How are you getting your email (software? web?)
September 16, 2004 11:44 AM   Subscribe

how do you get your email? (survey of mail and browsers and MI)
posted by ethylene to Technology (48 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
POP3 using Opera M2. It's been pretty decent. I may move to Thunderbird when it hits 1.0r, especially if it files mail using a database like Opera does.

Never have figured out why I'd want to use IMAP. But, then, I have only one accesspoint to the 'net: my laptop.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:49 AM on September 16, 2004

Response by poster: ok, sorry if this bores the pluck out of you but--
i've been using netscape forever, even after they merged and such, part habit loyalty but mostly because it has always been the easiest for me to work with in sending links and organizing my mail. I'm on an imac, osX, and have had problems, some noted here, but mostly with my sucky isp (will slag later).
my netscape mail has been so screwed by their online instructions, i've resorted to other mail clients and webmail until i figure out everything by the end of the month.
I like firefox, but netscape has mail and tab browsing mand messengers, plus they have some odd bugs (like mentioned in other posts).
i just don't like msn products.
the indigenous mail program sucks.
i use to use eudora a long time ago, but other than that and telneting i've mostly used netscape.
i'll be upgrading to a proper cruising speed soon.
soo what do you use and why?
posted by ethylene at 11:52 AM on September 16, 2004

how many threads do we have about this? my config is here. again. mairix rocks, fwiw.
posted by andrew cooke at 11:54 AM on September 16, 2004

pine, because I'm stubborn. Occasionally webmail for handling attachments.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 11:57 AM on September 16, 2004

At home I use the Apple Mail tool, whatever that's called. At work I use Mozilla Thunderbird (though I prefer the command line too mutt, too many people send me html email though).

My transport agent is imap because I do access my email from multiple access points.
posted by substrate at 12:02 PM on September 16, 2004

One work account is Outlook/Exchange and another one is Thunderbird/IMAP.

As for home, I have a Yahoo and GMail webmail accounts. I also have Thunderbird/IMAP personal account as well. This last one also is web accessible with the Horde Webmail tool. Thunderbird works pretty well for me and I haven't seen it act too flaky (which isn't something I can say for other client mail reader).
posted by mmascolino at 12:06 PM on September 16, 2004

I've just transitioned from accessing an IMAP account with pine to working exclusively in GMail. No complaints so far!
posted by mr_roboto at 12:10 PM on September 16, 2004

Entourage, and POP. My server actually supports IMAP, but I prefer the comforting "Yes, you really have your mail" feeling of POP.
posted by kindall at 12:18 PM on September 16, 2004

I've been using emacs rmail on the command line since 1990 or so, mostly because I spend all day in emacs anyway, and I like to keep everything centralized on the server, in plain text. I've recently started using procmail to carbon-copy everything to a gmail account, though, both for backup purposes, and for making attachment handling a little less painless.
posted by majcher at 12:24 PM on September 16, 2004

I use IMAP from Fusemail - $20 per year for 350MB of storage. I get my iBook to download and cache all my mail so I always have my own copy. The reason I don't just use POP is because I do a lot of travelling, sometimes without my laptop, and it's convenient to be able to access all of my email from anywhere. Plus Fusemail aggregates email from three different email accounts I have. I suspect that Gmail is probably just as good for most people (I like it but I also like having all of my email accessible when not online).
posted by adrianhon at 12:25 PM on September 16, 2004

I love IMAP. My account's web-enabled, so at work I check it in a browser. I use Entourage at home. (I'd like to use Apple's, but it doesn't match Entourage's color-coding and rules for moving mail into subfolders.)
posted by kirkaracha at 12:30 PM on September 16, 2004

Work is outlook (which I dislike because searching is so slow).

Home was Thunderbird, but is Gmail more and more now. My fantasy: Gmail becomes IMAP (crosses fingers), and Tbird supports it directly (hopes for extension), so I can use Tbird (w/conversations and keywords) for Gmail (sighs).
posted by bonehead at 12:39 PM on September 16, 2004


Everything else is just fluff.
posted by cmonkey at 12:40 PM on September 16, 2004

4 e-mail accounts, all filtered into gmail. One university account, one computer science account, and all the addresses at my band's domain name. Gmail labels & filters make it so I can determine what address the message was sent to. really nice.
posted by slhack3r at 12:46 PM on September 16, 2004

+ I use elm vis ssh at home because it's fast fast fast and I'm stubborn. Also good for using procmail/spamassassin. Also, my ISP are good guys and keep my private stuff private to the best of their ability. I can check it from anywhere.
+ I use MacMail for mailing list mail because it works well in the background, has an okay address book, sorts mail into folders, and is generally inoffensive
+ I use gmail for email bursts [one time event email lists, registration form stuff, giving to strangters] because the spam filtering works well, it's moderately fast and I don't care about privacy in those situations.
+ I use squirrelmail at work because it's what they all like and I am nominally the email admin lady. I like it because it's easy and it works like it looks like it should work.
posted by jessamyn at 12:47 PM on September 16, 2004

Used pine for years, and still do. But my primary account is now my Gmail account, the address of which I only give to human beings or trustworhty mailing lists.
posted by Succa at 12:53 PM on September 16, 2004

(Free) Hotmail since '96. I have never needed anything else.
posted by mischief at 12:54 PM on September 16, 2004

Outlook Web Access hosted at home. And Gmail.
posted by adampsyche at 12:56 PM on September 16, 2004

I use OS X's w/ POP; for those rare occasions when I need to check mail away from my main machine (which I can do via Horde, installed at my web host), I have it set to leave mail on server for a day. I've experimented with most of the e-mail clients available for OS X, and I don't like any of them well enough to pay for them (although Gyazmail is close).

I occasionally use mailinator for throwaway e-mail.

I'm really intrigued by Zoe but haven't gotten around to installing it.
posted by adamrice at 1:12 PM on September 16, 2004

My server has horde webmail. I also drop by my Gmail box every now and then.

I was a longtime Eudora buff, but then I started just leaving it on servers and using pine. I ran into a firewall through which I couldn't telnet/rsh/ssh out easily so I started using the webmail and haven't really looked back since.

I also used for my 1and1-hosted space, but as a throwaway address for a spam-tastic free DVD player thingie. This has to be the worst web-based email I have ever used.
posted by codger at 1:26 PM on September 16, 2004

I'm with substrate -- OSX's at home, Thunderbird at work because I have to use a PC there. This is for checking my primary account, an IMAP university account, which will eventually die and go away.

At which point I'll use my own domain's email, hosted on my own server. Right now it's local IMAP (meaning it's not open to the outside world, only the local machine) tied into Horde/IMP webmail on the same box; since I've gotten used to proper mail clients, when I reconfigure the server in a few months I plan to use IMAP-SSL over the public Internet. With

Once I get a PowerBook I'll ditch Thunderbird and just use on OSX regardless of where I am, because it rocks :D

I also have two GMail accounts "just because", and while I love GMail's interface, I prefer the flexibility of controlling the email server myself and using a mail client without 3rd-party hacks.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 1:32 PM on September 16, 2004

I use gmail and Yahoo mail for online orders etc. For a client I use Entourage for OS X (I know, I know, the way the database stores everything is completely ridiculous). I access multiple POP and POP3 accounts and my .mac IMAP account through Entourage. I tried last year and had a bunch of problems with it. I may try it again at some point, but for now, force of habit.
posted by anathema at 1:35 PM on September 16, 2004

Entourage at work because I have to, even though I think it's possibly the worst email program ever written. Apple Mail at home because it's simple, organized, and the search interface is good. My Apple Mail redirects all my non-spam email to Gmail.
posted by mkultra at 1:52 PM on September 16, 2004

posted by anathema at 2:02 PM on September 16, 2004, IMAP all the way.
posted by waldo at 2:10 PM on September 16, 2004

Mail on X.3
posted by i_cola at 2:24 PM on September 16, 2004

Hotmail since 98. Got a 2GB account there now; webmail works great when travelling. Outlook Express for work. I'm very uncool, and I love it.
posted by SpaceCadet at 2:35 PM on September 16, 2004

I use Outlook Express running in Classic mode, mostly because I've been using it pretty much forever (since Claris Emailer went defunct, at least) and there's nothing that's free and enough better to be worth transferring my address book, saved mail, and ingrained habits. I looked at Apple's mail program when OS X first came out, but it kind of sucked, and anyway I still spent most of my time in Classic until the end of last year and wasn't willing to reboot just to check my mail. Outlook worked under both OS 9 and OS X, so I just kept using it.

When I'm on the road I use a custom webmail system. It kind of sucks, but not badly enough that I ever seem to get around to improving it.
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:52 PM on September 16, 2004

scrap netscape and go to mozilla. it's the same underlying program, without the advertising. and you don't need to get rrid of tabbed browsing, etc.

if you want to seperate the browsing from the email, to keep things simple, firefox + thunderbird.

i've been on mozilla forever (i remember downloading the brand new gecko engine in 98 just to play with it, before they had it packaged into an actual browser...)

my wife and i have had, at various times, upwards of 4 email accounts picked up under the same profile. my work, her work, and a couple of personal ones. no problems.

and don't import your current settings. netscape (and your ISP issues) might have gotten your current profile gunked up, so start clean with mozilla until you have it figured out - import mailbox files directly rather than importing settings from the netscape profile, and you'll have fewer problems.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:53 PM on September 16, 2004

fetchmail + procmail + mutt + cygwin + sshd + apache + squirrelmail on a machine I keep at work.

I check mail using PuTTY, or if I'm on a friends computer or something I use the squirrelmail web interface.
posted by mfbridges at 3:22 PM on September 16, 2004

For my main accounts (in order of regularity):, Pine,
(I use POP3. IMAP used to get super messed up for me, ages ago, but so badly I've never been compelled to try again.)

Disposable/Public addresses: Gmail or Yahoo mail depending on the account.
posted by maniactown at 3:23 PM on September 16, 2004

All mail to my personal domain is forwarded via a .forward file to Gmail and to my regular ISP. I POP it off to Evolution when at home, keep abreast via Gmail at work. I may turn off Gmai forwardinsl soon - I have some privacy concerns about their link tracking, and I now have Squirrelmail set up correctly for my regular email if I want a web interface to mail. Incidentally, the two big benefits of Gmail, namely searching and filtering, are well-implemented in Evolution along with the fantastic "Vfolders", which I use regularly. (Vfolders are virtual folders based on a search result, like views in a database).

At work, I am forced to use Outlook whether I like it or not. Outlook is the most shithouse mail client I have ever used, except maybe for the VMS email command I had to use about 15 years ago. Crappy search, crappy rules, no "edit as new", no "bounce to" forwarding, default settings violate established conventions for quoting etc, no "paste as quotation" - I could go on indefinitely.

If I were travelling somewhere with crappy bandwidth, and confident of using a box with no keysniffers installed, I would prolly ssh to my webhost and use mutt, which is the Lord's own command-line mail client.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:08 PM on September 16, 2004

the most shithouse mail client

... although Lotus Notes comes a close second.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:14 PM on September 16, 2004

Entourage at work because I have to, even though I think it's possibly the worst email program ever written.

... really? Sheesh. I use it on purpose.
posted by kindall at 4:16 PM on September 16, 2004

Yo substrate: you can configure mutt to use a helper program to strip the text out of html mail. Email me and I'll walk you through it.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 4:19 PM on September 16, 2004

another vote for, which I've been using for several years with various POP servers, as well as a .mac address. I've got gmail too now, and have mostly converted to that for personal mail, but I honestly haven't found it to really do anything much better than (maybe searching, but not much better IMO), and there are some things that it does worse (the ability to apply filters/rules to existing mail, for instance).
posted by rorycberger at 5:10 PM on September 16, 2004

My academic account forwards to my domain and downloads from that into Netscape 4 since... forever. Running under classic in OS X 10.3. I've set up hordes of filtering and folder combos, and have mail archived back to the late nineties. Seems like too much trouble to switch.
posted by Jeff Howard at 5:48 PM on September 16, 2004

POP3 using the Nelson Email Organizer. Because it's the only email client that reflects the way people actually handle their mail.
posted by gd779 at 6:16 PM on September 16, 2004

"the way people actually handle their mail"

You mean, "read, respond, delete"?
posted by mischief at 6:39 PM on September 16, 2004

In roughly descending order of preference:

Mutt (personal)
Apple's NeXT (personal)
gmail (personal)
Acmemail (personal)
BellSouth Wireless Data / Cingular Interactive Paging / RIM Blackberry (work/personal)
Thunderbird/Win32 (personal)
ssh majick@mail less /var/mail/spool/majick (personal)
Handmail for PalmOS (personal)
The awful little POP/SMTP client on my cell phone (personal)
Outlook something-or-other (work)
posted by majick at 6:40 PM on September 16, 2004

Mozilla Mail at home and work, plus 1 yahoo mail and several gmail accounts. I love gmail.
posted by Lynsey at 6:43 PM on September 16, 2004

PowerMail 5.0 for Mac OS X 10.3. It's as reliable as anything out there for OS X.
posted by psmealey at 7:54 PM on September 16, 2004

At work: Evolution
To check work email at home: Pine on ssh
Personal mail at home (including Yahoo POP access): on OS X
Personal email on the go: Eudora on a Treo 300 or Gmail

It comforts me to know that I can access my spam and work-related cron reports from anywhere in the world.
posted by bendy at 10:57 PM on September 16, 2004

.Mac webmail & Gmail on OS 10.3
posted by invisible ink at 12:40 AM on September 17, 2004

Fetchmail+procmail+spamassassin on the server polling all my accounts (on other servers) every minute. IMAP-SSL. Thunderbird on my laptop (which I almost always have with me), mutt/sqwebmail/cat to fall back on. Gmail and other webmails if all else fails.
posted by azazello at 1:02 AM on September 17, 2004

Never needed anything other than webmail, really. Tried Mozilla Mail and Outlook but found no compelling reason to continue with them - and became frustrated with some of their quirks and lack of responsiveness.

Now use Yahoo and Gmail (whose filters and tags I am loving very much).
posted by Blue Stone at 5:36 AM on September 17, 2004

Pine. If you can't send me plain text, I can't read it. And I like it that way. It's like a private idiot filter and up to now, in the past, ohhh, 3 or 4 years I've used it, I've never, ever, missed a mail I cared about. It's really easy to use, as well. Much easier than *ANY* graphical client I've ever used (Example: Try to get the full message with headers in Outhouse... HA! ^H in pine).

I combine that with procmail + spamassassin and I like it!
posted by shepd at 9:34 AM on September 17, 2004

kindall- Entourage's db has a nasty habit of getting corrupted with surprising frequency, it has terrible junk mail filtering, and it's slow. And nothing else integrates with it (for things like the calendar and address book). Honestly, try if you haven't yet.
posted by mkultra at 8:13 AM on September 18, 2004

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