Twitter to Facebook Not Working?

So I just realized that my Tweets weren’t posting to Facebook thanks to my sister pointing out the fact that she missed my filling up her Facebook page with useless information (that’s her opinion, of course!)

There is a quick and easy fix to that problem and it goes like this:

  1. Login to Facebook
  2. Go to http://apps.facebook.com/twitter/
  3. If it looks like you’re already connected to Twitter, click the link that says “want to disconnect…?”
  4. When disconnected, sign out of twitter from the Facebook app
  5. Head back to twitter and send a test tweet (which won’t appear on Facebook)
  6. Go back to http://apps.facebook.com/twitter/
  7. Sign back into Twitter from the Facebook app
  8. Ensure the relevant check boxes are ticked
  9. Go back to Twitter and send another test tweet, and…
  10. Check your Facebook wall – it should have worked!

Ten quick and easy steps and now you can flood all of your friends’ and relatives’ Facebook pages with you useless information.  I LOVE MY SISTER!

Migrating Calendars and Contacts between Google Apps Instances

I’m in the middle of a Google Apps migration project, moving users from one instance of Google Apps to a completely different instance of Google Apps.  I haven’t found a great free method to migrate Calendars and Contacts so I documented the process to move them manually.  Here you go…

Migrating Calendars

Since there isn’t a tool to migrate calendars from one Google Apps instance to another, this is a manual process done user by user.  The good thing is that it’s pretty straight forward and your users should be able to do this themselves.  Here we go:

  1. View your Calendars within the OLD instance of Google Apps.
  2. Click on Settings in the upper right corner of your screen and select Calendar Settings.
  3. Click on Calendars and then click on Export Calendars. This will download a .zip file to your  computer.  (Pay attention to the location that this file downloads to.  Mine downloaded to my “Downloads” folder.  Yours MAY download to a different location.
  4. Find the file you just downloaded and open it.  This will reveal your exported calendars.  Pay attention to the loaction of these files.
  5. Open your Calendars in the NEW instance of Google Apps.
  6. Repeat step 2 to open your Calendar Settings.
  7. You will now need to re-create your calendars so that you can import to them.  Click on Create New Calendar. Repeat for each calendar that you exported.
  8. After creating your new calendars, it’s time to import the old calendars to the new ones.  Click on Import Calendars.  Click on Browse.  Navigate to the calendar files from Step 4 above.  Select one.  Select the Calendar you would like to import to. Click Enter.
  9. Repeat this process for each calendar you would like to import.
  10. Done!

Migrating Contacts

  1. The user should login to their OLD Google Apps Email and click on contacts in the left-hand column. 
  2. Click Export in the upper right corner of the Contacts screen.
  3. Compare your settings to the following Screen Shot.  I recommend only Exporting “My Contacts”.  Also be sure to select Google CSV format.  Click Export.  (“All Contacts” is EVERYONE you have ever emailed, whether you have entered them into your contacts or not.  The email addresses imported on this setting may not have a name associated with it.)
  4. Clicking Export will download a file to your computer called google.csv.  Make note of its location.
  5. Open the email of the NEW Google Apps instance and click Contacts as you did in step 1 above.
  6. Click on Import in the upper right corner of your screen (same area as Export from Step 2).
  7. Navigate to and select your google.csv file that you exported in Step 4.  After selecting the file, click Import.
  8. Done!

With Confidence or Doubt?

Here I sit in a silent room of a nursing home. The sound of an oxygen machine humming behind my grandmother’s seat. She strokes my Grandpa’s hands ever so gently with more love today than when they were first married 66 years ago. Sixty-Six years – got that? 66 Years.

These are the final days of their marriage. Grandpa is in his last hours, possibly days. He never wanted it to end this way – in a nursing home. He always said that if he had to be put in a nursing home, he wanted a gun so that he could end it all. Thankfully we never gave him that gun and 4+ years after being admitted to the nursing home, that chapter is closing.

Also sitting here with us is my brother, Brian. We’ve been sharing memories most of the day. Memories of Grandpa’s stubborn nature. His compulsive neatness. The way he would wash paper plates before trashing them. His ability to fix just about anything. The TV he built (yes – BUILT) in 1977 after retiring from Ford Motor Company which still sits on the dresser in my Grandma’s room at home. The Grandfather Clock he built (yes – BUILT) still chimes in their living room. His quick temper that we now laugh about – Oh was he mad when we drove the pontoon boat over the dock at his summer home in Northern Michigan. His poor hearing – he always thought we were talking about him when he couldn’t hear us. Sometimes we were 😉 He loved bowling and golf. After moving to Florida, they purposefully moved to a retirement community with a golf course, bought a golf cart, and were VERY active within their community. They bowled 2-3 times per week on leagues.

When I retire, their lives are the model for my retirement. I don’t want to sit around and wither away – I want to be active and have a purpose in my retirement. Their purpose: Enjoy Life!

The coming moment is one that we all have been expecting for the last year or so. It just seems so surreal that the time is here. Hospice has been called. Relatives have been notified and now we wait.

The wait is hard – we don’t know when that moment will come. The wait is easy – we know that he will be in a much better place. The sadness we will experience is temporary. The memories are permanent.

That better place is really how I can be so comfortable. I’m not POSITIVE of his final destination – Heaven or Hell. (I am confident of mine) I’m not aware of a concrete, solid decision on his part to accept Jesus as his Savior. He grew up in church. He attended church. He served. BUT, those things do not assure you of eternal life.

In Luke 13, Jesus is asked if those who are saved will be few. Jesus answers in verse 24: “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”

You see – the way to have eternal life is simple and often times overcomplicated. The narrow door spoken of in Luke 13:24 is described in John 3:16. I know, I know, I know that this verse is used over and over again, but it speaks volumes: John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Did you get that? Believe. All you have to do is believe in Jesus and the mission he was sent to Earth to accomplish. That mission? To live a Holy and blameless life and then sacrifice that life upon a cross, taking on the sins of the world and then conquering death 3 days later by rising from the grave to ascend into Heaven where he now intercedes upon our behalf to the Father God. All you have to do is believe that. Period. Done. That is the narrow road.

Will you believe? How will your life end? WITH CONFIDENCE that you are heading to Heaven? Or WITH DOUBT, saying “I hope I’ve done everything I needed to do in order to get Heaven.”

Again I ask, how will your life end? With confidence or with doubt?

If It Seems Too Good To Be True – It Is!

With all of the excitement surrounding the release of Apple’s iPhone 4, April and I decided to sell our iPhones on Craig’s List in order to upgrade.  I sold mine last Thursday for cash to a local buyer.  April, on the other hand, received the following response from her Craig’s List Posting:

Hi, my name is Janet Romanowski and I would like to buy your iPhone.  I am currently at sea.  I will add $100 for shipping.  I am buying this for a Pastor in Nigeria.

Ok – so the whole Nigeria thing was kinda weird BUT being Christians, we thought, “Ok – let’s see where this goes” being that this is for a Pastor.  We responded and in follow up email we arranged for payment to be made via PayPal.  That’s when we got this email from “PayPal”.  It looks real enough, right?  Not so fast…

I’ve dealt with PayPal before but this was just too weird to be legit.

  1. The sending email wasn’t from PayPal.com
  2. The link they are asking us to go to ISN’T PayPal’s homepage
  3. There are WAY TOO MANY grammatical errors in this email for it to be coming from PayPal.
  4. Upon calling PayPal – They NEVER ask for a Shipping Number before money is made available in your account.
  5. Upon calling PayPal – there is no department in their organization named “PayPal Account Review Department”

Then we got this email:

You can’t see it here – but this email also came from a Non PayPay account.  There are also grammatical errors within the text at the bottom of the mail.  Also notice where they want me to send the Tracking Number for the shipment – it’s not to a PayPal account.

The next day we received this email:

While we were excited to help out a “Pastor” in Nigeria, things just didn’t add up.  Therefore, we decided just to let this one ride out and not respond.  Surprise, surprise, surprise… We haven’t heard from anyone since.

We’ve all heard this said before but I’m going to say it again: If it seems too good to be true, it is!

That being said, we still have an iPhone 3Gs for sale.  It has been upgraded to iOS4 and thus can’t be jail-broken or unlocked.  If you are interested in it, let me know.  If you dig around the blog, you’ll figure out how to contact me (Check out the About Me page).

I hope that this might save someone from getting scammed through Craigslist and PayPal.

Google Apps and Grace Family Church

As the I.T. Director for Grace Family Church, I am charged with determining the best path for us with regards to which technology best suits the needs of our vision, users, congregation, and budget.  Keeping that in mind, I began to look at our current email solution: Microsoft Exchange 2003.

Knowing that Microsoft recently released the 2010 version, immediately I saw we were behind in the technology.  In researching the new version, I saw that the only option to run Exchange 2010 was on a 64-bit capable server. Hmmm… I didn’t have one of those, nor did I have a VT capable server on which I could run Exchange 2010 in a virtual server.  That meant I would need to purchase a new server.  I also would need to purchase all new licensing for Exchange 2010, including new Client Access Licenses.  I know for a non-profit that the cost of the licensing is relatively nothing compared to the public sector, but it is a cost none the less.

Doing a little more research I found that Google gives the Education Edition of their Google Apps product FREE to non profits.  Ok – that got my attention.  What I also liked about Google Apps is that it runs in the “Cloud”.  In other words, it is hosted on Google’s servers, not mine, and therefore reduces some of my day to day overhead.  Since we already run our Church Management System, Fellowship One, in the Cloud, this seemed like a logical step to at least test Google Apps for Grace Family Church.

I am also a part of an close knit organization called The Church IT Roundtable (CITRT).  This organization is made up of Church IT Professionals and volunteers who make up the IT Staff for their respective churches.  On their Wiki Site is a page dedicated strictly to the discussion of Google Apps and it’s pros and cons.  Check it out! By the way,  if you do Church IT in any capacity, YOU NEED to be a part of this group – It’s a FREE and invaluable resource of friendship, advice, and professionalism!  Check out the main page here.

Moving on, the decision was made to move forward with Google Apps.  The setup process is extremely simple and Google even gives you a step by step tutorial within the management interface on how to set it up and get it working properly.  I have been able to do ALL of the setup myself.  Google provides excellent tools to assist you with the migration from Exchange to Google Apps.  I am  also using the Google Apps Migration Tool which makes moving users a piece of cake.  The Google Apps Directory Sync Tool also makes it simple to keep your users sync’d between your Microsoft Active Directory and Google Apps.  This blog post of mine explains how I use it and also how I was able to get user passwords to sync too.

What made this move good for us is that we were NOT using all of the features of Microsoft Exchange.  Let me be clear also – Google Apps is not a Microsoft Exchange equivalent.  While I can see this happening in the future (Google is continually improving Google Apps), it’s just not a full replacement yet.  For us the move made sense.  For your church it may not.

What do I like so far?  These are just few things I like.

  1. Google Talk – This is Google’s Instant Messaging (IM) platform which allows for text, video, and voice chats.  All of our users are now on the same IM platform.
  2. Google Sites – This allows you to create simple websites that can be used for Intranet purposes or even Internet purposes.  I was able to quickly create a Google Apps Tutorial website for my users where they can quickly learn the ins and outs of using Google Apps.
  3. The Web Interface – While it may not be the prettiest screen to look at, the interface is extremely functional.  I LOVE the conversation view of email messages.  I am using the keyboard shortcuts to compose new messages, reply, and add labels to messages.
  4. Labels – This is Google Apps version of Folders in Microsoft Exchange email.  The best part here is that you can easily apply multiple labels to an email message to make it easier to find later.
  5. Calendar – I’m finding the ability to overlay multiple calendars from different places over the top of my calendar extremely helpful.  Calendars are also easily shared between users in order to make overlaying calendars possible.

Also – Google Apps might be a good solution for you if you need to provide email addresses to your volunteers but not give them access to your exchange server.  You can setup your domain on Google apps but not “activate” it for email, docs, talk, etc.  You then add a subdomain to your Google Apps installation where you would create user accounts for your volunteers at an address like stevew@volunteer.church.org.  Just an idea…

Enough of my rambling – I hope you find some of this information helpful or at least somewhat informative.  If you have questions, leave a comment – I’ll do my best to answer you through the comments (smart remarks are welcome too).  Or if you’d like to converse in more depth over the phone, let me know!

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