Personal and development blog of Kamran Ayub

about me

Hi, my name is Kamran. I am a web developer and designer, residing in Minnesota. I’ve been programming since 2001 and I am familiar with many different languages, both web-based and server-based. I love to tinker around and think of new ways to solve problems.

Use Special Gmail Addresses to Redirect and Filter Incoming Mail or Bypass Unique Email Checks

If you have a Gmail account, there’s a sweet feature you might not know about.

Let’s say your email is:


First tip: adding dots (.) does not change the email. The following emails are identical to Google and will route email to johndoe@gmail.com:

  • john.doe@gmail.com
  • john....doe@gmail.com
  • etc.

Next tip: you can add a plus sign to the end of your email and then type in whatever you want. It’ll still get sent to you. You can use this to your advantage by filtering mail sent to that specific tagged address or you can bypass “unique email” checks on websites but still get email sent to you:

  • johndoe+medium.com@gmail.com
  • johndoe+microsoft.com@gmail.com
  • johndoe+spam@gmail.com

So you could filter incoming mail based on those addresses above. This comes in really handy for sites you don’t care about but still need at least one email from them—the rest can be filtered. It can also be useful to identify spam email sources—who leaked your email? If you saw spam addressed to johndoe+spamsite@gmail.com, you know spamsite was responsible for leaking/sharing your email.

Happy power-Gmailing!

written in Gmail, Tips & Tricks

[Updated] Install Windows 10 Immediately Before Rollout

Update (8:49pm): I adjusted my Windows 8 date/time to tomorrow and the progress of the update jumped and I’m completed now. I now see a Restart PC to finish installing updates.

Update (9:00pm): Well it looks like it’s a bust with Windows 8.1. My friend tested on Windows 7 and it worked but mine refuses to install—it just says I have it reserved and it’s ready. I tried rebooting multiple times and running the /updatenow command again but no go.


Update (10:00pm CST): No luck on my other PC, same situation. Guess I’ll just have to wait in line like everybody else!

This is only applicable for the next few hours until your machine gets Windows 10 rolled out. If you’re impatient like me, a friend tipped me off that he was able to install Windows 10 prematurely by simply forcing Windows Update to download Windows 10 and then setting his system time forward a day (BIOS, I’m thinking).

It’s kind of unbelievable but it’s working so far. I’m at 95% complete downloading (you can view in Windows Update window).


  1. Hit Windows+R to bring up Run command
  2. Type in wuauclt.exe /updatenow (Works)
  3. Wait for the download to finish (Control Panel –> Windows Update) (Works)
  4. When Windows Update says, “Preparing for installation…”, set system time forward a day in Windows (Works)
  5. When progress is done, reboot (Untested)
  6. Windows 10 should install (Untested)

I will update this post with any new information.

written in Windows 10

5 Things I Learned About Design While Living Abroad for 6 Months

My wife and I have been living abroad in France for the past six months, since December. We had originally planned for me to work during this time (and to stay longer) but sometimes things just don’t work out as planned. Still, it was truly a blessing in disguise as we’ve been able to travel and I’ve been able to observe and learn about how people around the world use technology that has affected the way I think about how I design software and websites.

Here are 5 things I’ve learned during my 6 months living abroad.

written in Design, France, Life, Technology, Travel, UX Read on →