My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

T-bird soars

I have been using Microsoft's Entourage on my Mac for sending and receiving e-mail forever. Well, it seems forever. Entourage is part of the Office suite that Microsoft sells for the Mac and except for one annoying feature, it served me well, until now.

First, let me mention the annoying feature: if you have multiple e-mail accounts (like I do), there is a pull-down selection in one of Entourage's menus that allows you to switch accounts (to read and send mail in the other accounts). Problem is that if you are running another Office application (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.), you cannot switch accounts in Entourage until you quit all the other Office applications.

It is a minor annoyance, but it seems to me that the Office suite should have been written so that this would not be a necessity. But, I put up with the annoyance because Entourage worked so well otherwise.

Then I get an e-mail from my Internet service provider (AT&T nee Yahoo nee SBC) informing me that I had to update my e-mail settings because they were going to start using Security Socket Layer (SSL) "to help us ensure the security of your email."

Their e-mail lists the settings I have to change in order to be compatible with their new security system. (They also have a program you can download that will automatically make the changes for you, but as expected, the program is for Windows and leaves their Mac customers out in the cold... again.)

I set up Entourage as required and I could receive e-mail ok, but sending e-mail was an adventure. Immediately after changing the settings, I could send e-mail, but if I tried to send e-mail later, it would fail. I would have to reopen the settings window and reset the settings again with the same results!

My version of Entourage is current; there was nothing new to download, so I reinstalled it, but that did not help. I deleted my e-mail accounts and set them up from scratch, but that did not work either.

I gave up!

I have been eyeing Mozilla's Thunderbird for awhile. I have been very happy with Mozilla's web browser, Firefox, and figured that Thunderbird might serve me well, too. But, until now, I did not feel the need to switch e-mail software. The Entourage debacle finally pushed me over the brink.

I downloaded Thunderbird and had it up and running with all my e-mail accounts in about 30 minutes.

Whereas Entourage required that I switch accounts to send and receive e-mail in separate windows for each e-mail account, Thunderbird allows me to send and receive all my e-mail accounts' mail in the same window (I have separate folders set up to differentiate the accounts). Nice!

So far, I am very pleased with Thunderbird and wish I had made the switch earlier!

1 comment:

  1. Thunderbird is a nice e-mail program, though, I have found that using Gmail on the web is the better solution.