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Re-evaluating Postbox – Day 17

Switching from Entourage to Postbox

Well folks, I guess it is decision time. After all my trials and errors, I am looking seriously at moving my laptop to Postbox.  Postbox comes in 2 flavors, the free Express and the full version. You can compare the features here.

The more I look at the program, the more I like it. Here are a few of the features in its favor:

  1. First of all, it is graphically pleasing and refined. It appears a lot like Entourage, so that there is the intuitive factor for understanding the program.
  2. It integrates with Apple Address Book, iCal, and iPhoto, so it will prevent the duplication errors of the sync of Entourage and Address Book.
  3. It supports POP, IMAP, RSS, and newsgroup accounts
  4. It has social integration with Facebook and Twitter
  5. It has message threading and tabbing of discussions.
  6. It has, what appears to be, lightening fast search capabilities.
  7. Though laborious, you can import email from Entourage through a cumbersome drag and drop procedure, but it will preserve folder structure. See here for details.

Entourage is criticized for having all the mail in a single database. The problems with a single database are twofold: 1, corruption of the database leads to loss of all data, and the larger databases are susceptible to corruption (I have not had an unrecoverable problem in 5 years that could not be fixed by using the built-in recovery tools or by using my latest backup.), and 2, TimeMachine backups are huge since the entire database is backed up with any small change. A mail set up with separate files for each email would prevent both problems.  Unfortunately, Postbox also uses a single mail database.  Apparently Office 2011’s Outlook will change to an individual mail setup, but Postbox will not until version 3 at the earliest.

The main reason I wanted to import an existing mail database is so that it can be searched easily. I have decided that for  mobile platform, it is probably better just to use IMAP and leave messages on the server, so that when I get home,  I will have one, current database of downloaded messages in my desktop.

My only hesitancy right now is that Postbox is about to release version 2 of the paid version of the software – or it is supposed to be released. The target date of summer is passing quickly, and version 1 owners will have to pay to upgrade, and no date is given for a free upgrade for current purchases. So I plan, at this point, to use the Express version until the new version is released.

However, in terms of features, look and feel, integration and general usefulness, I think it makes sense. It says it works on POP folders, and if it actually functions as a download POP mail program, it may become my full time replacement for Entourage on both machines. I will be testing it and learning more about it in the next few weeks. I’ll keep you posted. I’ll also be checking for bad crashes, in case that recurs.

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