After a week of OS/X mail, I'm (almost) pining for Outlook

Jamaica Street

Because networking from the hotel room last week was limited to a tethered 3G phone, I switched to a local email program for my messages, saving bandwidth and allowing offline use. That email program was Apple Mail for Mountain Lion. I then decided to follow through by using it for a whole seven days. Never again.

First, the UI isn't that great. The most glaring problem is that it's read/unread marker is a small pastel coloured blue dot to the left of the summary -a summary that has the sender in bold, the first couple of lines below. Every other modern email program (outlook, thunderbird, gmail, Y! mail, live.com) uses bold to mean "unread", but no Apple think "bold is for the sender", and "unread can be a barely visible dot to the side".

I could maybe get used to that. What I can't get used to is the way that emails on a gmail account seem to magically get deleted, even though I didn't delete them. It looks a bit like there is some auto-aging feature, but it deletes entire conversations, and does it without warning. Fortunately, very fortunately, gmail moved the messages to the "bin" folder, where I've been able to select them all and restore them to the inbox.

It's destroyed my trust in the program. If you can't rely on it not to discard conversations, you can't rely on it. At which point, it's in the do not use category.

What does that leave for the machine. Thunderbird, and, er, Outlook for OS/X. Having the latter installed, I'm considering that with IMAP ->Gmail. This could be some leftover from my time at HP; I am secretly missing large ppt-ware and msword documents hitting my inbox, maybe even missing the bizarre dialogs that would pop up.

My past issues with Outlook on Windows are well documented. That set of blog entries are the best argument as to why I shouldn't try Outlook on OS/X.

[photo: jamaica street; painting the lamp post to match the wall is becoming a tradition. It makes for better front-on photos if they've done it right, as the lamp post becomes invisible]

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