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sigh ... - Jim Huggins
July 14th, 2007
08:08 pm
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sigh ...
I want my red stapler back.

 

I'm an old fuddy-duddy who uses Pine for email.  It's text-only.  But that means that usually, it's really, really fast.  I can scan through the headers very easily with just a few keystrokes, deal with the easy stuff, and so on.   I don't have problems with inadvertently loading up spam with dirty pictures, cause those dirty pictures don't show up in the text-only versions.

Most importantly, a copy of every message I send gets saved to a different folder, depending on the recipient.  Thus, I have a record of every email conversation, which I can retrieve anytime I need to.

Yeah, every now and then I've got to load up a graphical email client in order to read email that's full of HTML, or lots of inline graphics, or stuff like that.  And, of course, I've got to have a browser open to follow-up on URLs of interest.  So I've gotten used to having a couple of windows open at once while I read my email.

Last week, Kettering upgraded its email system.  It's a very good thing, overall.  New hardware for the mail server ... and most importantly, storage space just jumped from 100MB (which I was running very close to) up to 2GB.  Sure, I'm all for it.

And it comes with a new graphical webmail client, the Sun Java System Communications Express portal.  Fine, whatever ... I can just ignore that and live nicely in pine.

Except ... I can't.  If someone on campus uses the client to send me a message ... by the time I open it in Pine, all the linefeeds are stripped ... and their carefully formatted message comes across as one big continuous block.  Ugh.  Of course, if I read the same message in the graphical client, all the line feeds are fine.

So why not just switch to the graphical client, you say?  On the whole ... it's actually pretty nice ... lots of good features.  Except that all outgoing messages have to be saved to one particular folder.  Of course, I could go into that folder and move them back into individual folders based on the correspondence.  But Pine used to handle that automatically!

I've asked TPTB about the Pine issue ... but I'm unlikely to get an answer anytime soon, because (a) the system has lots of bugs in it right now that need fixing (yeah, ok, I get that), and (b) sometime when I wasn't looking, Pine moved into unsupported status.  (When did that happen?)

I spent the better part of several hours this afternoon seeing if I could get Thunderbird to simulate that behavior from Pine.  I can, with the right add-on.  But the interface is so clunky otherwise ... it's almost more annoying.

It looks like the Pine folks are working on a graphical client called Alpine, but it's still in alpha-testing.

Sigh.

I don't suppose any of you know of any good graphical email clients that allow for saving outgoing messages to different folders, semi-automatically?  (And, yes, it's gotta run in the Windows environment.  I was perfectly happy with my Unix-based pine, thank you very much ... so let's just accept the "Linux rules" argument as read in full and move on, 'k?)

Grr.  I want my red stapler back.


Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:wildirishrose80
Date:July 15th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
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ah, how I miss pine...why on earth would they stop supporting it?

Wish I had a better answer on the email client thing...I have a long list of ones I hate, but I'm sure you've seen them all.
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From:jkhuggins
Date:July 15th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
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Mainly, it's an issue of manpower. Most people on the Windows side of the world use Outlook (ugh) because of the site license for Office, and most people on the Unix side use the web client. IT has lost a lot of staff over the last few years (as have all departments); they simply don't have the staff to support an infinite number of programs, and have to choose to support the stuff that most people are using.

So, I completely understand why they're doing it. It's just sad ...
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From:wildirishrose80
Date:July 15th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
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Blagh, Outlook. It only gets worse if you're trying to use it with an Exchange server....
From:gamerchick02
Date:July 15th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
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Wow. That's kinda crappy.

I have no advice for you other than getting a gmail account and having everything forward over there. Over 2 gig (and growing; anyway, that's what they say on the front page) and the sorting/filter functionality you crave.

I have no idea what you think about gmail. It's my default email now. I have a yahoo address for signing up to stuff (the interface is clunky compared to gmail, and don't get me started with the "new" interface...) but I don't use it much.

Amy
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From:jkhuggins
Date:July 15th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
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Never used gmail. I'd consider it ... but going to gmail would require changing servers, not just clients. And moving my Kettering email off the server presents certain difficulties. (Educational records have to be kept private due to FERPA; Google reserves the right to scan all email for its own purposes; putting my Kettering email on Gmail might be construed as a violation of FERPA.)
From:gamerchick02
Date:July 15th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
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Oh. I'm sorry. I was only thinking of the sweet, sweet label function of gmail. I see where the educational records thing could be an issue.

I agree with what wildirishrose80 said about Outlook. I had to use it at Dow, and although it was good for some things, it totally was irritating to use for others. I had to use it because it was provided.

I know of two for Linux that may or may not be available for Windows: Kmail and Evolution. I think Kmail is available for Windows (it's part of the KPIM suite) but I'm not sure if it has what you need.

A quick google search came up with this:

http://email.about.com/od/windowsemailclients/tp/free_email_prog.htm
http://www.emailaddresses.com/email_software.htm

The top ones are Thunderbird and Eudora. Opera also has a mail program, but I'm not sure if you need a browser along with it.

Hope that helps.

Amy
[User Picture]
From:jkhuggins
Date:July 16th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
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I did a real brief search; there is apparently an Evolution client for Windows. I'll have to take some time to investigate them.
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From:dwh
Date:July 15th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
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I still ssh into OCCS and check my CS e-mail account in pine.
(Deleted comment)
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From:jkhuggins
Date:July 17th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
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I can go either way, actually. I use Solaris on campus most of the time, and Windows at home.

But even at home, I preferred ssh-ing into a Solaris machine and using Pine. Before Kettering got a spam filter, and porn spam was really common, I hated the idea of having that stuff showing up on my screen automatically ... and it wouldn't in a text-only environment.

I'm not anti-Linux, not at all. Mainly ... I don't have a compelling reason to switch. Politics aside ... I can do anything I want in either system, and I don't really have the desire to become a Linux sysadmin, so ... that's where I live, mostly.
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From:dxpenguin
Date:July 17th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
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I seem to remember some time back trying out an e-mail client called Mutt. It's installed on the Kettering systems, and it's completely text based. The key differences between it and pine (other than having to get used to it) is that it a) it stores it's mail in maildir format instead of mbox, and b) it can do rudimentary HTML parsing. Based on the problem you describe, that's probably the best solution. I'm guessing the e-mail server is doing a lot of formatting on the HTML version of the e-mail, but it either isn't sending the text version, and Pine is having to make due without an understanding of the
tag, or it's just stripping out all of the HTML and calling it plaintext.
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