It used to be the case many years ago that I would try just about any E-mail program that came into the market. To give you some idea, here are some of the mail programs I have used:
- MM (TOPS-20)
- BABYL (TOPS-20)
- Mail (VMS)
- Mail (UCB)
- Mailx (UNIX System V)
- Babyl (GNU Emacs)
- VM (GNU Emacs)
- Z-Mail (A Program written by Dan Heller based on MUSH, probably the first pseudo-graphical MIME program)
- Andrew (CMU)
- dmail (written by Matt Dillon)
- Some really zippy MMDF mail program
- MM (Columbia University)
- Outlook Express
- and for about the last eight years: Thunderbird
Thunderbird has been great to me. For one thing, it’s had a very extensible architecture that has lasted quite some time, with plugins and everything. For another, it’s done quite well handling the gigabytes of mail that I process. The filter systems are reasonably flexible and it supported client-side certificates when I needed them.
Eight years for me is a pretty good run. I am, however, noticing that my trusty Thunderbird is showing its age and I really have run out of time to help (not that I really helped much anyway). For one thing:
- Later versions try to index my entire collection of mailboxes (all 50GB of them) and this never completes.
- The composition component is no longer sufficient to my needs. It’s not handling fonts correctly when I wish to send multi-media messaging.
And so I ponder a change. The question is, “to what?” Apart from all of my needs above, I have one more need: to be able to migrate from what ever I migrate to. This probably isn’t a problem, because one can always use IMAP copying in the worst of cases, but that can be slow.
First task, of course will be reducing what I can to ease transition. Wish me luck and do let me know what mail program you like, these days.