Powermail, after all that work of setting it up properly, may not remain my replacement for Entourage. Powermail has had a long history and has been a bit of curmudgeon when adding new features. It took forever to be able to see HTML emails natively. Now I know a lot of people don’t like graphic emails, but I don’t mind them, and in fact, when viewing ads from my suppliers for software or books, I want to see the images. You used to have to click to open the mail in an alternate browser. Now you can see things natively, but the URL clicks don’t always work, and it is hard to tell when or why they don’t.
Problems communicating with Mail Servers
I rejoined the PM mail list group to get feedback from other users on my setup and possible glitches I was encountering. Unfortunately, the problems I was seeing were not specific to me. And I have discovered what is potentially a fatal flaw in the program. Powermail was not reliably deleting emails on the server when I deleted them from my local computer, and apparently, it was deleting some emails from the server when I moved them into a folder on my desktop.
My preference settings are “leave copies of retrieved messages on server” to allow my mobile platform not to delete copies for my home computer, but set to “delete from server when deleting locally” so junk mail and irrelevant stuff is removed. The loss of some moved mail and the failure to delete emails was an irregular occurrence, and I could not predict when or why it was happening. I have access to logs but I’d have to know which ones to look at and what to look for in them, and then to know exactly when it occurred, which is hard to figure out because I don’t know anything is amiss until I fire up an alternate email program and see a discrepancy. That is more effort than I need to find a functioning email program.
A fellow user on the PM group had this to say about his/her experience:
The only conclusion I could reach from my investigations was that from time
to time PowerMail does not agree with the mail server what messages have
been downloaded or not , which in my case led to a few messages being
apparently lost and tens of thousands of messages getting redownloaded even
though I already had them.
As a contrast Apple’s Mail performs without any problems with the same
accounts (but if this is because it’s better at handling the communication
with Mail servers I can’t know for sure as I had been using PowerMail
previously on the same accounts and to most extent the same messages).
I may be asking for the impossible. Something that has all the features of Entourage, the generally well functioning service, despite the all too frequent crashes in Entourage (about 5 times a day when clicking on html messages), and at a cost significantly less than the new Office 2011 Business version to come.
The advantages of Powermail are the vastly superior search capabilities over the search function in Entourage (Entourage is a slow poke when doing searches of large databases -maddeningly slow), and its stability. I think I’ve only had one or two crashes in 10 days of use. But if Powermail loses even a few mails, that is not acceptable to me or to my business.
Powermail’s development team is small and, while slow, has been consistent, but it’s programming core, around since non-intel, and possibly since OS9, is starting to show its age.
I thought about digging up good old Eudora again, but that program ceased development a couple of years ago, and I can’t afford to get into another EOL situation. I am still at a loss of what to do…
More to come…