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Thunderbird 3 on Mac OSX – Not so great

I’ve been a longtime Thunderbird user, and I thought I would upgrade to V3 today.  Bad idea.   Although the UI was slightly updated (notably through the use of tabs), everything else was either the same or broken.   The mail compose toolbar wound up overwriting the From field section (with From, Subject, etc all in lower case) and nothing seemed quite right.  It was faster, but I decided that reverting back to the status quo ante was the fastest route to productivity.

It seems, however, the Mozilla makes it as hard as possible to download previous versions.   I never actually found the download for Thunderbird 2 and instead went looking for it in my ‘Downloads’ folder.   I keep it for occasions such as this when people decide that old versions are not good for you….

Finally, since Lightning did not work with Thunderbird 3, I decided to use Sunbird (a standalone calendering app) to extract the Lighting data.   Since I was doing this after installing TB3, I went hunting for the file containing my calendar data.   Not only was this the most obscure file in the most unobvious place, but Sunbird was incapable of importing.   Compounded with my basic problems with the buggy TB3, reverting back to TB2 was the thing to do.  After I’d found my download backup, it was relatively easy to do, although the whole adventure cost me the better part of 2 hours.

On another note, I have huge amounts of stored email.   It’s always been an issue, and it’s one of the reasons I use TB over Apple’s just can’t handle large mailboxes (e.g. 3gigs 70k+ messages).    Searching across all this is somewhat of a problem, however, and my solution was to run a local search engine on exported mbox files.   However, I’ve found a better solution, MailStewart, a Mac-only application that will archive all your mail and attachments, index them and make the whole think searchable.  It’s cheap and works great.