After going way too long dealing with the quirks of Outlook Express, I switched my email client at home to Thunderbird this week. Thunderbird is the email client that goes along with the Firefox web browser. So far I haven’t seen any of the oddities that frustrated me with OE, which were primarily errors sending mail and some flat out crashes.

Overall I think Thunderbird is pretty nice. However, there are a few things that I’m not crazy about:

  • Thunderbird seems to take a little bit longer to start up than OE.
  • I’m not too fond of the multi-line scheme for entering recipients. I’m used to putting all of the recipients on one line separated by commas or semi-colons.
  • The auto-fill when typing addresses for recipients is way too slow. I can almost type the complete address before it pops up any help at all. The other problem is that the help disappears as soon as you get to the “@” symbol in the address. Suppose I have a recipient with accounts at two different places, but they have the same name before the “@” symbol, such as “junkmail@gmail.com” and “junkmail@hotmail.com”. I want to be able to type “junk@h” and have the auto-fill suggest “junk@hotmail.com”, but instead it gives up as soon as I type “@”. That makes no sense to me at all.
  • I had to download an extension in order to have Thunderbird automatically start up displaying my inbox. I think extensions are great, and they’re a nice plus over OE, but it’s ridiculous that you need one in order to start up in your inbox.

It may sound like I’m picking on Thunderbird, so I should reiterate that I’m quite happy with it, except for the few things mentioned above. I think it is a clear improvement over OE, and I’m glad I switched.

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