08.30.05

Back on Outlook

Posted in General at 10:00 pm by jw

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.

3 Comments »

  1. Tallas Said:

    August 31, 2005 at 4:00 am

    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.

    My thoughts exactly.

  2. Martin Assmann Said:

    February 5, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    I’m using Thundirbird and the Sync Kolab extension. It works.

    If there is a choice I use open source software because of its advantages: adaptability, reusibility of code, higher product quality, contractor autonomy, higher security, open standards and no licence costs. A new study from the German Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO in Stuttgart documentary that the use of open source software is recommendable in the areas operating systems, office, database and so on.

  3. jw Said:

    February 6, 2006 at 2:26 am

    I’m glad Sync Kolab worked for you – it just failed to work properly for me. Changes wouldn’t get duplicated, others would result in duplicate contacts, etc. In what I find is typical open source fashion, it did half the job and whoever was coding probably got bored of maintenance.

    The “advantages” of open source software just don’t always pan out. Ultimately your list just doesn’t match up with commercial reality – if OSS really provided all of those things over commercial software then market economics dictates that people would use them. Fact is, it just ain’t so.

    Linux isn’t a viable desktop replacement for most systems… yet. It’s getting there but ain’t there yet no matter what some random documentary says.

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