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Author Topic: A new start -- IMAP, FastMail, Windows Live Mail  (Read 12378 times)
johnk
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« on: July 12, 2007, 12:15:16 PM »

Once I decided to cut the strings with the awful Outlook 2007 (http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=8770.0), I started to have a good look around at what I really wanted to do with my email.

Well, firstly I wanted to get away from linking my email with my ISP, to make it easier to swap providers. And I wanted to started using my own domain. And I wanted to have my email available everywhere, while using an email client at home/work, so IMAP seemed a good idea.

So to cut a long story short, I spent a lot of time in the wonderful Email Discussions forums (http://www.emaildiscussions.com/index.php) and decided on FastMail for my IMAP provider. A decent reputation (though not perfect -- they have had extended outages in the past), a lot of useful features, and a lean web mail interface.

I started using Thunderbird as the client, but although it had a good reputation as an IMAP client, I found it slow. Then I happened on a thread somewhere about "Windows Live Mail Desktop" (now just called Windows Live Mail (WLM)- http://get.live.com/betas/maildesktop_betas).

I normally keep a close eye out for new email clients, but I hadn't come across this (perhaps because I've tried to ignore the whole Windows Live thing, and I don't use Vista). WLM is generally billed as an update to Outlook Express, although it feels more like a cross between OE and Outlook -- but in a good way. It takes the features I liked from Outlook, including the space-saving two-line message list (the Outlook feature I missed most when I started using Thunderbird):



Best of all, WLM feels much faster than Outlook, and is much quicker than Thunderbird at pulling down large numbers of headers when using IMAP (in my experience, at any rate). Thankfully, WLM appears to use the IE HTML engine rather than the Word HTML engine, as Outlook 2007 does. WLM is still in beta (although I think this may be the new, Google-style, never-ending beta). But it seems stable. I thought it was worth a mention, as there are so many OE users out there who might not realise they have a new option, which seems in many ways to improve on OE (WLM requires XP SP2 or Vista).
« Last Edit: July 12, 2007, 05:00:40 PM by johnk » Logged
tinjaw
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2007, 12:43:37 PM »

I can elaborate if anybody is interested, but my suggestion would be registering your own domain (I use GoDaddy, but there are many fine registrars these days.), get an email account with Tuffmail (secure IMAP, LDAP address book, and more), and use Mulberry as your client.
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johnk
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2007, 12:54:45 PM »

tinjaw -- I'd like to hear more about Mulberry. Although I keep reading that it's the best IMAP client, I've been put off even trying it because I also keep reading that it has a poor/non-existent HTML rendering engine.

Although I am a fan of plain text, and religiously avoid using HTML email myself, the fact is that I subscribe to so many (HTML-based) newsletters now that having decent HTML rendering is important to me.
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tinjaw
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I'm so glad breakbeat techno isn't an illegal drug

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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2007, 02:18:02 PM »

I am only just now switching to it, but I have always heard that it was the best, but outdated, and that if they would only restart development on it, it would be the greatest e v a r !  Well, development has been restarted. So I am switching to it and I plan on actively reporting bugs and suggestions, and where possible, help in its development. But, for now, it does have some limitations in need of updating.
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Josh
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2007, 02:59:37 PM »

How is tuffmail as far as redundancy and server outages? That is the one thing I require. I want to dump my current provider, although they have been good to me, simply because of a lack of redundancy. If they have a server outage, I need my email up as it is a prime means of communication for me. I will be checking out mulberry and see how it fares compared to thunderbird.
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tinjaw
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2007, 07:07:36 PM »

I am on my second year with Tuffmail and I love them. I don't remember it even being unavailable to me, so if it was it was insignificant. Here is a good page to see their service level (at RealMetrics).

I do not get any referral fees, however, if anybody joins up, please send support an email and tell them Chaim Krause sent you. I would like to show him I can send him business so I can ask for a discount for DonationCoder members.  smiley

Make sure you check out all the connectivity options you have. Note the abundance of non-standard port numbers to make it easier to connect (securely !!) when standard ports are blocked by corporate, hotel, etc. firewalls. They also have Horde Imp 3, Horde Imp 4, and SquirrelMail.
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Josh
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2007, 10:31:48 AM »

tinjaw, I think you've convinced me. The only thing I have to ask them about is pricing and special options for extended storage of mails plus what their backup policies are. Coming from you tinjaw, I will place extra emphasis on my decision since I respect your input smiley Thanks!
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tinjaw
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I'm so glad breakbeat techno isn't an illegal drug

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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2007, 11:18:32 AM »

Thank you Josh for your kind words. If you do not like their pre-packaged offerings, you can roll your own. Also, note that they offer a 30 Day free trial plus a 30 day money back guarantee. So you can try them free for 30 days without paying. Then if you signup, you have another 30 days to use it and still be able to request your money back. That is very generous, but they can offer that because their service is great and they have no reason to believe you won't get the service you expect.

Here is an extensive and detailed listing of the features they offer.
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johnk
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2007, 12:01:06 PM »

Okay, I finally gave in and tried Mulberry. Yes, it's fast. And yes, IMAP support is wonderful, and beats any other client I've tried.

But...HTML support is very close to non-existent (for emails containing images at any rate). Essentially, to view an HTML email, you have to right-click on the email, select "view current part", and the email will open in your default browser (or any other HTML viewer you have selected). In this day and age, that's just crazy. As I said above, I'm no big fan of unnecessary formatting, but many of us subscribe to lots of email newsletters these days. While some offer a plain text option, many do not. And very often, the HTML versions are a much nicer read anyway.

I did spend a brief few minutes looking through the Mulberry mailing list archive, and it seems HTML viewing was never a priority for the developers. Maybe now that it's open source, someone will do the sensible thing and use one of an existing HTML rendering engines to give Mulberry an inline HTML viewer quickly. Then the program would be an option for those of us who like a little HTML in our lives.
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Josh
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2007, 12:48:02 PM »

HTML is a must for me. As soon as I get home, I plan to trial Windows Live Mail and see how it fairs. Thunderbird, as stated above, is really nice and easy to use with IMAP. I love the default view that doesnt display the FULL PATH to the folder in the folder tree (inbox.something.somethingelse.folder). Thunderbird, however, has a tendency to lose my current config and restore to defaults everything. Plus, the non-existant backup feature is another annoyance I have. I wish that someone would make an IMAP client that works well and has a robust feature set. Mulberry would be nice, however, as pointed out it doesnt have a very active development cycle. Outlook would be nice if microsoft cared more about IMAP. But seeing as IMAP isnt really a CORPORATE feature, I dont forsee outlook playing too far into that arena.
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masu
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2007, 10:37:56 AM »

Windows Live Mail looks good to me.
Especially the fact, that you can handle multiple e-maill accounts with it looks great.
If it will have a good backup/restore function, I think I will switch from The Bat! to Windows Live Mail  Thmbsup

Does anyone know, when the Final will comes out?
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iphigenie
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2007, 07:27:56 AM »

I use fastmail - have just renewed my account for a year. I have about 12 domains on that account and it works very nicely, filters and all. Coming from godaddy's broken mail it is a delight. Granted fastmail has no funky web2.0 functionality but I couldnt care less.

I have managed to make it work with the following clients:

- opera's mail client. I keep returning to this one, even though it is not quite a fully fledged solution
- mulberry, probably the best cover of imap functions I have tried, but I keep using opera instead
- mahogany, a shame that one isnt really developed anymore, it is fast
- outlook 2003, to allow the kind of tagging i am used to for my work email, but havent used it long enough to check how it deals with imap
- evolution, since i have outlook i couldnt see the point
- the latest poco/barca mail. I like the poco/barca products, used poco for years but imap is still a tad weak (i.e. couldnt integrate properly with fastmail's trash / draft folders, althought it did work with sent), if they ever improve it just that little bit i might upgrade my license.
- pegasus, an old classic but not quite that useful in imap mode (the connect-to-imap system is a pain at least with fastmail)
- thunderbird (too slow esp. moving things around)

I am planning to try mail client in the new version of opera this week, they say imap support was extended so it might support draft folders and the like... would be neat.
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