Predictable Links to Multiple GSuite/GMail Accounts

I run multiple personal and business domains with Google mail accounts.

I want to create links (both synced in Chrome bookmark bar and in a web page) to each mail account that I know will always take me to the account I want, even when accessing from different devices (I have a minimum of 2 primary laptop devices I login from regularly).

There is a URL schema Google uses to generated each logged-in account – e.g. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox (then increment the number for each inbox) – but if don’t login to each account in the exact same order on each device, then they get out of sync.

 

Today I found a solution.

To access the desired mailbox via a predictable URL, use the following template: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/?authuser=user@gmail.com.

Change the user@gmail.com to the actual email address.

This also works for emails in custom GSuite domains (e.g. my jsnelders.com domain), because underneath all @gmail.com and GSuite domain emails redirect back to the same number based URL template I originally mentioned.

I also figured out the URL to link to a specific Google Calendar is: https://calendar.google.com/calendar/?authuser=user@gmail.com.

Again, the URL will cause a redirect.

 

I’ve only tried these with accounts I’m already logged into. I’m not sure what happens on a new system where you haven’t logged in yet, but I expect they should still work just fine.

 

Resources

I originally performed a search for “link url to multiple gmail account” which lead to to answers at:

 

Update (same day): I somehow logged myself out of all Google accounts in Chrome while trying to re-establish a sync between computers. So mail account links I setup started going to the same Gmail account (the account I setup for the sync). But after logging back into each of my GMail/GSuite accounts all the links worked fine again, so I reckon that’s a validation the permalinks work.

Uninstall/remove Spotify on Windows 10

This is mainly a post for my own reference.

I had trouble uninstalling the Windows 10 Spotify application from an old system.

Going into Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features and trying to uninstall simply wouldn’t do anything.

A quick search lead me to https://community.spotify.com/t5/Desktop-Windows/How-to-permanently-uninstall-Spotify-on-Windows-10/td-p/1697157 which had the answer.

Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Open Windows Task Manager and kill the “Spotify Web Connector” process (It will be something like SpotifyWebConnector.exe or SpotifyWebHelper.exe – sorry, I forgot to note the exact name before writing this post, but it will be obvious in the process list).
  2. Disable your network/internet access (turn off/disconnect your wireless or pull out your network cable).

Now you should be able to uninstall Spotify. Just be patient give it a few seconds when you first try – there’s going to be a bit of a delay before the confirmation dialog comes up.

Don’t forget reconnect your internet access.

Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard: How to Print Screen

I have a backup “Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard” I need to use when my primary Ergonomic Wireless Desktop keyboard decides to die (possibly “concussion” induced at 11pm when technology decides to become my Nemesis).

The only problem is it does not come with a Print Screen button.

But thanks to some wonderful soul on the Interwebs we have an answer:

Print full screen: Fn + Windows Key + Space
Print current window: Fn + Alt + Space

Source: Microsoft Answers

Application window disappearing off edge of monitor (Windows 10)

In the last week I’ve had 2 instances of opening an application/program opening in Windows 10 and disappearing off the edge of one of my monitors.

My workstation is a HP OMEN gaming laptop with 2 attached monitors in a horizontal row. Unplugging monitors did not cause the hidden window to reappear.

 

The solution is reasonably simple.

1. Hold down the shift key and right-click on the application icon in the Windows task bar.

2. A context menu will appear. Select the “Move” option.

3. Immediately hold down the left mouse button. This will have the affect of selecting the title bar of the application and activating the ability to move that application’s window.

4. Still holding down your left mouse button (the primary button), move your mouse left and/or right and you should soon see your missing program window appear on the monitor.

(In both instances my application disappeared of the right side of my right-hand monitor. This may vary for different people.)

Copying from Excel adds quotes to pasted values

This is a problem that had me stumped for a moment today until I searched and found the answer.

I was using Excel string concatenation to generate SQL INSERT statements for a database import.
It was working fine until suddenly each cell I copied from Excel pasted with a double-quote (“) around the value.

The first answer to my Google search made we realise the problem: I’d added a line-break in the middle of my formula to help visualise my work while I was constructing the SQL.
It turns out when you add line breaks to cells in Excel, copied values are surrounded by quotes.

This actually makes sense when you think about it . Consider it in the context of working with CSV files – you need to distinguish between a line-break in a value and a new row/record in the file.
It just didn’t occur to me because now I’d never encountered it in this context.

Remove the line break and no more quotes are added to the copied values.

 

Alternate post title: ‘Excel: Copying cell with formula sometimes wraps value in double quotes (“)’

Add 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) for your Gmail and Google GSuite users

UPDATE (31 January 2019): This week I have switched across to Authy as my 2FA application of choice. The main reason being its backup capability, which gives me greater peace of mind if my phone ever dies (or needs to be changed).
Also, some of the top security people I follow use it too.

 

You really should be using 2 Factor Authentication (2FA or MFA) in your online accounts whenever it is available, especially if you re-use your passwords across accounts. Regardless, it’s a good extra layer of security to help protect your important assets.

I have a Gmail account and run 2 domains on Google’s GSuite.

For all Google’s greatness their documentation, like documentation of most large (and small) tech companies, is good but still hard to find and navigate through unless you know what you’re looking for (in fact most tech companies product zero to atrocious documentation in my humble opinion).

 

Here are 2 links to Google Support to help you get started with 2FA on your Google accounts:

  1. For domain administrators
    Set up 2-Step Verification for your domain: https://support.google.com/a/answer/184711?hl=en
  2. This is for individual users of the domain (i.e. email address holders) and GMail users.
    Turn on 2-Step Verification: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/185839
    The support page contains a link to https://myaccount.google.com/signinoptions/two-step-verification/enroll-welcome which is where users actually get started.

With Google/GSuite accounts you can setup 2FA using: one or all of SMS, phone call, the Google Authenticator app (Play Store / iTunes), and downloadable one-time backup codes (store those in your password manager, like LastPass or 1Password. You have one of those, right?).

I particularly like the Google Authenticator Authy app.
Both Google Autneticator and Authy easy to use and integrate well with most services (e.g. Evernote, Dropbox and DigitalOcean).