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Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Get The Bird [Spiny]

I've always been a long time Outlook user, but now I've had enough of the bloat, it's just too feature rich for what I need in an email/calendar app. I'll probably be buying Office 2007 Home edition and that doesn't come with Outlook. Time for an alternative.
  • Enter stage left, Thunderbird It also includes a built in news reader which I'm finding a need for at the moment. If your news server needs authentication, check "Always request authentication when connecting" in Tools/Account Settings/news server/Server Settings. The standard import of contacts and email from Outlook works fine. I found it better to do this after setting the program up though, rather than when prompted to do so when you first run Thunderbird.
  • If you want to put the mail data somewhere other than the default, see this FAQ.
  • Of course, you'll want a proper dictionary, not a corrupted colonial one. Download the British here.
  • Enter stage right, Sunbird. The calendaring application.
  • UK holidays can be imported from this file.
  • Move the data files, just the way you did in Thunderbird.
  • To copy your Outlook calendar across to Sunbird, use Outport to export a folder of ICS files from outlook. Before importing into Sunbird, use a search tool to weed out all the crap, like old appointments and bank holidays.
  • The last thing to do is sync with your phone. I have a Windows Mobile device. Birdiesync does the job pretty well. For the moment it's an unsigned application, so follow the guide here on how to unlock your phone. You'll be needing a registry editor for Windows Mobile for that job.

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