Surviving Email


Why I Live with Eudora

By jennifer j. rose

PC World called Eudora 6.2 “a middle-aged man enduring a midlife crisis: smart and capable but no longer youthful looking and hip.” Must everything be about youth and beauty? Do I really care whether my email client looks more like Wally Cox than Brad Pitt, just so long as it delivers the mail? My romance with the old guy started with Eudora 1.x Light, a free program handed out, along with Netscape, by ISPs. Slatternly, I strayed and dallied with other e-mail programs—Pegasus, Calypso, The Bat!, IE Mail, Netscape Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird—but I always came home to Eudora. What Eudora lacked in glitz, it made up for in a reliable, easy sort of way. And I was willing to pay for the program each time a better version came along.

What’s even more interesting is that PC World would assign the male gender to the program named after Eudora Welty, a Southern author whose works included “Why I Live at the P.O.,” a story about family conflict and sibling rivalry filled with symbols of communication—a letter, the post office, a radio. Welty, who was as dowdy as I am clumsy, had a certain appeal about her—a no-nonsense, organized independent, and sort of a plain sort.

This email program comes in three flavors—light, sponsored, and paid. The light version is feature-free and comes free of charge. The sponsored mode is just like the full-bodied paid version, except that it includes advertising. And the add-free, full-featured, tech-supported paid version only costs $49.95 ($39.95 for those who’ve purchased Eudora more than 12 months but less than 24 months ago).

Earlier upgrades to Eudora didn’t shock and awe; some of them even crashed. One of the most useless features was MoodWatch, which designated whether a message might be offensive, probably was offensive, or was on fire by a series of chiles. I disabled that feature right off the bat. Statistics revealed by day, month, and year the number of messages received, read, replied to, forwarded, as well as what you did with Eudora. Even though it sounded intriguing, it was a waste of time.

Eudora 7.0.0.15 was released last month in beta, and it’s exciting and downloadable at http://www.eudora.com/betas/. Right now, only the Windows version is out, with the Mac version to come in four to six months. What’s new?

  • Offline IMAP. While Eudora is offline, certain actions can be performed locally, and Eudora will notify the server when you’re back online.
  • IMAP Improvements. Deleted IMAP messages can be hidden from view or viewed along with nondeleted messages. Eudora can be set to purge messages on a user-specified schedule.
  • Index Search. The X1 search engine searches messages more quickly.
  • Boss Watch. If you’ve ever sent a message to the wrong person, this feature was designed with you in mind. Eudora will warn you before sending mail to specified recipients.
  • S/MIME Plug-in. Digital signing of messages is now supported.
  • LDAP with SSL. Queries can now be performed using SSL on LDSP servers.

Eudora’s tech support is ample. For paid users, there’s live customer service. But anyone can access its Knowledge Base, http://www.eudora.com/techsupport/; and its fora, http://eudorabb.qualcomm.com/index.php, cover Windows Eudora, MacIntosh Eudora, and everything in between.

The Light version is perfect for an older person, a novice, or even a child—anyone in the market for a very basic, easy-to-use, and reliable e-mail client. Many have told me that they’ve developed the ability to simply ignore the advertising in the Sponsored Mode, but the full-bodied Paid Mode now offers even more features that make paying the cost worthwhile.

Why? SpamWatch, a trainable junk mail filter, can filter up to 98% of those offers for body part enlargement, incredibly low mortgage rates, and »ç¶û½º·± ÀÚ³àÀÇ ÀÌ»Û ±Í, ÀÌÁ¦´Â ÀÚµ¿À¸·Î û°áÇÏ°Ô, °Ç°­ÇÏ. That alone is worth more than $49.95 to me.

ScamWatch is designed to warn the user of phishing schemes, warning of suspicious URLs. Content concentrator clumps related messages together, a godsend for those whose primary filing system often is their inbox.

There are those who might dismiss Eudora as looking just too much like Win 3.1, as stylish as orthopedic shoes. Those features, down to the calming light blue, strike me as retro and reassuring in the same way that Coca-Cola’s trademark does. Paraphasing Eudora Welty’s closing words in “Why I Live at the P.O.,”

But here I am, and here I’ll stay. I want the world to know I’m happy. And if The Bat! or Calypso or any other fancy-pants email client should come to me this minute, on bended knees, and attempt to explain to me why I should switch, I’d simply put my fingers in both my ears and refuse to listen.

jennifer j. rose is editor-in-chief of GPSolo . She lives in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico.



Neither the ABA nor ABA Sections endorse non-ABA products or services, and the product reviews in the Technology eReport should not be so construed.

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