New email strategy
(Warning: this is going to be kind-of technical)
I??(TM)ve just changed how I deal with email. Here is what I did:
I opened two accounts using Google??(TM)s free Gmail service. I then set my university email account to forward all messages I get to one Gmail account. I then set that Gmail account to forward all messages it gets to the other Gmail account (but does not archive it). This second Gmail account applied various filters and labels to all incoming messages. Newsgroup messages are, for example, automatically archived upon receipt. That way they don??(TM)t clog my inbox, but I can search them quickly and easily using Google if I need to. I then also set all my private email account to forward to email to this second email account.
To check email I simply download from the second Gmail account using Microsoft Outlook and POP, or, if I??(TM)m traveling or am at University, just log into Gmail. When I??(TM)m in University, I download from the first Gmail account and set Gmail to archive the messages I have downloaded. That way my work machine only gets PhD related email.
The end result: All my email is backed up on one Gmail account, my University email and private email are separated, I have a nice email web interface I can use when on the road and both my home and University PCs get copies of all email relevant to me at those locations.
Now, all that was left to do was to create a backup of all my old email. After some trying I used to University??(TM)s SMTP server to and Mozilla Thunderbird (using an extension called Redirect, which has the ability to bounce email messages) to forward all my old email to myself in the newly setup Gmail accounts. I don??(TM)t think the University was too happy about my suddenly spamming their server with the 20000 (don??(TM)t ask) emails I??(TM)ve received in the past year and a half. Anyway, it??(TM)s for a good cause and they haven??(TM)t blocked me yet.
This all worked well. I now have all my old email stored in Gmail for instant access wherever I go.