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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?



 2:53 am on May 10, 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
Like most Microsoft programs that require a minimum version level of IE, I believe it checks whether your version meets the required level. It will only install the IE if you are using a lower level. I believe that it will warn you before installing anything like a browser upgrade...but you never know ;) Regardless, it's pretty hard to uninstall IE and revert to an earlier version. I doubt any Microsoft patch would do that.
Also, on incoming attachments, what abt email containing urls?
The patch doesn't do anything with URLs from what I've read, just attachments, and I believe it will set your Security Zones properly, but you can do that manually.

 4:01 am on May 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

The Bat:

>>Can I sort, say, the recipients' list by first or last name?

Not sure what you mean by "the recipients' list," but you can sort the address book on first or last name.

>> Will it interface with Act?

Not in my experience.

>> In what file format does it store email messages?

Again, not sure exactly what you mean. Each "mailbox" is saved as a text file. There are two native export formats, UNIX and MSG.

>> it sounds like it's a techie program for the non-techie.

I don't think I'd call it a "techie program," really. I'd guess that count_zer0 was referring to features like template macros, which are a little complex... but in basic use there's nothing demanding about it.

>> At superficial first glance, it looks a bit like Eudora.

Well, it's an email program. It has mailboxes, and an address book. I suppose the screen layout is somewhat similar to that of Eudora, but it's pretty much a standard for email clients. My opinion is that it's considerably more full-featured than Eudora, and handles mailboxes containing hundreds of accumulated messages much, much faster. I also prefer the way it handles multiple mail accounts to the way Eudora does, but I guess that's a matter of taste.


 4:11 am on May 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

How's the Bat's contact manager compared to Outlook or Eudora?


 10:47 am on May 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've not used it myself...but surely the other option is Pegasus

Robert Charlton

 4:00 pm on May 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Not sure what you mean by "the recipients' list,"

I call it "recipients' list" purposely to distinguish it from the address book. The recipients' list is the list of names presented by the program when you go to send an email. In Outlook Express, for example, when you click on "To," you're presented with a list of possible recipients in a vertical panel. In a well-designed email client, in my opinion, you should be able to sort this list by first name or last name. Outlook Express offers excellent sorting options... you can toggle through first and last, last and first, ascending and descending. It's not rocket science, but this important function has been missed by a lot of designers over the years.

Outlook Express also shows you, on the same screen, in other vertical panels, lists of recipients selected as prime recipients and recipients of copies. I've gotten used to this arrangement in other email programs, and to me it's very functional.

As I detail above, in Eudora there are first and last name displays, but the first name list doesn't show you the last name, and vice versa... you've got to click on them one by one and then look over to the address book entry to confirm that you've got the right Bill (or was that William?). Since clicking also puts the name on the address line of the email, with no list to review in the recipients selection panel, this creates a messy situation.

>>...but you can sort the address book on first or last name.

The address book isn't necessarily the same as the recipients list. What's important to me when I go to send an email is what's presented on the recipient's screen.


 8:36 am on May 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

I hear that 'becky' and 'thebat' are very good if you use Win. Do a search on cnet, i've not tried them as I'm a linux guy but in similar discussions these two always get high praise....


Robert Charlton

 8:01 am on May 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

TheBat gets very mixed reviews on cnet....

I did a search on Google for further information on what the Outlook Security Update does... and from what I read, I do feel it will cripple functionality with Act! and other applications.

Several articles on the subject that are of interest...

A CNN article,
Outlook update impedes functionality, but enhances security [cnn.com]

And a Slipstick page on what the Security Update does in specific applications...
Microsoft Applications Affected by the Outlook Email Security Update [slipstick.com]

I'm also hearing from several sources, including pageoneresults' ZoneAlarm Pro Foo thread [webmasterworld.com], that ZoneAlarm has trashed a lot of hard disks... so who needs viruses when you've got that kind of protection? :(

How much faith dare I put in MailWasher, Norton AV, and perhaps running IE with Active-X and javascript disabled? Is this enough? It's ridiculous that this is this difficult.


 11:10 am on May 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

If security is your main concern, Take a look at port995.com as an extra level of protection. It zapa all incoming and outgoing emails at the server level, so your Norton AV becomes the "backup virus checker". Really neat system, but needs a little setting up.

It also has a "whitelist option" and spam filtering, but the virus sniffing is working well for us, we got blasted by Klez-g,H and goodness knows what else last week and all I got was messages from Port995 saying that the emails were blocked and a polite message sent back to the originator of the email.

Makes me feel happier about using Outlook, but we use zonealarm and NAV as well... justin case.


 11:53 am on May 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

i use the bat and like it, but it did take some getting use to,

but it is not as powerful as outlook and just does not have the same filtering rules.

and there is no drag and drop in the editor (unless the latest version does this) which can be frustrating.

and the contact management/address book is not that great, although outlook is overpowered for my use

however it is good for managing multiple mail accounts

and it is good for personalised templates for recipients and has a lot of useful built in macros,

if you have a very heavy email load i wouldn't recommend it, but for small business and personal use it is excellent

and so far completely safe from virus (for me anyway)

the latest version has html preview, but i got it originally because i did not want that feature at all.

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