Well, after a long day’s work, I took an extra hour to make the switch to Firefox and Thunderbird. It is part of my long-term goal to ween myself off of Microsoft’s products. I’m pretty much an Excel expert so I don’t know how I’ll last in the long run. I’ve been using Firefox for a long while now, but I made it my default browser and imported all my settings and my favorites. Very easy.

As for Thunderbird, not quite so easy. Importing my accounts (all 14 email accounts I had set up in Outlook 2003) did not work, so I had to edit and enter them manually - a huge pain. Thunderbird seems to think it is an “advanced setting” to allow multiple SMTP accounts. I’m not sure why. So, I had to essentially set up two accounts for each email account. Also, Thunderbird does not allow you to save or type your password into the account setup area. You have to wait until the first attempt to send or receive mail in which a popup appears for you to save your password - assuming you remember it. I had to hack at it a few times. Thunderbird saves all your email account passwords into a Password Manager which you can then protect with a Master Password. I fail to see the reason behind it, but it seems like a good idea. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the open-source community is their love of security and privacy. Of course, if a bad guy is at your computer and looking at your email, you have a security problem with or without that Master Password.

One little quirk delayed the importing of my email - thousands of messages. It would hang with some error referencing a temporary directory setting. I googled this to death and looked all over the Thunderbird support forums with no luck. I finally realized after a little digging that it was hanging up on an email that had an executable file (.exe) attached to it - even though Outlook 2003 had blocked the attachment. I just deleted that email and any other emails with .exe files attached to it and restarted the import and everything went fine.

I truly like Thunderbird. I’m a huge Outlook fan, having first been addicted to it with Outlook 98. But, it is time to move on.

Technorati : Microsoft, Mozilla, Outlook, firefox, thunderbird

Posted in: Websurfing