Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

Mail Matters

Now that I'm mobile, mail is becomming a major concern. 'Till now, I've been able to get away with having a couple of accounts which were checked via POP3 from a single box. Mail would get backed up from that box, and I'd run my client from that system. This worked very well when I had DSL, but since my last move that hasn't been an option.

The laptop compounds the problem somewhat as I want my mail to be both acessible offline and sync'd with my desktop so that I have the same "picture" of the outside world from my mail client at all times, no matter where I check my mail from. My initial thought was to see if would do what I need, but alas it stores mail in mbox files. Perhaps the most broken/brain-dead way of storing mail ever, so that wasn't an option.

Next, what about Kmail under Fink? This seemed good, as I use/like Kmail everywhere else (save work, where we some massicistic tendancy dictates that pine is only acceptable MUA). Installing Kmail via Fink was straight-forward. Apt still rocks muchly. It's funny how often I forget how cool it is when I'm on a distro that doesn't use it. One problem though...Kmail wouldn't start. Hard crash...bus error. Not good.

A quick google turned up a problem with the QT libraries for Fink under OS X, meaning that I had to trying QT 3.2.1 out of unstable and hold my breath. I almost turned blue waiting for QT to compile, but once built Kmail works beautifuly. A quick scp of my primary maildir and the options files for kmail and we are ready to rock. A mobile, non-sucky, rsync-able mail solution at last. I'm a happy camper.

I'll probably have some thoughts on Safari when I get a chance to play with it more, but I really love the way the overflow: auto; problem is fixed and how spell checking is built in. Oh, and JavaScript debuging info to the console in the default build is a frigging godsend compared to Konqueror. There are some negatives, but overall it's the browser I knew Konq could be. Now if only we could get some OpenSource SVG support.

Oh, and for the $129 price of entry, VirtualPC kicks ass. Installing RedHat in a VM was a snap, and it's reasonably useful, even with a relatively limited 512 meg of ram. Very cool.