July 6, 2013


The original toilet. The tank is connected to the bowl via a separate pipe.  It was sealed using several layers of stuff, the last of which I'm pretty sure was packing tape.
The seat lid was deteriorating, but I don't think it has mold, it was just old.  Also: gross.

My monkey wrench on it's widest setting was just barely able to fit around the pipe's bolt.  I'm glad it's gone and it's now up to modern standards.  The old bowl and tank are destined to become planters. I left VA in part to avoid becoming a redneck.

The tank is fastened to the wall.  In the center it hangs on a bolt. On the right it's screwed against the wall.

This is single wall with some particle board paneling. I could almost hear the wall breathe a sigh of relief when I removed it.

It's neat to see the effects of the different exposure had to the screws.

There is no toilet flange At least it's not a separate piece that gets glued to the drain pipe. The drain pipe is more or less level with the floor board. The old toilet had a wax ring that just lined up with it it. The toilet had two of four bolts screwed directly into the floor, front right and back left. Front left and back right were empty.

In the interest of getting our only toilet up and running ASAP, I put in the new toilet without a flange telling Wife not to rock back and forth.

I picked up a replacement flange after work. It fit inside the drain pipe I then screwed the flange to the floor. That feels like a bad idea. 

Thankfully the floor does not have any dry rot. The wet spot is from the removal of the old toilet. The brittle spot on the left side of the drain pipe is where the old toilet was bolted to the floor.

The drain pipe looks like steel and I feel like the next time I have to replace the flange I'll be installing new pipes. I read somewhere to replace the toilet flange every 5 years. So I scheduled that (I like putting things in GCal really far in the future).

The toilet has been in use for a few weeks now and after tightening down the toilet there have not been any leaks.  I'm happy this project is done.

Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange

I recently took a contract to migrate a non profit from GoDaddy email to Google Apps. Despite a good deal of research and assurance from Google Enterprise support we ran into several problems, enumerated here.

The GAMME tool likes to run on a machine set to Greenwich Mean Time.  It will not run in Hawaiian Standard Time. In Win8 it will not run at all, Win7 gives and error message until the time zone has been changed.  The Irish Google support guys figured that one out.

Do not change the MX records until the mail migration is complete. If MX records are changed from GoDaddy's servers then the GAMME IMAP authentication will fail.  In hindsight this seems logical, at the time it was not obvious and was not documented.

The GAMME tools looks for a migration.txt with the format:


GAMME will only migrate mail if the destination account exists, it will not create a new account. I'm not sure what you're supposed to do if you can't change everyone's passwords. There's supposed to be support for using an admin's credentials instead of the user's but that was never successful. Documentation says to run it for no more than 25 users at a time, the realistic number is more like 3 or 4.  More than that and it would error out.

We ran GAMME against a particular user several times because their account had over 10,000 emails and kept failing. Each time we ran, the tool counted a different number of emails to migrate.  The user should have pruned before migration, but GAMME should be able to give a precise count.  There's no way to know if it got all that mail.

Google support indicated IMAP server type to use is Gmail.  That's if you're migrating from gmail to Google Apps. The most success was had with Cyrus IMAP migrating one or two users at a time.

Most accounts in GoDaddy were paid accounts which gives the users IMAP support.  Free email accounts in GoDaddy do not support IMAP, migrating them is not possible using GAMME.  Account must be elevated to a licensed account.

Folder structure was supposed to migrate and be translated into folders, this did not happen. Folder structure was lost.

There is no straight forward, accurate procedure for migrating from GoDaddy to Google Apps.  Many of the instructions from Google support were wrong or ended up being trial and error troubleshooting. Most of documentation is for an actual MS Exchange or Lotus Notes Domino server.

Google Enterprise support is often just as disorganized as others' support teams.  The Irish team seemed to be the most technically minded but you don't get to choose who answers your call. Each team we spoke with has a different approach.

I will continue to help institutions use Google Apps but I will never promise to migrate mail, it's just not worth the heartache and difficulty.