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I’ve moved my blog to Please join me there! I will no longer update this site.

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Delete Large Attachments From Gmail Without Deleting the Message

Please post all questions to my new website here:  I’m no longer supporting this website, but am answering all questions at the new one. See you there!

Gmail promises that you will never have to delete another email again. Yet the 7668 MB offered (as of today) in the free email accounts can easily fill-up over time if you send the occasionally large file. Sure you can search out attachments with the search operator “has:attachment” or “filename:zip”, but Gmail does not allow results to be ordered by attachment size and forces users to delete entire messages if they want to delete the attachments. You could purchase more storage from Google, starting at $5/year for 20GB, but then you’d be paying for your free email because you can’t delete large attachments – which defeats the purpose.

There are several blog posts recommending how to delete large attachments from gmail without deleting the email, none of which worked perfectly for me. My favorite is by Amit Agarwal. He recommends using the program IMAPSize, but when I tried it on my machine the software was not stable enough to handle the amount of email in my inbox and kept crashing, especially when I tried to sort by size. One upside of IMAPSize would have been the ability to delete lots of attachments at once. The method I list here can sort by attachment size, lets you delete them one at a time, and has never crashed on me.

Step 1: Download Mozilla Thunderbird and install. It’s open source, stable, and brought to you by the FireFox team.

Step 2: Connect Thunderbird to your Gmail by setting up an “account” in Thunderbird. Thunderbird has all the Gmail settings preloaded.

Step 3: Wait for your email to download. Thunderbird has to download all your email to your local machine. When this is done, which could be a few hours if you have tens of thousands of emails, you will be able to sort them.

Step 4: Click on the “Gmail” folder then click on the “All Mail” folder to view all of your mail. Sort the mail by file size.

Step 5: Now that you can see the emails with the largest attachments, click on one and delete the attachment. To do this, click on the email and select the down arrow where it says “save”. The “delete” option will delete the attachment. Kind of.

Step 6: By Kind of, what I mean is that Thunderbird doesn’t really delete the attachment. What it does is that it creates an identical copy of the selected email without the attachment. To fully delete the attachment and reclaim your free Gmail storage space, the last step is to login to your Gmail, search for the email you selected in Thunderbird, and delete the original copy that has the full attachment. In this way you can delete the attachment and keep the original email.

If you have any questions, just post in the comments.

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Learn Javascript with Codecademy – First Lesson Review

Over 100,000 people responded to Codecademy‘s New Year resolution to learn to code as as reported in TechCrunch. Here are some thoughts having just finished the first lesson, “Getting Started with Programming”.

The lessons are in Javascript, undoubtedly choosen because of the ease of executing the code in the browser for users. The first lesson has 8 parts covering alerts, variables, numbers, strings, arrays, IF statements, incrementing, decrementing, while loops, and do loops.

The interface is slick with an editor and a console on the right side and the lessons on the left hand side. It was very easy to move from lesson to lesson and the the badges awarded along the way were reinforcing.

If you or someone you know is looking for a very introductory and fun way to get their feet wet with programming, participating in codecademy is a no brainer. I look forward to futures lessons that they will be adding. At the time of writing this, they had a more advanced lesson available as well.


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Challenges of SAAS in High-Frequency Trading

Microsoft Chicago DatacenterBusiness’s with software as a service (SAAS) products are exciting because their business
model scales cheaply. Companies that have a software product, host it on the web, offer subscription/ad based access to any customer in the world, and spawn instances of that software at near zero marginal cost for new customers whet the appetite of investors and entrepreneurs for recurring revenue with high margin profits. However, there are many challenges to the SAAS business model in high-frequency trading (HFT) due to the latency sensitivity of the customer base. While every asset class has its own particularities, I’ve tried to focus here on the most generalizable challenges of SAAS in HFT.

High Performance Hardware (Marginal Cost)
HFT traders demand dedicated computing resources. They don’t want a virtualized OS sharing CPUs and memory with other customers, or even among their own trading models. They want root access to dedicated, top of the line Pentium boxes where they can pin trading strategies to dedicated cores and memory. Dedicated hardware for each new customer introduces high-marginal costs.

Co-Location Facilities (Marginal Cost)
HFT traders need their trading models as physically close to the electronic exchanges as possible. Ideally, they would have it located right next to it. But since that is not possible, co-locating in the same datacenter is the next best thing. Co-located rack space costs a premium.

Cross-Connects (Marginal Cost)
Cross-connects are physical fiber or copper cables that connect one computer to another in a datacenter. They provide low-latency, high-bandwidth connectivity between machines and it is how HFT traders connect to exchanges. Notice, HFT traders do not use the internet to connect to exchanges, which is more latent, but much cheaper. Cross-connects are charged monthly by datacenters and become large cost centers as traders connect to additional exchanges.

Low-Latency Circuits (Marginal Cost)
To connect to an exchange not located in the same datacenter, HFT traders want dedicated, low-latency ciruicts. They will not use the internet because it is too slow. These dedicated circuits create costs for each new customer.

Exchange Connection Fees (Marginal Cost)
Many exchanges charge fixed monthly feeds per customer.

Feel free to reach out with questions in the comments below or message me with feedback.

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Paste Text Without the Style or Formatting

I copy and paste text constantly. And a lot of that text is formatted, meaning that it is colored, or bolded, or size 34, or an odd font etc. 99% of the time I want to paste the text only but a lot of text editors will retain the style information, or worse, retain unseen artifacts that will mess up a page’s formatting. One way to remove the style information is to paste text into Notepad and copy it again to remove the styling. The better way is to use these two keyboard shortcuts to remove the style information entirely:

select text and press control+spacebar
This has worked in every application I have tried so far (e.g. Word 2010, Gmail, Google sites etc.)

Pastes text without the style (doesn’t work in every program, such as Word which is shift enables for other shortcuts)

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