Sunday, July 27, 2008

Let's all have a good laugh at my expense.

I mean it, that's not some obtuse victim plea. This is a modern fable of geekiness overcoming one's self.

I thought GMail was broken. All of my messages were being marked as read. I filter a lot, and I rely on the filters and labels to virtually stash certain mail that I either want to attend to immediately, or ignore until I am ready to deal with it. I've been doing this a long time and it is an important part of the way I handle my electronic communication.

Most of you, all of you who have e-mailed me more than once in a blue moon, have a filter and a label set on your e-mail address.

Suddenly, everything coming in was being marked as read and nothing was staying in the inbox. WTF? I turned off Google Labs, I checked the message boards and mailing lists, no one else was seeing this behavior apparently. Why oh why was my gmail all brokey?

The culprit? MobileMe.

I have set-up on one machine that fetches my mail when I open it. It's not the machine I use every day, it is a friend's PowerMac tower with a gargantuan HD that she doesn't use mush of. I'm her tech support, she uses me regularly (if it feels this good being used...), so when I am at her office I log-in, fire up and download it to her machine where it is faithfully backed up on her awesome over-engineered back-up system. I'm her off-site storage, she burns incremental DVD's of /Users/* regularly and I pick up a copy, which has my stuff on it too, whenever I drop by her office for espresso and looking down her blouse.

While I'm there, I fire up and DL a bunch of e-mails, knowing well that this flips the "Mark Read" bit, so I make sure beforehand that I've checked everything I want to check.

Then came MobileMe. I demonstrated it for her on her PowerMac by setting up my account and letting it fly.

That sent my Mail account information to my iBook, which I do use every day, and the iPod Touch, which I am sure is the real culprit. I got the message about it changing my e-mail accounts on the next sync and just clicked through it. I was still in her office when this happened.

So, I fired up tonight for another reason (I usually process e-mail on the GMail web client) and lo and behold, the light bulb went on.

GMail was doing exactly what I set it to do. Mark Read and archive everything that gets POP3'd. Labels still work, of course.

MobileMe, I'm still getting used to the notion that my iPod is a fully functioning Internet terminal, getting pushed mail everytime I walk by an open WiFi access point, or at home, or in the office.

GMail, I'm so sorry I doubted you...

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