Email Spelunking

Going through some old files emails, it’s been interesting to dip into the not-so-distant past. Unfortunately sent messages were very sparsely archived, so I have only the incoming half of most email conversations. And sadly, all my email before 2002 appears to have been lost or corrupted. Oh well.

A few bits and pieces:

  • Xbox Live beta emails in Oct 2002 – “You still could get in!”
  • iTunes Music Store launches on Apr 29 2003: “Your music. Your way.”
  • Emails about the beta for the (recently defunct) Unison client by Panic.
  • Emails from, before they switched to (I joined in June 2005 – soon to be ten years!).   As late as August 2005, your Wall was a single mutable text field, so emails said “X has changed your wall.” By September, the terminology was changed to “X has written on your wall” as the list-of-posts model was adopted. Techie bonus: mail was sent with a user agent header of “ZuckMail”. Also, Wirehog.
  • At one point, I purchased the domain ILBEN.COM… so that I could write my email address as   …………… facepalm
  • Registered on June 10, 2002.
  • I seemed to have sent a lot of email to random internet folks:
    • Adam Iser, about how much I liked Adium
    • Dan Gillmor, about using Disk Copy to make disk images from DVDs
    • Nick Zitzmann, about adding Applescript support to Battlegram (a chat client for
    • Damien Gallop, about using RDC instead of VirtualPC…???
    • Rob Griffiths, about featuring LaunchBar as a Product of the Week on
    • I distinctly remember writing to Andy Ihnatko but those emails appear to have been lost to the sands of time.
    • Nobert Heger, about his experiences as an independent developer producing LaunchBar, to which he responded: 

      Success as a shareware developer depends on so many different factors, so it’s a bit difficult to give a general answer. You need a good idea, a good implementation, good PR and marketing, good support, etc. Failing in just one of these areas can make a huge difference in terms of success. The only advice I can give is to try it yourself.

  • Correspondence with Nigel McFarlane. Extremely bittersweet for me: he bravely and generously took a chance on me to write a few pages and get my name in a physical book… and committed suicide three months after it was published. Even though I barely knew him, the sense of loss and pain hasn’t diminished in the last ten years.
  • A handful of emails from my uncle, mostly followups to spirited arguments we had over things like whether the world would be better off if every television set vanished into the ether. In retrospect, seeing what I wrote makes me cringe – I was an ass, and being fifteen isn’t much of an excuse. I didn’t notice/appreciate it at the time, but with twelve years of elevated perspective, there was a great deal of wisdom (of the life-experience variety) shining through his words. But he understood what I did not:

    There are, unfortunately, some things that take years to be put into perspective, and even being extraordinarily bright provides no shortcut to such insights nor any guarantee of happiness.


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