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[personal profile] glaurung_quena
Putting this here because there is no longer a Eudora forum, the Eudora mailing list has no archive, and posting to usenet involves too much fuckery to be worth my while (given that I do not wish to submit my private organs to the Google ovipositor)

The official Eudora site contains instructions for migrating Eudora data from Windows to Mac. The only problem is, those instructions appear to have been written in the 1990's, for "classic" Mac OS 9, and have not been updated since. Clearly, Eudora became de facto abandonware some time before it became official abandonware.

As written, the instructions do not work for Mac OS X. This post is an attempt to provide better, more up-to-date instructions for such an undertaking.

(Yes, I know, Eudora for the mac only runs on Snow Leopard, which is supposedly obsolete. Considering that it took me until 2007 to stop using windows 98se, I don't have a problem with that.)

In a nutshell, the official guide is broken twice: First, despite being an OS X app, Eudora needs its mailbox files to use the text file format for classic macs, and not the unix-style format used by modern macs. This one bit alone tripped me up for hours and hours. Second, Eudora absolutely requires its data files to have their Mac OS filetype set as "simpletext document," a file type that no longer exists in OS X.

So there are three steps involved:

1) rename the mailboxes so they no longer have any extension (in.mbx becomes simply "in", etc).

2) convert the mailbox files from the windows text file format to "classic mac" (and not OS X) format,

3) make the file type of the converted mailboxes (as reported in the Mac's finder in details view) be "simpletext document."

If a windows machine is available, you can use the simple, well documented command line utility dos2unix to convert the mailboxes to the correct text format. And then use "ren *.mbx *. " (note the trailing dot) to rename the mailboxes.

If the data is already on a mac machine, the terminal command
"tr -d '\n' < in.mbx > in" will convert the specified mailbox in the current directory (the deplorable state of unix documentation written in language comprehensible by a normal person ensures that I am unable to ascertain how to use wildcards with that command).

As to setting the filetype, there are a couple of approaches. Eudora itself can create empty simpletext documents, and then textwrangler can be used to copy/paste data into them. Textwrangler can also change the text file format, if the above command line options are too tech-y.

Then there is the "filetype" utility, which I have not yet tested, but ought to be able to set the file type of the mailboxes.

Once the mailboxes have been converted to the correct "classic" text format, and their filetype set, then the above official instructions are correct for which folder they need to go in.

One last wrinkle: filters did indeed convert for me using the same method as for mailboxes, but not without errors. I had to go through and make corrections to each one, but at least the bulk of the work was done for me. My address book did not convert at all and I do not know why, fortunately it did not have many addresses in it so I just manually copied the data into a new address book.

Of course Eudora no longer works on OS X 10.7 and later. But you can install 10.6 in VirtualBox, then install Eudora in that. Which is a bit of a kludge for daily use, but might come in handy for archival purposes, or if you discover that you need to run Eudora Mailbox Cleaner (another 10.6-only program) to migrate your data to a new email app without stupid errors.

Protip: Buying a 10.6 disk directly from Apple is usually cheaper than trying to score one on Ebay. I don't know why, except that all pricing of Mac items on Ebay is insane.

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