Friday, September 30, 2011

Cloud Computing -- A Quick Look

I created this presentation for Granville Academy as a stand-in for my presence at the Grand Opening, 2011 event which will be held on October 1st. My wife helped me stay some of the excessive content and translate the native geek speak.

Although it is very concise, I'm very happy with the result!

Photos and Graphics by Nick Chapman
Editing by Melissa Chapman

Further Reading

Google explains far more eloquently than I can...and they do it with HTML5. *insert ooohhh...and ahhhh*
The 'web apps' section is also relevant. The whole booklet is actually a pretty informative read.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Importing csv contacts into Gmail (with mapping)


This post attempts to provide help importing csv contacts into Gmail. The intention is that people who import data which is improperly mapped -- ends up in the 'Notes' section instead of in the appropriate field -- will be helped by this post.

Skip to Synopsis if you want the quick fix.


I finally got my wife a smartphone and was trying to get it set up in time to give it to her for her birthday. Everything went smoothly. I was able to flash the LG Ally with the Velocity 1.1 custom rom (recommended if you have an LG Ally -- it is super fast. Google it). Next I used BitPim to backup her pictures, videos, and ringtones (see previous post here). I hadn't exported her contacts before..even though BitPim makes it relatively easy to export. Additionally, LG (or Verizon) seems to offer a backup tool...but I kinda like to do stuff like this manually to ensure it works properly, even if it is a little more work. I got the contacts exported in a relatively straightforward csv file. Easy. Importing into Gmail proved not so easy...

The Problem

When I first imported the csv (from Gmail's contacts section -- click more > import), it went smoothly enough. It seemed. I had expected to see some type of 'mapping' option, enabling me to specify that name becomes name, phone becomes phone...etc. There was no such option, so I thought Google's code may have just been smart enough to figure it out on its own (this turned out to be grossly incorrect). Upon review of the imported contacts, nothing went to the correct field...except maybe email. I searched a few forums and websites which gave me little hope that it was possible. After trying again with logically named headers (instead of the somewhat strange ones from the original export), and having no success, I thought I could export from Gmail contacts...then mimic the resulting headers for a (surely) successful import. Despite having to reorganize my csv substantially, this only produced another failure. The 'name' finally went to the correct place, but that is all. There were no errors, most of the imported information just ended up in a generic 'notes' textbox where any non resolved information went. This is certainly better than discarding the unsuccessfully mapped information, but not ideal, either.

The Solution

Finally, I came across this page, which had some column header suggestions and indicated experiencing a successful import. I decided to reorganize my csv information again and give it a shot. I used the third set of headers as my guide...and hypothesized that I needed to use typical Gmail contact keywords plus the 'phone' monikers to get my numbers to map correctly. This turned out to be correct -- at least for Name, Mobile Phone, Home Phone, and email. I'm not sure about successfully mapping Work Phone and Mobile 2 Phone (maybe another 'Mobile Phone' column would work?), as those column headers didn't work for me. The successful headers I used follow:

Successful Column Headers:

NameMobile PhoneHome PhoneEmail

Let me know if anyone else finds other successful headers, or a google resource which explains the situation / resolution more eloquently.


If you have trouble importing csv contacts into Gmail contacts (your information is being imported into the Notes box, but not being mapped correctly), try using column headers from the Successful Column Headers above. I can't be of help beyond those mappings, though.