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jfn

[How To] Share local email between OS's on a dual-boot system

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I run both XP and OS X on my laptop, and have over a gigabyte of archived email that I reference from time to time. All this was stored in Outlook, and I couldn't get to it from OS X (though I used Mail to read messages that were still on my IMAP server).

 

I realized that I could use Thunderbird (Mozilla's cross-platform mail/news app) to share the same archived mail between both OS's. I already had a FAT32 partition where I kept all my documents and media. It's a great solution and works flawlessly.

 

Here's what to do:

1) Create a FAT32 partition for your email

2) Install Thunderbird under both operating systems

3) Set up each copy of Thunderbird with your account settings

4) For each Thunderbird account, set the store location to somewhere on your FAT32 drive (the same place in each OS, of course!)

5) Use one of the Thunderbirds to import your old email (Thunderbird automatically imported my Outlook mail for me)

6) Find out where your email was previously stored (Google your mail app) and delete i

 

Perfect! Any time you receive or archive new mail in one operating system, it will be recognized when you switch to the other.

 

The only caveat is that (maybe just in my case) Thunderbird doesn't let you change the location of your "Local Folders" store in OS X. You can work around this by creating a fake account for those folders and moving its store, or simply moving mail in your local folders to another of your accounts instead.

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Thanks for the info. This is exactly what I was looking for. Do you have any recommendations for how to do a calendar and task list this way?

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I'm pretty into Backpack (www.backpackit.com) for a task list and reminders now, and there's a Dashboard widget for it that gives me reminders through Growl. You can probably share a calendar with Mozilla's calendar program, although if I start using a real calendar I'd probably go for Google's calendar or something similar... I am very into these AJAX apps now. You could just keep a task list as a text file or something, unless you need fancy functionality.

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