27 January 2008

Adventures with Gmail

I’ve decided to switch from my own e-mail server to Gmail. Ideally, the switch will be invisible. I think I’ve finally got it working. That means...
  • Getting mail sent to my fisher.cx address into my Gmail account.
  • Getting mail sent from my Gmail account to be marked as from my fisher.cx address.
The following may seem overly complex, but it’s really just solving those two issues. (The second one in three contexts.) I’m trying to capture enough detail here, however, to help me do it again if I need to. Step one was easy: Configure my account at e-rice to forward mail sent to my fisher.cx address to my gmail.com address instead of my dyndns.org address. The next part is harder, because there are (at least) three ways I may send mail... Telling the Gmail web interface to use the fisher.cx address for outgoing mail was easily done in Settings -> Accounts. It sends a confirmation e-mail to any address you add, but once the confirmation was done, it worked fine. (By the way, you can access the Gmail web interface securely by using “https” in the address instead of “http”. This will encrypt the contents of your e-mail as it travels over the Internet between your computer and Google’s servers.) Also, this is important because it will allow your other e-mail clients to use the address with the Gmail outgoing mail (SMTP) server. Also, I needed to use Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP to enable IMAP for use with Apple Mail and my iPhone. Setting up Gmail with Apple Mail (2.1.2) was pretty straightforward. On the “Account Information” panel for the account in Mail’s Preferences, the “Email Address” field between “Description” and “Full Name” is the outgoing e-mail address. So, putting my fisher.cx address there means that mail sent through Apple Mail will have the fisher.cx address. The tricky bit with Apple Mail was telling it which Gmail folders to use for Drafts, Sent, Trash, and Junk. You have to select the subfolders below the “[Gmail]” folder and the go to the Mailbox menu -> Use this mailbox for. Setting up Gmail on the iPhone with the Gmail option worked fine, but it wouldn’t put my fisher.cx address on outgoing e-mails. Syncing the Gmail account from Apple Mail to the iPhone seemed to still set it up as a Gmail account on the iPhone. Turning syncing back off and setting up the Gmail account on the iPhone as Other/IMAP worked fine. Helpful links:

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