So, recently, I decided to start using Windows XP on my other Desktop again, as it's been some time now, and there are a lot of new things to look at being done for Windows.

I have my laptop dual booting Windows XP and Linux, but I don't always use Windows unless I'm playing DooM2. That's one of the few things I boot into Windows for these days. So, anyway, I have a desktop with two HDs in it, and it had FreeBSD and Windows XP dual booting. I hadn't booted up Windows in almost a year, so I loaded it up.

After a while, the desktop finally showed up, after giving ample time for the Anti Virus to complain about database being out of date, Flash to say there was a new update, Java to say it wanted a piece of the update pie, and Windows itself saying "Oh ****!" and then Spybot saying it too, needed some.

So, I waited an hour or so, and finally, most of it was completed. It took a little longer than I thought because Office had some updates too, and I wanted to make sure I got all of them. I don't mind updating Office, because it's one of the few FEW VERY FEW Office suites I like.

I know that seems weird coming from me, but I liked Office XP quite a lot. It was well designed, well documented, and other than having to reboot for those damned updates, it was no hassle to use it. (And to further drop you from your seat, I HATE OpenOffice. Sun should have kept up with StarOffice, it was a hundred times nicer).

So, after updates were done, what to do? Well, one thing that aways sort of annoyed me, was finding a decent Email and Media player for Windows. For a while, I didn't even look into it, because having only my laptop booted up into Windows once in a while, and having almost no drive space on that Windows partition, it wasn't a great idea to try and download a bunch of stuff, as I only had about 2 gigs left.

Well, now that the desktop is booted into Windows, it's different. I have LOTS of space. So I started looking up Windows Email Clients, and downloading whatever seemed interesting, and the same for Media players.

I even configured Outlook Express and Outlook to compare things.

After about 10 clients, I remembered why I hated using Windows for mail in the first place. They all seemed to be the same thing re-packaged with a different logo. I wanted to see if Kmail or Novell could be used in Windows, but they couldn't of course. not without basically installing a base Linux for Windows thing anyway. Which sort of defeats the purpose.

So I set up a bunch of clients, and used a different email address for each one, to test what did what. Everyone seems to have a certain client they use and like, but I don't. At least not for Windows. Come to think of it, I don't for Linux either. I use multiple clients.

Anyway, after loading some clients and seeing what I liked and didn't like (Liked the ease of design of Outlook Express, liked the "Professional" touch of Outlook, liked the speed of Thunderbird, and the address book....And the address book of Opera Mail).

So at that point, I didn't really like any one over the other. I updated Windows again, and noticed a Live update, so I thought I'd check that out. Windows Live is basically in the Windows Update area, and once downloaded, offers a selection of software.

I noticed it had a Mail Client too. And since I was looking into that, I downloaded it too. After the install was all set, I set it up with another account, and decided to try it. I like the look, and it grabbed my Hotmail for me as well. Hmm, OK, so far so good, and then I saw the built in calender app, the overall usability of the application, and other than it taking a while to load, it was great.

I tested it out, and decided I liked it. I'm not sure if it's what I'm going to stick with, but it seems to really have something.

So, as of now, Windows Live Mail is pretty high up on my list of considerations for Clients. It's easy to use, not that that matters to me, I used Mutt for years, but it does have a nice set up. You have your calender and everything in one spot, and the calender doesn't suck. It sets reminders, emails you when one is coming up, and overall, I like it. So far, I like Windows Live Mail, and I like the design of Outlook Express when it comes to looks and overall simplicity, and Outlook is nice too, but some things you just can't configure in it, which is a downfall of it, but not enough to throw it out completely, and Thunderbird seems to check mail faster than any other client so far, and then Opera Mail, though not the best designed thing on the planet, is nice too.

Opera would be better if it wasn't so Gmail like in it's "folders are sort of OK, but we think you'd like it better if you just sort of soft linked to emails in folders without actually having them because we still keep everything in the damned inbox or in one folder, and you sort of tell us what you want linked in your folders" idea.

Gmail not having folders.... OK, I don't care how good Gmail is at finding things, and I know Google is the super thingy of search, but, seriously, making a folder in Gmail? I'd stick with Yahoo Mail for Web Mail, since I can make actual folders and have a cleaner design, but, well, Yahoo is starting to suck. Actually it has sucked for a while, but I let it go, I just can't stand the HUGE ads they have everywhere including near the inbox, and then that "You have unlimited space but have to look at an add bigger thans ome screens 10 years ago" is crap.

Hotmail, well, I hate it. I don't like the idea of having to stare at ads and Spam all day, and I get more Spam in my Hotmail then any other account. I report each one to Hotmail to try and help solve that, but it still gets loaded with Spam.

Yahoo, not being able to set up decent filters without paying...That's dumb. Even Hotmail lets me say "No email from anyone who's not in my contact list" but Yahoo doesn't. I don't like not being able to set up proper filtering. Gmail somewhat allows this, and also lets you use an Email client to grab your Gmail, but Yahoo? Pay for it! Hotmail? Well, Windows Live Mail does it free of charge but getting anything else to just isn't going to work right. Good thing that Windows Live Mail is actually good.

On Linux and BSD, I generally use either Kmail, Balsa, Novell, or, one of the few Browser Email clients that doesn't suck "Seamonkey". Whic is actually pretty nice even though it is a lot like the others. Something about it is just nicer. I don't know why. It loads faster, checks quicker, and lets me configure the ports and things properly since my ISP has become a block of morons in their fight against Spam, which has basically been nothing but "We're going to make it so you use these ports instead of normal SMTP and Pop3, and, oh, by the way, you can either use these ports with these options, or these ports with these options, and we aren't sure which ones in which order, in which syntax are going to work on your client, so try them all"... Sadly I'm not kidding, I literally one time set up a client, had everything working, then, it STOPPED.

I don't mean screwing with it and it stopped stopped, I mean, I sent an email, and came back an hour later, and it just didn't work anymore stopped.

I asked tech support, they gave me different ports and SSL and no SSL selected. It didn't work. Ask again.... DIFFERENT PORTS AGAIN and "Yes SSL needs to be selected"...I couldn't believe it. I pointed out that I received DIFFERENT instructions from staff there and they said, no crap, "Yes, sometimes those work and sometimes they don't, so try these"....

I ended up loading up a Linux Mail client that scans the SMTP and POP3 server to see exactly what it needs to work, and just copying the configuration output to my other clients.

Anyway, does anyone here have a favorite client that works well and they like it? I know a lot of people here use different clients, so someone has to like something.

And, what about the Media? Well, my Wife told me to try out Foobar, and, so far, it's actually nice. I also grabbed WinAmp, which, sadly, is going downhill as well, because I still have some old ones backed up, which worked great, but now, it's like they try putting every possible media related anything in one application, and it's making it bloat like Firefox.

So, for media right now, I'm using Winamp and Foobar, because XMMS and MP3Blaster don't want to work on Windows as much heh.

Oh! I did get LMMS to work on Windows XP!!!!!! I must say it's nice! LMMS is Linux Multi Media Studio, and it's what I use to make all of my music. It works normally on Linux, and BSD, and the newest port of Windows, works great! (The older Windows one barely worked at all, so this was big news for me) I have it loaded and running on my Laptop so that I can work on songs while doing Windows stuff.

Whew, long post. Coffee refill time. So many people work on making Windows apps for Linux, why does no one take a team of coders, and make Linux apps for Windows other than.... I forgot the name. It's 8:32 AM and I haven't been to bed at all, so I'm not totally spot on right now, but some app thing works on Windows, but what about things like Kmail, Balsa, XMMS, MP3Blaster, and others? That would be nice.