Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Apple Mail or Thunderbird

Had a discussion with Matt and Christof today about using Thunderbird as opposed to Apple's Mail.app. I have been using Thundebird for about a year and a half (I think since version 0.5 came out). It has worked wonderfully but lately I have been witnessing a slowdown with the campus IMAP server. First of all, it takes a long time to send an email and even if it does, I would really like the annoying dialog box to go away. I think Mail handles that more elegantly, with a little notification swirly thing on top of the window pane. Plus the "Abort" button in Mail responds much more quickly than its counterpart in Thunderbird. Also, Mail integrates with the System Address Book very nicely.

I am certainly not saying that Apple's Mail is a better product than Thunderbird. For one thing, Mail does not have the capability to save searches as virtual folders like Thunderbird - something I sorely miss (Mail in Tiger will certainly have this feature, I am assured). The other thing that I did not like about Mail was that it was too unobtrusive about new mail notifications. Thunderbird's icon in the dock used to jump up and down merrily whenever I got new mail. Mail quietly updates a red count on the dock icon without any effective notification (yes, I did use the sounds and they are not effective .. get with it !). So I searched the cool macosxhints site for a solution and Voila .... Mail.appetizer ... adds a "notification" preference pane to the Mail preferences and gives a nice floating , transparent and resizable window on the desktop telling me who the mail is from, the subject and a small summary. Cool stuff !! So, I guess that issue is addressed.

Have been using Mail for about a week now and seems to work fine. Will update if I decided to revert to Thunderbird.

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