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Napster To Go and a Look at Outlook Alternatives

Monday, February 14, 2005;

As my Valentine's Day gift to you, I'll be chatting away at 2 p.m. ET today, taking questions about my last two columns -- yesterday's review of the Napster To Go service and my evaluation two weeks ago of the Eudora and Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail programs.

Stop by the Web chat if you can, or submit a question or comment early.

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_____Recent E-letters_____
Readers' Pros and Cons of Napster To Go (washingtonpost.com, Feb 22, 2005)
Eudora, an E-Mail What If... (washingtonpost.com, Feb 7, 2005)
Apple's Modest Mac Mini (washingtonpost.com, Jan 31, 2005)
E-letter Archive

Elsewhere in yesterday's personal-tech section, we had a look at how to make PDF (Portable Document Format) files on your own computer. Read that piece here.

The Web Watch column gave a mixed review to Microsoft's reintroduced MSN Search and big thumbs-up to Google's new Google Maps site. (Want to know more about how Google Maps works? Visit this page for a technical analysis.) You can read Web Watch here.

Our reviews cover Electronic Arts's latest NBA Street basketball game, an oceanic role-playing game called Suikoden IV and a creative but pricey Web-search tool called Grokker. The reviews are here.

Oh, and in Help File I offer a tip on using the SpyBot anti-spyware utility and update an answer from last week about how to identify what's running in Windows. Read Help File here.

Now, on to this week's random thoughts...

When It Comes to E-mail, You Do Care!

I started off my recent review of Eudora and Thunderbird by asking, "Does anybody care about e-mail anymore?" Now I know: You do! I've received dozens of messages since that column ran suggesting various e-mail programs for my attention.

A lot of people wanted to know what I thought was so bad about Microsoft's Outlook. I covered the last version in my October 2003 review of Microsoft Office 2003. I wrote back then that while I very much liked the new spam filtering and message sorting and finding features, its address-book and calendar modules still need some overdue simplification.

Since then, I've also realized that Outlook is an awfully inept IMAP client; since I use that protocol for both my home and work accounts, that shortfalling alone is a deal-breaker. (Why do I think IMAP support is so important? Here's the answer.)

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