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So here I am writing a blog entry.

The process of getting here has been rather convoluted, but an interesting example of coincidences and how they can lead to a position not intended but probably beneficial.

My previous mail provider had support for webmail, but the interface was pretty dreadful, so given I have a fast cable connection I thought of using Roundcube on my own machine to give myself a decent interface via IMAP. Since I have some spare time on the train, I fired up Fedora on VMware Player and set to work to see if this was any good.

I fairly quickly decided that it wasn't worth the bother - compared to Gmail or Yahoo the available open source webmail systems aren't anything to write home about, and using iPhone on the road and Outlook at home is difficult to beat. However, as an aside I checked out MovableType and thought I'd give it a go. A few minutes later I had an installation up and running, so here we are... apart from the fact that this clearly isn't sitting on my laptop anymore.

During the above experimentation I managed to mess up my mail - by playing with DNS a bit too aggressively I transfered my provider, thus killing my mailboxes. Despite the mailboxes being paid for separately, and inherently independent of DNS, my provider deleted them when the name servers changed and was deeply unhelpful when asked to restore them.

However, new provider turned out to have a decent basic hosting offering with mailboxes, so emergency fix was to grab that offer, and less than 4 hours later I had my email addresses back. The new provider also turned out to be very responsive - under 15 minutes for help vs 2 days and likely to be useless from the other.

Net result was beneficial.

  • I now have hosting, not just email.
  • New provider is more responsive by a factor of about 100.
  • I have a blog on a real host, not my laptop.
  • They even have Roundcube - OK, it's not Gmail/Yahoo but it's better than before.

Finally, my Outlook client had all my emails backed up bar maybe two. Phew.

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