Setting Up Google Apps (Gmail) For Your Domain

The other day, I was talking with my friend Aaron (@riddlebrothers) about all of the various e-mail addresses we have and how we use them. At one point, after discussing the virtues of using Yahoo! Mail, I mentioned that the e-mail addresses I have hosted on my own servers are often unreliable. I told him that I rarely give out anything but my Yahoo! e-mail address, because a lot of messages get lost in cyberspace with my other accounts.

He asked me if I had looked into using Google Apps for my domain-based e-mail services. I honestly hadn’t thought about it before (in fact, I made a post a while back about how strange it was that everyone was moving to Gmail). However, his suggestion made sense. Following are some of the advantages I see in moving your e-mail over to Google Apps:

My Morning Routine

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I got a new HP notebook at work, along with a 30″ LCD monitor. As I said in my original post, I am really happy with the way the thing performs. I was able to convert a 30-minute video in about 10 or 15 minutes (a process that took upwards of four hours on my old computer) with no major slowdowns while working on other activities.

However, I am annoyed each morning when I have to go through a rather rigorous process to get the computer started up and configured properly.

Following are the tasks I have to perform every morning before everything on the computer starts working the way it should. If anyone has any suggestions on how I might be able to get these things working a little more efficiently, I would be grateful to hear them.

  1. Start up the computer, login to Windows.
  2. Restart the computer to get dual-head working properly (my HP LP3065 30″ monitor always seems to be recognized when the bios starts up, but once Windows logs me in, it is nowhere to be found in the device manager or display setup, no matter how many times I press the appropriate function button on my keyboard – after a restart, however, it is usually recognized just fine and my dual-head configuration goes back to the way it was when I shut down the computer the day before).
  3. Connect my Bluetooth headset.
  4. Go to the Bluetooth settings and disconnect “hands-free audio”, then connect “Bluetooth stereo audio.”
  5. Remap all of my shared network folders.
    1. Because I am logging into my local computer rather than logging onto our Windows domain, I have to sign in with a separate username and password.
    2. If I instruct Windows to reconnect my mapped network drives at login, I end up getting locked out of the network altogether; to the point where I can’t even login to our Exchange server through the Webmail interface.

Relying On Technology

When I arrived at work this morning, I tried to open Outlook only to have it pop up and tell me it couldn’t open. A long, rambling error message spouted on and on about the fact that Outlook couldn’t open because it couldn’t communicate with the Exchange server. First of all, I’m lost as to why Outlook can’t even open when it’s unable to communicate with the server. How does that stop Outlook from working altogether? Regardless, I couldn’t access the Exchange server through the Webmail interface, either, as the entire server was down.