Archive for the ‘Email’ Category

Scot’s Crazy Email Saga

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

More in the ongoing saga of Scot’s ridiculous email situation. I’m using Entourage 2008 at work now, and with extensive use of AppleScripts, it comes as close to Eudora in power as I’ve been able to find. It’s a lot less quirky than Entourage 2004, too. It’s still not my favorite product, but it beats virtually everything else I’ve tried for the Mac.

I’ve pretty much given up on MailForge (formerly Odysseus), despite having bought a license in advance. The feature set is meager. The developers don’t apparently understand why people used Eudora. And at the rate they’re going, it’ll be 2014 by the time they get MailForge anywhere near where I need it. And it’s buggy besides.

In other news, although I’ve been searching for a Eudora replacement for five years, the search accelerated after Qualcomm severed ties and intensified after Leopard was released and Eudora started crashing in every session lasting longer than 3 hours. Snow Leopard surprised me. Eudora can run for days and days without crashing in Snow Leopard. I wasn’t even hoping for that. I still want to replace Eudora — after all, it’s unsupported. But at least I’m not corrupting data in my mailstore while the search goes on.

As a capper, Microsoft is talking about upgrading Entourage to be more of an Outlook for the Mac, and that sounds interesting too.

Eudora Users: Odysseus Is Probably Our Best Hope

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

A new email package called Odysseus being developed by software design house Infinity Data Systems (IDS) is the new great hope for millions of Qualcomm Eudora users who were abandoned by the telecom company last year. Unlike Mozilla’s Penelope (Eudora v.8) development project, which is attempting to surgically graft Eudora-like functionality onto Mozilla’s Thunderbird email package, Odysseus is being rewritten from the ground up as the brand new successor to Eudora. It will offer cross-platform support for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

I spent a few hours earlier today reading through IDS’s Odysseus forums learning as much as I could about the company’s development plans. I came away very excited about IDS’s plans, design concepts, and goals. What I like best, in fact, is that while the plan is to start with a subset of Eudora features in the first release, the developers clearly know and love Eudora. Also, though, they’re not afraid to make changes. Eudora has been a hurting unit for several years — especially on the Mac platform, where some of the thinking has been quirky at best. The Windows version surpassed the Mac version quite a while ago and is more up to date. But Eudora in general is best thought of in 2001 terms. Some fresh thinking is definitely a good thing.

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MyRealBox and Modomail Follow-Up

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Let me get Modomail out of the way first: Shortly after I wrote that I was giving up on Modomail, an inexpensive paid mail host, the service apparently gave up the ghost. The domain no longer responds, and hasn’t for over a month. It’s just dead. Several SFNL readers wrote me to tell me that they got burned, too.

Meanwhile, the company that bought MyRealBox, Messaging Architects, apparently did send out messages warning its customers that it was requiring them to respond or lose their accounts. Several SFNL readers sent me copies of the messages. I don’t know why I didn’t get mine. Apparently, though, the company used the BCC (blind carbon copy) approach to sending out what must have been hundreds of thousands of messages. It doesn’t surprise me, really, that they didn’t reach me. I was getting tired of MyRealBox’s frequent outages anyway.

In case you missed last month’s newsletter, here are the stories I’m talking about.

MyRealBox Kills Accounts

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

MyRealBox, the free email service once provided by Novell’s NetMail development team, was totally mishandled by Messaging Architects, the company that purchased NetMail from Novell on January 30.

After years of reliable service, my three MyRealBox accounts went dead without warning a couple of months ago. And there’s no way to get them back. I used one of those accounts as my primary subscription account for hundreds of newsletters and websites. The inconvenience is huge. I don’t even have a list of every site I registered to with my MyRealBox account. And worse, I advised SFNL readers several years ago to grab a MyRealBox account — and I know many did.

I’m piecing together what might have happened, based mostly on a terse message box that appeared on the MyRealBox home page a couple of months ago. I saw the box for the first time when I visited the site after my accounts were closed. The message noted that the time was up for notifying MyRealBox that you wanted to continue your account. All of my messages to customer service to find out about this went completely unanswered. Apparently, Messaging Architects posted a message on its home page warning MyRealBox account holders to contact the company in some fashion or have their accounts revoked by such and such a date. As a POP3/SMTP user of MyRealBox, though, I never had a reason to visit the company website. Messaging Architects apparently didn’t even bother to send an email to its users — or if it did, the message was so spammy it never showed up.

Look, I can understand that the service was free and that nothing free lasts forever. But Messaging Architects might have at least given non-Web-mail users a fighting chance. Even 30-days’ notice with no option of keeping your account would have been more reasonable.

Add Messaging Architects to the Hall of Shame. It belongs there permanently, with no opportunity of parole.

Modomail Messed Up, Too

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Late last year, I similarly lost a paid-for email account provided by a small email host called Modomail. Again, the service was stellar for several years. I never had an outage with Modomail that lasted longer than a few hours. My uptime was almost perfect. The service cost something like $25 a year. But one day, one of my two Modomail accounts went totally dead. I was still within my annual pay period by several months. But the account stopped recognizing my login. Since my login was saved in my email package, and was used every eight minutes by the software, nothing had changed on my side. (For you Mac cynics, this actually happened prior to my switch to the Mac.)

Numerous email messages to Modomail’s customer service went unanswered. Eventually, I gave up on the account entirely. There was nothing I could do.

Once the contract period expired, the account was deleted and I was able to create a new 30-day free account with the same email address and the same login and password information. That account worked just fine (though I let it expire). My other Modomail account will expire at the end of the month.

Good riddance, Modomail.

I’ve moved back to email host FastMail.fm for several inexpensive, low-annual-fee POP3/SMTP accounts.