Outlook Express 6

NEWWe noticed our review of PocoMail 2.63 was dated October 28, 2002. We go through e-mail apps like Imelda Marcos went through shoes. Holey cow, we’re using OE 6 now. How long did Pocomail Last, and why did we switch?

We stuck with PocoMail for a little over a year. In our book, it remains a solid, stable app with few quirks or glitches serious enough to be bothersome. For us, that’s saying a lot.

What really provoked the switch might well be more of a training issue than any problem with the software or its design. Synchronizing mail files with the laptop turned out to be a bodaciously hellacious job. “For us, that’s saying a lot”.

After a file synch that looked perfectly good to us in Windows Explorer, we would take the laptop off on vacation, and PocoMail would somehow re-index everything so that we ended up with two copies of every mail item in the in-box, dating back to the previous vacation. We never figured out what we were missing. I like Outlook Express 6 a lot better, though, and it seems cleaner and more reliable than the bloated corporate Outlook bundled with MS Office.

Backup for Outlook Express is a bit non-intuitive, but we’ve figured it out, and we haven’t trashed any more directories since last year. OE6 is rock-stable, simple and reliable. It supports multiple accounts. Addressing is robust. It has most of the features I want from MS Outlook, without the bloat or proneness to freezing I’ve experienced with the full Outlook in the past. Outlook Express is free (it’s part of the Windows installation).

OE6 also creates separate mail files for each individual mail folder, rather than the monolithic archive of the full Outlook. This speeds up file synch (only the folders that have changed get updated), and if a file should ever get corrupted, you haven’t lost the whole email collection.

YAH, yeah, yeah: anybody who hasn’t heard until they’re sick of it that Outlook Express is a spam and virus magnet, causes warts and premature aging, and is responsible for West Nile Disease: sounds like an agenda sermon to me. Linux is great, and I WILL get around to trying it (unless I get badgered too much), but a Microsoft-free world is not an end-all be-all. Throw out the old faith-based credos. Shun those who evangelize it as gospel.

Or, as a good friend says, Alex, why not tell us how you really feel?

I like Outlook Express and plan to stick with it until it gives me a compelling reason to ditch it. “For us, that’s saying a lot”. OE6 will do just fine.

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