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MailForge 3 email client turns back the clock--and stays there

Nathan Alderman | March 12, 2013
If you used email in the late '90s or early 2000s, odds are you are familiar with Eudora. Even after its maker Qualcomm officially decommissioned this trusty email client and dorm room staple, a loyal cadre of fans kept it alive in open-source form. But when Mac OS X Lion spurned all PowerPC-based programs, Eudora was effectively banished from the Mac.

Searches take place in a huge, obtrusive window all its own, rather than displaying within the main interface. While I was able to successfully find messages from a certain sender by looking for their name in message headers, I couldn't do likewise when searching for the same name in the From field. You'll also have to switch between one pane to set search queries, and another to see their results.

I also wasn't bowled over by the graphically ungainly window for composing new messages, which seems to have, um, freely borrowed its massive swath of icons for formatting message text from the PC version of Microsoft Word. The MailForge Help link in the Help menu takes you to a registration-only, password-protected site where you can submit bugs or request feedback. The MailForge Forums link under the same menu proved more helpful, summoning Macsimize's online forums, where MailForge representatives courteously and quickly responded to user questions.

Bottom line

If you can't live without Eudora, MailForge will likely have you turning cartwheels. I'm glad that the program's meeting an unmet need; everyone deserves to use software they understand and feel comfortable with. But I can't recommend MailForge for anyone else. With plenty of better designed, less expensive, more convenient options for Mac email, there's no reason anyone should have to live in the past.


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