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Eudora in the News



Syllabus Magazine
Nov. 1, 2003

Eudora: Original E-Mailer Stands Tall

Back in the days before Microsoft Outlook, there was Eudora. Designed by an academic and named for a literary icon-Eudora Welty, for her story "Why I Live at the P.O.-Eudora has long been a sentimental and technological favorite, especially among early users of e-mail, academics, and those who appreciate innovation. Eudora was the original e-mail client, a program that allows someone to open, read, and manage e-mail.

Outlook and other e-mail client programs have long since emulated Eudora's original ingenuity. However, Eudora, now in version 6.0, continues to improve its feature set. Version 6.0 offers several unique additions that make Eudora a powerful e-mail manager.

First, it is the only e-mail client currently offering a spam filter. Eudora's "SpamWatch" screens incoming mail for obvious and not-so-obvious signs of spam, shipping the unwanted e-mails to a junk mail box. The mailbox is preset to empty its contents every thirty days. However, users can adjust that setting to delete the mail as frequently as they choose. SpamWatch "whitelists" the user's address book, according to Bill Ganon, vice president of Eudora Products Group. That means that e-mail from anyone in the user's address book is automatically admitted into the mailbox. The "whitelisting" feature creates a starting point for junk mail filtering. Users can then opt in additional senders as the need arises. Of course, SpamWatch's system is not foolproof; users have to periodically check the junk mail box and "unjunk" those messages and addresses that they want to retain. Says Ganon, "With Eudora, the "unjunking" and adding to the address book can be done in one simple step."

Eudora also offers a "Content Concentrator," which aggregates the content from an e-mail thread, clustering the heart of the conversation and moving aside all of the "to" and "from" lines and redundant text. According to Ganon, the Content Concentrator allows users to quickly preview their mail without having to scroll through a long chain of repeated content. If a user wants the full e-mail text back on the screen, he or she need only to double click and it reappears.

Finally, Eudora 6.0 features something called Contextual Filing. This allows the user to quickly and accurately file an e-mail by right clicking on a word within a message. That click sends the e-mail to a folder or mailbox with that same name. The one-click solution has the potential to eliminate a lot of time wasted on pull-down menus and multiple commands.

Content Concentrator and Contextual Filing are designed to facilitate better e-mail management for the busy professional who receives dozens or hundreds of e-mails a day. SpamWatch makes sense for any e-mail user weary of the bombardment of unwanted advertising hitting their inbox every day.

Eudora 6.0 also offers something called "Mood Watch." This feature, essentially a smart dictionary, alerts users when incoming e-mail includes incendiary language, or flames. It also warns the user that something he or she is about to send may include offensive language. It doesn't stop you from sending it or block flaming e-mail; it simply identifies it. Mood Watch uses a rating system: one to three chili peppers, depending on the e-mail's "temperature."

Other features in Eudora 6.0 (some of which were available in earlier versions) include new toolbar icons, the ability to drag and drop attachments between the desktop and e-mail, in-line spell checking, color labeling for sorting mail, and a "personalities" function that lets users create various names for different types of e-mail they send.

Unlike Outlook, Eudora doesn't come prepackaged with operating systems or other software. You have to download it. Why buy Eudora when you can get Outlook for free on most PCs? Ganon points to Eudora's reputation as an "efficient, hard-working e-mail client" and its "powerful search and filtering capabilities."

However, using Eudora doesn't mean you necessarily have to pay for it. Eudora is actually available in three versions: Paid, Sponsored, and Light mode. Paid mode is feature rich and includes everything Eudora has to offer. It sells for under $50.00.

Eudora Installer downloads the program in a free version called Sponsored Mode. Users simply follow instructions during installation to purchase Paid mode. The sponsored version includes all of the Paid mode features except for Spam mode. Using it requires permitting an ad window to appear on your screen and up to three-sponsored toolbar links. Also, in Sponsored mode, users do not have access to person-to-person technical support.

Light mode is also free, but does not include Mood Watch, SpamWatch, or Content Concentrator. It also lacks several other features, such as live spell checking, automatic completion, and advanced filtering and search functions.
In 1991, Eudora became a division of Qualcomm. For more information about Eudora, contact the company at Eudora Division of Qualcomm, San Diego, Calif; (800) 2-EUDORA; www.eudora.com.


This article originally appeared in the 11/1/2003 Issue of Syllabus


 

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