Thursday, February 17, 2005

Speed Bumps (on the Road of Application Migration)

From the category of little things making a big difference...

Enthused by my successful transition to Firefox on all my machines over the last few months, I thought I'd give email client Thunderbird a try. I've been using Eudora since the dawn of time, but have been increasingly noticing its creakiness. (I'll still gladly take the power of full-fledged client like Eudora over any web mail interface, though. I don't get how so many people tolerate using web mail as a primary mail interface.) As for Thunderbird, I was enticed to see how well its professed anti-spam functionality performed. If it could do for my email what SpamAssassin has not been able to do thus far, it would be a lifesaver.

In the last twenty-four hours I ran the installer on both Windows XP and Mac OS X. For now, I'm using it quite happily on the XP machine, but quickly aborted on the Mac. The XP installation was drool-proof. It converted all my Eudora settings, filters, and address book entries without a hitch as far as I can tell. Within a few minutes I was up and running. There were only a few minor settings changes that I needed to make, and figuring out how to configure the preferences was easy to interpret.

When I tried the installation on the Mac, though, I was not offered an option to convert my Eudora stuff. The only migration I was offered was from Netscape. (Somebody actually used Netscape as a mail client? Poor schmuck.) That was that. I don't have the time to recreate my address book and complex filtering rules. I'm sure somebody's already built the Eudora migration tool, but it wasn't part of the basic install. Let's face it, I'm too governed by inertia to play the hunt and peck game to replace something that was generally working fine anyway. When it comes to bread-n-butter apps like browsers and mail clients, auto-pilot migrations are essential. Maybe I'll try again at the dot-one release.

The verdict is still out on the spam filtering, by the way. It requires training, which takes a little bit of time at the outset. I've had a number of false positives on messages from mailing lists, but otherwise, it seems to be getting better.

2 Comments:

Anonymous John Anderies said...

Eric, Do you use the spam filtering that the full version of Eudora provides? Just curious what you thought of it? I just got it a couple months ago and it's behaving quite well now. Only a few false positives in that time and the number of spams that make it to my inbox is pretty low now. My only other experience with spam filters was CloudMark with Outlook. It was awsome with near perfect results in no time. But then I gave up on Outlook for other reasons.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Outsouring Application Migration said...

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3:13 AM  

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