Goodbye Eudora, Hello Gmail

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.

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3 Responses to Goodbye Eudora, Hello Gmail

  1. Eric says:

    I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing. Like you, I’ve been using Eudora since the 90s (1997) and before that used PINE. My gmail account is only for the calendar.

    My big concern — and hurdle — is importing 11 years of e-mail. I’d like to have it all there on gmail so that when I need to search for an old message (which I do frequently; at least once a week) I won’t have to look in two places (Eudora and gmail).

    Have you looked into importing those old e-mail messages from the past 13 years? So far I haven’t found a system that doesn’t seem to require an MS in computer science.

  2. alvintrusty says:

    I have not found a way to get all my old mail into Gmail. Other than forwarding myself thousands of messages, I haven’t come up with an easy way to import them.

    I have it all on my machine (with Eudora) and occasionally (less than once a week) I do look something up. Given the number of times I have gone back to look for something, I can live with that solution for now.

  3. alvintrusty says:

    One other thing… I have NINE gigs of archived email. That’s over the limit of Gmail.

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