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[VM] One way VM helps with records

From: Uday Reddy
Subject: [VM] One way VM helps with records
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 22:13:44 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110303 Thunderbird/3.1.9

I always keep an eye out for some of the interesting things I do with VM. Here is one that I think is cute.

For some Governmental red tape, I had to submit a list of all my absences from the country going back to 2000. My first idea was to look through my passport for all the arrival/departure stamps that the immigration officers put. It was a bit of a pain to gather all that, but in the end I got most of what I wanted. But there were a few significant gaps and some of them turned out to be crucial.

I used to keep a Unix/Emacs calendar file and some of the information I needed was there. But around 2004, I had to switch to Microsoft Outlook for my diary for some independent reasons, and all those records essentially got lost during OS upgrades, disk failures and what not.

Then it occurred to me that, we have a practice of sending an "absence" message to all the departmental staff whenever we go out of town, and a helpful colleague wrote a script to file all such messages into an mbox on the central file space.

Problem solved. Once I found those mbox folders, all I had to do was to visit them in VM and do

  V C author Uday

and I had an essentially full record of all my absences going back to 2000.

If only I had the idea from the beginning, I could have saved hours worth of work I spent in going through all the passport pages and tabulating the immigration stamps.

Email is amazingly valuable, and VM lets us use it effectively.

Please feel free to share your own interesting stories!


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