When it comes to the Internet, there’s only one browser for me.
Yes, there are other, more popular options. Firefox. Chrome. Safari. Even Internet Explorer. But it’s Opera that I like. It works for me. It’s fast and it’s slick and it’s a power user’s browser.
For the longest time, I was using Opera purely as a browser. A year ago, I started using Opera for all of my e-mail needs. I wanted to see what it could do for me, and as it turned out, it could do a lot.
The way Opera’s e-mail system works, as I understand it, it doesn’t actually sort or file anything. Everything — received e-mail, sent e-mail, drafts — are all stored together, and what makes it work, what gives you access to the e-mail, is the indexing system. It’s the view you want that determines what you see. If I want to see all the e-mail dealing with a certain person, I can do that — and I see both things I have received and things I have sent. If I want to see all the e-mail from a mailing list, Opera builds a view for that.
Opera’s mail client, M2, has over the past year completely altered the way I interact with e-mail, to the point where I can’t stand being forced to use Outlook at work because Outlook makes me do the work, instead of doing the work for me the way Opera does. 🙂
What happened yesterday (and for which I have two theories, both of which fit the facts) is this. The index to my e-mail became corrupted. Suddenly, Opera would only register e-mail I had received about nine months ago from a two week period. My sent e-mail? Apparently gone. Drafts? Gone.
I took a deep breath. I turned to Google and started searching.
There were, I thought, two possibilities. One, I had installed the newest release candidate for Opera 10.52. That could have corrupted the e-mail database. Two, I had received an e-mail from an editor and I decided to create a Follow Contact. Either would have altered the database.
I quickly came to the idea that I needed to rebuild the e-mail database indices. But how to do that?
I’m not sure now where I found this idea. But there was a certain simplicity to it.
1) Move the e-mail folder to the desktop. Restart Opera, and it will find no e-mail information, and it will build a clean database.
2) Import the e-mail, now in a folder on the desktop, into a new e-mail account within Opera.
I had roughly six thousand messages, between sent and received e-mails. It took about forty minutes to import them back into Opera. And when I was done, I had a clean e-mail database.
Or so I thought.
I tried to rebuild filters and Followed Contacts. But trying to do so didn’t work especially well. Filters worked fine, but following contacts didn’t work out well; I’d mark a person as a followed contact, but I would find someone else’s e-mail in that virtual folder. I’m not really sure why, but I suspect it’s because of my e-mail contacts; it’s possible that information between the address book and the newly imported e-mail didn’t match. Puzzling it through, I came up with a brand-new approach.
1) Export my received e-mail to an .mbx file.
2) Export my e-mail contacts to a raw data file.
3) Delete all received e-mail.
4) Shut down Opera.
5) Delete the contacts.adr file from Opera’s working directory.
6) Launch Opera.
7) Using my sent e-mail, create new contact entries in my Opera address box. If necessary, then mark a contact as a Followed Contact.
8) Import the mbx file into the e-mail database.
9) Import the contacts export file to plug gaps.
This took a little bit of time, but the end result worked perfectly.
All e-mails are accounted for and where they should be. And my consternation passed. 🙂