Thursday, November 17, 2005

Email Mistakes and Solutions

My organization allows us to access our mail through our online portal from anywhere in the world. However the problem is that the online email interface is not very user friendly. It also lacks a “sent folder”, so I don’t have a record of emails I send out. Another negative is the limited e-mail space quota – only 29 MB. And with all attachments we receive everyday, it doesn’t take long before we receive the dreaded “Over quota” message and emails sent to us won’t reach us.

In my office, I use the fabulous Mozilla Thunderbird email client.

Get Thunderbird!

In order to save valuable space, I had set the “server settings” (Tools> Account Settings> Server settings) to delete the mail in our server once I have downloaded them to my computer.

Big mistake!

During the recent holidays, I was in Kuala Lumpur and needed to access some of my old email and logged into our online email server. To my horror, I found that apart from the latest email; all the older ones had been deleted from the server.

I realized that this could have been disastrous. For example, what if my computer had suffered an unrecoverable crash because of a virus or something. All my email communication would have been lost.

As soon as I got back to my office, I changed the settings to “Leave messages on server” (Just tick the box).

I was also thinking that it would be cool if I could save all the mail onto my Flash drive so that I could access it anytime. Then I suddenly remembered a post on Cheeaun’s blog about portable applications, which you could carry around on your flash drive. Well he did mention John Haller's Portable Firefox but there was nothing about a portable email client. No problem!

Googling ‘portable Thunderbird’ took me to John Haller’s Portable Thunderbird page. Thanks a lot John. You are the MAN.

I downloaded the application into one of my unused Flash drives (128 MB) and gave it a trial run. It’s amazing. Now I can access my mail from any computer. All I have to do is just plug in the flash drive, and load Thunderbird directly from it.

WARNING: Remember to set the setting on the ‘portable Thunderbird’ to “Leave messages on server” or you might face the same problem of missing mails from the server.

I now have Portable Firefox and Portable Thunderbird (with 102 email messages) running on my Flash drive. And you won’t believe it - takes up only 23MB space.


Jen said...

Sucks that you had to find that out the hard way. I would totally freak if that had happened to me. So did you finally get it all straightened out?

Adam said...

Its OK. I had the messages on my computer and backed them up onto a disk straightaway.

gazard said...

This is kind of cool, portable thunderbird! I'm fan of thunderbird since version 0.5. Wait till me get a thumb drive then i will try it out!

leecs said...

i created a filter. all the incoming and out going mails will automatically send to one of my gmail account....then i can have 2.6GB of email space online...

with the feature in gmail. i can even have all the emails in group. :)

Jacky said...

Portable Thunderbird sounds good. Might give it a try...


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