Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Mozilla Thunderbird

Regular readers may recall my post about Apple Mail exploding.

It's happened a couple of times since, and each time is as infuriating as the last.

What pushed me over the edge, though, was Mail's stubborn refusal to subscribe to the shared folders at my work. Depending on the value chosen for the IMAP Path Prefix, I either got all of the shared folders, or none. I had little choice but to opt for the former, but as the company archives have grown, this has meant storing about 60GB worth of messages under ~/Library/Mail. With various other demands on my meagre old 128GB disk, I decided I'd had enough (my upcoming MacBook Pro will only have a 256GB SSD; I couldn't justify the cost of the 512GB one).

So, years after I gleefully abandoned it, I've reluctantly returned to Mozilla Thunderbird, now at version 3.1. It's improved a lot since version 1, but it's still pretty hateful. I'm compiling a proper list of Pros & Cons, but I don't know if I'll ever be able to cope with the sheer ugliness of it. Take this dialog, for example:


I can only hope that the version of Mail included with Lion will be a suitable replacement.


  1. I have a couple of suggestions for you:

    First up, Sparrow. It is IMAP only and there is a free trial version available in the App Store - the full version is £5.99 if you like it.

    I've tried it and it works well - but as works for me, I'm not sure I would stump up £5.99.

    I've not tried the next one - Postbox. This looks very much like a power users e-mail and it comes with an eye-watering price £17.99. There is a free trial from the website:

    Turning back to (I'm not happy with this solution, having to pay for something to fix an application that should just work). There is an application called MailRemedy which seems to promise to fix cache problems:

    Hope this helps

  2. Thanks for the suggestions, Andy. I'lll check those out tomorrow.

    It's been my experience that all mail clients suck. At the terminal I prefer Alpine to Mutt, but both have their faults, and there's really no substitute for a GUI these days.

    Will see how Sparrow and Postbox compare.