Thunderbird 3

Like many out there, I migrated from Thunderbird 2.23 or whatever version came with Ubuntu 9.10 to Thunderbird 3 the day it was released.  The upgrade went painlessly for the most part.  I also installed Thunderbird on my Linux Mint 8 USB jump drive.  I really enjoy this new version, and must say it’s about time for an update.

Since the initial migration from Evolution to Thunderbird, I’ve never considered moving back.  Thunderbird 3 is solid, reliable, multi-platform (Mac, Linux, and Windows), easy to use, and has a clean interface.  I’ve installed the following add-ons: Quicktext 0.9.10, Silvermel 1.3 (theme), Lightning 1.0 pre, and Provider for Google 0.6 pre (both had to be download from Mozilla FTP site).  Everything installed with no problems, and since I already had Quicktext installed before, all my signatures imported easily.

I think my only gripe, like almost everyone, Lightning should be included by default with Thunderbird. Why have an e-mail client without a calendar plugin?

Moved from Evolution to Thunderbird

About 2 weeks ago I migrated all my e-mail from Evolution to Mozilla Thunderbird. The process itself was not difficult. I made the switch because Evolution is too slow for my PC. I also like the option to change the themes in Thurderbird just like Firefox. The current theme I am running for Thurderbird (and Firefox) is Silvermel 1.1.2.

I configured Thunderbird for 2 e-mail accounts as I had with Evolution. My Gmail account is set as default. One thing when setting up multiple accounts from two different servers, be sure to specify your SMTP server for each individual account. For example, after setting up Gmail, I added the second ISP account using the Wizard. When I went back into the ISP account, I noticed my outgoing SMTP server was configured for Gmail. You can check your setting for each account under the menu bar Edit, Account Settings.

So now my accounts are ready, but now I want to migrate my e-mails, contacts, and calendar entries to Thunderbird. I found at Make Tech Easier by Damien.

I install Lightning 0.9 Calendar add-on.  This add-on will give you a PIM system which allows you to manage you daily schedule.  It nice and works well, but I use Google Calendar.  So I installed Provider for Google Calendar 0.5.2.  This add-on allows you to read and write to your Google Calendar.  please note, the Lightning add-on is required.  You will need your Private ICAL address from Google to make this add-on work.  Since I also like to have the US Holidays too, I created a separate Google calendar in Thurnderbird called US Holidays and used the Google public address

One thing that I could not get from Evolution for some reason was my list of birthdays and special dates.  This was one of those things that I never got around to importing into Google Calendar.  Since I still have Windows XP with Office 2007 on my other HDD, I rebooted into XP and exported my Outlook calendar to a csv file.  After importing the csv file into Google Calendar I opened Thunderbird and verified all my entries were available.  For one reason or another I had to reset the occurrence from “Does not Repeat” to “Yearly”.  More than likely I goofed the original entry way back when.

Everything looks great and is working correctly. But I like to sign my e-mails with signatures for different occasions. Some are funny (at least to me) and some have my personal information. To get this function I installed Quicktext. It’s easy to use and I created about 8 different signatures for my Gmail and ISP accounts. After you compose your message just click on the dropdown above the e-mail body field and choose your signature.

When I receive a message from one of my accounts, Thunderbird has its native popup, which works well but it doesn’t fall in-line with my Ubuntu popup notification. I found this cool addon (which is still under development) called Mozilla Notification Extensions 0.1.2. Be sure to read the “More about this add-on” section.  Once this is installed, turn off the Thunderbird popup notification and restart Thunderbird.

I left Evolution on my PC, but removed the Evolution Alarm Notifier and gmail cal I found several months ago (which allows Evolution to work better with Google Calendar) from Startup Applications.  So far I’ve been pleased with this migration. What I might want to look at is what would it take to migrate my Thunderbird setup to a USB to Windows XP or another Linux distro.

Templates in Evolution – Update

Well it turns out Evolution does have a template feature in version 2.26.1.  Here are the steps to create the templates:

  1. Create a new e-mail.
  2. Give it a Subject (this is also the name of the template.)
  3. Modify the body of the e-mail, include and special signatures. fig 1
  4. From the menu bar, click File, Save As Template.  fig 2

In your folder lists located in the left windows panel, you will see the folder Templates.  That folder may have been there before, I’m not sure and I don’t remember.  fig 3 In the Templates folder you will see the template e-mail you created.  fig 4

Now you can right-click an e-mail and respond with a template you designed!  fig 5 You can double click the template from the Templates folder and send a new message without it removing the message from the Templates folder. fig 1

Templates in Evolution

I moved everything over from Windows XP to Ubuntu, and finished getting most of everything migrated from Outlook to Evolution.  I have to admit, I am still working out some personal issues with it, but that’s another topic.

When I used Outlook, I had several templates created.  One for jokes to everyone, another for jokes to others, and another for work I do on the side.  I tried to save a joke template in Evolution, but i can’t seem to figure out how to access that template when I want to send out a joke to my family.  the only thing I saw so far was from Scott Morris in an article called Message Templates in Evolution. It is a good idea, but i was really looking for something where i can save a file to my Desktop and double-click it to open in Evolution and have it ready to go.

I’ll keep searching the Internet, but maybe this is something I can research and build myself.

Ubuntu 9.04

Well today is the day for Ubuntu 9.04!  When I get home from work, I will update from 9.04 RC. I hope it is not another 2 hour event.

I was disappointed about Evolution not having the ability to import PST files.  I install readpst sudo apt-get install readpst to convert the PST files to mbox format.  I was able to import each mbox file into Evolution, and only had a few instances where I lost an e-mail.  Unfortunately I have many sub-folders in my Inbox, because I like to sort my messages, and it is a real PINTA to go through each folder to import.

I also tried to import my Contacts too, but that did not go over well.  I tried Thunderbird, but I was not able to export the contacts correctly.  I’m sure it was something I was missing.  The export I did from Outlook did save the file, and I was able import the Contacts, but the data was in all different fields.  So now I have to cut and paste the information into the correct fields. once again, I’m sure it was something I missed.

I ordered the Ubuntu 9.04 CD so I can rebuild the system from scratch.  Maybe Ubuntu will have the import PST files into Evolution available by then.  Maybe I’ll keep searching the Internet to see if anyone has a fix.