Jun 20 2007

Thunderbirds are go (and other puns too delicious to ignore)

That’s right, I decided last night to install the Mozilla email client Thunderbird for reasons that I can’t fully explain or understand myself. I asked the question over at QYDJ is it stupid to abandon Outlook when I have a fully licensed copy already bundled on my PC? Am I just making life more difficult purely because I’m drawn to the ethos of the Mozilla people. I completely moved over to Firefox ages ago (god has it been years already??) and it is my browser of choice. There are fewer and fewer pages that don’t work within it and when I’m developing I generally find I’m designing in it and fixing problems in IE.

Is my choice of browser and email client reflective of me as a person?

I’m not a rebel by any stretch of the term, at least I don’t see myself that way. Some time back when free time existed and dinosaurs roamed the earth my wife and I went to see an artist that she really liked. The problem was that because this artist is a little more refined I guess than the local pub (although don’t get me wrong she would’ve kicked ass in a less sophisticated setting!) it was held where they show the opera and theater etc. Because of this people who subscribed to the arts calender were included in the tickets etc.

The venue was ok, not great for this artist but comfortable enough and the artists were extraordinary. No the real problem were the suits. All of these people desperately trying to out dress each other and drown everyone in their expensive perfumes and aftershaves.


We were there to see a gig. I mean really? Evening gowns and black tie?

Now I, realizing that the venue would be a little more sophisticated thought I’d dress myself up a touch and wear a shirt with a collar and *gasp* buttons. After spending several hours being looked down upon I realized that I was not embarrassed about not dressing up enough but more that I wasn’t wearing my Punisher t-shirt under a suit jacket with some splash graphic across the arm. I was angry with myself for even in the slightest thinking about what I should wear to such a place when I knew that jeans and t-shirt were more appropriate even if everyone else didn’t think so.

What this says to me is that in the browser wars and spilling over into the software apps wars I don’t want to always go with the expensive name brand product just because it is expensive or that I in fact own it. I own plenty of formal wear but choose not to wear it the way society may dictate. I own outlook but it’s so vanilla, and I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to use it but I’m not interested, I am interested in this alternative that may be rougher around the edges or it may even just do everything that outlook does. It’s different. Maybe I’m just bored with outlook? I don’t hate Microsoft at all, I have my issues with them and how they do business but there’s no way I would swap my windows for linux (mind you I haven’t upgraded to vista yet so we’ll have to see).

So have any of you used Thunderbird because I would love to hear others thoughts on if it works well or is worth swapping over completely (my archives and a couple of my accounts are still in outlook pending the results of the experiment).

God now I’m thinking about open office…..

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4 Comments on this post


  1. Quit Your Day Job » Blog Archive » Thunderbird mail client wrote:

    [...] ***update*** I just posted more of my thoughts about this over at Blog About your Blog – go check it out there! [...]

    June 20th, 2007 at 2:44 pm
  1. dandellion said:

    well… don’t switch to thunderbird or linux or openoffice because you hate microsoft or because you think of yourself this or other way. Do it cause you feel better working with them, because you’re life is easier with them and because you are more productive. Then, you can feel free that the idea behind them is a good one. :D

    Seriously, my experience is: I used IE for less than a month, back then in mid 90’s. Then gone for opera cause she did the things IE couldn’t. Memory handling was far better, so she was faster and more stable. For couple of years now I switched to firefox. Opera became too big and I just love all the extensions.

    At that moment of switchng to FF I needed a mail client (for years I used Opera’s integrated one). So the choice was TB. It is nice. Big, stable and capable e-mail client. Actually, it could do much more things that I ever needed. I am not crazy about e-mails. Beside that, GMail was there, and I found it convenient to have them all everywhere I was. So, I dropped TB and gone to Google’s web based empire. But, if I needed robust desktop client, I would stick to TB.

    While speaking about this… same situation was with office application. Open Office is nice application. It had some bugs last time I was with it but those were minor ones. I really don’t kow how it goes right now. I do have it installed but I don’t use it. Of the whole office package I need good text editor, and Abiword is just what I need. maybe you should give it a try. It is open-sourced and cross-platform just as all other apps.

    And the just one more thing…. all of them, firefox, thinderbird and abiword can go live, that means you can use versions that needs no installation. They are bit slower so I’d recomend using regular installed apps, but those that goes live are perfect to put on USB flash and to carry with yourself. Sure that firefox can have extensions and bookmarks and everything that way ;) They, and some other nicey apps, are here: http://portableapps.com/

    Hope this helps.

    June 20th, 2007 at 5:22 pm
  2. Lee said:

    The portability is something I haven’t really explored actually – I’ve got the install file of firefox sitting on my memory stick in case I need to install it somewhere but never thought of running it live. That’s given me something to have a look at now. I was really interested to know if there was any chance of me getting burnt by converting over. So thanks for giving me your experiences.

    June 20th, 2007 at 10:39 pm
  3. Ed the Editor said:

    Based on my experience of mozilla products I wouldnt worry yourself about using Thunderbird. I have fluctuated between Camino (Firefox’s nippy little brother) and Safari and the Mozilla browser does the job really well without any fuss, so a mail app shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for them.

    June 21st, 2007 at 4:17 pm


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