Friday, February 26, 2010

Holy Spunt!

Wow. That's possibly the strangest email problem I've ever wrangled.

As mentioned before, I've been using a lovely little email client called 'Foxmail' for about ten years. It's simple. It does what it's supposed to do. It works. It's free. What's not to love?

However, migrating to this new machine and Windows 7, I had to jump up from Foxmail 4.1 to Foxmail 6.5, and in the process, I had to figure out how to change its default setting from Chinese language to English. Fortunately, the Interwebs are good at finding clues to things like that.

Unfortunately, once I got it all set up, I couldn't for the life of me RECEIVE email. I could send, sure, but not receive.


Eventually, I downloaded Mozilla Thunderbird, and set it up. Thunderbird promptly did the kind of thing that gives me the screaming shits with Windozeware in general: it decided to 'read' all my info and set up my email accounts for me. Of course, it couldn't account for the fact that I use a router off a Satellite modem, and that I have maintained a cheap, minimalist Ozemail account for the last ten years precisely so that I haven't had to change email addresses. In other words, I get mail in via the ozemail POP server - but I send it out via the satellite provider SMTP server.

No worries in Foxmail. All I've ever had to do is simply configure the two processes separately. A no-brainer. But Thunderbird insisted I was using some kind of IMAP server, and kept over-riding all my choices. Still, I kept at it, occasionally swearing and hitting it with a stick, and eventually I got it set up. Or so I thought.

What I discovered was that I could RECEIVE email on my new Thunderbird software, but I couldn't goddam well SEND it.

So now I had a Foxmail setup that could send emails. And a Thunderbird setup that could receive them. And all my email addresses, current files, etc, were in the Foxmail system.

Not a tenable situation. And a deeply goddam irritating one at that.

So I went outside for a while. We had a long, slow, roll-around-and-ricochet thunderstorm this morning. There was rain, and even hail, and the weather since has been threatening. However, it cleared up for a bit, and I figured I'd spent enough time fragging around with the Big New Toy. Especially as I was getting frustrated enough to think about kicking holes in the wall.

I fired up the mulcher, and put a huge pile of branches and trimmings through it. Then I took the resulting mulchy goodness and spread it around the place, over the new plants and gardens and stuff. Then the rain came back, all threatening-like, so I returned to the embrace of The Computer.

And in pure desperation, I tried something on Foxmail I've never tried before: Remote Mailbox Management. Lo! The moment I opened it up, it promptly noodled its way onto the 'Net, and declared I had two new emails. I had to figure out how to execute a 'fetch-and-delete' routine to bring them to my machine -- but it worked!

So that's one more small piece of progress. I can once more send and receive email to my longstanding address, using my favourite email client. Yay! other news, Smaller Son wants to undertake his Cooking badge in the world of Cub Scoutery. Ergh. And so I shall be overseeing his efforts at Thai Fish Stew, and Custard with Shortcake and Blackberries this evening.




I've moved all my photos, video clips, music and documents across to the new machine. I've put Google Chrome in place, and migrated my bookmarks.

I've reinstalled Irfanview, Audacity, Abiword, OpenOffice, AVGfree, GIMP, ImageForge, Dogwaffle, Monkeyjam, Noteworthy Composer, Yeah Write, Foxit Reader, and VLC player.

I've taken the opportunity to add CCleaner, DeepBurner, Recuva, and Zipgenius.

I've hooked up the D-link router, and made my 'Net connection sit up and do tricks. I've even purchased a wireless D-link receiver for my old computer (now the new computer for the boys) and ensured that a 'net connection works for them too.

Everything is looking groovy, yeah. Except...

For years, I've used a nifty little email client called 'Foxmail'. It's very small -- maybe a couple MB in size -- but incredibly efficient and stable. I love it. It does all the stuff you WANT an email client to do, and none of the bells-and-whistles bullshit you get from the big boys. It doesn't autolaunch. It doesn't demand to be integrated with anything. It just fuckin' well receives and transmits email, keeps address books and directories... and that's about it. Brilliant.

Except, of course, that I was using version 4.1. And the only version now available is 6.5

So let's start with the fact that Foxmail is Chinese. I put my old 4.1 version onto this Win7 machine only to see it crash and burn. Okay, fine. So I downloaded 6.5 and installed it... except that it was all in Chinese.


I did some research. Turns out that if you dig through the installation files, you can find a file called "Chinese.lgb" and delete it - and after that, Foxmail speaks English.

Okay, sweet. I did that. And lo! There it was -- a lovely, shiny version of Foxmail, complete with all my old address books and files and inboxes and everything. And when I used it to send email, it did so without complaint.

But when I use it to receive email?

Nothing. I get a brief note that says 'Idle'... and then nothing. Nothing at all.

Now, I know the password and userid is right. It's the same one I used on the old machine just 36 hours ago. And I know that the SMTP and POP servers are right, for exactly the same reason. And I can send and receive webmail. And I can use Google Chrome just fine.

So... What The Fuck is wrong with my goddam email client all of a sudden?