Monthly Archives: October 2008

Mac OS X Mail’s .mbox folders are not standard mbox files

Mail for Mac OS X format is not the same as mbox files

Mail for Mac OS X format is not the same as mbox files

I think the title says it all, but the problem is bigger than that. The whole idea that the last 3 or 4 letters of a filename are an indication of underlying file format and structure is flawed. More than flawed, it’s wrong, but 3 decades of MS-DOS (yes, it’s still part of Windows) and its usability nightmare known as filename extensions is hard to overcome.

Interestingly, I don’t blame Microsoft for this particular confusion though, since it was Apple that broke the generally accepted, or de facto, standard in this case.

With the release of OS X, Apple introduced a new kind of file — or really a folder that acted and looked like a file to the user — called a package. The idea was that the insides of certain folders were only for system usage and should be hidden from users. For example, applications and all the various libraries and resource files and executables were packaged into a .app folder. To the end user, this .app folder looked and acted like a standard file and it could be double-clicked to launch the application. Early versions of Mac OS X even hid this package extension from the user, but to this day, to see the contents of a package, you have to “right-click” or “control-click” on the package and select “show package contents” to see what’s inside.
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Emailchemy 9.8.2 released

Version 9.8.2 is a maintenance update that includes an improved Entourage converter and a few bug fixes. It’s a free update to all who have access to any 9.x release of Emailchemy. If you are converting Entourage or Outlook PST files, then you should install this update.

The new Entourage converter has increased throughput (i.e. “it’s faster”) because it now keeps the entire database index in memory. This reduces the amount of jumping around the file, and it doesn’t increase the memory requirements significantly because all Entourage database files have known maximum number of items they can hold.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, the new Entourage converter extracts more data. It preserves all message flags (e.g. read/unread, priority, replied-to, forwarded, flagged) and sent attachments now too. Previous versions only preserved received attachments.

The Outlook PST converter was also modified to be a bit more resilient to corrupted PST files. Still, it’s always a good idea to make sure your PST file still works in Outlook before trying to run it through Emailchemy. See our previous post on working with corrupt PST files for more details.