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best way to test email locally

I like to define a "fake" domain on my local system by editing /etc/private/hosts (on mac) or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_file (for other systems)

and the domain I normally use is "aa.com" because:

1) aa are my initials.
2) aa.com is american airlines and I never need to goto their website cuz I hate to travel.
3) it's only two letters, easy and fast to type.

Right under localhost I enter: localhost aa.com

and now ping aa.com and it's So then I can send test emails to bob@aa.com or jack@aa.com or anything@aa.com etc.

This makes local development really easy because test emails aren't sent over the internet and get delivered immediately.

I normally setup the open source SMTP server JAMES:


and then add an email account to Thunderbird for postmaster@aa.com with smtp server aa.com.

But I can't get CI to work with james. When I edit the config vars for smtp host, username, etc. it hangs trying to contact SMTP on aa.com. (It works fine in rails.) Is there an easy way to get CI to do this? I'm not married to james. If I can use sendmail or something simple on OSX I'm all for it. Just need to read HTML emails in Thunderbird so I can test.


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