Author Archives: dsackr

How to Make Gmail your Default Email Program in Windows 7 (Updated… again!) – LINKS FIXED!

Here is something I get asked alot – How do I make GMail my default email program in Microsoft Windows 7?  In MS Windows 7, you have the option to change your Default Programs to which ever email program you have installed – but GMail isn’t installed on your computer and doesn’t show up in Default Programs.

You could installed GMail Notifier and set it to open gmail for you when an email link is clicked – but there is another way if you are willing to edit the registry.  I know this can sound a bit technical, but its not difficult to do.  If it does scary you off – then go with the GMail notifier option – otherwise follow these steps:

  1. Right Click on the link below for your browser below
  2. Select Save As
  3. Save to your computer
    1. if you are using chrome – open the txt file you just saved and replace {username} with the username you log in with
  4. Find where you saved the file and change the file extension from .txt to .reg
  5. import the registry file to your computer – (Update: I didn’t mean to sound “geeky” here… to “import” just double click the .reg file, or right click and select import – Windows will do all the “heavy lifting” from there)

If step 4 has you hung up – you need to change your folder options to not hide extensions for known file types.



IE64-gmail <– this is for the 64bit version of IE however I don’t use it and don’t recommend using it.


Update for Firefox users: According to a comment below, if you’re using Firefox, all you have to do is:
Tools>Options>Applications, then change the mailto action to Use Gmail.

Please leave a comment if that worked for you. Otherwise, here are the registry hacks for Firefox:



If this post has helped you – help me back by watching my 5 min standup set at StandUp Live in Phoenix AZ. Its free, its funny, and I like the attention!

Magento pre-checks – how to install curl, gd, mcrypt, and pdo using cpanel whm – yeah its easy!

I searched for hours and hours after I attempted to install Magento on a godaddy vps only to get this:

Your server does not meet the following requirements in order to install Magento.
The following requirements failed, please contact your hosting provider in order to receive assistance with meeting the system requirements for Magento:
  • You are missing the curl extension
  • You are missing the gd extension
  • You are missing the mcrypt extension
  • You are missing the pdo_mysql extension
  • You are missing the pdo extension
The following requirements were successfully met:
  • You have PHP 5.2.0 (or greater)
  • Safe Mode is off
  • You have MySQL 4.1.20 (or greater)
  • You have the dom extension
  • You have the hash extension
  • You have the iconv extension
  • You have the pcre extension
  • You have the simplexml extension
After hours of searching I found “pecl install pdo” which worked great to address the pdo and pdo_mysql extension issues.  But sadly, “pecl install curl” did nothing (btw, its not supposed to – but I was hopeful).  I found a lot of information about updating the php.ini – most of which talked about removing the ; from the lines required to enable curl, gd, and mcrypt.  Which I did – then restarted apache, then restarted my server, then rebooted my laptop… ok, the laptop was because I loaded patches to it completely unrelated to my server problem, but why not throw that in there?
I found several posts saying “just run /scripts/easyapache”.  Most of these posts assume a certain level of knowledge that I obviously didn’t have.  Once I found that I can actually just type “/scripts/easyapache” at an SSH command line (I know I may have just ‘assumed’ a level of knowledge you may not have but keep reading, it gets easy!)  I ran easyapache and was presented with a text based menu that made no sense to me.  I felt like I was on the right track, but still not there.  The forum where I found the easyapache hint ( had several comments with questions about what it does and how to use it – but one comment caught my eye by Erwin:

In CPanel 7, you can now do this in WHM by going to the Software section and choosing:

Update Apache

Then choose mcrypt or any other module you want to recompile PHP with.

And it will do so automatically. Similar to easyapache, but easier to use. I upgraded to PHP 4.3.2 just like that with the modules I want.

So I tried that – realizing the post was pretty old and my screens might be very different.  They were, but I was able to work it out. I went to
  • “Main >> Software >> EasyApache (Apache Update)”.
  • Then I selected the PHP Encryption / E-commerce option.
  • Then “start customizing based on profile”.
  • From there I selected Apache 2.2 (I was currently running 2.0),
  • clicked Next and selected php5, selected build 5.3.2,
  • scroll to the bottom of the page and click “
  • Now we are COOKING! – you can now select curl, gd, mcrypt, pdo, and a whole host of other options.

After selecting those options, I clicked ““.  Now it goes and goes while building apache with all of the options you selected – NO COMPILING, MAKE, MAKE INSTALL, ETC!  It does all of that for you!

I go back to my magento-check.php page and I’m in magento precheck heaven:

Congratulations! Your server meets the requirements for Magento.

  • You have PHP 5.2.0 (or greater)
  • Safe Mode is off
  • You have MySQL 4.1.20 (or greater)
  • You have the curl extension
  • You have the dom extension
  • You have the gd extension
  • You have the hash extension
  • You have the iconv extension
  • You have the mcrypt extension
  • You have the pcre extension
  • You have the pdo extension
  • You have the pdo_mysql extension
  • You have the simplexml extension

Don’t use WPAU plug-in to upgrade to WordPress 2.7!

I upgraded several of my blogs manually to the newly released WordPress 2.7 and they have worked out very well, however I upgraded one of my blogs using the WPAU plugin and the results were a disaster.  Most of the functionality is there, however there have been several buggy screens inside the admin panel – most of the issue appears to be related to the styling of pages (missing images, text based pages, code function names instead of friendly names, etc).

I could be jumping the gun here, since I have only upgraded one blog using the plugin… But I’m not going to chance it with any of my client’s blogs.

WordPress 2.7 is the Microsoft Frontpage for Web2.0

When a co-worker said that earlier today, I must admit I was at first put off.  I’m not a frontpage fan and I think frontpage websites look horrible.  But then I gave it some thought.  Frontpage made creating a website easy and intuitive; it was an amazing product at the time.  WordPress makes creating high quality websites easy and intuitive; it is an amazing Web2.0 product.

I’ve been using wordpress since version 2.0 and there have been major improvements over the years – but version 2.7 takes the cake!  The new admin panel is a great improvement to an already amazing product.  There are many features I love about the new version, but my personal favorite is the ability to upgrade the core from the admin panel.  In the previous version they introduced the ability to automatically upgrade plugins – a feature that worked most of the time for me.  But if you wanted to update wordpress itself, you either manually upgraded or you installed the wpau plugin.  Now its a couple of clicks from the admin panel.

The admin panel itself is more user friendly than ever before; a newly added navigation bar, a dashboard that displays relavent information, a quickpress option to brain dump a post faster than ever, and the ability to edit metadata without having to navigate through the posts themselves – just to name a few of the improvements.

WordPress is quickly positioning itself to become a household name as a leading provider of Web2.0 websites.