Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thunderbird Email Client for Windows

I am not a purist...I run a few different operating systems and a variety of Email clients and web browsers...depending on the OS and my attitude.

At home, my main websurfing/email computer is running Ubuntu with Evolution for email/calendar and Firefox for browsing.

My home 'work' computer (ok gaming and video editing) doesn't have email and I have Chrome and Firefox primarily for browsing.

My travel netbook triple boots OSX, WinXP, and Ubuntu...and mostly I run OSX on it and browse with Firefox or Safari.

I have a work/gaming laptop that I have if I will be at a location for a few days (like NY this week). I run Win7 on it, Chrome, Firefox, and until now standard Windows Live Mail.

Of the different email clients I have used, I actually like OSX's the best. Simple, keeps accounts in different folders, easy to see if an account has new messages etc. I wish I could get that client on windows.

Today I had it up to here (hand above head) with Windows Live Mail bloatware...I mentioned before how I liked Win7 but hate the email client...well today I did something about it.

I searched the internets...

I found the top choice from a somewhat unscientific study in a popular website (I lost the link) was Mozilla's Thunderbird.

I had tried it on Ubuntu and didn't like it...but I thought I would try it on Win7.

I will have to say that it is now my favorite Windows email client...still not as nice as OSX's but close enough. Speedy, lightweight, and not too hard to import from Windows Live Mail.

A couple of things. I couldn't get it to import emails (and I tried a couple of plugins) but it ended up that I didn't need to jump through those hoops...a number of years ago I started leaving ALL emails on the server (gmail and my own) for a backup.

Thunderbird WOULD import the settings from Windows Live Mail...all my various email accounts were imported with one click.

I actually don't have any address books on my notebooks (just my phone) so I don't know how that works.

So it ended up that I didn't need to import my email...using IMAP settings, it quickly downloaded all the headers etc.

The only thing I needed to change was the order of the accounts...I needed a plug-in for I used Folderpane Tools.

Monday, December 6, 2010

HTPC - Home Theater PC - part2

So I had some parts I liked, and software I liked...but it just wasn't working.

So I looked at the processor I was using...I knew I could play BD rips (MKV files) on my quad core machine easily with all sorts of other programs running in the background, so I thought a dual core could do the trick.

Unfortunately my choice of Small Form Factor computers (GX280) could not take a dual already had all the processor it could hold.

So more checking specs I found that the Dell 745 SFF computer could take dual core processors in fact it could take the processor I had in my junk box every since I upgraded my main machine to a quad core.

So back to Ebay and waited till I found one at a cheap enough price, put my ATI HD4550 graphics card in it, loaded up XP Pro (it had the product key for it) then installed Win7.

Plugged in my Media Center Remote (MCE Remote) (another Ebay grab) and fired up XBMC.

Plugged it into my TV and started watching the BD rips. XBMC has a debugging setting that will show you how much processor power is being never gets above 50%.

The MCE works fine out of the box with XBMC and is plug and play with Win7...but outside XBMC it will only work Windows Media Center...won't actually work in windows as a mouse.

So while wondering how to do it...I found this thread at The Green Button a Windows Media Center forum...and specifically the files linked in this blog The Digital lifestyle and the program RemoteKC. (The last link has the direct links to the Win7 compatible files)

Program is file is the executable, the other is the commands (.ahk file) . With this program (RemoteKC) your remote has three settings selected by pressing the * button on the remote- mouse mode, keyboard mode, suspended. So in mouse mode, when you press the arrow keys on the remote, the cursor moves, OK is left click (and I haven't found right click yet). I haven't used keyboard mode. But when you are running XBMC or WMC then you need to suspend the RemoteKC...that is what the suspend mode the remote acts like a MCE remote.

So, right now, everything works as I hoped it would!