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Tech Tuesday: Send and Receive

Email is quickly becoming the premiere mode of communication today. According to Brightmail, of the billions of emails sent daily, 64% of them are SPAM. If you don’t check your mail via the web, I’m guessing your email client is the most run application on your machine besides Photoshop, your choice of browser and layout application. Many are obsessive about email, having their client check every minute and spending hours sifting and responding, to the more casual three times a day checker. There are a host of email applications out there, from the ubiquitous Outlook to the geekable MailSmith - all with their strengths and weaknesses.

In today’s “Tech Tuesday” installment, I will introduce sixteen email applications.

Entourage X by Microsoft Price: $99 full System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.1 or later

“Manage all of your contacts, calendar items, tasks, notes and multiple e-mail accounts in one user-friendly view. With Microsoft Entourage X for Mac you can customize your information and easily group it into color-coded categories for quick reference both online and offline. You can easily add new contacts to your Address Book, set up groups, and invite people in your Address Book to attend events on your calendar. You can integrate your Entourage X information with other Office v.X programs to do things like address Word documents, and set due dates and reminders. And, if you already have Office v. X, you already have Entourage X!”

You can check e-mail from all of your various POP, IMAP, and even MSN Hotmail accounts, no need to change your current e-mail address or Internet Service Provider. The Junk Mail Filter in Entourage will sort and file all of that unwanted direct mail you get everyday so you can read the e-mail that is important to you. Entourage X allows you to create and maintain multiple identities so everyone that uses that computer can have their email and other information saved securely and privately in different profiles. Keep track of all your appointments, meetings, and even vacations with the Entourage calendar which you can view by day, week or month. The Entourage address book stores the information of all the people you know and work with. You can add people’s home and work addresses, phone numbers, spouse and children’s names, birthdays and anniversaries, and even pictures. If used with any or all of the Office v. X programs, Word, Excel and/or PowerPoint, Entourage works closely to add more functionality to those programs. Stay on top of your To-do list using the Tasks section of Entourage X.”

I used to use Entourage but have since moved on…until now. I’m probably going back (along with a BlackBerry and Exchange hosting) despite my disdain for Microsoft. The new Entourage X which began shipping yesterday with Office 2004 for Mac is a wonderful email application as well as a robust task manager. It’s probably the most robust and feature filled email application for OS X today. The new version has been visually refined, offers a new “On Right” Preview Pane, organizes email by day, includes the new highly touted “Project Center,” and probably the most important feature for corporate users - Exchange compatibility. The one main drawback of Entourage is that it utilizes one database for all messages, to dos, contacts, and calendars. If you don’t execute a backup strategy then loosing the database could be devastating. Entourage supports both POP, IMAP, and Hotmail accounts.

Eudora by QUALCOMM Price: Light mode is free, Sponsored mode has the same features as Paid mode but lacks SpamWatch and technical support, Paid mode includes SpamWatch, technical support, and 12 months of upgrades. Free if you have purchased and registered in the last 12 months, $39.95 if you have a Paid mode registration code within 13 to 24 months from registration prior to today’s purchase, $49.95 for a new subscription, or for users with versions older than 24 months. System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.1 or later

“The best email program just got even better. Email traffic is on the rise. Eudora is the best email program for people who get lots of email. If you’re not one of those people now, you will be soon. So, take control of your email before it takes control of you. Eudora 6.1 is more than a way to send and receive messages - it’s a powerful email management tool with features to increase your productivity and enhance your communications.

Adding to the top-rated SpamWatch junk mail quarantine introduced with Eudora 6.0, version 6.1 also offers WebWords, an integrated tool for word or phrase searching of the Internet, powered by Google. Eudora 6.1 also offers an improved data importer for Microsoft Outlook, a data importer for Apple Mail, access to the Macintosh address book and more.”

Eudora has a cult following despite its confusing interface and strange pricing structure due to its long history. It apparently saves each message as a text file which makes a lot of sense and makes searching for that certain email very quick. SpamWatch should remove those unwanted emails from your Inbox and searching via WebWords (which taps Google’s index of 3 billion URL’s and sponsored links) should cut down on those inefficient trips to your browser. It also syncs with Apple’s Address Book and supports POP and IMAP accounts.

Gmail by Google Price: Free Browser Requirements: Internet Explorer 5.5 or later (Windows), Netscape 7.1 or later (Windows, Mac, Linux), Mozilla 1.4 or later (Windows, Mac, Linux), and Firefox 0.8 or later (Windows, Mac, Linux)

“A Google approach to email. Gmail is an experiment in a new kind of web mail, built on the idea that you should never have to delete mail and you should always be able to find the message you want.

Search, don’t sort. Use Google search to find the exact message you want, no matter when it was sent or received. Don’t throw anything away. 1000 megabytes of free storage so you’ll never need to delete another message. Keep it all in context. Each message is grouped with all its replies and displayed as a conversation. No pop-up ads. No banners. You see only relevant text ads and links to related web pages of interest.”

I know Gmail is not an email client per see but since it’s the new standard for web based email and because it’s garnered so much attention I thought I would include it. I’ve been beta testing it for a few weeks now and it’s great except for being incompatible with Safari and having a ratherhorrible interface. I’d love to see 37signals take a stab at it. 1000MB of free space makes it the clear web based email choice unless you’re a privacy freak. At the moment it’s only web based but there are rumors that a Gmail account will be available via POP and IMAP protocols - that will make Gmail killer.

GyazMail by Gyazsquare Price: $18 full System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.1 or later

“GyazMail is an all-new email client for Mac OS X. It is newly developed from the ground up to offer you a full-featured but easy-to-use package based on the Cocoa framework.”

I’ve used GyazMail once before and I liked it. It’s very similar to Apple’s Mail application but lacks IMAP support. It will include it in future releases as well as PGP for those ever so sensitive emails. I have yet to figure PGP out. It’s inexpensive too at $18 and the developer seems to be committed to furthering this nice email application.

Lotus Notes by IBM Price: $100 full System Requirements: OS 10.1 or higher, Windows 95/98/NT4/2000/XP

“Lotus Notes continues to set the standard for innovation in the messaging and collaboration market Lotus defined over a decade ago. As an integrated collaborative environment, Lotus Notes combines enterprise-class messaging and calendaring & scheduling capabilities with a robust platform for collaborative applications. Take advantage of the advanced functionality, reliable performance and dependable security - and help reduce your total cost of ownership in the process.

Workgroup software with full cross-platform support, calendaring & scheduling, electronic mail, Internet client features, remote use, and a rich application development environment. Macintosh Client features: AppleTalk and MacTCP support over Ethernet or Token Ring-based networks; complete Mac and PC integration, with no file translation required; object linking and embedding; XTND support. Domino, a web server task on the Notes server, is used to develop, manage and host web applications. Domino provides interactive web client access (Notes and browsers) to dynamic data and applications on the Domino server.”

I’ve never used it but it’s similar to Entourage in that it includes email, task management, and calendering within one application. It’s used mainly among corporate users - they launch Notes at home for instance and can log in to their “workspace.” I like that, having everything at my fingertips. Even though Mail, Address Book, iCal, iChat, Safari work in sync - having all my crucial information in one application appeals to me. I don’t know much else about Notes except that it didn’t work at all the two times I have tried it on OS X, I kept getting errors. Perhaps it needs to connect to a server based application? This past Monday IBM launched what will probably be the next phase of computing. Supports POP and IMAP.

Magellan by MAKI Enterprise Price: $35 full, $60 two user license System Requirements: Max OS X 10.1.5 or later

“Magellan Pro is designed as an email management tool for people who handles lots of email every day. According to the contents of received mail, reply mail is automatic-created, and transmits. SPAM mails are a garbage can automatically. Only important mails are forward to a cellular phone. Of course specification of length is possible.

Read messages in “View” - View is an epoch-making management way of e-mail messages making it easier and better than folder, Folder is also supported, SPAM filter by accurate content analysis works without any other plug-ins, History and bookmark feature like as browser, Speedy and easy to access to the specified mail, Automated responder: Magellan Pro automated reply according to the contents of received mail, Automated mail forward works on multiple accounts, Sherlock Index search is available as well as normal search. (OS9 only), Multilingual email is available. Any languages can correctly be send and received, Fastest performance of all e-mail clients. Email application has to be stable enough to keep working all day, Even if your received email has garbage characters, you can change to correct character encoding.”

I’ve never used Magellan, but how about the idea of forwarding emails to a cell phone? It sports a super simple interface.

Mail by Apple Price: Free with Panther $129

“If you get a lot of email on a common topic or thread, you know how frustrating it can be to keep it all straight — especially when someone decides to change the email’s subject line. But Panther Mail takes all the work out of managing email threads.

In fact, talk about smart, Mail can even track multiple threads with the same subject line. Let’s say you have a lively discussion going “Regarding the Jones account” with numerous emails flying back and forth, some discussing “pricing issues” while others discuss “logistics” and still others address “resource concerns.” Mail can keep the thread on “pricing” separate from the threads on “logistics” and “resources,” assigning the various emails to the appropriate thread and making it easy for you to follow (and respond to if necessary) the three separate threads or discussions. And if someone changes the subject line, Mail is smart enough to keep it grouped with the previous conversation.

What’s more, the Thread Summary page provides information about the emails it contains: which you’ve read, who sent them, when they were sent and which came with attachments. This makes it easy to file or delete an entire conversation. Incoming mails pop the thread to the top of your mailbox, giving you context for the new messages. Instant organization.

Not only is Mail faster than it has ever been before — a performance improvement you’ll notice when retrieving email, sending email and searching for email you’ve already downloaded — but Mail now uses the same HTML rendering engine used by Safari. As a result, HTML email loads more quickly, displays more accurately and offers better handling of cascading style sheets, animated GIFs and forms — even URLs embedded within forms.

In Mac OS X v10.2, you could drag addresses from the Address Book to the To or Cc fields in Mail. Now you can also drag addresses between the “To” and “Cc” fields. (Or to the “Bcc” field, which you can now set to appear by default in preferences.)

Another convenience: Mail now automatically shortens email addresses listed in your Address Book. So you’ll see simply “Jane Doe” in the “From” or “To” field, instead of “Jane Doe .” Chalk one up for legibility. Meanwhile, unfamiliar names — those not in your Address Book — still appear in full (name and email address). Not to worry, a drop down menu associated with each address lets you easily add those unfamiliar names to your Address Book.

And if you’ve ever sent email to the wrong party, Mail has another addressing trick up its sleeve. With its new “Safe addressing” feature, Mail lets you specify “safe” Internet domains — your own company’s domain, for example. Type an address not in one of your safe domains and Mail highlights it, alerting you to a possible email faux pas.

Widely lauded for its ability to identify and dispatch SPAM, Mail now packs an improved filtering engine, offers better accuracy, includes more filtering options and provides more powerful protection against spammers.

The perfect companion to Mail, the Panther Address Book keeps you from losing contact. Say you move, change your email address, or get a new cell number. Check a single box in Preferences and Address Book will automatically notify every one of your contacts as soon as you finish updating your personal information.”

Mail is my current email application. It leaves a lot to be desired from a business standpoint but it’s a wonderful application. It’s fast and just gorgeous to write emails in, it feels like you are laying out a design. It integrates nicely with Address Book of course and it even tells you if a buddy is online should their sent email sit in your Inbox. Mail should only get better as OS X progresses. Supports POP and IMAP.

MailSmith by Bare Bones Price: $49 upgrade, $79 cross upgrade from Claris Emailer, Entourage, Eudora and Educational, $99 full System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later

“Mailsmith is an Internet email client designed by Macintosh users, for Macintosh users.

Mailsmith makes sending, receiving, and managing email as intuitive and efficient as possible. Offering an unprecedented degree of flexibility, Mailsmith can be customized to serve your needs through its powerful editing, filtering, and searching capabilities. Mailsmith also has extensive scripting support, giving you complete control over your email experience.

Mailsmith provides a depth of functionality that makes it an appropriate tool for both casual email users and “power users” who receive and store thousands of messages. New users will appreciate its graceful and flexible interface, and sophisticated users will find its range of powerful features indispensable from the outset.”

Touted by some as the best email client on OS X and totally geekable in functionality, MailSmith lacks IMAP support which renders it useless for me. I’m sure Bare Bones will add this protocol in upcoming releases. It staunchly does not support HTML email, has integrated support for Apple’s Address Book, BBEdit-powered text editing, complete AppleScript support, and integrated support for SpamSieve. But no IMAP support. Darn. It’s also quite expensive for what it offers.

Mulberry by Cyrusoft Price: $35.95 full, $144.00 five pack, 10% academic discount System Requirements: Max OS 8.6 or later, Windows 95/98/NT4/2000/ME/XP, Linux, Solaris

“Mulberry is a high-performance, scalable, and graphically groovy internet mail client. It uses the IMAP (IMAP4rev1, IMAP4, and IMAP2bis) protocol for accessing mail messages on a server, the standard SMTP protocol for sending messages, and does lots and lots of things with MIME parts for mixed text and “attachments” of many different types of files and data. Version 3 introduces support for a new optional 3-pane window mode, a spell-as-you-type capability, as well as many other features, enhancements and fixes!”

I don’t like the color purple, I should say Mulberry, but I like this application’s feature list. Being “graphically groovy,” having IMAP and LDAP support, PGP integration, and supporting almost every operating system available should make Mulberry more popular then it is. Maybe it’s the color?

NisusEmail by Nisus Software Price: $29.95 full System Requirements: Mac OS 8.5 or later

“Send mail in just two clicks: Drag your text (or attachments) to the floating window, choose your recipient, and send. It is really that simple! This is great for inter-office emails, or for anyone who wants to send email quickly, from any application. That means that where ever you are, Nisus Email is ready. An easy to use Macintosh finder interface, Speed and ease of sending email; Send email from any application; Read and write email using your favorite word processor; Support for multiple POP3 accounts; Support for Drag and Drop; Support for SMTP Authorization; An exclusive preview window to prevent downloading of large attachments from unknown senders; Use features of your word processor with email - such as spell checking and the thesaurus.

This revolutionary new product allows you to edit, write, and manage your email via any text editor and allows you to quickly send mail from any application via its DragSend feature. In fact, sending email has never been easier and quicker with our exclusive click and drag feature.

Nisus Email makes email easy. With Nisus Email’s Finder like interface and easy Three Click Send you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to use it. Makes sending email from your favorite word processor (“Nisus Writer is my favorite…” repeat that over and over) as easy as saving a file. Instead of using your email client to compose messages, use your word processor. Nisus Email has several ways in which you can send emails from within other applications. In fact, any application that supports either Drag and Drop or file saving can be used to email a file or message. All this is done quickly and without leaving the application you are currently working in.

This is a weird one, but I like it. As the description says, you can send an email from any application, that’s a nice time saver. You can also write an email from any text editor which is convenient, I wouldn’t mind composing emails in BBEdit for instance. NisusEmail doesn’t support IMAP but it is one of the least expensive of the listed applications and supports a wide range of Mac operating systems.

Outlook by Microsoft Price: $109 full System Requirements: Windows 2000/XP

“Outlook 2003 provides an integrated solution for managing and organizing e-mail messages, schedules, tasks, notes, contacts, and other information. Outlook 2003 delivers innovations you can use to manage your communications, organize your work, and work better with others—all from one place.”

It’s the PC version of Entourage or Entourage is the PC version of Outlook. Either way, they share a lot in common and manage more than just email, but Outlook is solely available for the PC. Outlook Express was available on the Mac but as of yet has not been brought to OS X. I bet it would do great. I used Outlook once, an old version and couldn’t for the life of me understand how people get anything done with this application. Granted it was an older version (Outlook 2002) but none the less - it’s the most widely used email application in the world. Shocking I know. Supports IMAP, POP, and Hotmail accounts.

Pine by The University of Washington Price: Free System Requirements: Mac, Linux, Unix, Windows

“Pine - a Program for Internet News & Email - is a tool for reading, sending, and managing electronic messages. Pine was developed by Computing & Communications at the University of Washington. Though originally designed for inexperienced email users, Pine has evolved to support many advanced features, and an ever-growing number of configuration and personal-preference options. Pine is available for Unix as well as for personal computers running a Microsoft operating system (PC-Pine).”

For the geeks! Educate me please…

PowerMail by CTM Development Price: $29 upgrade, $45 upgrade with SpamSieve, $49 full without SpamSieve, $65 full with SpamSieve, $149 five-user license System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.2 or later

“Built on top of the PowerMail Engine, a robust cross-platform foundation encapsulating 9 years of messaging and directory experience, PowerMail is continuously enhanced.

PowerMail is an e-mail client for the Mac OS that combines powerful features with a clear, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface. It supports multiple e-mail accounts -both POP3 and IMAP4 - has advanced indexing and searching capabilities, and supports multiple languages and script systems.”

I used to use PowerMail 4 prior to Apple’s Mail. I liked it. It had some quirky database issues and it was quite ugly but it worked - it was fast and stable. This release should improve on that with SpamSeive integration, FoxTrot searching (which apparently has shown PowerMail to be seven times as fast as Apple’s Mail), AppleScript support, extensive filtering capabilities, and POP and IMAP support. Although I’ve heard the company is lousy with tech support, I highly recommend PowerMail.

QuickMail by outspring Price: Unavailable System Requirements: Mac OS 8.6 or later, Windows 98/NT/2000/XP

“QuickMail Pro is an open protocol Internet E-mail client that makes E-mailing on the Internet easier, faster, and simpler than ever before. Mail is managed in one central window, and users can set up mail management rules. Encoding of enclosures to match the recipient’s platform is automatic, and users can view the first three lines of any message before opening it. Also, mail is processed in the background, netting users valuable memory, speed, and flexibility. The QuickMail Pro Server offers ease of setup and maintenance, the use of aliases to ensure mail delivery, full support for AppleScript, and automatic backup.

QuickMail Pro is a reliable, affordable POP3 e-mail client for Macintosh, Mac OS X, and Windows platforms, including XP. QuickMail Pro is perfect for home, office or school; anywhere you need a powerful e-mail client to communicate. Plus, you’ll have all of your e-mail available whether booting into Mac OS X or Mac OS 9. If you are looking for an e-mail client that’s easy to set up, has an intuitive interface and plenty of powerful features — look no more.

QuickMail Pro includes features like SMTP Authorization support and Mail Manager rules for filtering e-mail and reducing SPAM. QuickMail Pro also includes support for multiple accounts in one window and a powerful address book that doubles as a contact manager.”

I used to used QuickMail when CE Software owned it. It was OK. The application seems a but outdated with outspring touting it as “Jaguar compatible” when Tiger or 10.4 will be previewed this summer. QuickMail lacks IMAP support, and integration with any popular SPAM software. Together with the QuickMail Pro Server however, it could be a nice solution especially since they do offer a Windows version.

Thunderbird by Mozilla Price: Free System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.1 or later, Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP, Linux

“The e-mail and newsgroup client for 2004 and beyond.

Thunderbird makes emailing safer, faster and easier than ever before with the industry’s best implementations of features such as intelligent SPAM filters, a built-in spell checker, extension support, and much more.

We designed Thunderbird from the ground up to boost users’ productivity. That’s why we’ve made it easier for you to simply get your work done, without the hassles of wading through advertisements and other junk mail. Emailing should be efficient and convenient. We make that possible using fully open and industry leading standards. Read on to find out more about the reasons why you should use Thunderbird as your mail and news client.

Thunderbird provides the most effective tools for detecting junk mail. Our tools analyze your e-mail, and identifies those that are most likely to be junk. You can automatically have your junk mail deleted or you can put in a folder you specify, just in case you like reading junk mail.

View your e-mail the way you want it. Access your e-mail with Thunderbird’s new three-column view. Customize your toolbar, change its look with themes, and use Mail Views to quickly sort through your e-mail.

Thunderbird provides enterprise and government grade security features such as S/MIME, digital signing, message encryption, support for certificates and security devices.

Thunderbird gives you IMAP/POP support, support for HTML mail, labels, quick search, smart addressbook, return receipts, advanced message filtering, LDAP address completion, import tools, powerful search, and the ability to manage multiple e-mail and newsgroup accounts.

Thunderbird lets you add additional features as you need them through extensions. Extensions are a powerful tool to help you build a mail client that meets your specific needs.”

Thunderbird rocks! The new 0.6 release is a welcomed upgrade with an installer for Windows, a new Mac OS X theme, a new brand identity, improved junk mail controls, dock feedback, and attachment improvements. I’ve used Thunderbird on and off and it’s great although it’s a bit slow on my Dual PowerMac G4 with over a gigabyte of RAM which is strange. We use it in the office instead of Entourage X in conjunction with iCal and saved thousands of dollars instead of an Entourage X deployment. It handles our contact management via LDAP nicely, has POP and IMAP support, labels, signatures, junk mail controls, filters, and is highly extensible. And it’s free. You can’t get a more robust email client on any platform.

Zo� by Raph�el Szwarc. Price: Free System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.1 or later, Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP, Linux

“Zo� is a email client. It’s also a email server. And a long term archive. And a search engine. And an application server. All that at once on your desktop. Or server. Or both. Or it doesn’t matter because client and server are the same.

An email client. Well, it does read your email. Displays them. Creates some new one. So I guess it qualifies as an email client. But it also a web server a la Hotmail. Meaning that not only the interface happened to be html, but you can access it from anywhere. It’s an application server. Your very own Hotmail. On your desk. Catering specially to your need.

An email server. Well yes, it’s technically also an email server (implementing POP for now). Just like your favorite ISP, Zo� can be your mail server. Just connect to it as you do with Earthlink. Your very own email server. And it turn out to be a very handy way for exporting your precious messages. Think about it. Want to migrate your data somewhere else? Another system? Another Zo�? A backup service? Just connect to Zo� “the email server”, and suck any data you want from it. Through a standard protocol. No obscure data structure to deal with. Arcane directories. Mysteriously disappearing mail boxes (Do you know where MS Exchange stores your data? How to get them out? Should you care?)

It’s also an “email server” because you can send email directly to it (through SMTP). That’s what every email client in the known universe use for sending email. So what? Well, first of all, it’s a handy way for importing messages to the system. Just email your mail box to Zo�. No incompatible mail box format. Complicated import procedure. Just email it. It also allow Zo� to stay in the “message loop” and potentially act as a “proxy” SMTP server. What the heck is that? Well, Zo� does not have to replace your current email client program. Instead, it can encompass it. When sending an email from your favorite Outlook, just setup Zo� as your SMTP host. So each time you send a message, it will first go to Zo�. Zo� will do its things. And relay your message to its final destination. Et voila. Full circle.

It allows you to keep your messages. Over time. For a long period of time. As long as there is some disk space somewhere. It’s your personal archive. Always accessible. Always up. Always ready to migrate somewhere else if you choose to (see the email server part). It’s your messages after all. Now you can sleep soundly without having to worry about how you will keep -over years, over jobs, over relocations- those hard won messages. They will go where ever you want them to go. However, by now, it’s more than just a big pile of random texts (aka emails). It has been fully indexed to the last significant bit. Information have been extracted. Relationships have been made. Links have been discovered. Information was put in context. Normalized. A knowledge base has been build. For you. Automatically. Accessible at a key stroke. When you need it. Without you moving any single one of your busy fingers to write some arcane filtering rules to some soon to be unmanageable folder structure (see “Intertwingularity”) in some cumbersome proprietary email system. No. Instead you get universal accessibility to your very own knowledge base. Automatically. Just for you.”

I saved the best for last. Like Tinderbox, Zo� is intimidating. I’ve tried it once but didn’t get very far past the tag line, “Googling Your Email.” It’s written in Java so it’s supported by every imaginable platform. All you need is a browser. According to Jon Udell from the O’Reilly Network:

“Zo� doesn’t aim to replace your email client, but rather to proxy your mail traffic and build useful search and navigation mechanisms. At the moment, I’m using Zo� together with Outlook (on Windows XP) and Entourage (on Mac OS X). Zo�’s POP client sucks down and indexes my incoming mail in parallel with my regular clients. By routing my outbound mail through Zo�’s SMTP server, it gets to capture and index that as well. Here’s a typical search result.”

That’s the Google part, as Zo� builds a database of all your emails (incoming and outgoing) you can then search your archive with ease and with much more accuracy and speed than the average built in search function of an email application. There are further functions that Zo� is capable of but it’s over my head. Don’t be intimidated though, it’s worth investigating.


Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
ARCHIVE ID 1940 FILED UNDER Hardware/Software
PUBLISHED ON May.11.2004 BY Kiran Max Weber
pk’s comment is:

regardless of what microsoft wants anyone to believe about entourage X, it sucks sucks sucks when trying to use IMAP-based mailservers (which mine are). avoid at all costs. crashes if you breathe on it.

On May.12.2004 at 12:51 AM
Su’s comment is:

As with just about everything else, Microsoft's stuff works just great as long as everyone else is also using Microsoft stuff(ie: Entourage accessing Exchange Server). Latest version might be better. YMMV. On the other hand, there are mail servers with hidden settings called "Outlook Retardation" and such for the admins to turn on if someone is accessing from that particular app and is having trouble. 'Nuff said.

While lots of mail programs are starting to include IMAP support, Thunderbird is the only one so far that gets it right(Apple's Mail.app comes in a close second), and that's still with some minor features missing. After that, there's no telling what you get. At this point in time, though, it seems to be mostly because the technology is new, and kinda complicated to make happen. Plus, most people just don't know about it, so there's not much incentive for developers yet. AOL opening up their mail accounts to IMAP access(with a little work) last month might help that situation.

If IMAP is any sort of consideration with a mail client you'll have to pay for, do some real research before shelling out, to make sure it can do what you need. Many of them will read IMAP accounts(Hey, we support IMAP now!), but are very limited in what else they can do with them.

On May.12.2004 at 04:30 AM
Stephen Coles’s comment is:

Tag-team MS bashing. I love it.

On May.12.2004 at 05:29 AM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

entourage X, it sucks sucks sucks when trying to use IMAP-based mailservers

I hope the new version of Entourage X included with Office 2004 for Mac has improved on this. I never used IMAP with the first OS X version of Entourage, put it's been working flawlessly in my "preview" copy of the new version.

After that, there's no telling what you get.

Apparently PowerMail is also one of the best email clients if you use IMAP. That's probably why Bare Bones has not included support for the protocol in MailSmith yet, if they do it, they want to do it right.

On May.12.2004 at 06:53 AM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

GyazMail was updated today to 1.2.0 and now includes SpamSieve support.

By the way, does anyone have problems using their .mac account in Mail via IMAP? I have to enter my password many times a day.

On May.12.2004 at 07:16 AM
justin m’s comment is:

Eudora - fantastic program! Started using it in early 2000 but have since stopped due to using other programs. I highly recommend this software to anyone looking for a powerful email client.

Outlook/Outlook Express - Enough said.

Lotus - I use this everyday at work. It is close to being the worst email client ever in my opinion. We have more problems with it. Sure it comes with lots of cool collaboration features, but that can always be replaced with a more coherent company intranet.

Pine - this is actually the first email client I ever used. Wonderful program once you get past ugly look. Great thing about it, you don't have to worry about viruses or any of that nonsense. Text emails are the way to go.

I currently use whatever the email client is that comes with Mozilla (Mozilla Mail?). I actually really like it and it has become my preferred client lately.

Still waiting for GMail to be released to the public. Favorite web mail at the moment though is hushmail.com Secure and easy to use.

On May.12.2004 at 07:28 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Wow...wonderfully detailed reviews there!

When OSX first came out, I did a bunch of research myself. Finally purchased Powermail, but had issues with it (the searching was bad).

Since then, I've gone back to Eudora. Which I've used for years. It's its own thing...the interface is unique to Eudora, so you either love it or hate it. What I love about it, though, is that all mailbozxes are simply text files, which reduced the chances of corruption. Plus, it has a really fast search function. And I'm finding the most important tool in any email client is good searching.

I can't believe you reviewed any product with the term 'lotus' in it. Lotus has got to be the epitome of bad user experience design in enterprise level software.

On May.12.2004 at 09:51 AM
Su’s comment is:

Hrm. I wasn't intending to bash. But that's mostly because I haven't really looked into this far enough to decide whether I think MS just worked the bugs out, or if it's another case of saying they support a standard and then implementing it with obscure little "improvements" that don't play well with others.

Justin: Yup, Mozilla Mail. Thunderbird is just a standalone version of it, same way Firefox is the browser only. I have a personal distaste for all-in-one applications.

It's tempting sometimes to go back to using Pine. You can't get much faster than an all-text interface *grin*

On May.12.2004 at 09:56 AM
Su’s comment is:

"...just hasn't worked the bugs out..."


On May.12.2004 at 09:57 AM
Brent’s comment is:

My regular email was flooded with junk until I started using Apple Mail exclusively, it has a terrific junk filter. I like it for its simplicity, and because I'm not doing anything with it more than sending text. If I needed something more I'd definitely have to look elsewhere. Thunderbird was nice at first glance but was slow and kept crashing.

I used Eudora on a pc in college (v.3 maybe?) simply because it had the Ren and Stimpy "Log" jingle as its new mail sound. Any other version I used never had it.

On May.12.2004 at 10:25 AM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

It is close to being the worst email client ever in my opinion.

I can't believe you reviewed any product with the term 'lotus' in it. Lotus has got to be the epitome of bad user experience design in enterprise level software.

Ha! I like to cover all grounds and I wanted to learn about it a bit more. It just seems so bloated and corporate. What's it written in anyway?

Wow...wonderfully detailed reviews there!

Thanks Darrel!

but had issues with it (the searching was bad).

Really? Apparently the FoxTrot searching in PowerMail 5 is supposed to be incredibly fast:

Benchmarking has shown PowerMail to search up to 7 times faster as Apple's Mail.app, thanks to our exclusive FoxTrot� engine.

Indexing itself typically takes less that 1/20th of a second per received message, and mail databases of up to 2048 megabytes can instantly and precisely mined using a variety of search criteriae.

What I love about it, though, is that all mailboxes are simply text files, which reduced the chances of corruption. Plus, it has a really fast search function.

That's great about Eudora and that's probably why the searching is so quick. I wonder why other applications don't use the same idea. The problem is with email clients that save everything in one database. Should that corrupt - crap. Some email clients save the database as a proprietary format too, for instance I believe MailSmith does, which makes it harder to move from one application to another. Mbox is the standard format I believe. However, since moving to IMAP, I like not having to worry about databases which allows me to test various email clients without much configuration.

I have a personal distaste for all-in-one applications.

Su, why do you not like all-in-one applications?

On May.12.2004 at 10:27 AM
justin m’s comment is:

I like the all in one of Mozilla Su, simply for the fact I don't have to install anything else. I'm lazy.

On May.12.2004 at 11:07 AM
Lea’s comment is:

I use Thunderbird and it works beautifully, thank you very much.

On May.12.2004 at 12:21 PM
pk’s comment is:

Tag-team MS bashing. I love it.

yeah, well, we were both working on making our IMAP servers work out at the same time. i was figuring out just how bad entourage was via IMAP despite their claims of functionality and su was helping me dig up tech info.

frankly, i loved working with entourage x. its IMAP support was so incredibly flaky i crashed nearly every time i tried to connect.

On May.12.2004 at 01:24 PM
Darrel’s comment is:

Really? Apparently the FoxTrot searching in PowerMail 5 is supposed to be incredibly fast:

Maybe it's faster now. I think I was a version back. Plus, it was on an older machine. I had other problems with it though. Search wouldn't work because the mailbox would corrupt itself somehow. I got unsubscribed from their mailing list and couldn't get back on. It was just a mess. It was a nice interface, though.

In the end, Eudora is like my Honda. Not the prettiest option, but hasn't failed me yet. ;o)

On May.12.2004 at 02:32 PM
monkeyinabox’s comment is:

I used PINE at college. I don't think I would want to use that these days. Kinda funny the image looks just like it used to (6 years ago).

Eudora is my flavor these days at work and home on the Mac and PC.

On May.12.2004 at 03:39 PM
Su’s comment is:

Kiran: I like small, separate programs that do one or two things really well, the way I want them to. I'm that person who wants to know why the hell the Illustrator developers spent time building a lens flare tool into a vector application rather than say, let me group objects across layers. If I'm using a bundled package and find something else that works how I like, then I'm stuck with bloat, ie: I have mail and IM clients I like, and have no need for the Mozilla Suite's built-in stuff. I also like customizability(my Firefox installation has 24 extensions in and counting), which generally seems to be more common in specialized applications.

Yes, I'm aware that the great majority of people are not nearly as concerned about these things as I am.

"All-in-one" is a really nice concept that gets pulled off well so rarely that it's become a cause for suspicion to me. All too often, it has a certain degree of lock-in, takes Simplifying that extra step to Dumbing Down, and mistakenly conflates convenience with lack of control. On the other hand, minimal apps like Firefox provide baseline functionality, and allow you to add just the stuff you want.

Apple's applications are currently some of the worst offenders, as far as I'm concerned.

I don't like that there's no way barring third-party software to get bookmarks out of Safari, although it happily imports. If you dig up the file it stores them in, it's in a near-unreadable(point 6), seemingly-undocumented XML format(Compare XBEL or the ancient Netscape format even Explorer uses.)

Itunes makes it so that you don't have to think about your music files, which is nice. Then you notice that it sort of doesn't let you, to the point of having no file renaming functionality. Organizational options come down to "Option A" and "Fine, then. Do it by hand."

Ical effectively locks you to one computer because it has no concept of owning a remote file(!). You either have the calendar on the current machine, or subscribe to it(view-only).

How many of you launched Fontbook when it was released, only to find it had "organized" all of your font files without asking?

On May.13.2004 at 10:20 AM
.sara’s comment is:

Oh, how I miss PINE. It let me check, read, send e-mail at work without actually downloading it on to my work box. My new mail server doesn't have PINE, so I use Thunderbird. I love Thunderbird. (:

Thunderbird's built-in spam filter is pretty good after just a wee bit of training, I only get a few false positives a week. (Which is about what I get with SpamSieve.)

At home, though, I use Entourage (10.1.4) because I couldn't stand having four different applications to use when I wanted to sync my Palm®. My gripes about Entourage have to do with archiving e-mail and poor threading (which Thunderbird does beautifully).

On May.13.2004 at 11:21 PM
Graham’s comment is:

PowerMail has got steadily better over the years, the current version (5.0) is still beta, but very stable and usable. A great mailing list for help if you need it. Lots of former Claris Emailer users have come to PowerMail

On May.20.2004 at 03:06 AM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

PowerMail has got steadily better over the years, the current version (5.0) is still beta, but very stable and usable.

It's now out of beta!

On May.24.2004 at 11:28 AM