There’s tremendous value in having all your email with you at all times. Unfortunately, this usually means being tied to a particular mail client. IMAP allows you to have this particular cake and eat it too. This hack focuses on IMAP but installs POP along the way, since it’s just so simple to do.
Switching email clients can mean a pile of work and a plethora of less-than-great import/export/conversion functions and scripts. Wouldn’t it be great to switch seamlessly between Entourage’s gorgeous GUI, Mail’s simplicity, Eudora’s feature set, and the powerful, text-based Pine Unix mail app?
IMAP allows you to have this particular cake and eat it too.
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is usually considered a POP (Post Office Protocol) mail replacement. POP accumulates all of your incoming mail on your service provider’s or enterprise’s mail server, to be downloaded on a regular basis to your desktop or laptop and from there on saved and manipulated — filed in folders and such — locally. IMAP stores and manipulates all of your mail on the server, your mail client being fed the headers (To, From, Subject, etc.) and retrieving each message from the server on demand. Since everything’s done on the server, you can switch mail applications on a whim, according to the functionality needed or just when the mood strikes.
But what if you’re offline? Aye, there’s the rub. Most mail applications can be set to keep a cache of messages locally for offline ...