Mozilla Thunderturkey and its malcontents
And better email alternatives
What's the fuss about?
To be fair, there are a few readers with a trouble-free Thunderbird existence.
I use T-Bird for POP access to several accounts, and it works fantastic, as it always has. I use X1 for indexing, since T-bird search sucks and I already have a two-use license for X1 - the first license is on my work machine and indexes ~10GB of Outlook mail nicely. I just thought it was worth mentioning that not every one uses T-Bird for IMAP mail, and for those who don't it's a great email client.
Hang on. The first thing I did with the "updated and improved" Outlook forced upon me by my employer was to disable indexing. It was non-trivial, but doing so improved system performance measurably.
I have been running Tbird v3 (now v3.1.2) since it was released. I also run the Lightning calendar/appointments add-on.
As I write this email on Tbird (with Windows Task Manager open to monitor my PC's performance) my CPU usage is not going above 1%.
Looking at the Processes in memory, Tbird is using 80KB, Firefox is using 89KB and Windows Explorer is using 47KB. Everything else is less than this.
I really cannot see why you are calling Tbird a resource hog. I have it open all the time, and would certainly notice if it started to hog my resources.
(I emailed back enquiring about the size of the Oldsparks mail, but no reply yet.)
Read your article on the Register. Didn't agree with it at all.
I am using Thunderbird on my macbook pro. I've switched from mail.app recently.
My mail directory is just over 1 gigabyte (1.02gb) for 4,300 mail messages. I am using Thunderbird 3.12. I have no performance problems at all.
I loaded up activity monitor to see how much memory it is using. I was expecting a large number after reading your article. But it is currently at 115.6Mbytes.
I have also used Opera mail previously, it is a pretty reasonable client. But you do have to watch memory using. The web browser does like a lot of memory. I have opera open at the moment, and it is currently using 192Mbytes with 1 tab and no mail or other options enabled.
Honestly, Andrew, I can't see what the fuss is about. (There was a recent thread on a similar topic on Slashdot). I'm running Thunderbird 3.1.2 on Windows 7 (64-bit) and it's currently sitting quietly with a working set of about 100KB - perfectly reasonable IMHO. I am an email packrat, and my profile contains everything I have sent and received since 1997 - many many thousands of emails, many with large attachments. I have never noticed the slightest impact on my PC's performance - although, like all Windows systems I have known, it sometimes hangs up for minutes on end (currently just after I've logged in after booting), when I'm NOT running Thunderbird.
I've been running The Bat! successfully on Windows7 32bit for a couple of months now. It's version 4.0.38. No issues with it at all. Works as well as it always did. :-)
Whatever the relative speed of thunderbird is ... (It does run fine on a few of my netbooks)
My biggest benefit of Thunderbird is actually the enigmail plug-in that allow pgp encrypted emails.
The combination of Thunderbird/Enigmail/PGP/gmail-IMAP works cross platform on Linux, Mac and Windows.
I have not found I can replace my use of Thunderbird with something that does IMAP to gmail and also pgp encrypted emails.
Lately I did find out the hard way (again) that the Thunderbird/Enigmail teams need to synchronize releases a bit more so that prebuild enigmail binaries are available when a new TB arrives.