Watches Your Mouth
By Jim Bray
Eudora is a wonderful tool whose latest version can even help save you
from embarrassing cases of giving online offence.
I can remember using the shareware version of Eudora when I was a Net
neophyte. It was a basic program that handled all my normal cyber-posting
duties, but it was still an entry level program while Eudora Pro
was more like a car with leather seats, ABS and traction control.
The downside was that you had to pay good money for Eudora Pro, which
was undoubtedly a turnoff to many people who were perfectly happy with
the Microsoft Outlooks of the world, or the e-mail programs that came
built in to their Web browsers.
Qualcomm has figured that part out and, in true capitalist fashion, now
gives you the best of both worlds. You can get Eudora for free, but you
have to put up with banner ads. If youve had your fill of online
advertising (good luck!), however, you can buy Eudora for $49.95 (suggested
price) and the ads are blessedly nowhere to be seen.
Existing users of this Paid Mode (first introduced in Version
4.3) get a break; they can upgrade to V5 for free.
As hinted at above, the most promoted feature of Eudora 5 is called Mood
Watch, and it could come in extremely handy if you tend to fly off
the handle at a moments notice. Its a patent-pending flame
retardant that warns you if youre writing or receiving
an e-mail that may be a little, er, hot for polite
Mood Watch looks over the text in messages and, if it finds any well-known
but unprintable words, gives you a chili pepper warning. Depending
upon how vulgar the message is, you can have up to three peppers.
I did an experiment with this, using a variety of spicy terms, but I
had a heck of a time coming up with anything that would generate one or
Guess Im just a three pepper type of guy
I pity the poor soul who had to type all these terms into Eudoras
cuss control dictionary; I bet his or her peers got to hear
a lot of colorful expressions during that assignment!
You can set the level of abuse at which the warnings are triggered, or
turn off the warnings completely, while still allowing Mood Watch to be
your cyber censor. You can also disable Mood Watch if you
like to live on the edge or you never send e-mails to your boss
or your mother.
Other new features include ESP (Eudora Sharing Protocol), a way by which
you can set up a group to share any file that can be sent as an e-mail
attachment. This means that, once your group is set up and configured
(using a Wizard), it monitors the files in your designated folder and,
if any of them change, updates the rest of the groups designated
folders as well.
This is a nice way for people to keep shared files up to date, without
having to keep track of whats stored where. ESP handles the file
distribution, notifications, and even the archiving of earlier versions
Theres also a new set of e-mail usage statistics, which include
charts that analyze your e-mail by day, week, month or year. I dont
really know why youd want this, but its there if you do.
Eudoras address book is marvelously flexible. It lets you manage
individuals and groups, and you can set up large mailing lists in which
the recipients individual names dont appear. Version 5 offers
you more complete information on your addressees, and it also lets you
import data from programs like Outlook, Netscape, and Claris emailer.
One of the things I use all the time with Eudora, depending on which
hat Im wearing on a particular day, is its ability to handle multiple
accounts and personalities.
If Im The Techno-dude, for example, I use the default
personality, but if Im contacting a mailing list from a volunteer
group with which Im involved or sending something on behalf
of my consulting business I choose a personality and signature
more relevant to each task. Its marvelous.
Available for Windows or Macintosh, Eudora 5 is easily the best version
of Eudora yet.
Even with those hot chili peppers.
Jim Bray's technology columns are distributed by the TechnoFILE and Mochila Syndicates. Copyright Jim Bray.
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