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Don't want to synchronize E-mail messages - POP3 vs IMAP?

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Don't want to synchronize E-mail messages - POP3 vs IMAP?

I want to delete all my e-mails from the comcast server but keep them on my computer mail client (OS X MacMail.) But it looks like whatever I delete from the server gets deleted locally as well. 

This is why: I'm about to travel so I need to use e-mail on a mobile device which I don't normally do. However, I don't want hundreds and thousands of messages on the mobile device, only current messages. How can this be accomplished?