I haven’t used Hotmail for email since about 1999, but, inexplicably, people still send emails to my hotmail.com address. I occasionally check the account, usually to find that they have expired it due to inactivity. It’s hard to remember to check it, just to wade through the poker and dating spam that Hotmail’s weak spam filter lets through. Besides, the interface is dreadful and confusing. I’d like to get the useful emails in a timely fashion, but I’d rather not have to go near Hotmail to do it.

I’ve found a solution. The gotmail script downloads emails from a Hotmail account, and forwards them on to another email account. I’m using Gmail to help sort the wheat from the chaff.

It’s pretty easy to use gotmail, although it has to be updated from time to time to cope with changes to Hotmail’s interface. The version currently available via apt-get on my Debian server is outdated and broken, but the latest version is working fine at the moment.

I’m using this as a .gmailrc and running gotmail via cron once an hour.
It’s a bit more complicated if your computer doesn’t have a local SMTP server, but still possible.

[email protected]

The above settings cause gotmail to forward only unread messages, and to mark messages as read after forwarding them.

Gotmail is a good tool to help wean people off Hotmail accounts.