Category Archives: Random Thoughts

How to link Gmail and non-Gmail email in Google Account

Lets say you want to be smart and use  instead of – I won’t insult your intelligence telling you why. If you have never used Gmail, just register as an account with Google, then follow instructions. More often however you have a Gmail account already and just want to use your own email to login and give to public while keeping all of the benefits of your current Google Account.

So we are talking about transition from Gmail to your own email. To do that you have to add your new email to your existing Gmail account. Go to Google Account, Personal Info > Email > Other Emails > “Add a new alternate address” and add your new address. 

If you get “ is already associated with another Google Account.” error, you are out of luck – you have 2 accounts and no way of merging them. Close one of the accounts, then use the remaining to add the email from closed.

If that step worked correctly – all what is left to do is redirect all emails from to your old Gmail account (probably deleting the original copy) – that would take care of receiving email and Gmail will take care of sending.

This is similar to “Add another email address you own” feature in Gmail Settings > “Accounts and Imports”. But this option requires you to use your own SMTP server. Why not always use the Alternate email addresses option that we’ve discussed above? – you can ask. Because it can only be associated with one Google Account at a time, so it won’t work in a scenarios when you need to use an account as a shared group email.

How to create a page without a sidebar in WordPress?

Sidebar is useful on most of the pages of a WordPress site – you can add recent posts or categories there. However on pages like Privacy Policy it seems unnecessary. I use a simple and nice WordPress theme Twenty Thirteen, but it lacks a page template without a sidebar. Here I will show how to create such a template in a few very easy steps. Note that the idea is not mine – it is a compilation from other sources.

Continue reading How to create a page without a sidebar in WordPress?

How to forward/redirect email in Google Apps

It is very convenient to open Google Apps account and use Google as your mail server. However the simple email forwarding becomes a challenge when for example you want two people send and receive emails using lets say account. This post will explain how to setup email redirects in Google Apps. This assumes you are an administrator and know how to get to your domain management dashboard (from gmail’s wrench menu select “Manage this domain”)

Note that Google does not offer Google Apps for free any more:
“Prior to December 6, 2012, Google offered a free edition of Google Apps—also known as the Standard edition—that had a reduced set of business features. As of December 6, 2012, Google stopped offering Free edition to new customers.”

Email forwarding with forwarders in user’s account (simple)

  1. Create a new regular user (like
  2. Login as this user to Gmail
  3. Go to Settings > Forwarders and set up your own email (like as a recipient “Forward a copy of incoming mail to” –  this will take care of receiving emails sent to the new account
    • Note that this won’t work if you need to forward to multiple emails. In this case you are better off using filters to forward all (*) email
  4. Now login to Gmail as yourself ( , go to Settings / Account and add the new email to  “Send mail as” section – this will allow you to send email from the new account

Email forwarding with Groups

Note: this does not work as of 2014

Create a group – all of it’s members will receive a copy of the email to this group. Sending from this group is also possible, but recipients (in Gmail) will see “ via”. Some claim it is unprofessional. We think it is minor. This method also saves you from creating new users – in free version you are limited to only 10.

  1. Click Groups > “Create a new group”
  2. Name the group and check “Also allow anyone on the Internet to post messages”
  3. Add members (recepients)

Remote Desktop to Console/Admin Session on Windows Server 2003

When you Remote Desktop to a Windows XP Professional computer, you always connect to the console (main/default) session.  This is the default for Remote Desktop to Windows XP Professional.  When you remote desktop to a Windows Server 2003 computer, the default is to start a new session.

This is how you can connect to the default/console/admin session:
Create a .bat file like this:

%SystemRoot%\system32\mstsc.exe “You RDP file” /admin

For options just run
%SystemRoot%\system32\mstsc.exe /?

This post is a good reference

Creating a Self-Signed SSL Certificate without a mess of makecert.exe (using SSL Diagnostics Tool)


So you have a server and you need to implement SSL to allow secure (https) communication. What choices do you have? You can buy a certificate from certification authority or you can issue a Self-Signed certificate to yourself. The difference is that your browser “knows” it can trust the certificates from the authorities (it has it installed). But when the browser encounters the https connection with a server with the self-signed certificate, the user is presented with a message like this:


Thus, self-signed certificates are OK for test and development web sites, but generally not OK for public websites.

This article will show you the simplest ways to create a Self-Signed SSL Certificate.

Here are your options. (Or just go to the Best Solution )

Solution 1 (quite long, but recommended by Microsoft)

Setting Up SSL Using IIS and Certificate Server

MS recommends that you get the certificate from the certificate server. This means that you have to have an access to Window 2000 or Windows 2003 server with “Certification Services” installed. You use IIS MMC to generate request to this server. Then using browser you submit this request to the server. Then, when somebody at that server approves the request, you will get back a certificate.

See details at

Solution 2 (fast, but sometimes could be tricky)

Creating Self-Signed SSL Certificates using makecert.exe

It is a quite simple solution. The only problem is that sometimes it just doesn’t work, and it’s hard to determine what is wrong. The makecert.exe comes with VS.NET. It you don’t have .NET Framework 1.1 installed, the makecert might be outdated. You can download a newer version from

Just replace yourservername with the computer name of your PC and run:

makecert -r -pe -n “CN=yourservername” -b 01/01/2000 -e 01/01/2050 -eku -ss my -sr localMachine -sky exchange -sp “Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider” -sy 12

Then go to the IIS “Web Site Properties”, “Directory Security”, “Server Certificate…”, “Assign an existing certificate” and select the new certificate from the list.

It works? Fine! No? Go to the Best Solution

Solution 3 (OK for not-technical users)

Download a test certificate from certification authorities

The certificate companies like VeriSign and Thawte issue test certificates, but they expire after 90 days or so, and the process of getting it could be quite tedious.

Solution 4 (The Best and Recommended)

Create a Self-Signed Certificate using SSL Diagnostics Tool

Avoid all this pain with a nice tool from Microsoft: SSL Diagnostics . Download setup.exe (2112 KB) from here:

Install it and run. In the main window of SSL Diagnostics, right-click the Web site level (shown by [W3SVC/<site number>]), and then click Create New Certificate.


That is it. You are done. Don’t forget to explore other capabilities of this nice tool.

Writing to Event Log in ASP.NET application

Writing to Event Log is not simple, but very simple:

// Create an EventLog instance and assign its source.

myLog = new EventLog();

= "MySource";


// Write an informational entry to the event log.   

to event log.");

EventLog is in System.Diagnostics namespase.

Before using the source of the EventLog, you have to create
it. But if you use the code like this:

//Create Event Log if It Doesn’t Exist

if (! EventLog.SourceExists("MySource"))


you will get the error:

System.Security.SecurityException: Requested registry access
is not allowed.

Instead, go to registry editor (regedit), locate key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Eventlog\Application
and create a new key with the source name