I moved back to Outlook 2003 after all the fuss of moving to Thunderbird. I think I gave it a fair trial (about 6 months) but in the end it just wasn’t up to the job in the same way Outlook was. What I really wanted from a mail package was the following:
- Email via IMAP – Outlook and Thunderbird both do a great job with this natively. I’ve yet to find a popular mailer that doesn’t to be honest. With the IMAP server set up on my local linux server, I enjoy being able to access the same inbox from multiple machines wherever and whenever I want it.
- Shared Address Book – I want to share the Address book between all the computers that access the email server. Neither Thunderbird or Outlook do this natively over IMAP, but I’ll go into how I tried to fix it on both machines later.
- Shared Calendar – I don’t want to manage different calendars all over the place. I want the same set of appointments and reminders all the way from my Pocket PC to my gaming machine to my work desktop. Again, there’s no native support for either of these scenarios in Thunderbird or Outlook over IMAP but I had some inroads into getting around them.
- Pocket PC Integration – Outlook does this easily. Thunderbird doesn’t. It’s really that simple.
Getting around the address book and calendar limitations was interesting. I first tried the SyncKolab plugin with the mozilla calendar add-on and it seemed to transfer my address book from one machine to another without too many problems. When it came to merging in changes from various places though, it just failed to work at all. It may have been something I did, but if I can’t work it out then it’s no good to me. Again, I tried for a few weeks to work with this but in the end it just wasn’t happening.
So, I moved back to Outlook (with the transfer of contacts via Outlook Express because Outlook and Thunderbird don’t support import/export from each other) and fired up the Bynari Insight IMAP connector which makes my IMAP server appear like an Exchange Server. Suddenly I now have the full Outlook/Exchange functionality and am independant of the machine I’m working on for my Calendar and Contact lists http://www.tadalafilotc.com/.
Yeah – I like open source and all, but it still sucks in places and I’m not about to sacrifice my own ease of use just for someone’s political statement on how source code “should be free”. Get a better program and I’ll use it. Until then, I’m going with the commercial stuff.