That was the deal breaker.*
After asking people and the web, I found namecheap.com which includes a catchall option at no charge in their Private Email packages.
I transferred my domain and got email running despite a few hitches in less than 24 hours. Not bad.
The hitches and solutions:
- Server addresses and ports for both POP and SMTP from support pages didn't work with Eudora 188.8.131.52, but late-night (yay!) support agents came up with:
- POP mail.privateemail.com port 110
- SMTP mail.privateemail.com port 587
- Secure Sockets setting names differed, support agents recommended STARTTLS. So far, these socket settings work:
- If available, STARTTLS
- Required, STARTTLS — this is the one I'm using
- A broken server certificate, imported and trusted, made it possible for two subsequent certificates that were good, so email is arriving smoothly.
- Namecheap regularly has coupons aka promotion codes, and the best one for email was buried in a collection. I used the obvious one and spent $4 more than necessary.
- DNS setup was automatic and took effect very quickly. Once that happened I was able to create a mailbox and opt for catchall.
- The transfer process had a few annoyances (aka new procedures in the last decades) but it worked.
- My gmail addresses and Stunnel settings required no changes, though until Eudora had good settings for my dominant email address, gmail was stalled too.
- Relying on gmail being around** strikes me as being naive. People relying on Google Reader for atom/RSS feeds got burned.
- I worry that catchall email will be harder to find. I've paid in advance for a year of email hosting on namecheap, but who knows what their policy will become? Not me.
* I use Eudora filters on From addresses to manage my mail. When I give my email online, theirdomain@mydomain is the template used for most sites. Out of the daily mass of incoming mail, filters find the mail I'm likely to want and put it in the right mailbox. Leftovers get checked for a few things (including a specific signature phrase) and the rest goes to trash. This system also reveals when an address gets adopted by spammers.
** I use several gmail addresses because they're short and easy to give to my students and activity friends. I get and send gmail via POP/SMTP and they were more reliable that my domain email when that was losing messages. One of my options for email management would be to ditch the domain and use a handful of gmail addresses for stores, banks, crafts, genealogy, and other categories.