Google Apps: In search of a worthy email system

Email, in a lot of ways, is one of the most critical applications for me.

There was a point in my life where I made sure all my email was kept together indefinitely, but as time grew, so did this task.

For the longest time, I had my own hosted, addresses. These were hosted diligently at pair Networks. pair introduced the qmail system which gave birth to my trend of using “minus addressing” (if your email is you can use It was my way of seeing which sites spammed me (so far I only outed one company using this trick) and just to organize my inbox.


In 2004, I decided to experiment with Gmail. I had a lot of email to manage and Gmail’s ajax-enabled features made its webmail service far superior to any competitors and even made desktop apps cower in shame.

The ideology of search don’t sort, and archive don’t delete, made Gmail a perfect storage system for all my emails. I never had to lose track of email again. Just about any conversation, or discussion I’ve had over email - I can pull up very quickly using Gmail.

I’d say after 4 years of solid use, the experiment is over, I was sold on Gmail.

Switching hosts.

I did, however, move my domain management over to Dreamhost. This is where it still resides, and that was a problem. Minus addressing was not a part of Dreamhost. I had to painstakingly create procmail files that simulated this. Inevitably pushing anything and everything to my gmail account if it matched the syntax I chose.

I knew Gmail supported plus addressing (, but I never took the plunge. My habit, was and is still minus style.

Google Apps

The Dreamhost account I used has been tossed from one server to the next, unfortunately there’s a lot of hand-holding I need to do in order to make sure procmail and all my other tweaks I’ve made to my accounts work. I finally threw in the towel today and settled on Google Apps.

Both my wife and I use Gmail (with aliased emails and respectively), so I enabled an app and did the painstaking migration process.

While it’s not that complicated, you don’t ever realize how entangled your Google account can be. We both use GTalk and Google Calendar and we both have large Gmail accounts. Mine has 70K+ addresses and is slowly being migrated to my Google Apps email address.

In the end, I think this struggle will be worth it, since I’ll have my addresses managed in a clean efficient way.

This will also pave the path for me to move more of my web sites off of Dreamhost and onto Slicehost.

Wish me luck.