Eudora Releases 5.1...
April 23, 2001 9:50 PM   Subscribe

Eudora Releases 5.1... an incremental release is seldom worth a post, but with 5.1 comes support for SSL! Which makes me very happy: our SysAdmin banned us from hooking up to our mail server until we had an e-mail client that was A) SSL-enabled and B) not a product of Microsoft... finally! I can get my corporate e-mail without having it forwarded to my Yahoo! e-mail account! : )
posted by silusGROK (18 comments total)
Call me when they finally start offering message threading...
posted by mathowie at 11:11 PM on April 23, 2001

(Disclaimer: This is going to sound like I'm flaming Vis10n's sysadmin, but I'm not. I'm truly interested in why somebody would have a policy like that.)

If only Microsoft's products have a feature that one feels one _must_ have from a security standpoint, why would one ban the use of MS products from the network?

Plug: I think Eudora's a great product. I think its filtering capabilities are head and shoulders above any competing product; and that's why I'm a paid customer. No MS product can even compare when one's volumes of mail get greater than 80 msgs per day.
posted by swell at 12:00 AM on April 24, 2001

I think [Eudora's] filtering capabilities are head and shoulders above any competing product

Eudora does have its strengths, but I would certainly not call its filtering one of them. A measly two criteria per filter and no regex to make up for it? No AppleScript actions? Even the late lamented Claris Emailer did better, and Microsoft Entourage (the spiritual successor to Emailer) kicks Eudora's ass all over the place for filtering. As does Bare Bones' Mailsmith, for that matter.

Maybe I'm just spoiled by all the excellent Mac e-mail clients. (CTM's PowerMail is another very good one; it has full-text indexing of all your E-mail for literally instantaneous content searches, very cool.) If all Windows e-mail clients have even lamer filtering than Eudora, well, that's pretty sad.
posted by kindall at 4:17 AM on April 24, 2001

If The Bat! is good enough for Mathowie to switch to from Eudora, it's worthy of your attention. Great filtering, real message threading, SSL support, but not as polished as Eudora.
posted by gen at 5:12 AM on April 24, 2001

If you want threading in Eudora, Option-click a subject line. Or just sort by subject: Eudora ignores pretty much every permutation of "re" and "fwd."

Filters are limited, but only somewhat. Is it fair to say that hardcore sysadmins and software developers, who receive hundreds of messages a day from a confusing mix of a large group of recipients and a large group of topics, are the ones most inconvenienced by the limitations?

Both threading and filters seem to be advanced in a spirit of "See! This single deficiency invalidates the rest of the program!" I think Eudora's higher security compared to the absolute scourge of snatchmail programs, Outfukt, is a selling point in itself, not to mention the fact that Eudora users seldom find themselves destroying mailing lists the way Outfukt users do with that program's defaults of forward-entire-previous-message and always-use-HTML.

Besides, you gotta love Steve Dorner's sarcasm. Actual Balloon Help: "Check to use (STUPID) shift-cmd-N for check mail and (STUPID) shift-cmd-A for attach just like Apple's Mail application."
posted by joeclark at 5:16 AM on April 24, 2001

I've used Eudora for the Mac and for the Windows and I think many of the smartass comments are only on the Mac version. At least I have never had my PC mail client say to me, if I begin to type without a message or text window open, "Unfortunately, no one is listening to your keystrokes at the moment. You might as well stop typing."

Attitude aside, Eudora's kept me happy for years.
posted by Sapphireblue at 6:03 AM on April 24, 2001

Eudora's capabilities and/or deficiencies aside, I can't believe the original poster's permits forwarding corporate email to Yahoo! mail, or any other public mail system...
posted by m.polo at 7:05 AM on April 24, 2001

I can't speak for my sys admin, not directly at least... but his feelings about MS e-mail clients come from the numerous security failures in the products, and Microsoft's continued reticence in addressing the security failures wholesale.

As for forwarding my messages to Yahoo, the shear volume of mail processed by their behemoth system reduces the statistical likelihood of my particular 100 or so messages being compromised. In the end, it's a decent short term solution.

When The Bat! came to my attention (by way of Matt's wholehearted endorsement), I was excited to try it out... but, alas, it's not available for the Mac. Kindall is right, though, Macs have a bunch of killer e-mail apps, none of which (to my knowledge) offered SSL, though. No need to switch to a different app when Eudora would shortly be offering SSL.
posted by silusGROK at 9:01 AM on April 24, 2001

Uhhh, guys? I'm running Eudora 5.0.2 for Windows. It has regex filtering (both case sensitive and insenstive). Agreed that two criteria is not a lot tho.

HOWEVER, for someone with as many email addresses as I, Eudora's Personalities feature is essential. Sending mail from multiple email accounts is a biotch in Outlook...

The virus thing is also an amazing boon. No one writes viruses for Eudora just like no one writes viruses for Macs. As long as you don't use the MSWord viewer, you're cool.

And you have seen this, right?

By the way, this is not to take away from other email systems. This is just a defense of Eudora. In fact, the Bat looks pretty cool (and strangely like Eudora from 3 years ago. Wonder if it's made by an ex-Eudorite?
posted by fooljay at 10:13 AM on April 24, 2001

Great point, fooljay... I completely failed to mention my complete reliance on Eudora's personality features. I have 10 personalities. Yeah, I know: who woulda guessed?
posted by silusGROK at 10:26 AM on April 24, 2001

Wait -- the Windows version of Eudora has regex? Guess Qualcomm thinks Mac users would prefer smart-ass comments in dialogs to more useful filtering. Grr.

I use Microsoft Entourage. It has none of the flaws of its Windows brethren; it's more, as I said, the spiritual successor to Claris Emailer than a true Microsoft product. (After Claris dropped Emailer, Jud Spencer, the main designer of Emailer, went to work for Microsoft, where he set about making Outlook Express for Mac into a virtual Emailer clone.) Unfortunately, you have to buy the whole Office suite to get it, but if you need the rest of Office anyway, it's a very nice bonus.

Oh yeah. It has SSL, and had it before Eudora. If all Microsoft products were as good as Entourage, I'd have no problem with them taking over the world.
posted by kindall at 11:10 AM on April 24, 2001

At least I have never had my PC mail client say to me, if I begin to type without a message or text window open, "Unfortunately, no one is listening to your keystrokes at the moment. You might as well stop typing."
That error message went away in (I think) OS 8.x and a certain Eudora version (4.0?) because Apple changed its internal routines. Now the error message is strictly Apple: "Sorry, you can't change that text." This change took place at least as far back as March 1998, because I just did a search for my complaint message to Steve Dorner. Of course, I can't find his response. D'oh.
posted by joeclark at 1:04 PM on April 24, 2001

Best e-mail client: Netscape Messenger.

No, I'm not kidding.

Actually, I'm going to be writing a (Windows) mail client this summer. Any requests for features?
posted by Succa at 3:30 PM on April 24, 2001

I wonder if it's just nostalgia, but I kind of miss using Pine/Elm and Procmail...
posted by fooljay at 7:55 PM on April 24, 2001

fooljay, the new kid on that block is mutt.
posted by gluechunk at 8:04 PM on April 24, 2001

Remember when Eudora's dialog box had a snake when there was no new mail or when Steve Dorner's email address was in the menu? I heard Steve Dorner give a talk once where he said that a few people protested that the association of a snake with bad news gave snakes a bad image. I believe Steve is the sole Mac Eudora programmer, and there was a local newspaper story (he lives in town) about how he has his office in a converted bomb shelter in his house.
posted by gyc at 2:08 AM on April 25, 2001

I believe Steve is the sole Mac Eudora programmer
He is not the sole programmer (I've complained about things he said someone else did), but the team is compact.
posted by joeclark at 5:44 AM on April 25, 2001

Steve is definitely not the sole Mac Eudora programmer. In fact, the top man on the About Box list (Alan Bird) is not only a Mac programmer, he's a bona-fide wizard, and his wizardry goes back to the Apple II days. In a time when Microsoft's TASC or the Einstein compiler could take an hour to convert a sizable BASIC program to assembly language and then only yield a modest speedup, Bird wrote The Beagle Compiler, which accomplished the task in seconds (so fast, in fact, that he integrated it into the OS so it just compiled your program when you typed RUN) and yielded speed increases up to 1000% on some tasks. When line editing was the state of the art, Bird wrote a full-screen BASIC editor, Program Writer. When everyone thought you couldn't use the extra 64K of a 128K Apple II's memory from BASIC, Bird wrote Extra K, which did exactly that -- and it also let you have a second virtual Apple II in your machine if that's what you wanted. In all, the man is easily responsible for a dozen jaw-dropping feats of software hacking going back to the '80s. He wrote an OCR program for the Apple II. For an 8-bit Apple II. It worked pretty damn well, actually.

Once upon a time I believe Steve Dorner said that getting Eudora to check mail in a thread (i.e., so it wouldn't interrupt whatever else you were doing in Eudora) would require so much re-engineering of the code that he was loath to tackle it. The next major revision of Eudora after Bird came on board, Eudora had threaded mail checking and sending. Coincidence? Knowing Bird's talents, I think not...
posted by kindall at 12:23 PM on April 25, 2001

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