Back from the Balkans

Amazing trip. We’ve seen some beautiful places and met some nice people on the way. I think I will talk some more about that in the future. And of course there are photos coming for sure. Stay tuned.

Create an updatable signature for Mail.app

Disclaimer: Wether you should even use (HTML) formatting in e-mails is not subject of this post. There is much discussion to be had, on how e-mail was intended to be used in the first place and what has become of it.


Fact is: people like to style their signatures. So here it goes…

  1. Create your signature in HTML. Wrap it all in a <div>. Use only inline CSS to style your elements (some of it will be overwritten by some e-mail clients regardless). It could look something like this:

    e-mail signature

    You should always use absolute references when embedding images.1

    Loading image(s)2 from your web server also gives you the chance to change them, whenever you like. Whenever somebody opens an e-mail containing your signature it will grab the image from your web server. Once you change it, the new image will be loaded. Your signature will change even in older e-mails in people’s e-mail archives. Hence: updatable signature.

    Bonus feature: Additionally you can link the image to a special url, that you redirect to any page on your website. Change the redirection at will…

  2. Create a new signature in Apple Mail. Go to “Preferences”, chose the “signature”-tab, then hit the “+” on the bottom. You can write whatever you want. It doesn’t matter, because all of it will be replaced in a second anyway.
  3. Close Mail.app.
  4. Find the signature you just created: It should be in the “~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Signatures/” folder. Order the files by date to find the signature you just created. It sould be a .mailsignature file. Open it in your favorite text editor.
  5. Replace everything between the <body>-tags with the html you created in step 1 and save.
  6. You then need to lock the file, because Mail.app will try to overwrite the changes you just made. Right-click on it and chose “Get info”. Then hit the checkbox next to “Locked”.
  7. Reopen Mail.app and use your new signature!

Credit where it is due: I first learned about how to make a custom css signature in Mail.app on allforces.com.

  1. Do not – and I repeat: DO NOT – use attachments! There is nothing more annoying than people sending the same image attachments with every single e-mail!
  2. I made the image double the size that I needed and shrunk it back down in html. That way I have a crisp image on devices with a retina display, like the iPhone.

Spring Cleaning

Doesn’t really feel like spring yet, but it sure feels good to get rid of some dead weight. I’ve done so, not only in this blog, but also IRL as well. Less stuff means freedom.


That it actually is still winter in these parts, can easily be proven. Look what we built last week:

We bulit a snow castle.

Today, five days later, it still stands – even though, not as strong:

Still standing

Update: Day eight.

Snow Castle, eight days later

13 years

As I was shuffling around some of my domains I realized that this website will be in existence for 13 years soon!

How far we’ve come since the beginning of the web is truely mind-boggling…

I will “sunset” some of my websites, but I guess this one – as it was my first – will stay online for the time being. 🙂