Windows Mail for Vista, Not As Bad As I Thought.

Having used Windows XP for the last several years, I’ve recently decided to migrate to Windows Vista after purchasing a Dell 530 quad core PC with a 24 inch LCD.

My choices were to:
1. Keep using Thunderbird
2. Migrate to Outlook [Office]
3. Or try the native Windows Vista Mail application [“Windows Mail” is the replacement for Outlook Express].

The choice of using Thunderbird was the simplest of them all… But I wanted to try something new. The stability issues and a non-modern UI were the other decisive factors at play.

In the end, Windows Mail was the winner. But not an easy one.

Here is what I have discovered, which should have been documented somewhere but is not.

a) There is no way to import mbox format mail from other Mail Clients.

I used a temporary IMAP folder to copy/move messages from one mail client to the other; to bypass the obvious underlining format issues.

b) All POP accounts go into the main Local Inbox folder.

If you want to structurally segment different POP accounts, you will need to create Local sub-folders and create message rules that are conditional on the specific account. I can make a case for or against this [if this is a feature or a limit].

c) Message Rules do not apply to IMAP folders.

And there are no setting to automatically copy/move messages from select IMAP folders or accounts to the Local Folders. Again, I can make a case for or against this [both ways].

d) The Spam filter does not automatically apply to IMAP accounts and folders even when “Synchronization Settings” are set to “All messages” [which downloads the entire message body].

You actually have to open the message for the spam filter to process it. Though I think it might act on the header data it receives, proactively, or perhaps even on the message body when you select “Work Offline”.

All in all, after using Windows Mail I’ve actually become fond of it. It’s a great app and integrates well with the system.

Gmail IMAP folders use a “/” path in their structure. Example: The All Mail folder is “[Gmail]/All Mail”. Windows Mail does not allow you to use this character to specify the special IMAP folders. It still works, but looks a little odd. There are ways to get around this if it bothers you.

The Architecture of Mailinator

Mailinator is a free web-based service that allows anyone to use a throw-away email address.

There are no steps, or setup, involved in the process. Email addresses are not created, nor password protected. Simply make one up and use it.

Mailinator will accept all incoming emails [excluding what the filters will not allow], and upon request, cross-reference that to the entered email address.

In a way, with Mailinator, you can say that the “password” is the email address.

Server-side, emails never hit the DISK and are simply stored in RAM. After the allocated email buffer is filled, as new mail comes in, the old is pushed out — and hence deleted forever. The effect is that emails live for several hours, and a single box with 1GB RAM can handle 4.5 million emails per day while having an idle disk.

A really simple and great idea… Very easy to use, and serves an actual purpose that everyone needs. How many other web-based Services can you say the same about? I can’t think of any at the moment.

I use it all the time, though internet sites _are_ starting to catch up with Mailinator by banning the domain. Other similar services exist, even those that change domains every so often such as 2Prong.

I have to ask myself: what if Mailinator parsed each email body for keywords, and generated relevant ads to be displayed to the user… That free service could potentially generate $10k+ per month.

The Architecture of Mailinator