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The search for a safe and functional email client
Eudora vrs Outlook???
Robert Charlton

 7:21 am on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

In discussions about spam and security against viruses, there's been a lot of enthusiasm on this forum for Eudora as a much safer email client than Outlook. I myself have felt that Outlook is the target of every crazed hacker in the world, and I've been reluctant to use it... but Eudora has left me cold because of what appeared to be a very mickey mouse address book. So, for want of a good alternative, I've been limping along with my old maxed-out Compuserve ("classic" POP3) system that can scarcely handle the number of folders I have in its filing cabinet.

Today, I decided to bite the bullet and to give Eudora a really good try... and after a wasted day I've concluded that, whatever else the program's merits, that address book really is a toy. I mean, people have first and last names, and when I have several hundred addresses I don't want to be fooling around with whether I called somebody "Bill" or "William," or whether I'm "Robert" or "Bob."

Full names in Eudora are sorted by first name, and when you view by last name, you don't get first names. This amazes me.

I thought of creating nicknames with last names first, but the program defaults to nicknames in the email headers, and you really don't want to send notes addressed that way. Even the auto-complete feature seems to work only with first names... or at least with the beginning of the nicknames.

I also feel the program has a very non-intuitive interface, though I could undoubtedly get used to it (Compare the address-book name sorting with Outlook Express, for example). Don't get me started on the documentation.

The alternative, for my system, would probably be to update Outlook 97 in my Office 97 suite with an old copy of OL98 that I have on disk, and then download all the service releases and security patches... as well as third-party add-on email monitors... and pray.

I'm trying to replace my contact manager too... probably with Act!... which interfaces only with OL or Eudora, so it's one or the other. I also need to support multiple email accounts... would love to use MailWasher or Pop3 ScanMailBox

What I'm wondering is whether I'm missing something about how to use Eudora... whether I'll get used to it, etc. Very subjective questions, I know. Has anybody out there used both and can give comparisons about the two? And can Outlook, with all the patches, be made secure?



 11:53 am on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Have a look at Pegasus www.pmail.com it does most of what you've described, but may still be not smart enough for you in the address book area.

Outlook is great in theory, but a bit of a monster if you really want to use the contacts, schedules etc etc.
And there's no doubt that huge numbers of e-mail viruses exploit the popularity of Outlook.

Maybe look at a dedicated contact management package which interfaces to your e-mail.
Tracker & Goldmine spring to mind as well as Act!


 4:20 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Plus, it seems that their data files are huge. It's been a couple of months since I tried it, so my mind may be influenced by exageration, but my imported .pst seemed to be 5-10x bigger in Eudora. Plus, I agree that it doesn't seem to be as intuitive.

I'm with you in searching for a better email client. I need the ease of use of Outlook, greater security (although I personally haven't had a problem yet, could be that I use AV and ZoneAlarm), and better filtering.


 4:32 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'll second the Pegasus recommendation.

Being able to preview the headers and delete at the server is reason enough to use it, but the multiple account set-up is worth the download too. The address book is much better in the latest version (4).

Try it. Doesn't hurt the pocketbook as it's still free.


 5:09 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Eudora has issues and the address book is definitely one of them (it took me forever to figure out how to export names from the address book), but you exaggerate a bit. You can sort names by any field you choose
- first name
- last name
- nickname

Just select the one you want in the drop-down list above the names ("View by").

Auto-complete works from both your address book and messages in your inbox. It does completion for the latter based on e-mail address and the former based on full name and, yeah, I always forget that my boss is in there under Robert. Stupid.



 5:12 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Outlook 98 and above rely on the Internet Explorer browser engine. Make sure you security patches are up to date even if it is not your main browser. Outlook 97 saves your HTML e-mail as attachments so there is no chance of malicious VBScript running from the preview screen. [url="http://slipstick.com]Slipstick[/url] is a resource you should be aware if you plan to use Outlook.

Also, if you deal with a lot of e-mail, I suggest looking into [url="http://caelo.com"]Caelo's Nelson Email Organizer[/url]. It has saved me hundreds of hours tracking correspondence and quick searching on specific words.


 5:14 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've avoided using Address Books in any email program, since any virus that comes along generally targets the address book first. If I really want to keep track of someone's contact info, it goes in my PDA address book.


 5:26 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I encrypt the address book. Takes 15 seconds longer to use my email clients, and I use Outlook and Pegasus, but encrypting the addresses gives me some piece of mind.

I also use PGP to sign email. People can check to make sure that any email they get from me is really from me.

The last thing I want is my entire client list to receive a nice infected email because I didn't take the time to secure my address book.

I haven't seen a virus yet that can send an email to :


 5:34 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

>view by

Eudora Lite 3.0.6 only has view by nickname or address as far as I know. And, yes, the address book is really weak on features when it comes to anything more than the most basic contact management. However, one of the things I like about Eudora (pre-html versions) is that the address book and mailbox content are kept in .txt files. The address book is nndbase.txt. Over the years, I've found this simple file structure to be very easy to slice & dice when integrating with other apps -particularly in the handling of relatively large volumes of incoming forms.

I use Ultraedit to do a local search, as the Eudora search is ALSO very weak. (BTW, while we're at it, the filter rules file is filters.pce -makes editing easier.)


 5:51 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

>I encrypt the address book

I've used Pegasus' built in message encryptor, but the idea of encrypting the address book is novel to me.

digitalghost, how did you go about setting it up?


 6:38 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hello toadhall,

With Outlook I just encrypt the wab file using PGP and delete the original. Pegasus use the PM! and PMR extensions for the address book, if you haven't named the address books they look like ADBK1234.PMR. If you name them they'll show up in your identity directory as yourname.pmr I encrypt them and delete the original, decrypt for use then encrypt them again when I am finished.

As another option, you can set up PGP to automatically wipe the original and you can encrypt the entire directory. I tend to do that with Pegasus while just manually encrypting the wab file for Outlook. I tend to use Outlook much more often than Pegasus.

I encrypt ALL sensitive data on my PC, Quickbooks, client lists, .exe files I don't want accessed, a registry editor is a good .exe to encrypt if you have kids around. :)

If you have to send files to someone, scanning them with your av proggie and encrypting the files with their public key offers some reassurance to the recipient. Being able to verify that the email did indeed come from the sender is always a plus, especially if there are attachments.



 7:18 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

I use Eudora, after watching a friend of mine who deals with thousands of people and hundreds of emails per day (very large volunteer org). Agree that it has some weaknesses, but beats having to check for patches every week.


 7:20 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks dg, I'll have to add PGP to the project list.

This would be an excellent option on an email client - address book encryption; decryption by password.


 8:14 pm on Apr 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

In the mean time I'll continue to use my bell labs audio file encryption method:

[bell-labs.com ]

All I have to do is put my telephone up to the speakers and Voila! nobody knows what I'm talking about except specially trained individuals of a certain cultural bent.

Robert Charlton

 7:26 am on May 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

It's intriguing that Pegasus lets you preview headers on the server. That's one of the features that has kept me with Compuserve all this time. I'm hoping that MailWasher or Pop3 ScanMailBox will provide the same functionality with other email clients.

>>Try it {Pegasus}. Doesn't hurt the pocketbook as it's still free.<<

I don't think that Pegasus will work with Act, and that would be enough to rule it out. As for the cost of a program, one of the real costs of software is the time you put into checking it out, so the free version of Eudora has already been incredibly expensive for me.

Yes, there are a bunch of features about Eudora that I like... including the .txt file format and the optional independence from Internet Explorer... but the entire interface is dreadful, not just the address book.

>>but you exaggerate a bit. You can sort names by any field you choose - first name - last name - nickname<<

- First name sort shows first names only... not first and last name as I'd expect, so I might be looking at a lot of Toms, or maybe Thomases, without having the faintest idea who they were. It truly amazes me that a software manufacturer wouldn't have the forethought to figure this out.

- Ditto for last name... you just see last names only. How would I keep up with all those Joneses?

- Full name and nickname displays both sort by first name. Imagine your local phone directory arranged this way.

I haven't really looked at Outlook 98, and yes, the point about the patches is well taken. Slipstick.com (thanks for the reminder about this site) lists over 20 patches for Outlook 98, which is really intimidating. The Microsoft patch situation has always been ridiculous, but I think I may have no choice if I want to use email to stay in touch with lots of people.

Slipstick says about the Outlook E-Mail Security Update, though, which I thought was going to be the Great Protector:
"Extensive update to lock down many parts of Outlook that make it possible for a virus to use Outlook to propagate. Install with great caution, since it will change the behavior of some Outlook features and most add-ins."

What are the problems with this Security Update, and what are the alternatives? I remember hearing that ZoneAlarm would do a lot of what the Update would do.

Also, are there any workarounds for the HTML email situation with Outlook? I already have Active-X off in most situations.

Robert Charlton

 7:56 am on May 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

PS to above...

sun818 - Your link to Caelos's Nelson Email Organizer seems to be broken, but looks so good that I'm repeating the link here [caelo.com].

mole - You mention Tracker as a contact manager. I'm still using the DOS version of that program because I've never found anything else that's even close. Discussed it with Woz in the thread on maintaining professional contacts [webmasterworld.com], that they seem to have gone out of business. Do you know something that we don't? Is there a Y2K compliant version of the program?


 4:50 am on May 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

What are the problems with this Security Update

The biggest problem is that some e-mail attachments cannot be accessed but others can make it through. There are also Known Interoperability Issues with the Outlook E-mail Security Update (Q264128) [support.microsoft.com] However the SlipStick site does have a download somewhere that will eliminate some of these problems for later versions of Outlook.
Also, are there any workarounds for the HTML email situation with Outlook?
I've heard that there is a way to completely turn off HTML e-mail in Outlook 2002...but I don't have that version and couldn't say whether it works.
Robert Charlton

 5:59 am on May 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

Bill - Thanks for the link. I had a discussion on the phone today about the same subject... that the security update may have some consequences I don't like. Somewhere I remember reading that ZoneAlarm Pro provides the same protection as the Security Update, but that it's controllable. Can anyone confirm or comment?

I'll be using Outlook 98. Should I anticipate any problems, incidentally, installing Outlook 98 (which I'm not sure whether it's Y2K compliant) over Outlook 97 (which was made Y2K compliant a while back)?

PS to above re ZoneAlarm Pro... Discussion about ZoneAlarm on Foo thread:


suggests it may be more problems than it's worth. Any other alternatives to OL Security Update?


 7:02 am on May 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

You do realize that OL98 is no longer officially supported by Microsoft...don't you? ;)
Any other alternatives to OL Security Update?
The recommendation that I have heard is to apply all the security patches available except the E-mail Security Patch. Then make sure you have all the latest patches for IE. Make sure that you do not use Word as your e-mail editor. After that, as long as you set your security zones in Outlook and IE to deny automatic scripts, ActiveX and others, you'll be about as safe as you can be with Outlook.

If you do all that, and then use MailWasher to check your mail first, you'll be a lot safer.


 6:27 pm on May 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I installed the Outlook Security update and it's simply wonderful. No issues at all. It does mean, though, that executable attachments cannot be opened directly. The update completely removes the worry about the most common email attachment trojans and viruses. I recommend it to everyone, and no one that I know of has had an issue with it. However, do read the docs completely as there are restrictions that are introduced by the patch.

Richard Lowe


 6:42 pm on May 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

>> I don't think that Pegasus will work with Act, and that would be enough to rule it out.

Yeah, I switched from Eudora to The Bat a few months ago (I abandoned Pegasus for Eudora about a year before), when Eudora's slow handling of large files finally got to me. The Bat is much better at that and at most other things, so I recommend it highly... but the one thing I miss is being able to integrate my email client with Act.


 11:15 pm on May 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've been using Mozilla's email client for a couple weeks and have no big complaints about it. I haven't seen anyone mention it...

Robert Charlton

 11:27 pm on May 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>My kingdom for a safe, full featured, usable email client.<<

Or a really fast horse. ;) This tagline from the front page states it well. I want something that's full featured, usable, and safe.

>>You do realize that OL98 is no longer officially supported by Microsoft...don't you?<<

As much as Microsoft ever supported anything.... The patches are still on the Microsoft site, and I'm not sure I ever would have gotten any other help from them anyway. I have no choice, because I can't afford to update to Office 2000.

A big concern I have about installing OL98 at this date is whether the installation will overwrite newer files that should be kept and create Y2K problems. I'm getting differing feedback about this too... mostly "who knows?"... but some comment also that this may be operating system dependent. The readme file on my 'Running MS Outlook 98' disk also threatens to install IE4... so I need to prevent that from happening too. Anyone install OL98 after a Y2K upgrade with a later version of IE than 4.0?

Robert Charlton

 7:30 am on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

PS to the above...

I can't tell from the KB articles whether Act would have trouble accessing Outlook with the Security Update installed.

Also, it seems to me that I've read somewhere (and my head is swimming trying to sort this stuff out) that email containing urls is blocked or flagged with the security update installed.

Anyone have experience with these issues one way or the other?


 7:52 am on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Anyone install OL98 after a Y2K upgrade with a later version of IE than 4.0?
I believe IE 4 is the minimum requirement for your browser...so anything up to IE 6x should work fine.
whether Act would have trouble accessing Outlook with the Security Update installed
I don't have experience with this, but I recall reading that if you have the E-mail Security Patch installed then any access to your Contacts list would result in a dialog box popping up...I could see how this could quickly become annoying if something was doing a mail merge or similar...but if you have Act as your Contacts manager, then it seems like the only drawback of the patch would be the limitation on incoming attachments.
Robert Charlton

 3:19 pm on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>I believe IE 4 is the minimum requirement for your browser...<<

To rephrase my question more clearly, would the auto-install process try to install components of IE4 over a later version of IE, and, if so, how can I prevent this?

>>any access to your Contacts list would result in a dialog box popping up...<<
>>it seems like the only drawback of the patch would be the limitation on incoming attachments<<

If the limitation on incoming attachments were all the Security Update did, I'd be happy, at least as far as Act goes. But does Act try to "access" the OL Contacts list when used as a front end for Outlook? Even sending messages one by one, that could get really clumsy.

How would the patch affect the interoperability of OL and the Nelson Email Organizer?

Also, on incoming attachments, what abt email containing urls?


 9:38 pm on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

Just thought I'd jump in with a suggestion: have you ever considered RitLabs' The Bat? It's a great email client that's really well coded so it's not bloated and slow like Outlook. It has really great features - the message filtering is superb, and you can import your address book from Outlook. It handles multiple email accounts elegantly - you can even configure it to run as a mail server - and has a properly encrypted secure version. It's cheap too.

I've been using it for about a year and have never had any major complaints. It's only problem as far as I can see is that it's aimed at more "techie" types who like to tweak their software. Oh yeah, and mails in HTML format don't render very well, but I'm a plaintext person myself.

My colleague imported all of his mail in from Outlook and has been using it with Act 2000 with no problems as far as I can see, although I believe you can't send mailmerges from Act.

Does this sound any good? I'll stickymail you the URL if you like.


 10:38 pm on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

TheBat! is it - best one out there imho. I've used it for a very long time now, never a problem.

It's true about some rendering issues with the HTML mail, but who reads that anyway?

Give it a go a ritlabs.com - it really is a good program. You can use it or you can really use it - options galore...


 11:18 pm on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

>> Just thought I'd jump in with a suggestion: have you ever considered RitLabs' The Bat?

I know no one reads the whole of long threads, but I already (sort of) recommended The Bat, several messages back.

But I don't see how your colleague would go about using it from within Act 2000. The only email app options I see are Outlook, cc:Mail, and Eudora Pro.

Robert Charlton

 11:28 pm on May 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

I had The Bat bookmarked, so I had looked at it before. It seems to have some nice features, but details about the features are sketchy at best.

All the website says about the address book is that I can organize my addresses by groups and that I can even add my favorite photos. If it's a techie program, it sounds like it's a techie program for the non-techie.

Can I sort, say, the recipients' list by first or last name? Looking at the screenshot, it doesn't look like I could. Will it interface with Act? In what file format does it store email messages? At superficial first glance, it looks a bit like Eudora.

This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39 ( [1] 2 > >
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