Main menu: Home Tube Challenge Underground : USA Living in America 50p iPod Music


Empty InboxMy god! I have an empty inbox. I can’t remember the last time that happened … and it’s the first time it’s happened since I switched to using Thunderbird instead of Outlook, and thus felt the need to celebrate by telling you all about it. And I just wondered – does anyone else not use a Micro$oft product for their email client?

And what about instant messaging? You’d think being a techie too, I’d be up on these things, but have only recently discovered other alternative bits of software other than what Microsoft want to brainwash you with, with I believe Trillian and Jabber being the two most popular alternatives for the Windows platform.

Whilst on this subject, if you’re a non-IE user, such as Firefox or Netscape, then you can’t help but helped have failed to notice that my whizzy DHTML menus (up the top of the page there) used to work fine in the rest of my site, but not here in the ‘iBlog’ section. Well .. not anymore! With a little help from my friend … (thanks Jono), the new menus are all now CSS driven, with a little bit of JavaScript for those that haven’t yet seen the light and are still using Internet Explorer.

Talking of which, when is the ‘great’ Version 7 coming out? The beta was available a while ago, and Micrsoft always said it would be ‘Summer 2005’. Well guess what – it’s now Autumn!

Not so sunnyAnd it feels like Autumn now, the nice weather that graced us at the beginning of the week heralding a nice Indian Summer has passed, and yesterday I had to concede and wear a coat to work for the first time in the latter half of this year. The clocks go back soon too, and then we’ll all be nicely depressed again. (Yay!)

Oh, and someone pointed me in the direction of this website here. It’s a little bit 50pence-esque. A chap in New Zealand collected money off of random people to help fund a film he was making – and everyone that gave him money got in the credits at the end – I like it! It’s at

29 responses to “MicroStuff”

  1. Neil says:

    I use Trillian for IM, yes. IM itself is shite and keeps crashing on me.

    Can I do that thing where I blow your cover by telling everyone what your new project is, forcing you into a flurry of denials, before admitting that it IS that after all?

    Or not?

  2. I use MSN for IM, but only because my experiences with Trillian in the past have been bad – and yes, MSN is the flabbiest, smuggest, most up-itself program ever made…

    …which is why I also use Messenger Plus! and the A-Patch. It removes most of the extra pointless buttons, adverts and wastes of space and time that MSN force upon you, making MSN almost as tolerable as it was back in the days of v3.6.

    Plus! allows you to prefix all your contacts’ display names (which are usually completely different to their real names and change every 3 days), the absence of which in MSN was one of its major shortcomings.

    Even with these two patches, though, MSN still hooks itself into your computer in such a way that if you have IE and MSN open at the same time, you can’t close MSN until you’ve closed IE. This is no problem if you don’t use IE any more!!

  3. Stefan says:

    I use Firefox, Trillian for IMs and used to use Thunderbird until I switched to GMail and started using the web interface. Oh, and I have Opera as a secondary browser in case I need something else than Firefox – and I’m very happy with all of them.

  4. David A says:

    Most of the people I know use MSN so thats my number 1 choice.

    Mozilla’s Firefox & Thunderbird are excellent! The security risks in MS products is to high! Since downloading Firefox on to my PC 4 months ago, after my laptop broke, I have had NO spyware compared to the average 1 a week when using IE!

  5. Yorkie says:

    I use Firefox, except IE to visit Windows Update, I don’t know how to spoof the name of the browser so I can use Firefox for that.

    I used Trillian for several years, mainly because you don’t have to look at screenames – you can use peoples real names (slight disadvantage that you don’t always know what mood people are in.) My main gripe about Trillian is it’s inability to support webcams etc. I might try GAIM, but I don’t think that wupposrt webcams either.

    Outlook Express is something that I’ve been meaning to ditch for ages, don’t know why I’ve never quite got round to it. Thunderbird is the way I’ll go unless I find anything open source. is a great site for all you people who wish you could detach yourselves from Microsoft just that little bit more. All I need to do now is ditch office and acquire another box to play with Linux on.

  6. Chich says:

    I’m a microsoft man myself i’ll use anything as standard as long as the PC keeps running fine and i can blame a complany in the end. Some open source programs you can’t clame help legally because of what it basically is Open source, they have no liability at the end of the day. So i stick with msn messenger and use something called “common sense” when mates send me downloads over it. A Classic example is where a mate sends you a file and you ask them what it is etc and you get no reply, obviously its an automatically generated message because they have been infected by the same thing they are trying to get you to download.

    Anyhow never had a problem with it. And by the way Geoff i’ve got the songs down to a choice of 3….ouch

  7. Brian says:


    Probably not to your taste, but if you are using OSX or UNIX you should give “mutt” a try: It’s the king of mailers!


    Not sure I agree with your argument. I’m not sure microsoft would compensate you that much for data loss/virus infection if you tried to make a claim…

  8. Chich says:

    Brian you’re most likely right, but i prefer it when i can actually go to blame someone lol

    And i finally got my U2 pics working again, might have to annoy NTL again sometime soon

  9. Chich says:

    Pfft taught me not to use spaces in a website address.There you go should work now

  10. Alan says:

    I ditched Outlook some time ago after loosing all my mail in it (to be fair it was my fault, but it seemed the perfect time to switch). I use Thunderbird now which is quicker, easier and nicer. ((Not to mention it’s not Microsoft…))

    I use MSN, AIM and Gtalk for IM. Most friends use MSN, but I use Gtalk if they have it. AIM is only there for my ignorant US friends and I’ll only log on it to speak to them.

    I like Gtalk’s interface and simplicity, any one else? I’d agree it’s lacking many basic features still, but I think it has potential.

  11. Mikey says:

    I use Firefox, Thunderbird and Sunbird. I only use Thunderbird because about 2 months ago, outlook express decided i no longer needed to see my emails, so whenever i open it, it says there are none, when i can quite blatenely see the files are 2MB + in size…i hate you outlook

  12. Paul says:

    Firefox is great and you would have thought being a Thunderbirds fan (yes really!) that I would like Thunderbird. It just didn’t do it for me, it didn’t look right! I will keep looking for an alternative though especially cos my version of Outlook is slow (only cos I don’t delete many emails!)

  13. ian says:

    Security exploits are largely proportional to the installed user base. So as the majority browser, IE will be targetted more. On it’s own, using firefox won’t make you more secure.

    FWIW, I use both, but I find Firefox slower to start.

    I don’t think Microsoft ever said that IE7 would be available this summer – they said beta 1 would, and it was, but but I don’t think you should expect IE7 much before the longhorn timeframe. There’ll be another beta release before then.

    I think you should also distinguish between Outlook Express and Outlook, and if you’re so anti-MS, you should go the whole hog and use linux or something.

  14. Roland says:

    Well Mr Marshall you should know there are may people out there who do not user Outlook.

    Those of us who use the superior technology only available to Apple Macs users (oh I forget we do let you Windoze guys play in our world with the Apples iPods, QuickTime, iTunes and Bonjour zero configuration network technology).

    I see the future one day when the genius Mr Jobs may let OS X come to masses and you’ll be able to experience iChat (IM), Safari (Browser) and Apple Mail software,

    But naaaa we we don’t want to give you that . . . . you Windoze guys cannot handle technology that does what it says n box, and would rather fun the buggie Microsoft software machine. (we’ll like me Geoff it keeps us employed, because if software worked were would we be?)

  15. Anthony says:

    Let’s not criticise all IBM compatible PC users for using exclusively-Microsoft software!

    Opera is an excellent browser, although it takes longer to start than IE (but it’s worth it) and has one or two minor shortcomings.

    The only Apple software I use is Quicktime (but only because those video files that may be encoded as .mpg are otherwise encoded as .mov). I don’t use iTunes. I don’t like iTunes.

  16. Alan says:

    @Roland “technology that does what it says n box”

    Where does it say ‘prone to crashing’ on the box? Until I started using one recently I was led to believe they were hard to crash. I’ve manged to crash it a grand total of 7 times, and I’ve not really use it much!

  17. Bumble says:

    Shiny shiny msn, everyone useifys it *nods* so’s I d o.
    And outlook tis riubbished ified ever.
    You know I’m right, thuingy keeps breaking on Ella so’s I not using it *niods*

  18. Chris says:

    I have used Outlook for a rather long time, since around Outlook 2000 in late 2000/early 2001 since I started to move away from Outlook Express, and although I have had some minor niggles along the way, such as the formatting toolbar disappearing into thin air, and the attachment blocking being restrictive (although thanks to a third party plugin this can be modified. After 2 upgrades (Outlook 2002 last year, and Outlook 2003 this year) Outlook on the whole has been pretty solid for me and relatively trouble free.

    Although I archive mail every year into another PST so that it doesn’t get overloaded. Amazingly, the amount of email seems to increase every year. The 2001 PST is around 100Mb or so, but the 2003 PST is around 250 or so Mb. I loathe webmail with a passion.

    Re. the IM thing, I use MSN Messenger as all of my friends do. I tried Trillian once but it was crap, so it went off my machine pretty quickly. I used to have AIM installed for one person but they finally got MSN, so that went out the window, good riddance too; AIM was pish anyway.

    I use IE as well, it does what I want and doesn’t take ages to open unlike another browser that’s mentioned *cough* firefox *cough*. WRT the stuff that gets banded around about IE and spyware – the user is more at fault here for installing such stuff. I can say that I have had absolutely no spyware through IE – probably because I am wise enough to not click “yes” when asked. I think users have a lot to learn – I tend to use the analogy when telling people about this stuff – if someone asked you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? The majority of sane people say no, and therein I link it with sites that coerce you into installing stuff by saying you “must click YES to view the content”. If it asks you to, then don’t accept.

    I have tried other email clients, such as Eudora and Thunderbird, but IMO nothing beats Outlook 2003. Other more obscure ones such as Pegasus Mail are just plain hideous. Just my twopence worth.

  19. Paul says:

    Chris, so if now I have a fairly uptodate backup of my Archive, if I delete those emails will be version of Outlook open quicker?

  20. Neil says:

    God this is boring. Someone say something interesting.

  21. geofftech says:

    What, as you appear to be unable to do so Neil? 😀

  22. ian says:

    I think Geoff is hardly in a position to criticize the perceived tardiness of Microsoft over IE7 when his new project is already running nearly 600% behind schedule.

  23. David A says:

    Something interesting…

    I once saw a train actually running on the Northern Line!

  24. Chris says:

    For the record, the above Chris isn’t me.

    I have never used Outlook Express, Internet Explorer sucks, and Microsoft is run by a bastard.

    So there.

  25. Ray says:

    I use MSN as IM, and Gmail for my mail…I really love the web interface, I prefer it to a program.

  26. Chz says:

    Kinda depends on where I am…
    Work: IE, Outlook and IM
    Home: IE (I know), Gmail and Trillian

    Unlike a lot of people, I have no issues with IE. I like Firefox enough, but I refuse to get caught up in the religious zealotry that surrounds it. I’ll use it when I build a new system early next year – my Win2k install is well over 3 years old and I don’t like to mess with it, lest my good luck get used up and my system gets hosed.

    Incidentally, I think Outlook is brilliant at most of the things that it does, *except bloody email*!

  27. I use Pine, or rather PC-Pine, for my email. See .

    That’s what comes of being brought up on Unix machines!
    OTOH it does avoid some of the problems of viruses being activated unintentionally.


  28. Fimb says:

    Firefox fo rme (except at the moment on the works laptop they won’t give me the admin password to *L*), and I don’t like using any email clients, so stick with gmail..

    trillian is great.. but gone off using any of them at the moment

  29. Barry Salter says:

    I use good old Pegasus Mail for e-mail, and gaim for my IMs, of which I have the complete set, and mostly Firefox for browsing, though sometimes Netscape 8 for sites that don’t render properly under Gecko (the Mozilla rendering engine), as NS8 supports both Gecko and the IE renderer.

Powered by WordPress