Eulogy for Eudora (the email client, not the writer)

July 19, 2009 at 11:21 am | Posted in Macintosh | Leave a comment

I have come here not to bury Eudora, but to praise it as my email client for the last seventeen years. Through the ups and downs of Apple history, from System 7 through Leopard, Eudora has been the one application I have used on a regular basis.

Eudora Eulogy

Two years ago, Qualcomm decided it was no longer profitable to maintain this high-quality email client and announced that future versions of Eudora would be based on Mozilla Thunderbird. Known as the Penelope project, the roadmap made sense and it was comforting to know that former Eudora programmers like Steve Dorner would be involved in development.

With the upcoming transition to Snow Leopard, chances were good that Eudora 6 would run, but I really wanted support for technologies like Address Book and better HTML
rendering, not to mention reduce the need to run PowerPC code under Rosetta emulation on my Intel Mac.

I tried to use the last few versions of Penelope and my messages could never quite make the transition correctly. I also tried Odysseus/MailForge, which was designed to please long-time Eudora users, but that too was unable to mport my messages and crashed too many times. I even tried Apple Mail with even less success. After all these years, I had accumulated over 85,000 messages spread out over 100 mailboxes, but each mailbox can be imported separately, and I was willing to import each one individually if it came to that.

So it was time to look for another email client. One of my requirements was that the client be able to store, or at least export, my messages in text format. I finally found a modern email client I feel best represents the Eudora spirit – GyazMail. It’s a commercial ($18) email client from a Japanese developer that uses the latest MacOS technologies, and stores mailboxes as separate files (Unix mbox import/export).

I have created a separate page showing what I did to import years of Eudora email into GyazMail. I did not import filters nor nicknames/address books. My filters are simple
and I had already duplicated my Eudora address book to Apple’s built-in Address Book database.

I’ve been using GyazMail for a week and so far has proven itself to be a worthy successor to Eudora. As long as it is well-maintained and updated, I’d like to keep using this email client for many years to come.

[Update – with apologies to my former English teachers. Eudora Welty was a great American author, and in no way does the Eudora email client rise above her.]

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