Getting “push email” without an Exchange server

For some people, getting their email pushed to their mobile is important. Although the emails from my home email server is not really as important as my work emails, it still is a good learning experience and its fun. 😀

First, one must already have a working email server. I  am not going to discuss that here. My personal setup is a Debian unstable box with Postfix and Dovecot. I set up my imap server with Maildir and virtual users.

Next, if you use a Debian based distro, do not use “d-push” ,the Debian packaged version of Z-Push, because it is old and I ran into a lot of problems getting it to work. Just download the upstream version and you should be fine.

Unpack the downloaded file and follow the “INSTALL” file instructions.

There are 2 config.php file that we have to edit. The main one on the root of the install, we need to add the “BACKEND_PROVIDER”. Since I am using imap, I added “BackendIMAP”.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 11.32.10 AM

 

 

 

The second config.php file is under the backend/imap folder.  I change the port because I am using SSL. The options part I had to do a lot of trial and error, and some research.(5)

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 11.30.00 AM

 

 

 

Save both of this files and reload your Apache.  Before setting up your device try to login through the browser. One should get something similar to this screenshot. If not, you need to do more troubleshooting.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 11.59.07 AM

 

 

 

 

References

  1. http://php.net/manual/en/function.imap-open.php
  2. http://z-push.org/
  3. http://z-push.sourceforge.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2408&p=8788&hilit=dovecot#p8788
  4. http://doc.zarafa.com/7.0/Administrator_Manual/en-US/html/_zpush.html
  5. https://nickebo.net/setting-up-push-mail-with-dovecot/

Howto make your ordinary printer an (HP) Airprint printer

I wanted our brother laser printer to work on my wife’s iphone , it turns out it’s fairly easy to do.

First one needs to install CUPS,which is the only printer server that I use. It just works period.
Then I had to add the printer. I set it up using socket://ip address per the CUPS manual. It says there socket or otherwise known as the jetdirect protocol is the fastest way to connect one’s printer so try that first. For me it worked right out of the box.

Now,in order for the printer to appear on an Iphone or an Ipad,one just needs to check off that box that says “share this printer”. That’s it! Voila! Instant Airprinting! Take note though that one must be using the latest CUPS version so if its not working try updating.

Now, there are certain apps that I notice that asks for a specific brand of printer eg coupons.com ,so when one tries to use print it doesn’t show on the list of available printer. I found a hack to make it work. It’s kinda trivial really. This is how you do it. Let’s say if I wanted my Brother to show up as an HP printer all I need to do is edit the ppd file for that printer. So go ahead and add a new printer and choose the same settings for the one you already have and just change the name and description. Now we have to find that ppd for that new printer we just added and edit that file to make it appear that its an HP printer. The PPD is really just a text file so just edit the manufacturer and model fields and it should work.

If it still doesn’t show,wait a few minutes. If not,restart CUPS and AVahi or your Iphone/Ipad.

Now if only I could print remotely,like through a VPN. . . .