Friday, December 28, 2012


Why do I still have a button for OLGA (The On-Line Guitar Archive), a site that has been out of commission for ages? The sad tale should not be forgotten. Particularly since a bazillion other sites now offer (stole) what OLGA users had lovingly crafted over many years...

GMail Backup

The Cloud is great, right?

Keeping your precious personal data files floating about on who knows what server (located in which [totalitarian] nation?), "owned" by company X (subcontracted by company Y), which may (or may not) have a comprehensive security policy that may (or may not) be regularly enforced is (possibly) a wonderful thing, right?

Just for kicks, I think I'll keep a local copy of my family photos, "sensitive" documents, and (on to the point of this post) EMAIL.

Regardless of how our friends at Google utilize the personal information (see Terms & Privacy for more information), we all love GMail, right? It would be a sad day indeed if our beloved GMail account were to suddenly disappear for whatever reason. Or, the 10,000+ emails we never deleted were somehow lost. Again, I like local copies. I like backups.

Enter GMail Backup

GMail Backup is my current application de jour for doing exactly as it's name implies. Description:
Gmail Backup allows to backup and restore the content of your Gmail account. It uses the IMAP protocol to fetch and store your messages. It can also be used to migrate your messages between two accounts, for example between your private inbox and the Google Apps acount.
It's very easy to use, and offers your choice of full or incremental backup.

Download the latest version (gmail-backup-20110307 as of this writing), install, run, enter you GMail loging info, choose a location to store you mail backup, etc...

As you can see, the GUI is simple & self-explanatory, but a little note on the Since Date field is in order. This pertains to the "incremental" backup function. From the documentation:

Downloading all emails from your Gmail Account every time you want to backup your emails would be a nightmare. In this case it comes in hand the incremental downloading feature of email.
Gmail Backup checks all emails in the Gmail Account whether their are already downloaded. If so than it skips them. It only download emails which are not presented in your local copy. However, the checking emails takes time too.
As result, we recommend to specify the date since you want to download emails. For example:
gmail-backup.exe backup backup passwd 20080101
In the example, I specify that I want do check and eventually download emails since 1 January 2008. Consequently, the process of updating of your backup is much faster.
I was using Thunderbird as my email client, and using it to keep a local copy of all my GMail. It has it benefits but these days the GMail web GUI & backing up the mail locally with GMail Backup works for me.

Selecting Newest emails only seems the simplest option for keeping your backup current
Yes, you can run the application from the command-line
You can restore your mail to your GMail account with this application