Exchange.

I was not particularly horrified by its acquisition by Google, but I was a bit sad to see that the move meant that they would not update or change the application. There was even that petition asking Google to “keep Sparrow alive”. Anyway, after the taken over took place, I found that suddenly some bit and pieces were not working as they had been. One that has been an annoying one, was the fact that some accounts would take forever to download mail and particularly the fact that when quitting the application, it would just get zombified, i.e. Sparrow would not quit and I would have to Force Quit the application.

I have now managed to sort that problem. I am not sure if this was an issue with my Exchange server or indeed a bug in Sparrow, but now the application is happier than it was for a long time (and me too!). The issue was with a particular Exchange account, more specifically with the SMTP server. For some reason, Sparrow did not like the settings that seem to be working fine in or Thunderbird. So, here is what I did:

I deleted the account and started afresh setting it up, when asked for the SMTP server details, I made sure that the “Secure Connection” option was left unticked and that the Port was the one specified by my provider (in this case Port 25 – see figure below). That has made the application to work and exit fine. If you are having a similar problem, I hope this helps.sparrow