I did this to myself. I have nobody else to blame. But… still.
Now some of you read the title and are thinking, Gee, that’s just a typical Monday morning for me. But we’re not dealing with 485 email messages here at Kahomono Central, oh no. We’re dealing with 485 email addresses.
Across two ISPs now, a total of about 12 years, we have enjoyed the benefits of catch-all mailboxes in our hosted domains. This means that my main mailbox of email@example.com can be set up to catch the mail from any address I want as long as it ends with @domain.com. This weekend, however, I got a note from my ISP that they are discontinuing this feature. It seems to be going the way of the dodo. Even if I found another ISP who would allow me to maintain it, it’s time. It’s time to put away childish things and do what has needed doing for quite some time now: clean up the mess.
So I grepped through my archives and learned that I have used 485 different email addresses over these years. While it was tempting to say, “dump ’em all, let the FSM sort ’em out”, I really can’t do that. Quite a few of these emails are bringing me things like correspondence from healthcare providers. Financial institutions. TiVo, for goodness sake! Amazon! You can’t contemplate missing emails from some of these folks.
Now I need to go one by one through these email addresses, some of which I don’t even recognize anymore, and figure out, “Who sends (or once sent) email to this version of me?” There are some very odd answers out there, let me tell you. But the few that I need to keep, I need to convert to the form firstname.lastname@example.org. My ISP tells me that will be supported, sending everything to david@. It has been that way for years now in Gmail, but I found a lot of sites that would reject email addresses with a ‘+’ in them. It’s going to have to be more widely accepted now because I am determined to be able to track spammy reuse of my email.
Well, enough whining. Those spreadsheets are not gonna collate themselves. Not to mention all the email address changes I have to do…