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GyazMail saves the day

November 12, 2007

When Nerg got a fabulous Black MacBook in March (a thing of great beauty) he pretty much cloned the contents of the previous T-Book straight over.

In so doing the hideous mess (I had created) that was Mail got transferred over as well. While the T-Book was still available, rebuilding the mail data base seemed like a good idea. So every message was deleted from the MacBook, the MacBook was taken off line and everything was imported from archive DVD’s. In it’s uncompressed state, it’s approaching 4 Gb, that’s a lot of mail.

It didn’t go well. Duplicate message hell.

Removing duplicate messages in Apples Mail is possibly the most tedious thing, and when completed the database was still a bag of shit. I’d click on the title of a message from the Favourite Person only to discover that it was some random instruction for a job I’d completed ages ago. Hmmm…

So the ‘Mail Hoover’ was the only answer. Basically Mail creates a file called “Envelope Index” at the root level your libraries ‘Mail’ directory. Regard this as your e-mail database. It’s the index of all the mail that’s ever gone through Mail. Quit Mail and throw away this file. The next time you re-launch Mail it will behave as if it’s launched for the first time and will offer to import all your messages. It imports nothing. Nothing is placed in a folder called ‘Import’ as it would be normally. What appears to be happening is that Mail 1.x (Jaguar/Panther) is being converted into Mail 2.x (Tiger). All that’s being done is the ‘Envelope Index’ is being rebuilt.

Bored with the tedium of all this (it takes ages to rebuild the file), using another client sprang to mind…

Several email clients were down loded before  GyazMail was settled upon, a free demo for 30 days as per usual. Import went smoothly, and then a couple of real gems turned up in GyazMail. It supports labels, like the Finder, handy for sorting, and the killer feature…

Delete Duplicate Messages. Winner!

What had taken ages manually now took minuets. There’s also a great export function, mostly.

After all the cleaning up, deleting of duplicates out of Gyaz, exporting all mail boxes to be archived, the time came to import the newly created archive back into Gyaz… slowly, slowly then crash. Tried importing into Mail, instant crash.

Eudora was tried (yes really) and at least this gave an error message for corrupt attachments when importing and gracefully lets you skip that particular message, even notifying which it is, unlike Gyaz, which just bombs.

There’s still more to do with the freshly rebuilt mail database, wanna separate some stuff out and so on, but all in all Gyaz, is a goer, so much so I might actually buy it. If it doesn’t choke on it’s own export again. It works though and so far it’s done all that needs to be done.

Lets see how Mail copes with an import, it’s unlikely do too well, because Mail 2.x treats each message as a .emlx where as Gyaz sees things as a single file. To be continued…

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