It was April 2005 when I bought a Powerbook G4 laptop. A lot of my colleagues were using Macs and after one of them showed me the possibilities of his Powerbook I was convinced. As I like to keep most of my email for reference I wanted to have my Outlook 2003 .pst file converted to the mbox format used by the Mac's email clients Mail and Entourage. Believe me, that ain't easy... The first try was with a $10 program from littlemachines. That didn't work very well. A lot of dates and times were incorrectly converted. It came up with dates which were in 2016 and later! On top of that the conversion took ages and it was not possible to keep the email on the PC and Mac synchronized. Next was a long search for the perfect solution. Many times I came across the use of an exchange server as solution. From what I've heard it is not easy to setup such a server and as it is a piece of software made by Bill's software factory I don't believe it's the best way to go. Then I found Bernard Teo's web site on cutedgesystems. One of the programs he has made is PostfixEnabler. A great $9.99 front end program to turn your Mac into a mail server with POP3 and IMAP within seconds. Then I configured an IMAP account in Entourage. I'm sorry MacFreaks but to be honest, this piece of software from Bill's store looks a lot better than Mac's Mail... Next step was to log in on this account with my PC, drag and drop the Outlook 2003 email folders to this account and copy these folders from the IMAP folders on the Mac to the "local" account on the same Mac. Unfortunately you end up with winmail.dat attachment if the email has not been sent as plain text. I expect to have a Macmini soon and will configure this little Tiger into an email, web and FTP server. Then my Powerbook will just have a local copy taken from the Macmini. Turning a Mac into a web server is even easier! Took me approximately 6 seconds and I took my time... During my long search for solutions somebody came up with this link: mundy.org. If that link is dead then try this one and do a search for the "ISP-In-A-Box project". Wish this guy had written a book about it!
Of course there are reasons to use your own and there are reasons to use the possibilities offered by your ISP. I will use both. As my ISP Chello does not support PHP I will use it on my own server. My account on Chello will only contain pages without PHP. In September 2005 I bought myself the Macmini. It's the 1.42GHz version with the Superdrive, 80GB harddisk, 1GB memory, Bluetooth + Airport extreme. Incredible that it all fits in such a small box... Want to start your own server? Look at this site.
Update: I don't use Chello anymore as they do not allow users to operate a server. Instead I use Demon. This ISP is not the very cheapest around but they offer fantastic support! They have no data-limit,a toll-free number and a very friendly and knowledgable staff.
As written above, I like to keep my email synchronized on both my PC and Powerbook. The easiest way to achieve this is by using a dedicated email server. To keep the Sent Items folders synchronized I used to have my Powerbook setup to leave the mail on the ISP's mail server. When writing email on the Powerbook I had to send a BCC to myself. This way this BCCed mail could be downloaded by the PC and I could transfer this mail to my Sent Items folder. Easy right? Don't think so! The plan is to set up a Macmini as email server which will process all mail. Clients can log in and use IMAP to synchronize their local copy. To prevent this server being used by spammers, it will need a password or a secure connection. Want to start your own server? Look her and don't forget to donate if you use his tutorial! More later.
Why not? During my trips around the world I make a lot of pictures. By uploading them to the FTP server at home I will have a copy of them in case I loose my laptop/camera. It could also be used to backup documents made enroute and to restore files which are not present on the Powerbook. There should also be a possibility for known users to access or upload files on the server. Enough reasons to have a the FTP server installed I would say.
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