A change of mind

Last Friday I said I was going to make do with using various clients to manage my mail. A week later and it's all changed. Thanks (again!) to Prominic I am now accessing my Notes mail via POP. At first I had ruled this out, as one of my wishes was that my mail .nsf file be kept online and act as a permanent store. This is still the case. It took my some time and there were some teething problems but I now send all mail using Thunderbird.

Codestore mail in Thunderbird

So far I am loving it. After using the Notes mail client for so long, Thunderbird is a breath of fresh air. Everything a mail client should be! And if there's something you want it to do on top of that, there's every chance you can get it, simply by asking. The thing with open-source projects like Thunderbird is that they're developed by you and me, so they include all the features you and I want.

Thunderbird comes with Bayesian spam filtering. I am training it at the moment. Pat on the head and a biscuit every time it gets one. No server add-ons needed. Just mark them as spam and Thunderbird soon gets the idea.

It's not all good though. There are pros and cons. While I get to keep a copy of the incoming mail in my .nsf the same isn't true of outgoing mail. My nsf no longer acts as a record of who I've replied to. It's also tricky sending back spam deletions to the nsf file via POP. If I manually delete the spam it's removed from the Notes inbox. If Thunderbird deletes it for me, before reaching the inbox, the deletion is not replicated. To save having an nsf full of spam I will have to keep to pressing the "delete all spam" button every now and then.

Filtering spam is all very well but it's not the answer. To me the solution is to rid myself of it all together. To do this there's only one way to go about it - change email address! I plan on phasing in a new one over the coming months, which you can only get at by clicking a button (an idea harvested from Simon Willison).

So, there we have it. One less program running on my PC all day long. I can now run Designer and not worry about Notes. Now, if only I could get this to stick....


  1. First of all a word of warning: Just as always, I don't really have a clue on what I'm going to talk about, but:

    Shouldn't using IMAP instead of POP be able to solve some of your issues? As far as I know IMAP allows to "replicate" arbitrary folders, not just your inbox. And Domino supports IMAP just as Thunderbird does.

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Mon 12 May 2003 04:54

    You're probably right. I just didn't want to ask too much of Prominic in one go. They already host the site for free, after all.

    I don't know much about IMAP. I shall have to test it on my server at home and see what it does. Shall report back... thanks for the idea.

    • avatar
    • Brian Miller
    • Mon 12 May 2003 07:15

    The brightest idea I've seen is a few people handwriting their email address on graph paper, and scanning it into a GIF/JPEG/PNG file. Humans can read it easily (assuming your handwriting is legible), and most spam harvesters wouldn't even try to get text out of a picture. Even if one was intrepid enough to try using OCR to read the writing, the hash marks in the picture from the graph paper prevent even that.

  2. I totally agree about Thunderbird being a great mail client. For years I've used Eudora, but I've switched to Thunderbird a few months back and don't want anything else.

  3. Before I dive into grabbing Thunderbird, I thought I'd ask a simple question perhaps someone knows the answer to. I use hotmail... anybody aware of it having pop or imap access so that Thunderbird could get at it??

    I like the look of it and centralized so I can use it with my other email accounts would be oh-so-nice.



    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Mon 12 May 2003 09:36

    Jerry. This review says not {Link}

    • avatar
    • Jerry
    • Mon 12 May 2003 10:54

    Thanks Jake.

  4. Thunderbird and Firebird are my first choice for browsing and mailing. It's even not too much of a chore to get a site to look the same across IE/Firebird/Mozilla these days (if anyones does still try at cross browser compatibility these days)

    • avatar
    • Lee
    • Sat 13 Dec 2003 11:26

    To read hotmail in Thunderbird, here's a sweet li'l local proxy that works swell.


    For you folks using Yahoo mail, try this.


    Increase the peace 2004. Cheers.

    • avatar
    • Johan
    • Thu 19 Aug 2004 02:42 PM

    K■mst du zu mir im Herbst

  5. Anyone know of an IMAP server that will use MAPI to get the messages or work directly with my Notes client, so I can just leave my Notes client running to get my mail but read it in Thunderbird?

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Written by Jake Howlett on Fri 5 Dec 2003

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