For my mono-no aware project I’ve been sifting though terabytes of archived data, searching for times and dates to try and build a timeline of the past.
Part of this has been looking through old emails — some of which date back to the invention of email and usually require data conversion as the app that created them hasn’t existed for a decade or more…
Once such application is Microsoft’s “Entourage”, an email app that came with office:mac back in the early 2000’s and which uses a no longer supported database to store email.
I used Entourage ages ago and archived the databases with my routine backups, but nothing will open them these days.
Luckily, I have a lot of antique hardware and software sitting around for just such situations:
Yesterday I set up a 1.8Ghz G5 iMac with OS X 10.5 so that I could install Office:Mac 2008. See, the 2008 version of Entourage will both read the old Entourage 2001 databases and export them as universal .mbox format. So now I have easily importable archives of email from twenty years ago.