For the past 3 ½ years I have led a double life: I lived with my partner of 7 years but when a nice young thing appeared my head turned. She was ready for anything and, unlike the current partner of the time, didn’t mind where I got it. But for ages I lived with both; one was hip, current and fun while the other managed the boring dross and took the abuse that came her way.

But after a couple of accidents I have now decided to part company with my previous partner and make Google Mail my full time email client. It’s not easy thing to do – I have a good email address – like my current google one, and it’s handy for signing up for mailing lists: of the 1000 emails I get a week only 27 are definite spam, some are quite spammy (WebBuilder 2.0 conference, et al) the rest are emails from mailing lists.

Dropping support for Thunderbird won’t be easy – a lot of my accounts on other websites will need to change, so time to start on those. Also Gmail isn’t the right client for lots of high-traffic mailing lists. Now I am married I don’t have time for those anymore, so they have to go too.

First up, the daddy of them all. Netbeans Users list. I used to be pretty active on here, but poor practices by the Netbeans team has seen me migrate to Eclipse for my Java needs. This is sucking down 12,800 messages. I cut it back a few months ago when it topped 20,000 messages. After a few weeks of not checking, the Netbeans filter is glowing by the time all the messages have gone through it.

Next, the Apache Ant mailing list. I don’t think I have read that in about 2 years – everything is done inside the GUI’s of Eclipse and Netbeans so that is now gone, along with 6900 messages dating back to mid-2005.

Here’s the odd-ball: For a while I was stuck in no-gamers land: My PSU burnt out taking the motherboard with it. I couldn’t afford a decent motherboard and PSU so I plumped for the mobo and struggled on with an old PSU which couldn’t power my 9800 Pro and the P4 at the same time so I had to go for non-intensive gaming: Hence getting into Space: Glory Through Conquest and FreeCiv. For a while I had visions of helping improve the game, but the source code I found obtuse and in the end just compiled the game on Windows a couple of times. It was more interesting to see the individual developers working and how they go about solving problems together. Since I no longer read the developers mailing list and is 2850 messages long, it has got to go too.

We are rapidly running out of targets, and there are only two with more than 1,000 messages in them. One is Azureus and the other Doxygen. Together they take up 6,000 messages between them. Two emails later they are no longer and they are not pining for the fjords!

With them gone we are down to the chaff. Little lists I signed up for to watch and either they’ve (or my interest) have withered and died. css-discuss, blojsom, javascript digest, pebble mailing list, gbadev and subissue to name a few.

Now with only my ‘normal’ mail left I have cut the size of my Thunderbird folder by over two thirds. However that still leaves me with several hundred messages going back a several years. I could either filter them now, or after they get into GMail. I think it is better to get rid of the chaff now rather than later, so they have to go.

So I trawl through my emails, sorting by the sender. This removes Amazon, Sourceforge.Net, and various other sites that had my email address.  Of the 449 emails that I had in my inbox, how many were personal?

3. That’s right three, trois, drei, tre, tres, drie, ثلاث, три.

Hardly worth the effort and trust me they weren’t worth saving really.