I’ve been using Thunderbird for a while now. I’m a Windows user on my laptop. I wish I could use Suse (as I have in the past) or Ubuntu (as I have in the past), but it’s hard to dogfood when you’re using Linux, and Linux support on laptops, in my experience, isn’t the greatest; especially when you have newer hardware. Anyway, Mozilla Thunderbird is wonderful. Use it. Outlook is a piece of shit. I was using Outlook 2003 until last July when, right before OSCON, my laptop hard drive failed on me. I was so fed up with it and how hard it is to backup I gave it up (again). Now I feel forced to use Outlook again because I don’t have a calendaring solution and synching addresses with my blackberry is just too damn hard. Without my calendar in my hand, I tend to miss appointments. For my final justification I really need to dogfood our own software and we have an Outlook plugin.
Iamporting/exporting in Outlook is a joke. How anyone on the Outlook team thinks they should release software that is (intentionally undoubtedly) that shitty on something so fundamental should be fired. No, being fired isn’t good enough, they should be…I don’t know…publically flogged or something. I’m not even going to bother outlining all the ways that Outlook is a piece of shit. It would take me too long. Let me say the following: with a Core 2 Duo and 2 Gigs of RAM no application should drag your laptop to a grounding halt. With Outlook running I get out of system resources errors! It takes me an hour to export only 5 months of email and 30-45 minutes to import it. Thunderbird stores your emails on the file system and not in some bullshit proprietary file, backing it up is as simple as synchronizing that folder with your NAS. Thunderbird has useful junk mail filters. Outlook doesn’t. Thunderbird can actually handle IMAP elegantly Outlook does not.
Like I said Outlook is shit. As soon as I went back to Outlook 2003 I get this problem where it will not retain my network password for my email account (POP3). I scoured the Internet for a fix including Microsoft’s useless knoledge base. The only thing I found was this fix that required deleting a registry entry. It didn’t help at all. So, I tried installing Outlook 2007 on the off chance this would resolve the issue. It didn’t. Now I have Outlook 2007, which is even a bigger, crappier, resource hog than Outlook 2003, but this one has big obnoxious shiny bubbly buttons! W00T! Ridiculous…I want Evolution and the ability to synch! If Mozilla could provide the ability to synch Thunderbird and Sunbird I would be in heaven. I researched this as well, all to no avail. I can’t be alone in this camp. There has to be a sizable minority of Outlook users out there who only use it for synching with their Treos or Blackberries.