In 1995 I started using Eudora as my main email program. Before that I used PINE on a terminal client. All of my email from 1989 to 1995 fit on one floppy, so a text based terminal program was fine.
Today I get more than a “floppy full” of email every day and Eudora has served me well until last Thursday. That morning I tweaked one of my filters and Eudora didn’t like it. While I was away from the computer, Eudora collected one message 528,000 times. It corrupted my IN.MBX file in Eudora.
I have a backup. I didn’t really lose anything, but the hassle was the last straw. The real problem is the program. Qualcomm stopped updating Eudora in 2006. That same year, the base code was turned over to the Mozilla foundation. The program was “Thunderbird-ized” and renamed Penelope. I switched to Penelope on my laptop. The basic operation of Penelope was drastically different than Eudora. If I was going to do something different, it had to be worth the pain of switching. Penelope wasn’t.
I have six email accounts that I have to check regularly. Eudora did all of them. Every night I backed up my EMAIL folder and that was all there was to it. I can switch to a new computer and take 13 years of email with me just by copying that folder. That’s right… I have 13 years of email. Many times that has been handy.
After looking at several options I decided to give Gmail a try. I have had an account for years, but only use it for my calendar. Now it POPs all my mail from those other accounts and gives me one web-based interface from any computer with a browser. The learning curve was about one day. On Monday I sifted through about 2000 messages. I learned the short-cut keys and added Greasemonkey’s Gmail Macros.
So far, so good. I have about three months of email that made it to Gmail. Those messages consumed just two percent of the space Gmail allotted me. I should be good for eight to ten years given the 6GB limit. I’ll keep you posted on how it works out. Just in case, I have one machine still running Eudora as a backup.