Friday, December 24, 2010

Migrating UMBC E-mail to Gmail

Some months ago UMBC began migrating e-mail to the Google cloud. This migration has been voluntary, but everyone will be moved over in January. I like Gmail, and considered moving some months ago, but decided not to because it was unclear whether there would be a solid wall (psychologically as well as logically) between my personal Gmail account and my UMBC Gmail account. This will not be an issue for a number of reasons:

(1) The accounts are separate, one reached via and the other via I can reach both via the traditional URL, but with two different user names. I plan to explicitly go via (and link to) the address.

(2) I usually use Chrome for Gmail, but use Firefox for UMBC (myUMBC) services. Firefox add-ons allow me to selectively turn off undesired scripting within myUMBC and Chrome does not display PeopleSoft slop properly (I suspect it really does, however, and that PeopleSoft is simply not following web standards, but this is something for future investigation). So I will continue to use Chrome for personal Gmail, and will use Firefox for UMBC mail.

(3) I use different themes for the two Gmail services, and so my work and my personal screens look very different.

(4) The UMBC Gmail has "myUMBC" prominently displayed in the upper left.

(5) If all of that is not enough, I can simply return to an IMAP client for UMBC e-mail and continue to use the browser for personal Gmail.

The one drawback I have seen in my initial look is that Google says it may take several days for my old e-mail to migrate to Google. Since I have switched, I can no longer access UMBC Squirrel mail, and so none of my old e-mail folders are currently available via the web. Since grades are due in a couple weeks, this could become sufficient motivation to temporarily configure an IMAP client on my laptop. However, I do not foresee much inconvenience here except possibly delaying my grading of assignments submitted via e-mail.

I do suspect there is still a way into squirrel mail, but do not plan to spend any time finding the way.

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