syncing mail and address book
blinux.list at thechases.com
Sun Mar 30 11:11:05 UTC 2008
> Tim Chase also makes a point, although I personally don't agree with his
> method having used rcs before. If you're worried about losing mail or if
> you want undelete ability, use a version control system. Debian has the
> rcs package which is what I would suggest. You have to check out your
> mail folders every time and check them back in when you're done reading
> email. To me, that seems like a big pain and still won't mirror your
> mail to and from your laptop.
RCS is a very limited old-school VCS. It doesn't have strong
network support, and doesn't have a way to easily track the
moving of files. CVS took RCS and made it more network aware,
and allowed for concurrent (the "C" in "CVS") editing. But
things have come a *long* way since RCS.
The new generation of VCS programs have stronger support for
networking, directory-content tracking, and other such nicities.
I still use RCS for simple single-file cases because it's easy
to set up and get going. However, for anything more complex, I
use one of the newest VCS programs.
With Subversion (SVN), you'd create a central repository on some
machine that's always on (whether a home desktop machine, or a
hosting-service machine with SVN access). When you're done on
one machine, you commit your mail directory to this repository
with a simple "svn commit". Then, from your other machine, you
can update from this remote repository with "svn update" ("svn
up" if you're lazy like me) which will automatically synchronize
your inboxes. Then you repeat the process of committing,
switching to the other machine, and updating.
With Distributed VCS (DVCS) programs like Mercurial (hg), Bazaar
(bzr), Git, and Darcs, they're a little smarter about merging
changes from one archive to the other--they can be used in a
non-distributed fashion in the same way as SVN, or they can be
used in a distributed fashion which gives you more flexibility in
your event sequencing. You just commit regularly wherever you
are, then occasionally pull from the other side when you have the
machines together. Conflicts can occur (and you'll be notified
if there are problems), but I've not had anything that was too
hard to resolve.
This isn't to knock rsync, because it's a great tool (and I do
use it too). I think it's mostly designed for efficiently
cloning a directory, but not so much for keeping two directories
One last option one might investigate is Unison, which is written
up nicely at
and automates some of the rsync coordination of two folders.
Hope this helps,
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