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Old 12-11-2009, 02:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 10,167
Default Thunderbird: IMAP

Sooo...as I mentioned in my other thread, I have downloaded Thunderbird and in addition to importing my email accounts from Netscape7.2, I created a new email account for my mail.com address.

Thunderbird basically automatically created the mail.com account as an IMAP account and while I knew about IMAP, this is my first experience actually using it and it's been rather interesting and somewhat frustrating.

The first frustration is that when one clicks on Help in Tbird, rather than taking you to the Mozilla knowledgebase for Tbird, you are taken to the Tbird forums which are essentially useless for basic info on how Tbird works. I finally did a browser search for "thunderbird tutorials" and stumbled across the Mozilla Tbird KB pages which have quite a bit of useful (and generally well written) info on things like IMAP.

I have had my mail.com account since about 2002 and I have quite a lot of saved email in user-defined folders and I was quite excited when all of that data was "transferred" in to my mail.com Tbird account.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that IMAP kept mail on the server rather than downloading it as is done with POP3, but I'd forgotten that when actually dealing with IMAP. After reading the KB article I now understood why Tbird kept "going online" all the time which was driving me nuts. So now that understood what was going on, I decided to see what would happen if I choose to go Offline in Tbird. I was asked if I wanted to download and I answered yes. It took a while to get all that data downloaded but I was really excited to see that all of my data was now on my own harddrive.

The next step was to see if I could copy all those user folders of data from my Tbird mail.com account to "local". After I went into my doc/settings/application data for Tbird and copied from mail.com to the "local" directory when I opened Tbird again, there were all my user folders with all my emails in as subfolders in "local"--along with the same folders within my mail.com account. I renamed all the "local" user folders by adding a suffix of "-L" figuring that Tbird's indexing would be happier without what, in effect, were duplicate user folder names.

I then tried to delete one user folder in my mail.com account but Tbird wouldn't let me do it so I went to that nasty aol/mail.com mail interface and deleted a user folder there. When I reopened Tbird and it was gone. I then proceeded to delete all of my user folders at the aol/mail.com site and when I reopened Tbird, they were gone and Tbird stopped chugging away trying to index stuff.

It's very exciting that I have all of my data on my own hard drive because if I wanted to, I could drop my mail.com subscription without either losing all of my saved emails or having to work really hard at transferrring them somehow.

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