I take the plunge
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This is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some of the many
questions I get at askleo.info.
As of last night I’ve started running Thunderbird as my email program.
Long time listeners may recall that I attempted to do this once already, but
a bug in Thunderbird prevented my message rules or “filters” from working
Now, that bug has not yet been fixed, and it’s unclear whether it will or
not in time for Thunderbird 2. So I changed what I was trying to do now just
sidestep the bug.
As you might image, switching email clients is a big deal. I spend much of
my life in my email program, and switching away from Microsoft Outlook, which
I’ve used since well before it was even called Outlook, is a pretty big deal
The single biggest reason for even considering the change is Thunderbird’s
One of Outlook Express’s big issues is the difficult time some people have
transferring their folders from one machine to another. And while Microsoft
Office’s Outlook makes folder moves a snap with a single “.pst” file, it
suffers instead from difficulties transferring account and other configuration
I was able to copy all of my email and configuration from one machine to another
and have it all just work. And that cross platform issue? Well, I did so from my
Windows machine to an Ubuntu Linux installation, and again from my Windows
machine to my Mac.
Now, while converting mail and contacts from Outlook to Thunderbird is
fairly easy, the rest not so much. I took this opportunity to reconfigure all
my accounts by hand, so that’s a little pain I took on myself. But I also had
to re-enter all my message filters or “rules” by hand. That’s been an ongoing
And naturally, there are other differences that, while not earth shattering,
are a little jarring, and perhaps even frustrating for the impatient.I’ve noted that
it’s difficult to reply to an HTML message using plain text if you want to
quote the original message in your plain text response. Some keystrokes are different … for example I’ve gotten quite used to
using CTRL+D to delete the currently viewed message, which doesn’t work in
But, overall, my initial reaction is very good.
Now, to go investigate calendar options, hotsyncing with my Treo, and a
replacement for Outlook’s to-do list.
I’d love to hear what you think. Visit ask leo dot info, and enter 10953 in
the go to article number box. Leave me a comment, I love hearing from you.
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