Thursday, June 08, 2006

Render Unto Caesar

[reading: Christopher Brookmyre, "Be My Enemy"]

Given that the product has a large chunk of function that works as an Outlook add-in, I decided this morning that it was time to start using Outlook a bit more frequently. I can't quite face shifting to Outlook for all of my email, so I've divided things up: personal email to Thunderbird on the Mac, work email to Outlook on WinXP. To make everything consistent, I also decided to move all of my stored work-related emails across to some Outlook folders.

Which turns out to be somewhat fiddly. I was slightly surprised to find that Outlook doesn't cope with mbox format mail, but after a little bit of searching I discovered a useful page on how to make the transition. Step by step:

  • Compact the relevant folders in Thunderbird (this is needed because hidden copies of moved and deleted mails are kept in their original folders; without compaction, these removed mails will reappear during the transition).
  • Move the mail files (the ones without the .msf extension) across onto the Windows machine, giving them a .mbx file extension as you do.
  • Use the mbox2eml tool to open up each .mbx file in turn, and export it as a collection of .eml files, one per email
  • Drag and drop these emails into appropriate folders in Outlook Express.
  • In Outlook Express, export the mail folders to Outlook (don't use the "Import from Outlook Express" feature of Outlook—this changes the "Received:" date to today/now for any imported emails that were originally sent on the Thunderbird client (hint from here)).

Done, and half the morning gone already.

[A:37385 B:3218 C:346 D:9187 E:8180 Total:58316]

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