I’m a sort of semi-geek, in that I know enough to pose the following question, but not enough to come up with a satisfactory answer. Any help from a true geek would be very much appreciated.
I have a desktop computer, a laptop computer and a large amount of email to deal with (say 200 a day). What I want to happen is for my laptop and desktop to both have a copy of every email I have received and every email I have sent. I would be reasonably happy if I could make sure that at least one of my two computers has all this, and the other one has most of it.
The technology I have to work with is this: two Windows XP computers running Thunderbird. One mail server which has a 40MB quota and can work with POP3 or IMAP. I am pretty sure I can’t install any software on this server (so any solution involving running procmail or some such on the server is out).
So far I have a couple of somewhat unsatisfactory solutions.
Set desktop computer to download using POP3 and delete from the server when messages are greater than a month or two old (I’d have to figure out the number so that I didn’t get too close to using up the whole quota). Run IMAP on the laptop, BCC any mail sent from the laptop and set up a mail filter to copy this to my sent mail folder. This way the laptop always has the last month of email. This solution is OK, and I might well have to go for it but it’s not ideal in various ways.
This is more an idea for a solution, because I don’t know how to get it to work. The idea is that both computers use IMAP, but that some little bit of software is installed that automatically creates a local archive of all my emails. I would also have a little bit of software that I occasionally run that deletes old mail from the IMAP server. This way both the laptop and desktop would have a copy of everything and it involves minimal maintenance. Trouble is, I haven’t had much luck in finding any suitable software to do what I want, although it seems quite straightforward. Thunderbird can make an offline copy of your IMAP folders, but it’s stored as a sort of backup folder and there’s no straightforward way to automatically merge it with an archive folder.
So any good ideas?