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Finally Pulled the Trigger

Finally took the plunge and ordered my iMac tonight.  I should have it by next week.  I'm very excited.

Now if someone can just tell me how to get my Outlook Express (not real Outlook, but the Express version) information over to the Mac platform, I'll be most grateful....


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
When I have to do it in my "real life" for people, I use an IMAP account as an intermediary. Gmail offers IMAP functionality (under settings -> POP & IMAP). You then set up the same IMAP account in your OE and on the Mail App that comes bundled with your Mac (called Mail). Then it's a matter of moving the mail to the IMAP, and then moving it down to the new computer.

Outlook Express (unlike "Real" Outlook, which is simply a tarpit for the unwary to be forced to use MS Exchange as a mail server), allows you to copy whole folders of mail to an IMAP account. From the IMAP account, you then copy it down, pulling whole folders again into Mail.

That's the no-cost way, which has the disadvantage that you have to wait for all that mail to upload, then download again. I don't know how technically comfortable you are with this sort of thing, but general googling for /migration "outlook express" mac OR Mail.app/ will give you some instructions, including more details on the IMAP method.

There also exists software to move your mail by disk, and there are some who swear by Entourage (and some like me who swear AT it because it uses easily-corrupted databases to store the mail), which I have heard it is faster to migrate to.

But here's the real advice I'd give you: A new platform means a new chance to revisit how you handle email as a whole. Check out IMAP in general. It offers the ability to use multiple clients at the same time (smartphones, multiple computers, web-driven applications), and offers one-place backup. Sorting out your address books is less easy, but I've never regretted moving to IMAP myself.
Mar. 27th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the input. I'll have to read through if again (twice maybe) to get it all, but it sounds like sound advice. I have lots of long email lists that I'd rather not have to recreate, and I also have some old emails that I need to keep, so it's quite important to me that I'm able to move this stuff. This is probably the single thing that gave me the most pause when I considered changing platforms in the first place.
Mar. 27th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC)
No worries. I've asked you for advice often enough. It's only fair to return the favor (if it is a favor and not just TMI! ;) )

Hmm... I usually have people who care more about their old email and less about their lists. Perhaps the advice above isn't as useful to you. Address books and contacts are trickier, since they tend to have different ideas about what information to track and what constitutes a list. There's several ways to get the contacts over; generally the LDIF method works fine, but the lists aren't preserved. There are some cheap applications that say they transfer your outlook to Mac, but I haven't tried them and don't know if they preserve list data. But before you do that, ask Apple tech support. The mac techs aren't as good as they were when Mac was a premium item, but most of them are trained in Win->Mac migration issues.

But there is an overview they probably won't tell you, so I will and then I promise I'll shut up:

There's generally three ways to go on a mac for combined mail and addresses. One is "the microsoft way" which is to use Entourage, which is bundled with the Microsoft Suite, if you buy it. I seem to recall you weren't going to do this; correct me if I'm wrong. It is essentially OE for Mac, so there's pretty good support for moving there. It works well with the other Microsoft Apps, but not well with much else, and I fear it because I keep having to help people who have lost data to it.

The second way is the "mac way" which is to handle your mail in "Mail" and handle your addresses in "Address Book", and the two apps "talk" to each other in the same language, and they also talk to the calendar app and the IM app, so it's probably the best way to go if you like the mac way of making it "just work". Address Book organizes your lists out of individual contacts using a pretty simple drag-and-drop interface.

The third is the Thunderbird Way, which uses the legacy netscape communicator to provide the address book and mail combined, as well as newsgroup reading if you're into that (via SFF.net or similar). The address book in Thunderbird is pretty poor interface-wise, and it doesn't integrate well with other apps, but its very solid and a reliable piece of software and is and will always be free.
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