Going Google

I inevitably complicate any computer setup I’m involved in. I’ve mentioned how I made ripping CDs an easy six-step process. It’s like I’m made of entropy and duct tape, frantically trying to keep everything together even as I’m making it fall apart.

So it’s been with our email. I’ve owned granades.com for nearly a decade, beginning when I was in graduate school at Duke. Initially our kind-hearted department admin and the Duke University Linux User’s Group helped host my email. When I moved to Huntsville, I began hosting email myself.

That sound you hear is 2002-era me cracking open a 55-gallon drum full of worms. See, at Duke I had Internet via DSL and a stable IP address. After the move I had a cable modem and an IP that moved around, so I registered for a dynamic DNS address and got two of my friends to relay mail to me via that DNS address.

Then we had Eli and Liza. Suddenly, my free time to fiddle with a cantankerous Linux server evaporated. The box would die and we’d be without email for a day or two. I wanted web access to my email instead of having to SSH into the box and run mutt, and one thing led to another until I was forwarding all of mine and Misty’s email directly to a gmail account and backing the gmail up on the Linux box.

I just learned that mail forwarding wasn’t working for my brother’s family, so I’ve finally bitten the bullet and signed up for a granades.com Google Apps account. On the plus side, now my server doesn’t touch my mail at all, and I can rest comfortably in the warm, soft, big-brothery arms of Google.

On the minus side I have two email accounts, one of which is using POP3 to grab email from the other, and two sets of Google Docs, and two sets of Google Calendar, and…

Man, it’s a good thing I’ve simplified my life.