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BLOG: Gmail backup, a recipe for happiness

Mark Gibbs | Dec. 16, 2011
Gibbs wants to avoid a "Googlesplosion" ... Gmail Backup is the recipe for happiness.

Before I get to this week's main topic I must give a big thumbs-up to a book that all of you who like to cook will thoroughly enjoy: "Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food" by Jeff Potter (pub. O'Reilly).

"Cooking for Geeks" lives up to its title combining, as it does, lots of science with excellent explanations of how and why ingredients and cooking techniques work and why they don't. Oh, and it has lots of well-written recipes. I have quite a few books about cooking that get technical about food and cooking and Potter's book is one of the best.

While there's lots of traditional foodie stuff in this book, if you like the sound of Caramelized White Chocolate (something I had never thought of) or Fruit Juice Foam made with lecithin or Powdered Brown Butter, or using methylcellulose and maltodextrin to make foods that melt in weird ways, this book is definitely for you (and gets a rating of 5 out of 5).

Potter also has a website for the book, as well as a real "foodie" blog. The book, its site and Potter's blog are all highly recommended.

So, onto another recipe ... a recipe for protecting yourself from a "Googlesplosion," and by Googlesplosion I mean Google losing its Borg-like mind and obliterating all of your email. This has happened, admittedly rarely, to some Google users over the last few years and I, for one, do not want to become a digital fatality should such a fate befall my Gmail account.

But here's the problem: The tools I've tried for backing up IMAP servers, such as Google's Gmail, are mostly buggy or simply don't work, so I thought I'd struck gold the other day when a friend mentioned a tool called Imapsize.

Imapsize is Windows freeware that does an impressive number of useful IMAP-ish things, including displaying all of the mailboxes under an account and flagging the mailboxes that use the most storage, showing storage quota use, providing content search on single or multiple mailboxes, deleting single or multiple attachments without downloading, saving attachments locally from multiple messages, mailbox and message management, copying messages from one IMAP account to another and -- the one I was interested in -- performing incremental backups of both entire IMAP accounts or multiple folders in IMAP accounts.

I found that Imapsize worked ... mostly. It was randomly and annoyingly buggy under Windows Vista Ultimate (for example, Imapsize performed only a partial backup of my Gmail account then failed) which is probably a result of the program not being updated since 2009. It is only noted to work on Windows 98, Windows Me (just writing "Windows Me" makes me feel unclean), Windows 2000 and Windows XP.


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