In my previous post I recommended installing Thunderbird (configured to download but not delete) to periodically backup your Gmail locally.
However, since I aspire to be "the cloud guy," I wanted to throw out another solution that utilize cloud resources to save your Gmail locally. That is to say, to conjure an e-mail client from the clouds that saves your Gmail to your hard drive.
In an earlier post I mentioned a cloud service called Spoon which is a cloud based virtualization service that permits you to run desktop applications from the cloud. It does require that you download and install their addon for your browser. What is the value of this service? First off, virtualization lets you run applications from one operating system (like Windows, OSX, or Linux) on some other operating system. So any applications available on Spoon's website should run on your computer regardless of which operating system you're using.
Once you're set up, you gain access to any of the applications they make freely available online, such as a collection of e-mail clients. Among these is our old pal Thunderbird (along with Eudora and Pegasus Mail). Run one of these from their site and follow the original instructions - configure it to download your e-mails, but not delete them from the server so that you have a local copy. And you get the added bonus of having access to everything else they offer - and they have a very nice assortment of software!
But what if Spoon goes under? Well, your data would be saved on your hard drive (or flash drive, you could configure it that way) as Thunderbird would store it. So if the need arises, you can install Thunderband and configure it to find your data and tada... there it is. At the end of the day, it's about backing up your gmail; not accessing it through a local client, right? So why carry all of your luggage (install Thunderbird), when you just need a scarf (a means to run it once in a while for a backup)?
So there you have it - a means to backup your Gmail to a local drive using nothing but a web browser.
PS. It's becoming clear to me that I need to do a series of how to videos that demonstrate the things I discuss. I make the assumption that people will just know how to "configure Thunderbird."
Update on Gmail outage:
Here is another article, where they continue to bash on Google while the facts in their story are very interesting. Google's initial estimation of loss was 500,000 users. They then revised the estimate after further investigation down to 150,000. Yesterday they restored 50,000 of those accounts. Leaving the outage at 100,000 users. And this article today says the number is down to 35,000 still missing data or e-mail, suggesting that they restored another 65,000 users data over night. The loss is now down to 0.02%.. And yet they still bitch and bash. Lets check the facts, hidden between the lines of the story is this: 99.9%+ data integrity, with a recovery rate currently standing at 76.7% and rising.
If these people had lost their hard drives at home, what would have been the likelihood of recovering their data? Think it would be 76%+? ME EITHER!