Tag Archives: thunderbird

Ka-ching!

I have my email client set up so that it makes a cash register ‘ka-ching!’ noise every time I make a sale. I found this a real morale booster in the early days of Perfect Table Plan. Even now, several years later and with considerably higher sales volumes, I still haven’t grown tired of it. I particularly enjoy hearing ‘ka-ching!’s coming from my laptop while I am not working – it is wonderful to be able to earn money while drinking a glass of wine in front of the television.

If you are running Mozilla Thunderbird you can set this up quite easily with a message filter and the Mailbox Alert add-on:

  1. Install the Mailbox Alert add-on.
  2. Create a Thunderbird message filter to send emails denoting incoming sales to a specific folder (‘Tools’>’Message filters…’).
  3. Set the Mailbox Alert add-on to play an appropriate sound whenever a new email arrives in this folder (select this folder, then select ‘Tools’>’Mailbox Alert Preferences’).

You shouldn’t have too much problem finding an appropriate .wav file to play. I use C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\MEDIA\CASHREG.WAV.You can also find some online here.

Thank you to whoever wrote Mailbox Alert and to Nick Hebb of FlowBreeze Flowchart software for pointing me at it originally.

1&1 and the disappearing IMAP ‘Sent’ emails

1and1I noticed yesterday that I didn’t have any emails older than 2 days in the IMAP ‘Sent’ folders on my various email accounts with ISP 1and1.co.uk. After a bit of investigation and some emails to 1&1 support it appears that 1&1 have quietly renamed my ‘Sent’ folders to ‘Sent Items’ as part of their upgrade to their webmail. All I needed to do to access them from my Mozilla Thunderbird client was:

  • right click on each account
  • select ‘Subscribe’
  • check ‘Sent Items’

It would have been nice if they had warned me. Given that 1&1 is one of the biggest ISPs in the world I thought somebody else might find this information useful.

Moving from POP3 to IMAP

palm.jpgI have been using the POP3 protocol to collect all my emails from my ISP for the last few years. POP3 stores emails locally once they have been read from the server. This works great if you have a single PC, but it is a bit of a disaster if you check your email from multiple PCs. For example, trying to synchronise the emails on my ‘master’ desktop PC after using the laptop for a week on holiday was a royal pain. I would set the laptop not to remove messages from the POP3 server when read (unless deleted) and then re-do all the marking as read, tagging and sorting into sub-folders when I got home. Groan.

I chose POP3 because I was familiar with it and because I was using some auto-responder software that only worked with POP3. Now that I use e-junkie for sending out licence keys I don’t really need the auto-responder. So I decided to try IMAP, an alternative protocol that stores emails on a central server. So far I am very pleased with the move.

I use Mozilla Thunderbird on all my computers and my email is hosted by 1and1.co.uk. Both Thunderbird and 1and1 support POP3 and IMAP, so this made the transition very easy. I just set-up new IMAP accounts for each email account on each machine in Thunderbird. The POP3 accounts are still there so I can search them, but they no longer retrieve new emails.

Now, when I mark an email read or move it to a sub-folder, the change is immediately visible across all my email clients. Hoorah. I realise the same could be said for webmail. But I then would have to use webmail. Ugh. Lets not go there.

I was a bit worried about network latency issues with IMAP, but it haven’t noticed any problems so far and searching IMAP emails on the 1and1 server seems similar in performance to searching POP3 emails locally.

I haven’t quite worked what to do about backing-up my email yet. With POP3 it was easy, as the data was stored as files on my local machine. I am not sure what the best way to achieve this is with IMAP. In theory my ISP should be taking care of backing-up my IMAP data, but I am a bit paranoid after the recent disappearance of this blog. It is something I need to investigate further.

I am fairly conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies. Most of you reading this probably moved to IMAP ages ago. But if you didn’t, you might want to give IMAP a try. Even if you are currently a one-person company with a single PC/Mac (unlikely) it is going to make life easier if you later grow to multiple machines and/or people.