MsgViewer views .msg files


Occasionally I save an email message from Thunderbird to a file, and when I do that the file has an .eml extension. For those new to this concept, the .eml file extension is usually applied to files in the MIME RFC 822 standard format used by email applications. You can open that .eml file using Thunderbird (which is available on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux) or using on Mac OS X, and I’m sure using many other applications that adhere to the standards. I can even open .eml files in a text editor and easily read the text/plain portion of a multi-part email message.

Unfortunately I recently came across some emails with a .msg extension. It seems that Microsoft Outlook saves emails files to disk as .msg files, which is probably not the MIME RFC 822 standard format, and is some weird format you can’t easily read without Outlook… (It’s actually based on the “Compound File Binary Format” and require a MAPI-aware application to view them.)

Luckily MsgViewer is an application (well, a JAR file) which (as long as you’ve got Java installed) can open these .msg files. You can grab MsgViewer from SourceForge.

And seriously, why does Microsoft do this kind of stuff??


Unsubscribe (Temporarily)

Unsub (Temp)

I got an email from Think Geek with something I’ve never seen before. (And no, it wasn’t the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag!)

It was a link in the email to temporarily unsubscribe until after the holidays.

I think it’s brilliant… and I think it shows that there is still room for innovative ideas in something as mundane as email marketing. I mean, I can understand how a company may want to ramp up before the holidays, especially if it’s a niche business consisting of a lot of wacky items, but seeing email after email with updates about shipping and specials and sales can be a bit much.

Want a break? No problem! Unsubscribe until the end of the year and we’ll see you next year.

I think this idea is similar to what I was going for in Users vs. Accounts vs. Signer-Uppers and Do you want to continue?


Top 5 Email Subject Lines of the Week


  1. Your Music’s Good, But Are Your Band Photos Holding You Back?
    Translation: You rock, but you’re ugly. No, really, it’s not my photos holding me back. In fact, I think my photos are better than my music. Maybe my music is holding me back… I prefer to just read the first 3 words of the subject line and then stop there.

  2. Your package is on its way
    I always enjoy getting an email with this subject… as long as it’s legit. (You know, lasers, 23″ displays, etc.) If this were a spam email it could take on a whole new meaning… Hey-oooh!

  3. Give Dad the Gift of Great Taste!
    My family knows me, and by now they know that I’m pretty set in my ways and they can’t give me great taste.

  4. Jeremy Ampe started DJing at I have bad taste in music.
    Jeremy is one of the masterminds behind MKEPunk. I ‘m not sure if he named this room, but it’s a pretty funny name.

  5. I’m thinking of doing something “stupid” and following in your footsteps and seek a few minutes of your time
    The best email subject line should do 3 things: compliment you, inform you, and insult you. This one does all three!


Email Lives!

Hey Pete, didn’t you hear? Email is broken! Yup, it’s been broken since 2003 at least, if not longer…

I like email. I like that when I create an email, it is saved on my own device (computer, phone, etc.) and then a copy of it is sent to someone else, and it doesn’t matter what kind of device that person is using, or what services they are signed up with, or any of those other crazy things like in the bad old days.

Remember when Prodigy users couldn’t email Compuserve users, or whatever the hell those other long-gone services were called? (Walled Gardens or Silos is what they were sometimes called.) To some degree, I feel like the Internet created this level playing field where everyone had to learn to get along and all be (somewhat) compatible. An email address is such a low barrier to entry… like a phone number. Imagine if you had to know if your friend used Verizon, or AT&T or some other company before you could even call them. (I know, you damn kids all use Skype or GTalk now, so again, you won’t see my point here.)

You can have an email address and not (appear to) be associated with any specific service or company. If you push people towards your Twitter account. You are reliant on Twitter. They control your identity and your messages, to some degree. It’s usually the same with Yammer, or any other system which might be used by some people to replace email because they think email is broken.

I’ve got emails that are easily more than 10 years old that I can go back to and read. They are on my own computer, and they are backed up. I can’t even get to Twitter messages I created just 3 years ago, because they won’t let me access them. There are probably solutions to this, but I don’t think Twitter is interested in any of them, as they don’t really help their bottom line. Companies and the services they run disappear, they get shut down, they die. Email is this “thing” that can’t really be killed even if all the companies that make email products die. It sort of reminds me of HTTP, a set of standards everyone has to adhere to. (Quick, look for the “HTTP is dead!” folks, I’m sure they’re out there…)

IM is another thing… I’m pretty sure that by default Apple’s iChat does not log messages. I’ve had the experience (more than once) of an iChat user telling me to resend the message I sent 10 seconds earlier because they closed their chat window. I know there are ways to fix this, but again, IM comes with the “people on this network may not be able to talk to people on that network” problem, as well as the idea that the messages are nothing you’d want to save… unless you want to do a lot of work to figure out how to save them.

Maybe I’m mostly happy with email because it works for me, and I’ve gotten used to how it works. It’s not perfect, but for now, it’s still much better than many of the proposed alternatives… It’s been around for nearly 40 years now, which makes it older than most of the people who seem to think it should die. But hey, can you blame them? Those damn kids are always trying to take over.


mail me daily

There’s a guy named Adam Mathes who makes things, and one of the things he made is called mail me daily which is drop-dead simple…. you enter a web site URL and your email, and you magically get email updates from the site. Obviously the site has to have an RSS feed, and you have to have an email address, but besides that, it’s pretty simple. For people who still use email, or get confused by RSS readers, or some other third thing, this is nice… For people who love email.

You can subscribe to RasterWeb! and get excerpts of these posts in your email, which will remind you to stop by the site for a full read. Now, make no mistake, I’m not trying to sell you anything, this isn’t some hard sell to subscribe to my newsletter! but if you’re interested in what I post here, this may be useful. mail me daily has no ads, and cost no money (right now anyway) so I’m interested to see if anyone finds it useful.