Twelve years of email

I had saved my email, both sent and received, since 1996, kept safe in a series of mbox files which I’ve diligently moved from hard drive to hard drive as I’ve upgraded my PC. Of course, it wasn’t very accessible there, and it certainly wasn’t integrated with the last four years of mail kept in Gmail (well, half in GMail proper, and the other half in Apps). So I was happy to read, albeit belatedly, that Google had added email migration to Apps.

I knew what had to be done, so I dug into the documentation looking for a way to have it inhale those mbox files. As well as the obvious POP/IMAP support, they also supported an Atom interface, which is great and all the rage and everything, but come on, is the low hanging fruit solution here not for me to just email the mbox files? Anyhow, without that option, it turned out that the simplest route was just to install dovecot and have it serve up each file as an IMAP folder … which took all of 5 seconds to configure. So I pointed Google at the server, and it spent the next half-day or so chugging through files.

I’m now a happy man, as the last 12 years of much of my communication with the world is now searchable.

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