My brother has a good idea, and Sylpheed rocks

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

My brother the ex-MCSE mentioned that he liked rigging his Gmail account into Thunderbird, since it let him skim through three or four mailboxes at a time.

(I should note at this point that my brother has long since given up his job as a server monkey wannabe, and is now pursuing a tertiary education in a field he enjoys more than IT. So please do not fault him for once being an MCSE, only for now being mired in proprietary Windows-based software that is required by his profession. And for being a redhead.)

Since I’m willing to try anything once, I agreed I’d do the same thing, but not Thunderbird, and ye gods, not in Windows. So I installed Sylpheed on my Arch machine.

And you know what? He’s right.

It is nice to look at two (or three or four) e-mail accounts at once. It was a good suggestion, and I appreciate it … but the real bonus was that I tried Sylpheed. This thing is great! It’s simple, it’s fast, it’s a heckuva lot better than Outlook Express.

(That’s the only other e-mail client I ever used to any degree, and that was because the IT staff at my old job was anti-Thunderbird. Well, I guess I also used Poco for about four days because I had an ISP that didn’t have a Web-based e-mail service. And I guess I used Pine once at an internship at Temple University back in 1994 … until I realized I didn’t know anyone else with e-mail, so the whole thing was pointless. “Bah! Those Internets things will never catch on.”)

And you know what? It’s funny to me that six or eight months ago, there was a huge hubbub on the xubuntu-dev mailing list, over whether Sylpheed, Claws or Thunderbird should be in Xubuntu. (The battle actually begin in a forum thread, here.) A Claws developer even stepped forward and volunteered to help. But Thunderbird finally won out, which I thought was a mistake then (and I still do now).

I don’t know why is Thunderbird so wonderful. Is it because it has extensions or something? Somebody tell me, because from my perspective, Sylpheed does everything I need … at least for Gmail. There’s even a GTK1 version in the Ubuntu repos. How awesome is that? Can you run Thunderbird on your 200Mhz machine? No?

And there are more plugins and gizmos in the repos than you can shake a stick at. I don’t know what half of them do, but I aim to find out in the next few weeks.

I don’t know. Maybe this is just the rosy feeling I get after finding an application that does great things, that I never thought to try out before. Maybe the glow will fade after a week or so. But for now I’m hooked. Three gold smilies for the Sylpheed crew! :D :D :D

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1 Response to “My brother has a good idea, and Sylpheed rocks”


  1. 1 Luke 2007/09/10 at 1:30 PM

    I think the Thunderbird popularity is the side effect of the cult of Firefox. Mozilla is a popular brand name in the Open Source community so I’m not surprised that their mail client won.

    Also, most people probably don’t think that these lean distros will be running on older systems with low memory and slow CPU. If you have a 2GHz CPU and 2GB of RAM then it really doesn’t matter what software you put on your system – it will be fast anyway.

    It’s the old, retired hardware where these choices make a difference – and I could totally see how Sylphed would outperform Thunderbird on low end machine.


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