SMTP Through a Google Account

Many applications like business scanners or hosted CRM systems come with features that send email. To do so, it has to be able to connect to an email account that it sends on behalf of. The main challenge is that most good modern email services are strict about allowing emails to be sent on their behalf. Microsoft 365 is particularly strict. Google is a bit easier, but does require an extra step which is not obvious.

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SharePoint: Accessing Files

Suppose you’ve now set up all of your files for your organization in the ideal way, with some in individual user OneDrives and others in group SharePoint sites. The natural follow-up question is: now how do I access those files within my workflow?

There are a lot of options. This probably isn’t an exhaustive list, but in this post I’ll quickly mention several different ways to access your files that are housed in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive for Business and SharePoint). If you know of more that I missed, leave a comment.

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OneDrive vs SharePoint

The first question that typically comes up when moving files to Microsoft 365 is this: what’s the difference between OneDrive and SharePoint? Which files should I put where?


The most important difference is the default permissions. In short, files that are for just you should be in OneDrive. Files that are for others should be in SharePoint. OneDrive is individual by default. SharePoint is shared by default.

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Web Browser: Microsoft Edge vs Chrome

It should come as no surprise that my web browser of choice is Microsoft Edge, given Microsoft’s offering is my choice in almost everything (except Microsoft News which I don’t like at all).

This was not always true. The previous version of Edge was not great for me. Internet Explorer before it was very bad, not just for me but pretty much everybody. That changed when Microsoft opted to rebuild Edge based on the Chromium open-source code base. It now has all the best parts of Google Chrome including themes, extensions, and the rendering engine.

On top of that, it does a few things I like better than Chrome.

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WordPress: Accessibility Basics

is an important part of designing a website. You want your site to be usable to as many people as possible, right? Here are some things to consider as you develop a WordPress site to make it as accessible as you can.

Testing with WAVE

The best tool for testing out a website is the WAVE evaluation tool, which is available as an extension for your browser. It will scan the code of the page and tell you any accessibility problems it finds, flagging them with different levels of seriousness. It also has a section for contrast issues when the foreground colour of text is too close to the background colour.

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OneDrive: the Family Plan Loophole

When you get a Microsoft 365 Home plan, you get 1TB of OneDrive storage per user. That’s a good amount of storage, but you might want more. For example, I have a lot of photos going back almost 20 years. Tens of thousands of photos. A significant subset of those also have copies of the original RAW file taken from the DSLR, which are much larger. 1TB is a lot, but it’s reasonable that even for typical consumer purposes you might hit your limit.

Microsoft Office logo

Fortunately, there is a bit of a loophole that you can get up to 6TB of storage at a very reasonable price.

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Visual Studio Code: Remote SSH Development

One of the greatest improvements to my website development workflow came the day I discovered I could directly code on a web server in . Before this realization I was opening files with FileZilla, which worked but took a few clicks for each change:

  1. Browse to file in FileZilla
  2. Double-click to prompt opening in Code
  3. Switch over to Code, make changes, and save the file
  4. Switch back to FileZilla
  5. Say yes on the prompt to upload the change
  6. Test in browser to see if it did what I wanted it to do
  7. Repeat 3-6 if necessary for next change
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Visual Studio Code: Using GitHub

Working in but need that connected to your repository? No problem. Getting connected to GitHub from Visual Studio Code is straightforward. It’s also possible to connect to other Git servers, but the authentication process is a bit more complicated, so I’ll stick to GitHub which is now my primary code repository. I’m also sticking with Windows, but the general idea is the same for other platforms with Code.

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