Bromidrosis: The Collected Correspondence of Stinkfoot
December 18, 2017 12:10 PM   Subscribe

I've recently grown concerned that, given the scattered and digital nature of my papers, scholars of the future will struggle to comprehensively compile my correspondence. I think it'd be a nice gesture to get some of those things organized in advance. To that end, I'd like to back up all of my iMessage, SMS, and GroupMe messages from two iPhones (4S and 6S) to my computer (Linux Mint). I'd prefer to be able to export to PDF and retain images as well. Looking for recommendations!

This thread mentions CopyTrans and PhoneView, but I'm not sure which one will work (if either) with Mint.
posted by stinkfoot to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Do you have a repository in mind for where you want these materials deposited eventually? If so (especially if you work somewhere like at a university), get in touch with the archivist there and see what they recommend. There are standard guidelines--the Society of American Archivists has a handy summary to start with--but individual institutions may have different preferences.

Archivists nowadays are getting pretty good about handling a variety of digital objects, so don't sweat that too much. But do think about where you want these things to go, and reach out to somebody there to make sure you're on the right track.
posted by witchen at 12:19 PM on December 18, 2017


Sorry - I was kidding about the scholars/correspondence thing. I'm not actually important or famous yet!

I just want a backup of all my texts!
posted by stinkfoot at 12:36 PM on December 18, 2017


Ah, ok. I hear you! Also, I have to say and emphasize: you don't have to be important or famous for your stuff to have historical relevance!! And if you sort out your stuff, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your peers, i.e. archivists will be more likely to save your texts for perpetuity and future generations!
posted by witchen at 12:54 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]


I was recently asked to export (backup) iMessages. I was looking for a program that would write file formats which would be easy to open at a later date (i.e., CSV or PDF). iTunes backups don't really fit the bill...

All of this to say that iExplorer worked well. It doesn't look like they have a Linux version, so you'd have to use a Mac or PC. Unfortunately, it's not free -- a quick search did not reveal any free alternative.
posted by vert canard at 5:08 AM on December 19, 2017


This blog post looks promising, although I'd be shocked if there isn't a better way to do it in bulk without a little hacking. That said, especially since it doesn't seem like a particularly technically complex task, you might be able to run iExplorer in Wine.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:54 AM on December 19, 2017


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