Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tachyon v8, from 1E; a brief look.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all content was written by me and is my own, personal opinion.

If you’re in the market for an endpoint management product, 1E’s Tachyon may be for you.

What is 1E’s Tachyon?

Since its inception, Tachyon was built to be an endpoint detection and response Digital Experience (DEX) platform. 1E positions Tachyon v8, in particular, more as a competitor to Nexthink and Systrack but with a load more user and monitoring features.

Tachyon’s big selling point is its speed. Since the monitoring and response logic is largely in the 1E endpoint client, it responds more quickly than similar platforms. You’ll find a nice video explaining this concept here, with help from Rocket Raccoon.

Main Features in Tachyon v8

I recently watched a 1E webinar explaining all the new features. It’s well worth a watch if you’re in the market for endpoint management or the more sophisticated DEX platform, or already use the Tachyon platform and are thinking of upgrading.

1E focused on four feature sets in their latest Tachyon v8 release.Picture1

  • Analytics and Insights – This feature set collects metrics around networking, boot, login times, and application response times. There are some nice features around SaaS monitoring, which allow you to track the responsiveness of applications like SAP and Salesforce over time, and see whether performance is drifting away from a baseline.

  • Resolution Acceleration – This feature set looks particularly whizzy. I’m intrigued by the “quadrant” feature, which allows you to plot endpoint devices on two axes and identify particularly problematic examples.

    If Tachyon can plot endpoint devices per user, over multiple devices, it’ll be brilliant. I really like the sound of the “side by side” feature for configuration comparison between good and bad devices, and will be keeping an eye out for the Tachyon Tuesday video on that as promised. I’ve spent too much of my life with WinMerge!

  • Action & Prevention – This feature set is about what Tachyon calls “Management Packs”. Management packs are automation routines that can be deployed to endpoints to address particular problems such as updating drivers, changing networking information, and so on.

    This concept sounds like something that can be done with group policy and scripts. But Microsoft’s Group Policy and scripts are hard. I spend more time troubleshooting that stuff when it’s gone wrong than I want!

  • Engagement and Empowerment – 1E is particularly pleased with these new features and it makes up a lot of the webinar content. There are a lot of new features around user engagement and interactions, and they claim to have “closed the ITSM loop” by integrating with Servicenow and automated ticket management.

    They say that the platform can open and act on tickets. The endpoint client can gather sentiment analysis through surveys and allows the end user greater autonomy when fixes and updates are applied.

    Admins also have the option of interacting through the 1E client to make announcements, for instance announcing fixes that can be applied, updates downloaded, or even installing new software packages.

    Picture1 (1)

What Pieces Interest Me

From my perspective as a support engineer for the last two decades, the resolution acceleration features were the bit that really floated my boat. However. there are two things in User Engagement that made me sit up.

  • The identification of “champions” – Through the monitoring capabilities you can see which users are early adopters, and “lovebomb” them during software or patch rollouts, so that they will hopefully influence their peers and promote whatever-it-is you want them to do.

  • “Employee wellness” – You can use Tachyon to monitor “engagement”, and determine which employees are spending too many hours working. You can then tag these users and monitor their activity as a group to determine whether your actions bring their work hours down to a reasonable level.

Now, 1E seems like a company with good intentions. I’m sure it’s never crossed their minds that an application that monitors users who are working too hard might also be used to monitor users who are working too little. Or that “too little” is highly subjective.

A long time ago I worked on the first few Blackberry implementations in the UK. The original Blackberry server came with a whole host of user monitoring features such as whether or not users had their device switched on, GPS capabilities (with time tracking) to see how long they were spending in locations, and a bunch of other things. I know some companies got very excited about these features.

I’m not suggesting that 1E wants their platform to be used to spy on users but it looks like it could be. Similarly, a tool that identifies “champions” can also identify “laggards”. What a company chooses to do with that information is surely their own affair, but it would be nice if they chose to treat them sympathetically and understand why they are reluctant to implement changes, rather than just cudgel them into compliance. In fairness to 1E, they make this exact point.

1E is offering the user engagement features as a way to combat “the great resignation”, by making the hybrid workplace more pleasant and reducing the friction experienced by home workers when they interact with the IT department. From a user standpoint the monitoring might, however, feel heavy handed and intrusive.

I’m not sure how many people would be persuaded to stay by a company buying into the “experience economy” for its employees. A good friend of mine who recently left the company I work for was moaning about their new employer’s IT, and how poor it was in comparison. “You could always come back…”, I said. No answer, came the stern reply.

    Conclusion

    In summary, Tachyon v8 is an exciting next-generation Digital Experience tool with some great monitoring, automation, and powerful user engagement capabilities. But… with great power, comes great responsibility.

    Wahey! UCDay! Hooray!

    So… I’m properly honoured to have been selected to present at UCDay on the 28th of September. I’m really excited because it’s been quite some little while since I’ve done this sort of thing – decades rather than years! Hopefully I’ll not let myself down too badly, eh?

    What is UCDay? It’s the UKs only independent Microsoft unified communications technical conference focussing on Skype, Office 365 and Exchange; basically a day of sessions from some of the best technical presenters in the world (and me). People like Michael Van Horenbeeck, one of my favourite technical authors, and Brian Reid, who delivered the hardest three days of training I’ve ever had in my life during my MCM rotation. Pretty much every speaker is an MVP, an MCM or an MCT; in the case of Gary Steere, all three. There’s 18 sessions to choose from, in three tracks; Skype for Business, Office 365 and Exchange. This conference is worth every penny, especially as it’s FREE.

    So, what am i going to do? Basically a session on designing Exchange for shared services – how simplification and repeatable design units reduced the number of support calls we generated. Why is that of interest to anybody? Because if it reduced support costs for us, it will reduce support costs for other people too (probably). There’s no magic – it’s just following good design and documentation practices, but with some real world figures to reinforce the common sense. There’ll be a little bit on how (i hope) we’re going to apply it to Exchange 2016, a little bit on how it can be extended to other applications. I hope people find it interesting.

    The conference is at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham Airport on 28th September. I’d thoroughly recommend anyone with an interest in Exchange, Office 365 and Skype for Business to attend. I’d be there even if i wasn’t speaking.

    There’s also a quiz the night before. shriek. I LOVE quizzes. my two favourite answers are “Tavares” and “goldcrest”.

    What difference does hyperthreading make to a VMWare guest cpu config?

    There is some controversy in the Lync world at the moment regarding hyperthreading when virtualising. do you follow Microsoft’s advice, and turn hyperthreading off at the host level? VMWare would much prefer you didn’t actually. in Exchangeland, the compromise was reached some time ago; you turn it ON at the host, but turn it OFF at the guest. we will now pause for a brief torrent of dispute. this depends on you having very little cpu contention – if you have cpu contention, you will end up increasing the amount of cpu ready time while the esx scheduler waits for physical cpus to become available – in other words, in an oversized environment, this is best. if you have undersized, then guess what, you’re stuck with leaving hyperthreading enabled at the guest level. Sizing correctly is key – size for the physical cpu cores in your host, and add up all the exchange servers on the host. so if you physically have 2 hex core sockets, you have 12 vcpus to allocate to Exchange servers on that host. no more. enabling hyperthreading doesn’t make any difference here. but that’s off the point*. i was asked “what difference does turning off hyperthreading make to the guest, nick? will SQL lose a scheduler? will it all go horribly wrong in my guest?” so here is the answer.

     

    no difference.

    no.

    and no.

     

    and here’s the proof.

    this is an edge server in one of my labs. it has 2 sockets, with two cores each. HT is enabled at the HOST level as well.

    image

    yeah, i know. that’s a really dull way to set stuff up.

    image

    hyperthreading is set to “any” in the guest. what does this look like inside the guest?

    image

    image

    which is, i’d hazard, exactly what we’d expect.

     

    i was asked how this differed if we disable hyperthreading at the guest level. so…

    clip_image001

     

    and…

    image 

    image

     

    exactly the same. which is, of course, what you’d expect. but it’s nice to have proof, right?

     

     

    *do you know what else is off the point? if you have 2 hex core sockets in your host, you’re likely to hit some issues when you try to avoid those NUMA boundaries, aren’t you? Exchange is sized for multiples of four.

    Your new PAL

    As you may recall, I’m very keen on performance analysis. It’s kind of a hobby, like fishing, but less wet. And with fewer fish. Plus I can do it indoors, in the warm. One of my favourite fishing rods tools is the Performance Analyzer for Logs – PAL. For the last two years however, it’s been a little bit hamstrung in that there has been no exchange 2013 threshold template. This has made me a sad panda.

    Well yesterday that changed. Clint Huffman has published a new version (2.7.3) and it includes a 2013 template. O frabjous day. The template was written by Adrian Moore, a senior PFE at Microsoft.

    Download it now, I should. Be aware, though, that it is quite different to the enormous 2010 template. It doesn’t inherit the system overview threshold template, for one thing, so makes no comment regarding things like cpu and memory, other than for the counters listed in the article the template is based on, Exchange 2013 Performance Counters. I don’t foresee this as a problem, but it may mean running PAL twice if you don’t spot anything obvious the first time. On the other hand, it does mean it’ll run a damn sight faster.

    And that’s another blog I’ll have to follow.

    Tech Camp UK

    I did something a little different yesterday – i spent the day with young, enthusiastic, *smart* people, and it was great.

    My employer agreed to loan out some senior engineers (and me) to Ed Baker of the Digital Skills Agency to run a project day for young people interested in careers in IT, as part of one of their Tech Camps. We had about 35 people attend our session on Internet of Things. Nig Greenaway kicked things off with a short talk on the topic, and then we gave them a project to complete in groups of four – come up with an IoT idea related to care of the elderly.

    I was absolutely blown away by the quality of the work these folks produced; they not only came up with some properly innovative ideas (which i won’t blab about here; they were their ideas after all), but they came up with ways to deploy, support, fund and secure them, and finally gave engaging presentations on them to a roomful of people they barely knew.

    The most amazing thing about them, in one way, though, is that they are all unemployed. i mean… how? they are presentable (see above), articulate, educated (many of them had degrees), enthusiastic, capable and a downright joy to spend the day with. If i was responsible for hiring (as opposed to responsible for fixing email servers) i’d take them as a job lot.

    In the absence of any concrete assistance, i can only proffer my advice (hey kids, don’t do marine biology!) which may be wildly idiosyncratic, possibly unhelpful, but hopefully isn’t actively harmful. so…

     

    to the folk i met yesterday:

    IT moves pretty fast, if you hang around waiting for someone to tell you how to do it, you might miss it. There’s lots of really good quality training available for free at Coursera, edX and futurelearn, among others. Codecademy is pretty good also, if less formal; you’ll get the chance to try lots of different languages, including HTML and Java. if i was starting out, i’d look to either learn a language like Java or Python if i was thinking about coding, or possibly a more academic compsci course. There’s a bunch of courses on there around app and game programming also. There’s lots of stuff on the microsoft virtual academy, but it’s mostly pretty proprietary. good if you need to learn Microsoft technology, though.

    doing this stuff on your own can be a bit disheartening – luckily, you know 30-odd other keen people in the same boat as you. organise a study group to aid motivation and understanding. use tools like teamviewer to share your screens.

    If you ARE going to do a coding course, getting the certificate of participation isn’t likely to be enough – you need to do stuff with it. write short programmes, build web sites. Amazon web services does a long free trial – enough to keep your own server running continuously for a year. you can use that to showcase what you’re doing.

    It’s important that you actually enjoy this stuff – if you want to be on the technical side in IT, you’re going to spend a lot of your own time learning new things. also, as Steven Levitt said the other week on the Freakonomics podcast, “When I interview young professors and try and decide if we should hire them, I’ve evolved over time to one basic rule, if I think they love economics and its fun for them I am in favor of hiring them. No matter how talented they seem otherwise if it seems like a job or effort or work then I don’t want to hire them.” basically, if you enjoy it, you’ll be thinking about it all the time. if you only think of it as work, you’ll spend all your time stressing over it.

    make sure you have sources of inspiration – i like makeuseof and instructables, but there’s lots of others.

    Tell people how amazing you are, and all about the amazing things you’re doing. Get on linkedin, if you’re not there already, and hassle people you know for recommendations (you know me, for instance…). when you do something interesting, write it up on your blog, then tweet that you’ve written it. obviously, you need your “professional” social profile and your personal one, but you know this already.

    finally, this might not get you a job; it will get you useful new skills and experience. it may give you the capability to turn that incredible idea you had (or will have soon) into a viable business.

    Good luck, all of you. you deserve it. stay in touch – dm me on twitter, or ping me on linkedin.

     

    EDIT: you may also find this a really useful page. it’s from a long time ago – 2008 – but things haven’t improved that much. plus it has links to really interesting stuff, like the 2015 salaries and careers guide.

    pushbullet is just ace.

    i left my phone at home this morning. luckily, i’ve installed pushbullet on it, and i have the required chrome extension on my desktop. Every time someone rings my phone, their number pops up on my desktop and i can ring them back. this is ace.

     

     

    intersting things i see on the internet, 1st July.

    I know, it’s been longer than I intended. I’ve been a little busy, dontcherknow? Speaking of which, a massive shoutout to my colleague Phil Christie who has been doing awesome work (and an awful lot of it) for the last couple of weeks for one of our big retail customers. Cheers Phil.

    I’m also going to call out the summer meeting of the Microsoft Unified Communications User Group London, on Thursday July 31st near Liverpool street… I’m hoping to get along, so maybe see you there.

     

    There are some really interesting links below, especially if you are interested in certification, so please have a good look…

     

    Exchange Design:

     Public folder limits look set to increase in Exchange 2013 CU6 from 10,000 to 100,000.

    Boris Lokhvitsky has written a good article digging into the theory of availability, and how site resiliency impacts it. it’s the companion to the “DAG, beyond the “A”” piece that appeared on the EHLO blog a few years ago. warning: may contain traces of algebra.

    What’s the chances of Exchange 2013 ever being supported on Azure? Slim, according to Tony Redmond. Good. He also expands on Microsoft’s virtualisation advice for exchange, here.

    My MCM buddy Justin Harris has written a good article thoroughly exploring the impact of CU5 on the offline address book.

    Last email I suggested you read a paper on WAP and ARR, the new anti-piracy features of exchange, the recommended way of doing preauth now TMG is deprecated. If reading sounds like quite a lot of work, actually, then Georg Hinterhofer has done a wizzbang video for you, here. It’s about an hour. Me hearties.

     

    Exchange Troubleshooting:

    Image

    Experfwiz has been updated, and now includes Exchange 2013 support… so now you need to play the video above. Dance, also. The only downside is it contains final confirmation that exmon don’t work with exchange 2013, despite this kb article implying that it can. Hohum.

    Don’t use /setup /PAD with exchange 2013 cu5, apparently it causes problems – use setup /prepareAD instead. Seriously.

    Ron He suggests an unusual reason why mails may not be flowing. Sooo much easier than using netmon or wireshark. For those who can’t be bothered to read the article, it’s because they’d set an external DNS server address, which had stopped responding. Even when it does respond, this is generally a bad idea, as external DNS lookups take an awful lot longer than internal ones… carefully check the powershell cmdlet there… the default 2010 settings are:

    Image

    See? The externaladapter is $true, but the ExternalDNSServers value is $null… (also the cmdlet is get-TransportServer in 2010, and get-TransportServICE in 2013…)

    Calcheck integration in the OffCAT tool has been overhauled and improved. If you don’t know what CalCheck or OffCAT are, you’ve probably not been reading these mails. CalCheck is the outlook calendar checking tool, OffCAT is the Office Configuration Analyzer Tool – the client equivalent of the ExBPA.

    Tony Redmond points out there is a new parameter in the set-mailboxdatabase cmdlet for exchange 2013 – AutoDAGExcludeFromMoitoring, whih allows you to exclude a database in a DAG from triggering 4113 events if there is only one copy – good for test databases, migration databases and whatever, where you KNOW there is only one copy, and don’t want to be repeatedly nudged, except… it doesn’t work. It’ll be fixed in CU6, Scott Schnoll says…

    This doesn’t affect me (cos we don’t use IBM storage, ever), but there is no reason to suppose that other storage manufacturers don’t do something equally stoopid. IBM improve their drive sector size capability and break block mode replication in a DAG.

    Blank pages after you sign into the Exchange 2013 EAC? Here’s the workaround for this known issue.

    Unexpected error occurred when a user run New-MailboxSearch in Exchange Server 2013

     

     

    Exchange General:

    Joe Davies has published a very exciting new test lab guide that covers Exchange 2013 on isolated subnets, public cloud and Azure. Can’t wait to have a go at this. there’s also one on setting up directory sync in a hybrid environment.

    If you’re at all interested in writing apps for Exchange 2013 and OWA then you’ll probably enjoy the videos and links in  this article on the office blog. It certainly seems that programming for exchange has come a long way since the days of CDO. With years of study and hard work, I might be able to do a “hello world”, now.

    If doing similar for Office365 floats your boat, then there’s a good post from Zapier on the exchange dev blog. I’m an enthusiastic  zapier user, so this gets me coming and going.

    Tony Redmond has an interesting update on MAPI over HTTP and it’s takeup, here.

    There are some updated guided walkthroughs available, here.

    A few months ago I published a link to Richard Schwendiman’s Ex2013 mailflow schema diagram. Well Sam Drey (SammyKrosoft) has published an addendum breaking out the receive connectors and their properties and default configs here.

    Rhoderick Milne has a great post about the Exchange Scripting Agent here. There’s also a lot of other good stuff on his blog this month, well worth a read.

     

    Core General:

    Ed Wilson has written a blog article on the powershell blog about the future of powershell – this is a really interesting article with a lot of good links in it and well worth a read. I’d like to call out one link in particular though: the books on powershell.org. There are some crackers in there, and the DSC one is of particular interest. Unfortunately it’s on a onedrive share, so you’ll probably have to get it at home and bring it in. sigh.

    Windows FLAV recommendations have been updated. (File level antivirus. Really?)

    Microsoft press have 40% off selected books and ebooks at the American Microsoft bookshop – watch out for those shipping fees.

    There’s some trouble brewing with MSL recertification – a post from Larry Kaye on the Microsoft Learning blog suggests that if you let one of your certifications lapse, you will NEVER be able to recertify…  this is going to have interesting ramifications for partners who rely on their staff having certain certs. I predict this will run and run… make sure you read the comments also.

    SilverseekKB may be of interest to you all – how to find the latest available version of a set of binaries.

    Ashley McGlone has some good general powershell links here. May be something of interest to you. Also a picture of a huge troll under a bridge.

    Packt are offering all ebooks and videos for $10 until the end of the week. that’s a good price, right there.

     

     

    Office 365:

    Paul Robichaux has a problem with mailbox level backup in office 365it’s not there.

    The latest version of the dirsync tool has a feature to help us prevent the accidental deletion of accounts, by requiring confirmation to delete accounts over a certain threshold. We’ve been here before I think. While it may prevent accidental accidental deletion, it won’t prevent deliberate accidental deletion (do you want to delete these objects? Yes. Are you sure you want to delete these objects? Yes. Last chance now…? just delete them already! … … … … … I didn’t want to do that, did i?). as an example, I never ever delete. I always shift delete, like an idiot. I bet that makes the team who came up with the recycle bin feel just great.

    Microsoft are clearly worried about hordes of angry sysadmins storming down 156th avenue, as they’ve started a series entitled “office 365 for IT Professionals”. A direct quote: “Ultimately, Office 365 allows you to focus on your users, and that’s what we want to help you do. We want you to stop worrying—worrying about all that deployment stuff and maintenance and patch management, worrying about whether you have enough capacity or load-bearing structural capacity, and worrying about building to support another server or whether there’s too much humidity in your data center.” Well I, for one, am thoroughly reassured. “focus on my users”. ugh. Would you like fries with that?

    A good post on the office 365 blog explaining how they’re making service updates more visible.

    A very short video from perry and vivek on the topic of data access. If it wasn’t who it was, I probably wouldn’t have included it. who has access to your data in office 365?

    What’s new and news roundup for may. I may have got those confused, there. it may be the what’s roundup and new news.

    OWA for Android is available, but only for Office365. The on-premise customers will have to wait.

    They’ve started a series of developer podcasts for office 365, which may be of interest, here.

    Henrik Walther has collected a lot of good EOP links, here.

     

    Lync:

    The legendary techy at the legendary techy blog has attended a Lync Depth Support Engineer course at Wokingham, which he appears to have enjoyed very much. It looks a bit like a mini MCM – given that MCM is not available anymore, it may be about the best thing out there at the moment, and it’s also significantly cheaper. There’s also information his blog about the inaugural UC Birmingham User Group meeting on the 13th of August. Steve Goodman and Michael van Hybrid are speaking. Should be good.

    How long does a meeting last if I log out? Richard Brynteson does a conferencing activation and deactivation deepdive here.

     

    And finally, microsoft’s smart home of the future, from the past. Dig that cassiopeia.

     

     

     

     

    Packt are at it again!

    Image

    10 years in IT publishing, $10 for ebooks and videos. i’ll give you the link first and you can read the press release afterward, should you care. there’s some great tiles on there, like Michael Van Hybrid’s “Microsoft Exchange 2013 Cookbook”…

    http://goo.gl/CExtOz

    Packt’s celebrates 10 years with a special $10 offer

    This month marks 10 years since Packt Publishing embarked on its mission to deliver effective learning and information services to IT professionals. In that time it’s published over 2000 titles and helped projects become household names, awarding over $400,000 through its Open Source Project Royalty Scheme.

    To celebrate this huge milestone, from June 26th Packt is offering all of its eBooks and Videos at just $10 each for 10 days – this promotion covers every title and customers can stock up on as many copies as they like until July 5th.

    Dave Maclean, Managing Director explains ‘From our very first book published back in 2004, we’ve always focused on giving IT professionals the actionable knowledge they need to get the job done. As we look forward to the next 10 years, everything we do here at Packt will focus on helping those IT professionals, and the wider world, put software to work in innovative new ways.

    We’re very excited to take our customers on this new journey with us, and we would like to thank them for coming this far with this special 10-day celebration, when we’ll be opening up our comprehensive range of titles for $10 each.

    If you’ve already tried a Packt title in the past, you’ll know this is a great opportunity to explore what’s new and maintain your personal and professional development. If you’re new to Packt, then now is the time to try our extensive range – we’re confident that in our 2000+ titles you’ll find the knowledge you really need , whether that’s specific learning on an emerging technology or the key skills to keep you ahead of the competition in more established tech.’

    Congrats to my colleague Mark Bodley; he

    Congrats to my colleague Mark Bodley; he’s made the news!- IT News from V3.co.uk http://ow.ly/woLzD

    It’s like an old college girlfriend moved next door.

    First, allow me to fill in the background. I have a memory like a sieve, and I’m a world class procrastinator. When a young man I revelled in this, and the way it allowed me to be perfectly sanguine in the face of a mountain of work – turn my back on it, and hey presto! It’s gone. Unfortunately, as the spring of one’s life passes into summer stuff needs to be done. Now the effect of not doing things spreads from me, to my wife, then my children, and eventually my parents. Unfortunately, I haven’t developed the top drawer memory and drive to match my burdensome responsibilities. Luckily, we live in the age of the smart phone, and I became enamoured of, then used to, and eventually reliant on a little app called Astrid. Astrid was great. I could set up a reminder, and she would, in the manner of a spouse, nag me constantly until I finally gave in and did the damn task. Then she would nag me about something else. At one point, she even started nagging me about stuff I’d not asked her to nag me about; “why don’t you go for a walk, you idle swine?”, “have you told someone you love them today?” and so on. “why not have a cider?”. That never came up, just like real life. And then, it was all over. Yahoo bought Astrid, and shut her down.

    I was heartbroken. Heartbroken and inefficient. Like glasses, once you offshore things like memory, your native ability withers and dies. There are other lists and reminder apps, and in the end I settled on wunderlist, but it wasn’t the same. Why wasn’t it the same? Because wunderlist doesn’t nag me. It treats me like an adult. It sends me a polite reminder, to my phone and my gmail account, and hey, that’s it. “you’re an adult nick. I’ve reminded you. I shouldn’t need to do more than that. Of course I’m disappointed that it’s been a month since I reminded you, and you still haven’t bought a new transformer for the bathroom light/ written the blog article on limiting the iteration of looping nested folders in an exchange database/ had a cider, but I also am an adult, so I’m just going to sit here with pursed lips until you remember on your own.” Not good enough for me, frankly. I need my hand holding. My nose wiping.

    So I’m thrilled to see that an enterprising bod called Alex Baker has written an Astrid clone. Once again, I can get nagging reminders of incomplete activity on my smart phone. I can once more set a timer incorrectly, and get woken up in the middle of the night with a reminder to apply teak oil to the garden furniture (from last year, that one… good work, nick). Just one problem  – I’ve been using wunderlist for a year, and I’ve sort of gotten used to having it around. I like the way I can create a task and assign it to my daughter (clean up the dog eggs in the back garden, my princess!). so what I actually find I need now, like some kind of tasklist polygamist, is a way of linking the task in wunderlist to the nags in the astrid clone. So here is how I’m doing it.

    1. set wunderlist to send out an email reminder to your gmail inbox.
    2. use this remarkably good script that will automate creating a task from an email with certain parameters
    3. set up google task sync in the astrid clone.

    You will need:

    • A wunderlist account (free)
    • A gmail account (also free)
    • A willingness to use copy and paste
    • some round-ended scissors and some gloy.

     

    Wunderlist will send out an email reminder, if you tell it to, that will pop into your inbox, from hello@wunderlist.com, with the word “Reminder:” in the subject.

     Image

    I’ll not bother going through the script – I’ll just point out the bits that the author assumes you know already:

    Create a new label:

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    Create a new filter:

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    Go to settings (it’s the thing that looks like a big cog on the right) and click on filters

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    Scroll to the bottom and click on “Create a new filter” and follow the instructions in the article for creating the new filter.

     

    Create a new spreadsheet:

    Go to  drive.google.com and log in with your google account, if necessary. Click on the big red “create” button on the right:

     Image

    And again, follow the instructions in the script blog post to create the spreadsheet, and add the script to it.

     

    Finally, install the Astrid clone, and enable sync with google tasks;

    Image

    And there it is, done. Of course if you use Evernote, you can add a filter to emails you get from Evernote to add the “newtask” label, and the Astrid clone will nag you about them, too. I just hope it never starts nagging me about my weight.