Importing .mbs (Opera mail) to thunderbird

For some reason thunderbird still does not support an automatic way to import these .mbs files generated by Opera although it uses the format it self.

The procedure is quite simple and all you have to do is the following: First you have to find the folder where the mails are saved by thunderbird on your hard drive. That is on:

Tools->Account Settings->Local Folders->Local directory

By default this is:

C:\Users\<user_name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<random_sequence>.default\Mail\Local Folders

where <user_name> is the username of the user (as in windows username) and the <random_sequence> is a random sequence of characters.

There you will find files with no extension accompanied by files with the .msf extension. If you have created any subfolder you will see folders with the foldername.sdb format.

  1. To import your email create a folder in the Local directory (e.g. importedmail.sdb). You have to stick with that name to the following steps (that is importedmail).
  2. Then inside the folder copy the .mbs file and rename it to importedmail with no extension
  3. Copy the .mbs file again this time rename it to importedmail.msf.
  4. Restart thunderbird and wait for a while. A importedmail folder should appear under the Local Folders. After that you can copy these emails to a mail account.

I tried to create he folders directly in a gmail account but thunderbird wouldn’t find the mails. Thus I first imported to the Local folders and then copied to the account.


From Opera mail to Thunderbird

It has been more almost a year that I have been using Opera mail for my email needs. I must say that it is one of the best desktop mail implementations that I have used. However I wanted to have calendar and to do lists as well and Opera is not providing that in a convenient way.

Thus I was thinking of using Thunderbird (which I used before). I was thinking about the migration for weeks. There were features in Opera that I did not like to sacrifice. One of them is Opera Contacts. The way Opera lets you organize your contacts and view your mails by contact is something that I found very useful from time to time. Also using these little faces for each contact allowed me to identify the significance and the origin of a mail in a glimpse and that is something that I am going to miss. Plus it made my mail way more pleasant.

Till now I used calendar and to do lists using Rainlendar. Rainlendar is a really subtle program that used to decorate my empty desktop but I must admit it is not a good one to keep track of a to do list and calendar inputs. I never felt I was in control with it although using it is really straight forward. Thus I migrated my calendar and to do lists to Thunderbird. There the calendar is a bliss. Maybe it is not as good as Microsoft’s Outlook solution which might be the best in the domain but still really good. A note should be done here, I don’t want to use Outlook, I don’t feel confortable with it.

My first obstacle during the tranfer were the contacts. The Opera exports the contacts in .adr format which is an Opera specific format. It cannot be imported to Thunderbird directly (which is a same) and I had to use a converter found on here. The converter gets .adr files and exports .tab or .cvs (tab separated or comma separated contacts). Although the converter seems to be old (it mentions Opera 7) it worked just fine with my Opera 11.50 contacts. The problem with that is that any data I had on the contacts were lost apart from the name and the address. As Thunderbird contacts have many more fields available it did not bother me much. After a couple of hours most of my contacts were in good shape.

In an attempt to get those small faces that Opera uses I installed the Display Contact Photo Thunderbird add-on. However this only got me to have some more images to use that will be displayed only when I was to write a new mail. Not as helpful as I wanted it to be but I kept it.

In a second attempt to get the contacts on the side and trying to get access to the mails of single contact easily I tried to install Contacts Sidebar Thunderbird add-on only to find out that it is not compatible with Thunderbird 6… To cheer me up a bit I got a wood looking theme for the Thunderbird which I really liked.

However, there are still a couple of issues that I am going to try to resolve. These are the text wrapping of my mails that will render them more readable. This is a features that I have seen in mails that I receive. I suspect that it has something to do with Microsoft’s Outlook but I believe that there should be something that can be done about it in Thunderbird.

That is the good part of using Thunderbird. There is almost an add-on for anything that you can think off. However this may lead to a really slow experience using the application. so one must be careful.

Finally, Opera seems a bit barren now that I removed the mail from it. However it still has the feeds that I get there. I really like this browser and I plan to continue using it as it completely serves my needs.