Archive for the 'email' Category

Migrating from Evolution to Thunderbird

I was a die-hard Thunderbird user. Back in the Warty or Hoary days I tried Evolution briefly, but it was too buggy for my taste.

However when I installed Edgy on my notebook I decided to try Evolution out for the calendar and todo list – which until that point I had been keeping only on my Nokia 9500 as it was always on me.

Finally I must admit that I’m not using Evo’s calendar or todo list. Depite the promise of syncing my Nokia E61 to Evolution, I’ve given up on that as it always grinds to a halt after only half my contacts have been copied over. After it duplicated those it had copied I gave up on synchronisation.

So… back to Thunderbird. The mail was easy as my two primary mailboxes are IMAP – but getting the Address Book copied over has been painful.

In summary, Evolution only exports to VCard, and Thunderbird only imports from CSV or LDIF.

Despite the promise of this script evol2tbird-addressbook.py, it only extracted the names from Evo, without email addresses, so I tried this method of exporting Evolution’s Address Book to CSV and importing that into Thunderbird:

evolution-addressbook-export --format=csv > contacts.csv

It took some fiddling on the CSV import to get the fields to line up, but it worked – except that none of the contacts have display names now so they look weird in Thunderbird. Somehow the automatic concatenation of first and last names when you are entering a new contact doesn’t work when editing an existing contact…

There is also apparently a two-step process of using KAddressbook (a KDE app) which can import VCard and export LDIF. Perhaps I’ll try this out if editing all the displaynames in Thunderbird proves too painful.

I’ll let Evo’s development catch up for the next year or two and try again…

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Gmail: finally perfect

I use Google’s Gmail for mailing lists I’m subscribed to, for the following reasons:

  • This keeps mail from mailing lists out of my main mailbox so I’m not distracted when I’m only interested in important (urgent) mail.
  • It provides a lot of space – currently 2.8 GB. I’m currently using 11% – so I don’t have to worry about deleting any mail.
  • This means if I see something interesting on one of the mailing lists, I don’t have to worry about bookmarking it or finding it again – I just archive it in the confidence that I can search for it again. (Assuming I can remember that it ever existed…)

Whenever I come across a mail that doesn’t particularly interest me, I archive it straight away. However, when this mail gets replies from other list participants it comes back to my Inbox. It seemed the only way to get it to disappear permanently was to create a filter for that subject – quite a few steps and not really worth doing. It’s easier to just hit ‘y’ and archive the thread when it comes back to my Inbox.

Finally however I learned a better trick:

How can I mute (ignore) a conversation?

If you’re subscribed to a mailing list, you’ve no doubt been subjected to the ‘thread that just won’t die!’ If you’re part of a long message conversation that isn’t relevant, you can ‘mute’ the conversation to keep all future additions out of your inbox.

By using the ‘m’ shortcut key, new messages added to the conversation bypass your inbox so that the conversation stays archived. If your address appears in the to or cc field, though, the conversation will pop back into your inbox ready for your attention.

This is very handy, especially for the CLUG lists.

Unfortunately, despite my optimistic title, Gmail would only be perfect if there were no privacy concerns – however for mailing lists, which are public anyway, I am now happier!