Tuesday, 02 July, 2002


I finally got annoyed enough with Microsoft Outlook to install PocoMail.  I've only had it installed for a couple of days, but already I know that I'm going to switch to it from Outlook.  It's fast, for one thing.  Where Outlook would take several seconds to download each message, PocoMail grabs them all lickety-split.  And I can see the full message headers without having to jump through the hoops that Outlook would make me jump through.  Perhaps best of all, Poco stores the messages in flat text files (one file per mail folder) rather than the compressed and encrypted format that Outlook uses.  One thing that always ticked me off about Outlook was that I couldn't see the message in the exact form that it was sent.  With Poco, I can peek into the .mbx file and see exactly what was received from the POP server.  This is a very handy feature when you're experimenting with programs that compose and send email messages.

I still have to convert my address book and my old mail messages.  Converting the address book shouldn't be too hard (export from Outlook to comma-separated values, and import into Poco), but the old mail messages are going to be difficult.  Outlook does have a mail message export to text file, but it's pretty ugly.  I'll probably have to dust off my old MAPI experimental programs for this one.  I don't necessarily need my entire 100 megabyte message database available in PocoMail, but I need it in some kind of readable format.  There's no way I'm going to archive the Outlook format. 

So far, Poco is a definite thumbs-up.  Barring any unforeseen difficulties, I'll be registering it ($30) this week.  Highly recommended.