I take the plunge
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
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 properly.
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 imagine, 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 for me.
The single biggest reason for even considering the change is Thunderbird’s cross-platform support.
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 information.
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 process.
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 Thunderbird.
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.
This is a presentation of askleo.info, a free on-line technical question and answer service. Hundreds of questions and answers are online and ready to help solve your computer problems.