Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Farewell Eudora, Hello Penelope: Your faihtful users await your email excellence

If I had more free time, like a lot more, I would consider having a farewell party for Eudora. Which Eudora? Not Eudora Welty, the Pulitzer prize winning author? No, Eudora the email program that was named after Welty thanks to her widely anthologized short story: Why I Live at the P.O.

I have used Eudora (a dialog from which can be seen above) as my main email client for about 15 years. I have faithfully paid for upgrade after upgrade, all the way to version 7. My Eudora email archives tell the story of my life for those 15 years. The version that I have used for the last few years has a superb search feature that lets me access just about any aspect of that past in a matter of seconds.

But alas, Eudora is no more. Or rather, there will be no new versions. From 1991 to 1996 the program was supported and improved by Qualcomm, the folks who make cell phones (nod if you find that as puzzling as I do). Along the way a sponsored version was developed and the latest version of that can still be found. But the paid version is no longer sold.

Thankfully, Qualcomm made the laudable decision not to simply ditch the code and strand loyal users. The company donated the code to the Mozilla Foundation. You can found out the latest at Penelope on MozillaWiki. That's right, the new name for Eudora is Penelope. And although Penelope is not quite ready yet, she is getting there.

Hence this posting. After all, the decision to hand the code to Mozilla was last year. The official end of Eudora paid edition was May of this year. But the fact that Eudora is evolving is still news to a lot of Eudora users. I mean, I am a heavy user and I only found out by accident when I went to the web site looking for a better understanding of the Junk Mail filter (yes, it has a pretty good junk mail filter as well as a great search feature).

I think there could be millions of people out there happily using some version of Eudora not realizing what has happened. So, fellow Eudorans, go the link above and bookmark it. Soon it will be time to test and perfect a successor.
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