Thunderbird 3

If you came here expecting to read something about that single-stage-to-orbit spacecraft that Alan Tracy used to pilot up to Thunderbird 5, you’ve come to the wrong place. I’m talking about the new version of Mozilla’s e-mail client.

I use Thunderbird as my personal e-mail client attached to my dadams.co.uk mail account, and therefore the function I use most of all is ‘Delete’ as I clean up the stuff that isn’t spam but I really can’t be bothered to read (thank you Apple, for all those lovely-looking iPod and Mac adverts). However, I think that some of the new (or improved) features will prove quite useful…

  • Searching – an improvement… the thing I search for most often is my British Airways Executive Club membership number. The improved search feature provides a page of results, which means I can easily navigate through them. Nice.
  • Tabbed e-mail – if you open an e-mail it becomes a tab within Thunderbird. Lotus Notes does that too, so it feels more familiar.
  • Better address book integration – a yellow star by a name in an e-mail shows if they’re in your address book, and you can quickly click on the name to edit the contact details or reply to them.
  • Smart folders – I actually have a few private e-mail accounts… smart folders combine some of the standard folders (inbox, sent, archive) into one, which makes monitoring multiple e-mail accounts much easier.
  • Attachment reminder – rather limited but quite cool… if you type the word ‘attachment’ into an e-mail Thunderbird will remind you that you may want to attach an attachment.
  • Archiving – you can archive e-mails. I doubt if I’ll use this, I just delete stuff.

So there you have it… it’s not a tremendously exciting release, but there’s some nice touches. And hopefully the guy who created the Azerty theme will update it soon so I can get the look and feel I liked in Thunderbird version 2.