I’ve been plugging away bit by bit over the last several days installing programs on my new Windows 8.1 tower, and backing up and transferring documents, photos, videos, music and email.
Yes, I’m one of those holdouts who still likes to store copies of email on a local machine. I have email archives going back some 20 years. I’ve been on Gmail for many years, but the way I work my email setup is to have a server host my personal and business email accounts. That server then forwards everything to Gmail, and Gmail in turn forwards everything to my local Shaw ISP. I thus have access to all my messages in three stages: I could log into the hosted server, which I rarely bother to do except to empty its spam folder a few times a year. I can access all my mail via Gmail. And I download all my email from Shaw using Thunderbird.
This setup also ensures that I get very little spam, since it is filtered by my server host, by Gmail, and by Tbird.