Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby wiretap » 2019-1-29 @ 10:40

With Win9x and older, the optimal choice for email is using a client software like Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Eudora, etc. It is farrrr faster than trying to use a website. Just plug in the POP3/IMAP settings, and you can download all your messages within a few seconds and be ready to send/receive new email. The setup only takes around 1-2 minutes.
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby yawetaG » 2019-1-29 @ 12:36

wiretap wrote:With Win9x and older, the optimal choice for email is using a client software like Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Eudora, etc. It is farrrr faster than trying to use a website. Just plug in the POP3/IMAP settings, and you can download all your messages within a few seconds and be ready to send/receive new email. The setup only takes around 1-2 minutes.


Did you actually read the thread? Because we know that, except that Google doesn't play nice with older clients, even though they should theoretically work... :confused:
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-1-29 @ 13:26

I am not trying to use the webmail either. I just tested a few things for curiosity (including the webmail) when I set up sslstrip. Besides, Outlook Express 5.0 works fine on WFWG3.11 if I set up a stunnel on my rPI3 to connect to the gmail server. Perfectly fine for me.

What I am thinking now is how I can access modern sites in todays world with a 30 year old operating system and browser. Actually, since I work as a front-end web designer, I have been thinking that we (designers) should bring back the trend of low-bandwidth websites that existed way before the iPhone. For me, they are the real mobile sites. They use less data, are faster to access. Modern mobile sites use too much resources (bootstrap, jquery, ...) for a start. CNN's low bandwidth version is a prime example of a great low bandwidth site. I am not saying that we should support older technologies, just that the information should come before a beautifully crafted mobile design.

The only thing that is a bit annoying for me (because limitations) is the need to connect through Trumpet Winsock because NE2000 is not included in DOSPad/iDOS2 (a port of DOSBox for iOS, project is on github, from litchie and was abandoned, I think). I had to set up a "fake ISP" on my rPI3 so Winsock could connect to the internet. This is why I can't try the Lynx browser on DOS, unless I do a VM of WFGW on Virtualbox or VMWare, then I would have an emulated network card to play with. I wish someone could try to patch the iOS version for NE2000 emulation then I'd have a bit more of freedom to play with this on my iPad Pro.
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby root42 » 2019-1-29 @ 13:28

Honestly, the modern browser experience is so powerful that it is basically impossible to correctly render any modern site on a vintage machine with only a handful of megabytes of RAM. What would be more useful would be to do it Opera style: render on some server, then send the image. Or simply use VNC...
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-1-29 @ 13:46

root42 wrote:Honestly, the modern browser experience is so powerful that it is basically impossible to correctly render any modern site on a vintage machine with only a handful of megabytes of RAM. What would be more useful would be to do it Opera style: render on some server, then send the image. Or simply use VNC...


Problem with the image is that you cannot use the forms nor view the videos. WRP (Web Rendering Proxy) script does the same thing, but cannot fill the forms or play videos.

I don't mind the videos really but the forms...
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby yawetaG » 2019-1-29 @ 16:10

bfcastello wrote:
root42 wrote:Honestly, the modern browser experience is so powerful that it is basically impossible to correctly render any modern site on a vintage machine with only a handful of megabytes of RAM. What would be more useful would be to do it Opera style: render on some server, then send the image. Or simply use VNC...


Problem with the image is that you cannot use the forms nor view the videos. WRP (Web Rendering Proxy) script does the same thing, but cannot fill the forms or play videos.

I don't mind the videos really but the forms...


I don't think you could play the videos even if they were to load. Modern web-video requires a fast connection and system because of the high resolutions. On top of that, old systems often lack the codecs and hardware support to decode and play the videos...

For the forms, it really depends which technology was used to implement them. CGI forms will work, but anything newer may either show up very broken, or fail at submission.

FWIW, you will even encounter those issues on fairly recent systems...
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-1-29 @ 16:59

yawetaG wrote:
bfcastello wrote:
root42 wrote:Honestly, the modern browser experience is so powerful that it is basically impossible to correctly render any modern site on a vintage machine with only a handful of megabytes of RAM. What would be more useful would be to do it Opera style: render on some server, then send the image. Or simply use VNC...


Problem with the image is that you cannot use the forms nor view the videos. WRP (Web Rendering Proxy) script does the same thing, but cannot fill the forms or play videos.

I don't mind the videos really but the forms...


I don't think you could play the videos even if they were to load. Modern web-video requires a fast connection and system because of the high resolutions. On top of that, old systems often lack the codecs and hardware support to decode and play the videos...

For the forms, it really depends which technology was used to implement them. CGI forms will work, but anything newer may either show up very broken, or fail at submission.

FWIW, you will even encounter those issues on fairly recent systems...


Yeah, I know. You're right.

Time to review what exactly I want to do with the browsers here. For emails, I am already set up with Outlook Express (but I recall myself using other client, probably Eudora, when I was a kid.)

Let me think... back in early 90's, what exactly I was doing on the Internet, as a kid?

I only had access to Internet when I had W95 in an Acer Extensa 710T notebook. And it was quite impressive for that time. Apart of using mIRC, I used to visit numerous websites, (a big number of them were for the Grand Prix 2 game downloads) but for now, I think that I would be better using the WRP script to visit only news pages. Back then (early 90's ) we didn't had Youtube (they would come only 15 years later), Facebook (2002?), Google (98'), and many other modern websites. I think Yahoo! was around, as well as Amazon. We could compile a list of websites that existed back then, and check for whether it's worth to visit them on older browsers or not.

Using a sslstrip proxy, Vogons forums renders very slow and quite badly on IE5 if not using WRP. (WRP renders an image of the forum, but I cannot post).

For example, for CNN's low bandwidth version, I need to put an exception for the proxy on IE (if using WRP) to stop it and allow the original page, for a faster loading of this page in particular. But none of the exceptions are working - dunno why, I might be declaring them wrong on IE.

To sum up:
- Internet (using an script I found that simulates an ISP for Trumpet Winsock to connect);
- Emails with Outlook (using stunnel script on rPI3);
- Web browser: Only news pages (using Web Rendering Proxy script on rPI3);
- mIRC (works out of the box);
- develop low-bandwidth and stripped-down websites (using the rPI3's web server, accessing through FTP) and test them on IE5;

This would probably be an experience reasonably close to what I had years ago. I accept suggestions (for other types of websites to visit)!

EDIT: I actually managed to fix the proxy exception list. Turns out that an iptables rule I made for SSLStrip was “stopping the show”. I removed it, rebooted everything and everything is working again. Using WRP to visit the pages, with exceptions added for google (search) and CNN (low-bandwidth version).
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-2-05 @ 22:45

After a few days exploring, I have only one issue with Outlook Express:

- It is always downloading all mails I had since the day I authorized less secure apps. Unless I go to gmail website in another machine and tick the checkbox “Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on”, it downloads all mail from now on. I am not sure how to fix this permanently.

- It is also downloading some mails I sent during the same period above. I can set a rule for Outlook to not download them, but I would rather not need it or just be able to set a rule to have them on a folder named “Sent mails” . However I am unable to choose the default outlook Sent mails folder. I think I have to create a custom one. Damn.

Some emails (like the one I receive from an university in Barcelona) can crash Outlook and send you straight to the MS DOS. Funny. But this situation is very rare and only happened me twice with the same email I mentioned above.

Web browsing is also impossible on some modern sites unless I use the Web Rendering Proxy script. But the loading of these images is also bloody slow. I think it can be faster, I just need to set up the script to render GIF or JPG with lower quality. But how much quality is enough for a decent view?

I know the experience with the setup of Win 3.11 is miles better on Virtualbox or VMWare, but I am often using my iPad Pro, not my Hackintosh (a Dell laptop running macOS/Win10). I wish I could have NE2000 patch working in any of my environments, then it would not be so annoying to set up two scripts on my rPI3 just to make it connect to the internet. Someone needs to update the DOSPad/iDOS2 app with this patch (I know that there are some iOS apps for packet capturing out there, so technically its possible to run a version of DosBox-X for iDOS2 with NE2000 patched in. I just don’t know/don’t have the knowledge to do it). Would be pretty awesome to run a complete experience of my old first machine on my iPad Pro, anywhere and when I want. I don’t want to bring my hackintosh with me to everywhere...
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby keenmaster486 » 2019-2-05 @ 22:48

I use IMAP when logging in to Gmail. When using POP I do run into issues like that. With IMAP it downloads the headers and not the bodies of the emails - but you do have to go into the folder settings and uncheck the box that says to download all the bodies.
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-2-05 @ 23:45

If the script I found (legacyweb) allowed me to use the IMAP instead of POP, I could try it. It’s the script that allows me to connect to Gmail through stunnel using WFWG 3.11 and Outlook 5.0. But thanks for the suggestion - I might do that when I decide to run a W95/W98 machine.
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-7-13 @ 23:26

bfcastello wrote:If the script I found (legacyweb) allowed me to use the IMAP instead of POP, I could try it. It’s the script that allows me to connect to Gmail through stunnel using WFWG 3.11 and Outlook 5.0. But thanks for the suggestion - I might do that when I decide to run a W95/W98 machine.


I just came back to give some news on that:

I had to completely remove the legacyweb script, as well as the sslstrip scripts from my pi3. They left my pi3 completely vulnerable.

So I will have to look for something else to be able to try web surfing and reading emails from my old WFWG 3.11 DOSBox machine. Actually I was giving another go with VirtualBox, since there is a more recent version ( 6.0.8 ) but it still has crackling sound issues. I guess that I will have to accept it with no internet for WFWG 3.11. Ironic.
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-7-14 @ 04:05

yawetaG wrote:
bfcastello wrote:I gave up on NT 3.51 since it can’t run on DosBox and iDOS 2. Almost thought about going to W95, but I was never a fan of this GUI. I guess that I will really have to set up my rPI3 to run some scripts in the middle.


IIRC, you can switch Windows 95 to use the old Win3.x GUI...


But I don't think that it will be the same experience. I want it all with all the bells and whistles...

GMail is a bitch with less secure apps and labels/folders. So I created an account on Office365... works on W98 and W2K.
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-7-14 @ 07:20

Gmail has a basic HTML layout. It should work fine on any later browser designed to function on win9x/NT/W2k

Using Progman on win9x isn't the same as as win/nt 3.X
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-7-15 @ 02:25

DosFreak wrote:There is a script on virtuallyfun to convert webpages to gifs. Looked pretty neat but haven't tried it myself.

https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2014 ... xy-update/
https://github.com/tenox7/wrp


WRP got updated with "steroids" recently and is on version 4.0. Its quite amazing but I'd rather not try again more scripts in-between. I had recently a security breach using some scripts on my raspberry pi 3, I had to wipe the rPI3 and start fresh.
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-7-15 @ 02:27

keenmaster486 wrote:I'm very interested to know how that web rendering proxy works out.

I wonder whether it actually does anything to web pages that it doesn't have a special script written for.


https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2019 ... a-wrp-4-1/
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby keenmaster486 » 2019-7-15 @ 02:39

bfcastello wrote:https://virtuallyfun.com/wordpress/2019 ... a-wrp-4-1/

Very nice! I wonder whether it is possible to overlay HTML text boxes on top of the rendered image to make text entry more integrated. To me that would be the final missing piece in convincing me to try to use this for real. Perhaps this would require a browser that supports very basic CSS (IE3, Netscape 4), but at least that's something.
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-7-15 @ 02:57

I think that it's official... no email client app will work with WFWG 3.11 unless we use some of the "gimmicks" we mentioned on this thread, to downgrade the protocol.

WFWG 3.11 tops at SSL 3.0, and this was essentially deprecated in a long, long time ago. I was surprised to see OE 6 work with W98 and W2000, to be honest. I think both OSes are up to TLS 1.0?
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby keenmaster486 » 2019-7-15 @ 04:59

The issue is not with SSL 3.0. Gmail supports that, and if you use Outlook Express 5.5 with SSL3, it works. OE 5.0 fails with the same security settings as OE 5.5, whether on Windows 95/98 or on WFW 3.11.
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby bfcastello » 2019-7-15 @ 05:31

keenmaster486 wrote:The issue is not with SSL 3.0. Gmail supports that, and if you use Outlook Express 5.5 with SSL3, it works. OE 5.0 fails with the same security settings as OE 5.5, whether on Windows 95/98 or on WFW 3.11.


Ohhh, damnnn... thanks for correcting me. I might want to try another email client then. Thunderbird maybe? But which version? :confused:

I have OE in W98 and W2000 using POP3/SMTP instead of IMAP/SMTP to get and send my Office365 emails (@outlook.com). Works well. I wanted IMAP, but OE fails to get my labels/folders correctly in both gmail and outlook.com

In modern machines, all my macs, I use the native macOS Mail client, and my gmail folders are graciously synced correctly. I have a W10 VM where I use the native Mail app to get both accounts as well. So far so good, but folders are a mess.

In the future, I want to ditch gmail to use iCloud Mail, and maybe use the outlook account as a “mirror” for my older VMs and dosbox win 3.x
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Re: Logging into Gmail with old mail clients

Postby keenmaster486 » 2019-7-15 @ 14:52

I've been using Outlook Express 5.5 (not 5.0) on my Windows 9x machines, as it seems to be faster than Thunderbird. It works just fine; it's got the IE 5.5 rendering engine of course but that's not a big deal as most of the emails are very simple. I use IMAP/SMTP with Gmail, and it gets my folders in just fine. I do have to dig into the settings and disable auto-syncing, though - otherwise it will try to download message bodies in the background. It takes long enough to download the 15,000 email headers that are in my inbox!

But for Windows 3.1 it seems there is no option that works at this point for Gmail :(

What I would like to have is an email server running on a Raspberry Pi that I can log into with legacy clients, which then forwards everything transparently to the Gmail servers.
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