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mbox format (Mac Mail cached IMAP messages -> Thunderbird

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spage
 
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Post Posted October 1st, 2005, 5:47 pm

I have a ton of e-mail from a corporate Microsoft Exchange IMAP server, access to which I lost when The Man pried my Mac Powerbook from my cold, dead fingers.

There's no "mbox" file for these, instead Mac Mail on 10.3 Panther stores each message as
Library/Mail/IMAP-spage@bigco.com/INBOX.imapmbox/CachedMessages/100154
Library/Mail/IMAP-spage@bigco.com/INBOX.imapmbox/CachedMessages/100237
...
so the fine instructions at http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/faq#mail.app don't help.

I guess I need to glue all these together into an mbox-formatted file and then drop it into my Thunderbird Local Folders.

Can anyone tell me which of the many flavors of mbox formats ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mbox#The_m ... ox_formats ) Thunderbird uses?

Is there any documentation on how Mac Mail caches IMAP messages?

Thanks!
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=S

spage
 
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Joined: September 21st, 2005, 2:20 pm

Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 6:45 pm

It's probably possible to concatenate Mac Mail's CachedMessages files together using Perl scripts, but I had trouble. They aren't quite like maildir-format folders. I tried the free mergebox.pl from http://www.materialisations.com/software/ , and even after slogging through installation of this under Cygwin it wouldn't process them. (mergebox.pl does concatenate mbox files, removing duplicates).

"Sven" who had the same problem recommended Emailchemy at http://www.weirdkid.com/products/emailchemy/ ; it knows about Mac Mail and Thunderbird, and it converted 44,000 (!!) cached Mac Mail IMAP messages in Thunderbird format. It hung on a few folders that were already corrupted, but the author seems willing to help even before I paid for it.

If you have a lot of messages and special needs, the $25 for Emailchemy is money well spent. Perhaps someone can add it to the FAQ http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/faq#mail.app ?

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=S

Daifne
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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 7:09 pm


spage
 
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Joined: September 21st, 2005, 2:20 pm

Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 7:39 pm

Thanks Daifne, but that macosxhints article only covers the easy part. Local Mac Mail messages in mbox files are indeed easy to move into T'bird. It's the cache of IMAP server messages that is hard to import, and AFAIK Emailchemy is the ONLY solution for Mac OS X 10.3. (I believe Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger stores IMAP messages differently.)

Daifne
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Post Posted November 7th, 2005, 7:47 pm

Well, it was worth a try ;-)
I don't use IMAP, so I'm lost with it. I do hope that Emailchemy works for you.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted November 8th, 2005, 3:30 am

The wikipedia article mentions "The Mozilla family of MUAs (Mozilla, Netscape, Thunderbird, et al.) employ an mboxrd variant with different and more complex From line quoting rules." Thunderbirds and Eudoras mbox files are pretty compatible.

You might consider signing up for a free 256MB IMAP account at www.bluebottle.com and see if you can upload the messages from the cache using Mac Mail. Then create a similar IMAP account in Thunderbird and copy or move those messages to folders in the local folders directory. When you're done you can delete the IMAP account.

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