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The end of an era?

Perhaps. MailSteward Pro is 59030 messages into archiving all of my Eudora mailboxes into its database. Thanks for the pointer, pnh! I started by testing the free version of MailSteward on a select number of mailboxes. It archived something in the neighborhood of 34,000 messages and gave me access to 15,001 of those, as the free trial indicated it would. The search functionality is considerably more robust than what I'm used to, but I poked at it enough to determine that I'm likely to be able to learn how to use it well enough for my needs. So I downloaded MySQL server, installed it, opened Terminal and typed in the easiest of the commands indicated, then followed help screens to launch the server and then the program. Setting the server to archive large attachments will wait for another day.

Back over in a copy of Eudora on another computer, I'm paring back the files I'll attempt to put through Eudora Mailbox Cleaner and then import into Mac Mail. So far, I've gone from 2.54GB in my mail folder to 634.7MB, and from 733 mailboxes to 340. I'm not done yet. But there, at the very top of my fredcritter mailbox, I found the following:

11/3/95, 2:42am

To: falh@maroon.tc.umn.edu
From: gfs@toad-hall.com (Geri Sullivan)
Subject: Eudora

Hi, Fred! This is my first attempt at using Eudora to send mail. I have some configuration questions for you -- or at least expect I will have after researching what I can find in balloon help and the like. Whee!

So, the modem is up and running. I've connected to Winternet at 28.8, and done an AOL session at 9600 (I seem to remember that they had special software for 14.4 modems, and the listing of available options jumped from 19-something to 57-something, no "38,400bps," which is what the 28.8 apparently really runs at.

This is fun and only somewhat bewildering. I had email from Winternet saying that the "toad-hall" registration is done and will be effective "tomorrow." But I won't broadcast the information until I see for myself that it works.

Thanks, bunches and tons, for the modem. I still think I'm gonna cry.

More later, no doubt.


I've put off moving away from Eudora for years. My first real attempt, following all of the advice and pointers I could gather, ended in a hard fail over this past Thanksgiving weekend. The imported mailboxes and numbers looked right on the surface, so I just kept updating them before proofreading. Not only were the number of messages "off" in several cases, many of the message inside were pure garbage. Horrors.

But I have to change. Eudora doesn't run on Yosemite, and Yosemite is what I'm running on my "new" 17" MacBook Pro. The one built in October 2011, IIRC, and bought refurbished from Apple long after they discontinued selling new 17" MacBooks. The one coming with me on my Corflu Fifty trip across the Pond. So here I am, giving the move another shot, deleting as much cruft and just plain stuff that belongs in an easily-searched archive rather than in Mail, whose search function is reportedly pathetic compared to Eudora's. Stuff like email Fred and I exchanged 19+ years ago.

Wish me luck! I do have a back-up plan in mind, but I really, really, really don't want to have to use it.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2015 10:55 pm (UTC)
Good luck. Email programs seem to be the hardest thing to move on from; I still miss Turnpike all these years after being forced by obsolescence to abandon it.
Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:30 am (UTC)
I'm not sure which is more amazing; that you got your domain when there were only ten a hundred* thousand, or that you still have twenty year old email.

*(I really wasn't certain, so I checked: "In September 1995, . . . . there were 120,000 registered domain names. In September 1998, when NSF’s agreement with NSI expired, the number of registered domain names had passed 2 million.")
Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:06 am (UTC)
That is truly wonderful to know; thank you! I have it so in my head that I was a late-adopter that it's fun to know that from a different perspective, I was among the early sorts. Seriously, when I started using email, it seemed that all of my friends had been using it forever. They'd been on the Genie SF Roundtables, on the Well, on Fidonet, and before that, telling me about PLATO and what happened on screen when you typed: "The truck ran over the dog." That was way back in 1979-80, and I'm looking at you, coffeeem.

Y'see, I remember the McDonald's signs when they were counting up through the hundred thousands of burgers sold, the location at 812 W. Columbia Ave, Battle Creek, MI, to be precise. Only Over How Many Billions Served suggests I'm misremembering, that they were already counting millions on their way to their first billion, with someone in the comments saying that the McDonald brothers had already sold 15 million when Ray Kroc opened his first outlet. Except I remember those hundreds of thousands so clearly.... The numbers were in something that lit up, not the slide-in numbers I find in an image search. I don't think it was neon; the first position could make all the numbers from 1-9. The other positions were all zeros.

Anyway, the notion that I had my own domain way back in the way back when so few others did -- well, compared to now, anyway -- I'm tickled.

I'm not in the least bit surprised I have email from 1995. Heck, I've kept two messages from 1998 in my In Box ever since receiving them! I used to read every single message and keep damned near every single message. Not spam, but everything else. One of the fannish email lists I'm on finally broke me of that -- it ran 4,000–7,000+ messages a month for years. Once I gave up trying to read and save everything there, it became much easier to discard other messages, too. But until four months ago, I could pull up ever CyberSaver message Northwest Airlines ever sent me. Absurd, I know!
Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:51 pm (UTC)
I was looking for email on gmail about the first ConFusion I chaired the other day, then realized I wasn't using gmail during the run up to it, I was using a client program. Moment of shock and dismay. Reading your post, I'm wondering if that was on the computer Rosie uses to watch DVDs, but I suspect it was the computer before that and my chances of making backups are nil. That said, I vaguely remember trying to export things, so possibly there's a huge file somewhere that I may or may not be able to read.

Mar. 2nd, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
Nope. I checked and that computer doesn't even have a mail client installd d on it.
Mar. 2nd, 2015 09:34 pm (UTC)
I'm still using Eudora, though I am considering other options at this point. It still works with Windows 7 and 8, so I won't be forced to give it up for a while, but it's definitely showing its creakiness in some ways. Gmail made a default formatting change that makes stray characters show up. There's a fix, but it has to be done at the sender's end, not mine.

I can't tell exactly when I started using Eudora, but I'm guessing it was mid-1999, because that's when my earliest archived e-mail dates from. Before that, I used elm (and, reluctantly, pine) via my ISP's telnet interface. I remember being reluctant to give up telnet access, but having easy searching of archived e-mail turned out to be worth the hassle of the switchover.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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