Here comes Brisbane Festival

It is the time of the year, which brings the city of Brisbane into a festive mode. Brisbane Festival is one of Australia’s premier festivals and Brisbane’s annual cultural event. Brisbane Festival was developed by the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council in 1996 as an initiative to foster the arts.

Brisbane Festival 2011 will take place from September 3rd to 24th. The event packed three weeks of Brisbane Festival 2011 will kick-start tomorrow, Saturday September 3rd with the Sunsuper Riverfire. On September 3rd, more than half a million people will converge on Brisbane’s riverbanks to watch the city sky ignite in a continuous burst of spectacular colour, music, and special effects.

South Bank, Kangaroo Point Cliffs, and Victoria Bridge are popular places to watch Sunsuper Riverfire. I was on Victoria Bridge last year and it was hard to find a place to put my tripod, even at 3pm in the afternoon. I guess, I would go even earlier this time, either to Kangaroo Point Cliffs or to South Bank.

Ignite Together Brisbane
Photo: Copyright Brisbane Festival. All Rights Reserved.

There are so many activities during Brisbane Festival, including many free events around the city. I would probably miss out on most events as I’m travelling back home this month, but I’m still planning to catch up few events before leaving to Sri Lanka. I’m looking forward to the Beautiful Noise show, a stylised aerodynamic performance that is premiering during the Brisbane Festival 2011. I’m also interested in the Jack Charles vs The Crown show, that could shed some light into the Aboriginal culture and history.

For more details on other exciting events throughout the Brisbane Festival 2011, check out the official website. You can also follow Brisbane Festival more closely with frequents updates on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

A Dinner with the Brisbane Lord Mayor Councillor Graham Quirk

Last Friday, Brisbane International Student Ambassadors were invited by the Lord Mayor of Brisbane City, Councillor Graham Quirk, for a dinner. It was a unique opportunity for most of the Student Ambassadors. This video is a snapshot from the pleasant afternoon.

It was a pleasant evening with loads of laughs and some good food. It was also another opportunity to meet some of my fellow student ambassadors after a while and we had some good times chatting away. Except for the fact that I was a bit tipsy towards the end of the evening, I think all went well. 😉

Nimal with the Lord Mayor of Brisbane Councillor Graham Quirk
Nimal with the Lord Mayor of Brisbane Councillor Graham Quirk

Photographs from: Leong Ming En

Another day out with friends: Farm Fantastic 2011

Farm Fantastic 2011
Last Sunday I got a chance visit the Farm Fantastic 2011 expo in Caboolture, with some the fellow Brisbane International Student Ambassadors. Farm Fantastic claims to be the Australia’s biggest outdoor retail expo and this year was their 10th anniversary.

Camel Ride at Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
We got on a Caboolture train from Central station and there were connecting shuttle buses from Caboolture station. We reached Farm Fantastic by noon. What’s a better way to start than with a lunch. We had some delicious burgers at the Outback Eatery with a flavor of Aussie country music. Some of us choose to top it up with some ice cream for dessert and my choice of passion fruit was ‘different’.

Lunch at Outback Eatery at Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
For the next couple of hours we had to roam around Farm Fantastic, looking through a great range of exhibitors and entertainment and stopping by at few.

Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
We had a great time at, I think this is a great way to link the country life to the outer world.

Farm Fantastic 2011
Brisbane International Student Ambassadors at Farm Fantastic 2011

Find more details on the Farm Fantastic website:

Over 900 exhibitor sites, you can find anything from a pair of socks, to a luxury camper and a 10 tonne truck. Experiences include the new Health & Body Centre with its tranquil atmosphere and numerous health professionals offering information on healthy lifestyle. Destination Food – Food for Thought marquee has cooking demonstrations, and guest appearances. There is entertainment for the whole family with an action packed main arena with junior stockmen experience and more.

Photographs by: Leong Ming En

Five years gone, I’m still here: Blogging

It’s almost five years when I started blogging (after few attempts here and there). And surprisingly I’m still doing it.

Five Years
Photo by Michael Ruiz, available under a Creative Commons Attribution License

The main reason it’s a surprise is, I don’t normally do things for so long. However, blogging has always evolved along the time. I don’t no more blog regularly, but this has been a private space for me to vent out boiling thoughts. Twitter is for public, Facebook is for friends, + is still in the making and this blog is just for me.

I have written a whole range of different posts from my personal life to professional life. However, I’m again surprised with the amount of hits I receive for some of my occasional Tech Notes. It’s only because these post fill in the gap and thanks to Google, it helps someone out there. I have also stopped all types of monetizing from this blog from last year. I don’t think I’ll bring back any ads anytime soon.

There is nothing more to say in this blog, so just checkout my latest vlog.

Back to Gmail: Migrating emails from Google Apps mail to Gmail

It is a common scenario for people to migrate their Gmail accounts to Apps mail accounts. There are more than many how-to guides and tutorials covering this direction of the migration. But how about the opposite.

There are many obvious reasons for someone to migrate (back) to Gmail from a Google Apps mail account. Google Apps mail is used by many organisations, schools, etc. Thus, when we leave from that organisation, it becomes a necessity to migrate all our emails elsewhere.
Google Apps mail to Gmail
So lets jump into this quick tutorial on how to migrate all emails from Google Apps mail to Gmail. There are few other mechanisms suggested across the internet, but the one that works smoothly is using “imapsync”.

“imapsync” software is a command line tool allowing incremental and recursive IMAP transfers from one mailbox to another. It is useful for Gmail account migration or account backups.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

  • imapsync” was a free tool, but now the author is charging almost $45 for a copy. It is affordable for commercial use, but for personal use the price is an overkill.
  • The earlier versions of this software can be found on the internet and still be used without copyright violations. (DOWNLOAD the earlier version for FREE).
  • This guide is based on a Windows installation. The use can be easily adapted to Linux and other platforms as we will be compiling from the Perl source code and running the software. (Those who are on Linux, you could simply follow the install instructions with the download file).

Step 1: Install Perl

  1. Download and install “Strawberry Perl”. (Install to the default install location).
  2. Double-click and Run the “update_env.pl” batch file to add the environment variables.

Step 2: Setup the Prerequisites

  1. Open “CPAN Client” under Start Menu -> Programs -> Strawberry Perl -> Tools.
  2. Run the following commands individually:
    • install Mail::IMAPClient
    • install Digest::MD5
    • install Term::ReadKey
    • install IO::Socket::SSL
    • If this presents a warning with “Net::SSLeay could not find a random number generator” and “Do you REALLY want to continue? [Default: no]“, give “yes” and continue.
  3. install Date::Manip
  4. install File::Spec
  5. install Digest::HMAC_MD5
  6. install PAR::Packer
  7. At this point you should be all set with the Perl setup and the following command should not give any errors.
    • perl -mMail::IMAPClient -mDigest::MD5 -mTerm::ReadKey -mIO::Socket::SSL -mDate::Manip -mFile::Spec -mDigest::HMAC_MD5 -e ”

Step 3: Install ‘imapsync’

  1. Download the earlier version of ‘imapsync’ for free from here (or buy the latest version from here).
  2. Extract the downloaded file, if you can’t extract a tar.gz, use 7-Zip.
  3. Open the “build_exe” batch file in a Notepad and change the folder path to the extracted folder.
  4. Run the “build_exe” batch file.
  5. This should have created a “imapsync.exe”.

Step 4: Using ‘imapsync’

  1. Open “Command Prompt”.
  2. Change directory to the ‘imapsync’ folder.
  3. The basic ‘imapsync’ command is,
    • imapsync --host1 mail.oldserver.com --user1 theoden ^
      --host2 mail.newserver.com --user2 'theoden@newserver.com'
  4. For Gmail, change the following command with your Apps mail login and Gmail login details.
    • imapsync ^
      --host1 imap.gmail.com --port1 993 --ssl1 --authmech1 LOGIN ^
      --user1 theuser@oldmail.com --password1 password4user1 ^
      --host2 imap.gmail.com --port1 993 --ssl2 --authmech2 LOGIN ^
      --user2 newuserid@gmail.com --password2 password4gmail ^
      --split1 100 --split2 100 ^
      --reconnectretry1 30 --reconnectretry2 30 ^
      --noauthmd5 --noreleasecheck ^
      --timeout 1200  --allowsizemismatch
  5. Paste the modified command into the Command Prompt, ‘imapsync‘ should sync you mail accounts accordingly.
  6. It could take, hours (or days) to complete the sync, based on your internet connection speed and the amount of email in your mailboxes.
  7. For more ‘imapsync’ command reference run,
    • imapsync --help
  8. Once the sync is complete, you could also setup a forward all mails to the new Gmail account from the old Google Apps mail account.

This guide can look a bit more technical and for the ‘geek-handed’. If you follow the steps it should be straight forward.

However, if you are afraid you might burn your computer by doing this, just ask your friendly geek-next-door, and s/he should be happy to help you.

Happy migrating back to Gmail…!