Tech Talk

Mac Format - - MAC SOS -

by Luis Vil­la­zon While fid­dling around to repli­cate a prob­lem from last month’s SOS, I man­aged to make Mail be­have very weirdly. First it at­tempted to re-down­load around 17 thou­sand emails from Gmail. Then, when I deleted the du­pli­cates, all my email dis­ap­peared. I re­stored them from Time Ma­chine, but it ini­tially seemed to lock up and then claimed to have re­stored over 5 mil­lion emails! Now, I don’t think I have that many emails – that’d be more than 1,300 a day for ten years! – but I do have a fair few, many a thou­sand, be­cause I’m a bit of a hoarder. This makes me won­der if I’ve

I’ve many a few thou­sand emails saved, be­cause I’m a

bit of a hoarder

crossed some soft thresh­old above which Mail be­comes un­sta­ble.

I don’t want to sim­ply delete all those old ar­chives. The whole point of squir­relling them away was so that I didn’t need to think about whether each old dis­cus­sion or on­line re­ceipt might be im­por­tant one day. I’ve tried copy-and-past­ing them to Tex­tEdit doc­u­ments in batches of a year’s worth, but there are so many of them that my iMac grinds to a halt and runs out of mem­ory. I could just copy the mail­box files and delete them, but that will make it very hard to run im­promptu searches against the old emails. And I don’t re­ally want to bother with another util­ity just for this, if I can help it. Is my only al­ter­na­tive to write an Ap­pleScript to ex­port ev­ery mail to a text file? Sigh…

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