Switching to Thunderbird

I joined Sun as part of the SeeBeyond acquisition in 2005 and as such there has been a transition of IT systems and tools since then. The majority had been done in 2006 but we were still using our old e-mail server and tools. That is, until a couple weeks ago.

SeeBeyond had used Microsoft Exchange and as such we were all using Outlook at our client. This combination works very well as evidenced by the number of companies using it, but if you aren't into vendor lock-in and proprietary software you need to look elsewhere.

As you can imagine, Sun is not a big Microsoft shop and so we SeeBeyonders have had the opportunity to switch to Thunderbird for our client. Now, I have been a long time Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox/Thunderbird user both at previous jobs and for my personal e-mail so this was not a big change for me, but I have gotten to find a few new plug-ins and extensions as part of getting fully set up with Thunderbird at work.

First, I'm using Thunderbird 1.5. I'll probably switch to the 2.0 beta soon but wanted to get things working with the stable version first. Being and Outlook user, one of the key things I was looking for was integrated calendar support. For this, I turned to Lightning extension that is part of the Sunbird Mozilla project. Since we use the Sun Java System Calendar Server I went for the build with integrated WCAP support.

After install and configuring a connection to my calendar server, everything works great and I can view my calendar and create and edit entries. So mission accomplished.

I also configured Thunderbird to use our LDAP server for addressing so I have auto-completion of addresses as I type them. Very nice.

Last, I had been using the Firefox RSS Ticker plug-in for reading RSS feeds, but I'm now experimenting with the built in RSS support in Thunderbird and think I like it better. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'm also in the process of getting all set up again with my mobile device and will blog on that soon.

Comments:

There is also QuoteColors extension for Thunderbird (http://quotecolors.mozdev.org/) which is very useful for long message threads.

Posted by Vladimir Kotal on February 11, 2007 at 05:04 AM PST #

Thanks. QuoteColors is a nice add that makes viewing long threads easier.

Posted by Kevin Schmidt on February 11, 2007 at 06:14 AM PST #

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