Wait a minute Mr. (email) Postman

I have an email problem.

I have way, way too many accounts. I should pare then down, but until then, I use a desktop email client to keep track of all of them. For that, I use Mozilla’s Thunderbird. It’s open source, connects with my Microsoft Exchange accounts, and is available cross platform. I can use it in Linux and in Windows (aside form an unfortunate theming issue with the Greybird theme in Linux) it does what I need.

My theme issue was in finding the button to turn off automatically marking emails as read. I prefer to leave some things unread, so they’re easier to find later. It’s a quirky thing, but it’s how my system/mind works.

But I’m not married to Thunderbird. I use it because it works, not because it’s my favorite.

Back in college, I used to use Eudora Pro (I want to say 3 or 4, but it’s been decades). I believe the software was available through my university’s software page. I loved that I could right click on the taskbar icon to check email whenever I wanted to.

I used Window’s native email clients in 95 and 98. There was something charming about the way the mail window looked like a little envelope, and I liked that it created a new, smaller window for writing emails. It made it so it didn’t take up so much screen real estate, back when that was an issue.

I played around with Netscape and later Mozilla and Seamonkey’s email client and used that for some accounts. I remember having some issues with Hotmail, but I think I eventually figured it out. I know that’s part of why I feel so comfortable using Thunderbird.

I liked the MSN Explorer browser, with it’s built-in Hotmail access. I ended up moving away when the program was discontinued.

Opera’s old Presto browser, with their built-in email client was awesome. It did everything I needed and I only had to have one program opened. I was a little sad when Opera shut down Presto, in favor of Webkit/Blink/Chromium. I understand the hassle of trying to maintain their own system though, and I appreciated Opera being compatible with more web sites. Their independent email program, Opera Mail, worked nice, but they stopped supporting it, which is such a pity.

Outlook Express and Windows Live mail where probably my favorite clients. Seamless Hotmail connectivity, RSS readers for my feeds (read “extensive web comic list”), fast, could handle a large list of email accounts… It had all the features I needed and did what I wanted the way I wanted it to work. I miss those programs.

Outlook took some getting used to, but with work, it’s one of my most used tools. I appreciate the calendar features, ability to create meetings, and connectivity with Microsoft Office. Unfortunately, every time Microsoft updates Office, I have to get used to old features in new places. It drives me a little nuts.

Windows 10 Mail is flakier than a layered breakfast biscuit. It’s feature light almost to the extreme, and it tends to shut down at the drop of a hat. It’s slow to load, doesn’t do everything I want it to, and is frustrating to use. I don’t know how they got it so wrong.

Pegasus email is one I’ve try every now and then. It’s tricky to set up, doesn’t have all the things I need, and is retro in the less fun way. It hasn’t aged as well as some programs.

I’ve tried a number of Linux-native clients. Evolution is feature rich, but it just doesn’t quite work for me. It’s not as snappy as Thunderbird, a bit of a hassle to set up, and I usually don’t stick with it for more than a couple of days. Geary is too light and if I have to manually set up an email account, I can’t figure out how to resize the window. Sylpheed and Claws don’t fare any better than Pegasus. I’m not sure I trust Nylas/Mailspring/whatever they’re calling themselves. I still can’t get rid of the folders N1 set up in my email folders.

Wow. I have used a ton of these programs over the years. It’s amazing how little has changed. Some things have gotten easier (Thunderbird will try and find your account settings), but aside from some interface changes, little has improved.

I’ve more or less found a forever email client until when (if?) Vivaldi ever releases their email client in their browser.

Did I miss any that anyone would recommend?

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