Moving to Apple Mail?

by Michael Alderete on 10/11/2006 · 2 comments

Well, after a long year+ of teasing and waiting, it seems that the Cocoa version of Eudora for Mac OS X was a chimera. Today QUALCOMM announced that they are discontinuing commercial development of Eudora, and working with the Mozilla Foundation to move Eudora onto the Mozilla Thunderbird platform.

This announcement comes as something of a shock to me. After holding on waiting for Cocoa Eudora, this shift in strategy feels like the rug being yanked out. It’s going to take some time to digest, and I suppose we should wait for a few days before forming a mob and see if further details emerge. I would especially like to hear more about what “using the Thunderbird platform” really means, and what will be happening with the Eudora code base, especially the long-rumored Cocoa Eudora code.

For now, we’re a bit light on details. The spin on the announcement is that Eudora is being released from the constraints that come from being a commercial product, freed to grow, change, and thrive as an Open Source project. Who knows, that may happen — but it’ll be 6 months before we see a release that might give a clue as to how well it will work out. I confess, I’m skeptical, and not optimistic, for a couple reasons:

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Eudora 7 for Mac OS X progress?

by Michael Alderete on 7/17/2006

Eudora 7In addition to posting a few beta versions of a minor patch release to Eudora 6.2, the current version of Eudora for Mac OS X, QUALCOMM apparently is getting enough inquiries about the long-anticipated (and overdue) Cocoa rewrite of Eudora to have recently posted an official statement about it.

It doesn’t sound particularly close, but making a statement at all seems to imply that there continues to be commitment and progress, and I consider it a positive sign. I’d love to see betas of the new version, too, but we take what we can get.

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Add Sender to Address Book

by Michael Alderete on 2/6/2006

Update: The latest version of the script is 1.1, released 15-Nov-2006. Download link below. See the read me file and script version history for changes.

I continue to use and love Eudora as my email client. This despite it being a little long in the tooth, and with a visual style straight from 1999. It may look like a Classic application, and it might not have had a major release in a while, but it works, and is highly usable, especially for people like me, with a huge archive of email messages.

On the Windows side, a new version of Eudora was released late last year. From what I’ve read on the Eudora discussion forum, Qualcomm is working on an all-new release of Eudora for Mac OS X, which will bring a great many improvements, including one that I’m eagerly anticipating, use of the OS X Address Book to maintain the email contact list, instead of Eudora’s nicknames list (which is also confusingly called Address Book in Eudora, but it used to be called Nicknames in earlier versions, so that’s what I’ll call it here).

But, Eudora 7 for OS X is apparently behind schedule (it was supposed to start appearing in beta in the fall of 2005), and not having that feature is driving me nuts. Eudora can already read addresses out of Address Book, so all I need to tide me over is a way to easily add a new sender to the Address Book.

I looked for a while to find an existing AppleScript to add a Eudora sender to the OS X Address Book, but as far as I can tell, nothing exists. Indeed, it looks like people stopped writing AppleScripts for Eudora years ago. But by stitching together ideas and techniques from old scripts, scripts for Apple Mail and Address Book, and some new code, I was able to create a script which pretty much duplicates Eudora’s Make Address Book Entry command, except sticking the new entry in the system level Address Book.

Download the Add Sender to Address Book AppleScript Download the Add Sender to Address Book AppleScript

The distribution includes a Readme file with much more detail, but here’s the basics: To install, download and decompress the script distribution archive. Then move the script file to your ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Eudora folder. To use it, select a message in your Inbox, or open a message, which is from someone you’d like to add to Address Book. Choose Add Sender to Address Book from your Scripts menu. Edit the sender’s name and address in the dialog, click Add to Address Book, and voila, Address Book should come forward with the new entry displayed. Add further information to your contact there, if you wish.

There are a number of limitations to the script; see the ReadMe file for details. Hopefully this will be useful to someone besides me!

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Two months ago I upgraded to PGP Desktop 9, because the new version would finally work with Eudora on Mac OS X. Indeed, all I had to do was install the new version, reboot, and the new automatic mode began immediately discovering and auto-enabling my email accounts as I used them. It does this with some clever connection redirection using the built-in Mac OS X firewall, courtesy of the Unix subsystem.

Unfortunately, the automatic mode doesn’t work so well if you are also using some kind of network tunnel, such as a VPN or ssh port forwarding, which is increasingly common for me as I take the laptop to clients or on the road.

I finally got around to figuring out how to set up PGP Messaging’s manual proxy mode, courtesy of decent instructions for Windows users written by Robert Johansen of PGP. I thought I would document the configuration for Mac OS X users, since there are substantial differences in the application between the two platforms.

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Cocoa Eudora?

by Michael Alderete on 5/2/2005 · 2 comments

Michael Tsai brought to my attention that QUALCOMM is rewriting Eudora to update it to the latest Mac OS X technologies, etc. While it is exciting to know that Eudora for Mac OS is still supported by QUALCOMM, and even being modernized, I hope that QUALCOMM is appropriately cautious about making gratuitous UI changes. It may not be pretty, but the interface is highly usable.

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Corpus reset

by Michael Alderete on 4/26/2005

SpamSieve, by far the best anti-spam email tool I’ve used, was updated to version 2.3 yesterday. The biggest change listed was increased accuracy, due to improvements in the tokenizers and parsers. John Gruber reported that the beta versions were running at 99.9% accuracy for him, which is several tenths of a percent above where I’d peaked.

When you get more than one thousand spams a week, you live for improvements of a couple of tenths of a percent. I of course upgraded immediately.

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Personal survey of anti-spam tools

by Michael Alderete on 1/7/2005 · 12 comments

In the three or four years I’ve been fighting unwanted e-mail messages with better tools than the Delete key I’ve tried almost a dozen different tools. This is a quick (ha!) survey of the ones I’ve used, and why I don’t (or do) still use them.

My very first anti-spam tool was something called Mailfilter. I used it for my personal e-mail on Mac OS X, wrote about it here, and almost immediately afterwards lost a non-spam message to an aggressive keyword match. That was the end of Mailfilter. I can’t even remotely recommend it, as it’s just not intelligent enough (strict, single expression matching), and had zero safety net.

My next attempt at a solution was a utility called SpamFire. Like Mailfilter, it is a “pre-filter,” which means it would run before my e-mail client, download my mail, and skim out the spam. Unlike Mailfilter, it actually saved the trapped messages, so if it made a mistake, I could recover the message. It had plenty of other differences from Mailfilter, which I wrote about previously, and which made it so useful that it became the first anti-spam tool I paid for. But in the end I switched to a different tool because SpamFire was separate from my e-mail client, and that made it cumbersome to use.

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Zero Inbox items!

by Michael Alderete on 12/13/2004

Zero E-mail Inbox Items!It’s pretty hard for me to believe, but right now my e-mail Inbox has zero items in it. I think the last time this was true was about 2 minutes before I first got e-mail. It’s taken quite a bit of effort, and a lot of letting go, to get to this point. (And I suppose I cheated by filing a bunch of stuff, when I should either read and delete, or just delete.)

How long will it last? Well, I’d like to make this permanent, and follow procedures similar to those advocated in the Good Experience guide to Managing Incoming E-mail. That’s even more discipline, but now that I’m at zero items, it becomes a whole lot easier, because I can tell instantly if I am getting lazy.

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Spam count so far this year

March 29, 2004

With Q1-2004 coming to a close, I thought I’d take a look at my spam situation, which has been escalating out of control. Since 12:01am January 1, 2004 I have received 22,255 spam messages via e-mail. That’s more than 250 a day, every day, for the last 89 days. Earlier in the year, the daily average was lower, which means that in the last couple weeks it’s gone well above 250 per day. In spite of these numbers, I have two things that give me hope.

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Eudora 6 with SpamWatch

September 10, 2003

QUALCOMM’s Eudora has been my e-mail client of choice for nearly 10 years, and last week a major new version shipped, Eudora 6. My primary concern before upgrading was whether and how my other anti-spam tool, Spamnix, would work with the new version, especially with the new SpamWatch feature. I’m thrilled to report that Spamnix works fine with Eudora 6 (for Mac OS X), and that Spamnix + SpamWatch is more effective than either tool alone.

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Trying Thunderbird

August 15, 2003

Today I set up Mozilla Thunderbird, the new e-mail client that’s coming out of the Mozilla project. I wanted to give it a whirl, because I’m looking for a new e-mail client for Rochelle. She’s been using Netscape 4.7 to manage her e-mail, and it’s becoming more and more inadequate.

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A backup a day is all I ask

June 19, 2003

I was once again reminded of the value of a good backup strategy last night, when Eudora crashed, and corrupted my e-mail Inbox. Almost 700 messages, most not yet responded to or handled, wiped out. No matter what Eudora tries to tell you, rebuilding the table of contents for a mailbox is not always what you want. But recovery was easy. I fired up Retrospect, located my Inbox in the list of files backed up, and recovered it. Fired up Eudora again, and I was good to go.

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