mutt - the good old days

For many years I received email on my local machine, and used mutt to read it. Mutt had good things and bad. It was a simple interface that I knew well. Single keystrokes did important things (such as deleting worthless messages that I could recognize from the subject line). Mutt was mime compliant in theory, but not in any useful way. It was a major pain to view attachments, in particular images, and html email was impossible (this could be viewed as a virtue).

gmail and thunderbird

In early 2011 I stopped receiving mail on my local machine. We decided as a group to stop running our own mail server and to let Google do the dirty work for us. Ultimately we will just set the MX record in our DNS configuration to direct all the mail for our domain to google, but for now we are moving users one by one via the /etc/aliases file on our mail server.

I now have two ways to access my mail. I can look at my mail using the Google email web interface. This has the virtue of being something I can use from any system anywhere.

The other way is thunderbird, and I find that I used both the google web based method and thunderbird almost equally, and find little to recommend one over the other. Both annoy me by requiring far too much mouse action to accomplish simple things. Thunderbird particularly annoys me by binding the "Delete" key to the "delete this email action, this has burned me badly several times.

Gmail setup

Mail is received from imap.gmail.com via port 993. I use SSL/TLS on the connection and authenticate via a normal password.

Outgoing mail goes to port 587 on smtp.gmail.com. I use a normal password to authenticate, and connection security is via STARTTLS.

Mutt and gmail/imap

It turns out that mutt is more or less happy to interact with gmail via imap, so I can still use mutt when I want to for the things at which it excells (such as ripping through hundreds of emails after I return from a weeks vacation).
Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!