Old email

After a bit of drilling down through numerous folders of mailboxes, selecting all, then marking as unread, my unread message count is back to normal levels.

If anyone couldn’t glean my sense of humor from yesterday’s post? Yes, I found staring at the number of unread emails (27,385) on top of Mail’s dock icon to be quite funny. It’s nothing I was upset about, and was only a minor annoyance to go back through ~200 mailboxes to select-all and correctly mark the messages as read.

As I stated in a comment yesterday, I used to be mailbox-happy. I’d create a new mailbox to isolate each different type of message in a heartbeat. During my time at HotWired and Lycos, so much email was flying around, I had a different mailbox for every product or service we offered, a mailbox for each major department, and a box for some of the user feedback lists to which I was subscribed. The mailbox for feedback on the Wired News redesign had over 2500 messages in it, and I was only on that feedback list for one month.

I delete email semi-liberally. Any one-liners, “me-toos”, or messages with no significant content that I’d ever need to reference again get trashed. Do I need the rest of those messages from 1996? Probably not, and after this, you can bet that a lot of them will get physically archived and removed from Mail’s library. But it sure is interesting taking a look back through some of those messages to see the new ideas, the work being done, and even many of the arguments that occurred in the HotWired offices then. They could fill a pretty interesting book.

For the record, there were 280 .mbox files in ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes, totaling 211MB in size (without attachments). Since that’s 8 years of email for me, at this rate, Gmail’s current size limitations of 1GB could maintain me for about 32 years.