For quite a while I've been getting mail exclusively at MIT and reading it exclusively through Gnus. Gnus has a lot of nice features, and since it's entirely in elisp it's very customizable. On the other hand, since it's entirely in elisp, it's also kinda slow, especially doing things like sorting mail and doing statistical spam detection, and reading mail stored in AFS sucks over any kind of consumer Internet connection. Is it time to move on?Goals.
I'd like the mail-sorting to happen "offline"; I don't want to have to wait for all of my mail to get sorted in between deciding to read it and being able to. I'd like to keep being able to use Gnus. I need my mail sorted by mailing list, and need some sort of spam filtering. Something IMAP-backed is probably ideal. It needs to be backed up, which I'm not set up to do at home, and have good connectivity and uptime.Option 1: Google Mail.
All of the cool kids are doing it. It might have the right features. AFAIK it only has a Web interface; you can get at a flat mail store by POP but that's not so interesting. An @gmail.com
address is pretty reputable. I don't know if this would give me the level of control I want, but it's there.Option 2: Virtual private server.
There are various shops that will rent you a fraction of a machine; I've been loosely eyeing Linode
's $20/month plan for a while. If I did this, I could run whatever I wanted on it, including chooblog
, SMTP and IMAP servers, and some sort of mail sorting system like procmail
but less sucky. This clearly meets all of the requirements, but costs money and takes some effort to set up. It also requires me to come up with a domain name, and if I screw anything up on this it's my fault and my problem.Option 3: Suck it up.
Because the current system works okay, and I can identify the particular operations that are painful (starting Gnus, exiting mail.misc.spam
), and aside from the speed and the minor sketchiness of keeping an @mit.edu
address as an alum it does work. Since I keep mail in AFS I get Ops' quota and backup constraints (well, really, SIPB's) and not Network's.
Does gmail DWIW? Is Linode or some other similar provider reputable, and worth the $n per month? Is maintaining a public mail/Web server that tricky?