Where to put the mail?

DAIMI has decided to rename itself to CS, and as part of that process my current address of mg@daimi.au.dk will change to mg@cs.au.dk. Okay, I can live with that, except that they apparently want to disable the old address at some point next year! That is stupid if you ask me — there are many, many papers out there that reference a @daimi.au.dk address, and I have been using it for all my software development in the last couple of years.

So instead of just going with mg@cs.au.dk as my new address I want a new address, probably mg@mgsys.dk, which is a not-so-well-known address I’ve had for a while. Please let me know what do you think of that address.

Three days ago I got a mail from the DAIMI, ehmm…, CS staff that informed me that they will be changing their mail system next Saturday. I’m affected by this since I’ve already hacked their system by upgrading it to Dovecot instead of whatever old and slow IMAP server they were using. So I have until Saturday to either migrate my mail back to their slow server or to move to somewhere else.

The mgsys.dk domain is hosted at DreamHost, and they provide all the space I could ever want. Except that they only allow 2000 mails in the INBOX folder! I have 3207 mails at the moment for the year 2008, so this will be sort of annoying for me. Also, their SPAM filter seems a bit crude: it will only allow me to see the messages in the quarantine folder by logging into their webmail system. And I hate such systems.

Another option is to move everything to Gmail — and access it through IMAP. A number of people seem to use Gnus with Gmail, so I guess it will work okay. There is even a Gmail Lab thingy that will let you make Gmail behave more like a normal IMAP server. I don’t know how good Gmail’s SPAM filter is, but I assume it is good? Though, after hearing from Claudio that it has flagged two of my mails to viff-devel as SPAM for no apparent reason I am not really sure.

Right now CS does some graylisting for me and run the mails through SpamAssassin. I run them through SA a second time with my own settings. During the last week I caught about 200 SPAMs by this second filter. By moving to Gmail I would have a much harder time doing such custom filtering (at least if it should be done asynchronously and before the mail hits my folders). Moving to DreamHost would allow me to setup any wacky scheme I want for now, but they too want to consolidate their mail on special servers with no support for .forward files.

Hmm… It sounds like Gmail would be the simplest solution. There is of course the issue about privacy, but I guess Google knows what I’m doing anyway… :-)


  1. Rune Broberg:

    Well, my suggestion would - obviously - be to use our email system. It’s quite good, it’s well run, and it just works. With regards to the daimi.au.dk to cs.au.dk change, you should take that up with the department head if you feel strongly about the decision. It is not something the systems staff has been involved in.

  2. Therese:

    So what solution did you end up with?

  3. Martin Geisler:

    I moved everything to Gmail. Their IMAP offering is a bit weird, though. Emails can be labelled and will show up in folders corresponding to the labels. Deleting a mail is then equivalent to removing a label — it does not really delete the mail until you delete it from all folders.

    Filtering is also poor with Gmail, I cannot match on arbitrary headers. This is annoying with the DAIMI-spam which I can no longer filter out. I’m thinking of people sending mails to theory@brics.dk by putting the address in the Bcc field.

    So it’s not perfect, but Gmail will have to do for now. I guess I’ll eventually move things to a better host outside DAIMI. Moving things back is also an option, but then I’ll have to move things in two years anyway when I finish the PhD.

  4. John:

    Martin you really need to add some new content to this blog dude. I come back to check regularly and will continue to do so.

  5. Martin Geisler:

    John: you’re right, but I’m not that interested in blogging any more. I don’t like the temporary nature of blog posts — I never go back to look at old posts and I never correct mistakes in them. You can say that it’s fine to just have a series of snapshots like that, but I think that it would be better to make fewer pages with better content.

    So right now I’m instead focusing on creating content in the Mercurial project (http://selenic.com/mercurial/). I’ll probably eventually write something on my new domain (http://lazybytes.net/). But don’t hold your breath :-)

  6. Trikapalanet:

    Google stay the best option, they are stable, accessible in all the world, reactives…

    Like my school, lots of companies use now google and gmail, even for important business :)

  7. John:

    Ok Martin, I understand. Blogging short term posts can kinda feel like spinning the wheels and burn alot of time. I respect that point of view. Best wishes to you.

  8. Henning:

    You really need to update this blog dude :D
    I was shocked to learn that you specify another site on Facebook, so I went to this blog to see if it is still here.
    Sure is.
    I tried blogging, but the work-to-joy ratio was too great. My second-last post was in Aug 2007, and my last post was “Comeback to the Blogosphere” in Aug 2008, so apparently it was no comeback.
    The nature of blog posts - they’re short-lived… But they turn up on Google, and people still comment on old posts, so I see them as a library, and I am not so keen on discontinuing my site, even though I use another domain for my email (dk to eu, and the eu does not even have a web-page).
    Google mail for all my domains, it is excellent, and works with my iPhone. :)