[LINK] RFC: Moving on from Mac Eudora

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Wed Oct 22 13:27:33 EST 2008


Eudora is no longer supported, aging, and falling over more often.

Way back in 2002, MacWorld said "Our top picks are Eudora and 
Entourage, with Mailsmith and PowerMail close behind":
http://www.macworld.com/article/1571/2002/10/email.html

This page goes back to 2006:
http://www.emailman.com/mac/clients.html


Entourage is of course not an alternative.  So the realistic 
alternatives for heavy-duty use appear to be:

-   Apple Mail
     http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/mail.html

-   Mozilla Thunderbird
     http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/
     http://www.mozilla.org/support/thunderbird/faq

And the others appear to be:

-   Mailsmith (Bare Bones, Bedford MA since 94.  I use BBEdit occasionally)
     http://www.mailsmith.com/products/mailsmith/

-   Powermail (CTM, Geneva and San Mateo, since 95)
     http://www.ctmdev.com/powermail/


Some key criteria are:

Functionality
-   sophisticated
-   parameters / preferences / settings easily found, understood, changed

User Interface
-   straightforward
-   preferably reasonably intuitive for a Eudora user

Migration:
-   easy transfer from Eudora:
     -   mail archives
     -   abbreviations / address-book (used only as abbrev-expander)
     -   settings

Scale:
-   capable of coping with:
     -   a large archive, complete since 1993 (3GB and growing, and that
         doesn't include a second-level archive that can be moved back in)
     -   a large number of mailboxes (c. 800)
     -   substantial nesting of directories containing mailboxes
     -   some huge individual mailboxes (multiple >50MB, one at 150MB)

Search
-   powerful incl. flexible text-search within messages
-   fast

Flexibility
-   convenient on desktop incl. archival version of email
-   convenient on portable.  I mirror to the portable when travelling,
     and download email to it in non-archival mode (i.e. leave-on-server)

Security
-   independent from the web-browser, *not* integrated with it

Safe Exit Strategy
-   if I have to move again (e.g. Thunderbird falls off the pace or I
     abandon Mac in favour of Linux), it needs to be assured and easy


Preliminary Assessment of Apple Mail

The Apple site appears to provide no Features List or FAQ.
The Help can't be invoked from within Mail until *after* you've 
installed it - which I don't intend doing until I know what it does!
The Help Viewer appears to have no entry for Mail.
[I've been a Mac user for almost 25 years (Apr 84, second shipload), 
but the product has been increasingly poor for some years, and 
conversion to Linux can only be a matter of time]

I finally dug out this:  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2500
But Mail search depends on Spotlight, which I avoid like the plague.

And, if I'm reading between the lines correctly, Apple have 
integrated Mail with more than Spotlight, and possibly with a number 
of things that I don't want to use.  (Aside:  am I the only user 
highly unimpressed by iPhoto?).

Conclusion

I need to investigate Thunderbird, and maybe Powermail and Mailsmith.


-- 
Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
			            
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW


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