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Reading Eudora email through Google Desktop

Luistxo Fernandez 2004/12/05 05:21

Google Desktop is great. But, for personal email searching, it only supports Outlook. For users of other email programs, that's a disappointment. We know Outlook is evil. We know that is THE channel for virus expansion. We prefer the much nicer free alternatives.

So, here we are, the non-outlookers, waiting to Google Desktop to enhance its capabilities or for some clever person to create a trick, plug-in or whatever (just as Slogger makes Firefox navigation history searchable for GD).

I, Eudora user, was in that position also, but thought about making some tricks. And well, now I read and find my Eudora-stored messages through GD. This is an explanation of how I do it.

Disclaimer: this is neither a plug-in, nor a clever hack, but rather quite a dirty, dumb and somehow complicated solution. I dare to make it public in English because I see in the best Google Desktop tip collection or in the discussion group that there are no reports so far of GD being used with email programs other than Outlook. So please excuse the primitiveness of the trick (I'm not a techie guy) and my bad command of English.

The trick is, basically, use Outlook to store Eudora messages. So, as a premise, one shouldn't have uninstalled Outlook. However, you don't kneed to use Outlook. No need to configure it, to have it running on the PC: I think it's better not to configure it with your email connection details, that way you won't get viruses from it.

The very first time

So, go to Outlook:

  1. In Outlook Express, on the File menu, >> Import >> Messages
  2. Select Eudora. There are a couple of Netscape options, but don't know if they are compatible and appliable in this procedure, with Mozilla or Thunderbird.
  3. In the next interface, you are asked to browse your hard disk to find the Eudora messages. Normally, they should be here: C > Program Files > Qualcomm > Eudora. Select that Eudora folder.
  4. Select the mailboxes to import, and go on. That's it, almost...
  5. Almost, I say, 'cause if you have chosen all Eudora mailboxes, they have been all imported into Outlook except one: the In mailbox of Eudora (the Inbox, main entry platform for messages) is not recpgnised by Outlook apparently. So, to take those to Outlook, go back to Eudora, create a new provisional mailbox like, for instance, In-XX and transfer all messages from the Inbox there.
  6. Go back to Outlook, and repeat steps 1-2-3 but, BEWARE, when selecting mailboxes to import, only select In-XX. If you select a mailbox previously imported, messages are imported again: they will appear duplicated. Take care with that.

So far, we have imported all messages to Outlook. Give Google Desktop a couple of hours, it will index all that stuff. Messages will appear on searches, and when clicking on results, Outlook will not open: you read found emails from your browser of choice (I hope it's Firefox )

So, let's suppose you have followed all those steps 1-to-6 on Dec. 1. You will have at your disposal through Google Desktop messages you received or sent until that date. Yet, you still will use Eudora, receive and send new messages.

That means that we will need to repeat the process some time after this inaugural date. But, repeating all the process will duplicate messages unnecesarily at Outlook (see step 5 above). Therefore, steps 1-to-6 above are for the very first time only. Afterwards, things need to be done differently.

The following times

This is how I manage:

  1. Immediatly after that very first time Go to C > Program Files > Qualcomm > Eudora. Take all thos mbox'es there and copy them elsewhere, for instance in a folder named Msgs-until-2004-12-01. (I will advice not to delete the messages: some day there will be some app to directly search mbox'es through Google Desktop or other tools). We are saving our email-memory as of Dec. 1.
  2. Restart Eudora. Take all mailboxes, and delete all messages in all of them. (remember: you have now them reachable through Outlook and Google Desktop, and you have also saved the content in the previous case, juts in case).
  3. Keep using Eudora. For a month, for instance. Now it's New Year's eve, Dec. 31. Time for a new transfer to Outlook and Google Desktop.
  4. Like in step 1, go to C > Program Files > Qualcomm > Eudora. Take all the mbox'es again there and copy them elsewhere; this time save them in a folder named December2004. We are saving our email-memory of that month.
  5. Restart Eudora, create a new mailbox at Eudora and name it, for instance, Dec2004. Then, take all messages from all other mailboxes and transfer them to the Dec2004
  6. Now restart Outlook. on the File menu, >> Import >> Messages. On the interface, select Eudora.
  7. Browse your hard disk to find the Eudora messages: C > Program Files > Qualcomm > Eudora. Select that Eudora folder.
  8. Select the Dec2004 mailboxe and go on. Outlook will import all your messages of December.
  9. Now go to C > Program Files > Qualcomm > Eudora. Delete the Dec2004 mbox. Remember, that in step 4 you have saved all messages from that period.
  10. Let another month pass, and then repeat with Jan2005, and so on.

This strange procedure with Eudora may be used indirectly to let Outlook archive (and therefore let Google Desktop index and find) other email archives.

Importing other mbox'es

If you have email archives in the .mbox or .mbx formats (an standard originated in Unix used by several systems, among them Eudora or Mailman the list admin software), you can pass those messages to Outlook. Leaving those mbox'es somewhere and trying a direct import from Outlook doesn't work. But Eudora DOES recognise those files, and that's the way to do the trick:

  1. So, you have some mbox somewhere. Copy that to C > Program Files > Qualcomm > Eudora.
  2. Restart Eudora. You'll see a new mailbox with all the messages of that mbx.
  3. Repeat the import procedure from Outlook described above in this post. Be aware not to import the same thing twice, you know Outlook will duplicate messages.

There it is. If you have some Mailman list and want all your emails from that be indexed on your hard disk, searchable through Google Desktop, that's a way to do it.

A.V.Ebrahimi dio:
2005/03/19 18:44

This is a beta Eudora Crawler for Google Desktop!

Jarle dio:
2004/12/27 16:10

Hmm, if I was an avid Outlook user I might have considered getting one of those import/export/backup products that seems to be necessary to really use Outlook, and then seen if I could make your whole procedure automatic. But as it stands now, I think I will use Eudora to search for e-mails in Eudora until Google finds it appropriate to add support for Eudora to Google Desktop.

PS: I have already sent my request to Google for that feature, if every Eudora user does the same I am sure they will get around to it faster...

dave dio:
2005/01/19 18:38

uh, i wrote a whole piece about how to google search your eudora email using an ancient lite utility called mail2txt...put the file and instructions and all of that up at my blog (just search upper right box for eudora)

thanks. cool site.

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Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

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