May 27th, 2009 01:34 PM
Windows and lack of Email and Media clients
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a while, the desktop finally showed up, after giving ample time for the Anti Virus to complain about database being out of date, Flash to say there was a new update, Java to say it wanted a piece of the update pie, and Windows itself saying "Oh ****!"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.
May 27th, 2009 01:55 PM
In a business environment ...I love outlook with exchange....and my blackberry. Very kwel way to manage mail...contacts..calenders
as for a media client for music...try media monkey..I have heard good things about it
I am still old school...I buy my music on CD....play it through a very nice audio system.
I have issues with the low quality recordings and compression...hurts my ears
How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer
May 27th, 2009 02:08 PM
I don't own a Blackberry, but if you try out the client I was talking about, Windows Live Mail, it's actually really nice, and seems to work well with other Microsoft Mail clients.
I buy CDs still too, I actually just picked up the new Cannibal Corpse last week, but, I like listening to it on my machines, since they have better speakers than out stereo equipment. Or, well, at least better than what we have hooked up.
Mother in Law gave us some weird French Stereo system worth a fortune, but, I haven't even attempted to set it up yet, and so I've been using my main speaker set, which is pretty nice. I generally rip them at 320 which gives pretty good quality, and as long as the speakers are of decent quality (Quality and price aren't always high, I think the speakers I'm using were under 50 dollars and have a great sound, and making music, I do need somewhat nice ones) my Wife, has probably the best speakers I've ever seen on a computer. Surround Sound, Subwoofers, tweeters, everything. Nicer than mine by any means, but, depending on what kind of music you like, one thing I've found that helps, is not just the encoding you use for ripping CDs, but also the bit rate, and then the equalizer to make sure there isn't any feedback from high notes.
Punk for example, doesn't need a lot of Bass, but certain presets can bring out a lot of nice stuff.
One nice thing about Windows Media Player, is the FX you can do with music. There are Linux apps that do this too, and it's actually really nice, they have the equalizer, and then the SRS WOW sound, and then on top of that, the sound card I have in my Desktop I have Windows on, came with special software that adds even more sound FX and can add in other things which is pretty nice.
I'll check out the monkey though, I'm open to new software that works well. I've heard of it before, but haven't tried it out as of yet.
May 27th, 2009 02:18 PM
What I find with music on computers...most sound cards suck...other then MACs...which use a digital out 92kh/24bit....
We are working with 2 cards right now the Lynx AES/16e http://www.lynxstudio.com/product_detail.asp?i=13
and the M-Audio
surprisingly the M-Audio is out performing the Lynx
How people treat you is their karma- how you react is yours-Wayne Dyer
May 27th, 2009 02:32 PM
Heh, nice. I don't think I've ever heard anything bad about M-Audio, seems like a good choice to me. I still remember the first Sound Card I ever bought. I always just used whatever the machine came with, which was pretty much on board. On Board sound these days can be alright with a nice sound to it, but some of them I've had were pretty crappy. The first one I ever bought was a Sound Blaster Live! card, and I still have it on my FTP server and it still works just fine after all these years.
Originally Posted by morganlefay
My Cousin wants a Turtle Beach, and though those seem to have great reviews, the price can get up there a bit. Sometimes a better soundcard is worth it though.
The speakers I have that, so far, work VERY well for a small cost, are Insignia. I hadn't ever heard of them before I went to the Best Buy to look at speakers, and my Wife and I were trying to find something we could afford easily, yet would work good and sound good, so we tested out a bunch of them as they have these little set ups at Best Buy that lets you switch music around and listen to it through the different speaker systems they have for sale, and when we heard the Insignia speakers, I thought for sure they were going to cost a fortune, they sounded great!
Very clear sound, good sub woofer, and the price was something I thought was a mismatched price tag because they were so cheap.
If you're looking for a set of good speakers for a good price, I'd recommend these.
My Wife got me a set of SkullCandy Headphones over the Winter as a gift, and I checked out the reviews online, and they were totally mixed. Either people thought they were crappy and only good for looks, or someone would say they were amazing.
I got them home and tried them out and thought they were great. Got them on sale for like 45 dollars, the plug ins are gold plated, and the cool part that I use a lot making music; The ear things swivel so I can listen through one ear, and switch the other one around, which is great when making music, or mixing, or DJing.
Also, it came with a little jack that allows me to hook them up to a Guitar or Bass Amp, and that is awesome. You take the headphone jack, plug it into this thing, and then plug that into the now able to fit inlet for the amps, and can play Bass or Guitar through the headphones instead of an amp. VERY nice for late night recording when you can't wake up the people next door, as it plays just thought the head phones but with the same sound as the amp and all FX added in.
They also have noise canceling stuff to keep outside noises out, and VERY good bass for playing Bass.
May 27th, 2009 03:00 PM
Mostly a Mac user these days. However, when I do need to use my dev windoze box, I use the MS media player and squirrelmail (web/browser based).
In God We Trust....Everything else we backup.
May 27th, 2009 03:34 PM
Hmm, didn't know Squirrel worked on Windows. I see it all the time while installing Linux as it's on the installation CDs of almost every distro, but haven't really even used it much.
Back when I had Windows 98 (Which, I still used until the support was canceled for it, because I didn't even have a computer until late 1999) I used to use Pine and Mutt for Windows. It just looks really weird on the NT based cmd.exe for some reason. Not sure why.
Of course Outlook and Outlook express had neat looks for those too. Outlook Express for Windows 98 was actually pretty nice if you could get the thing locked down (I heard quite a few of the Outlook Express jokes) because it was a decent client.
Of course locking down meant making sure A LOT of things were turned off, because I know it had a lot of problems. Lookout Express, Exploit Express, they had some major funny names. I still remember seeing a screen shot of the Microsoft page for Outlook Express where in the FAQs it said something along the lines of Virus Replication something or other and how Mac Mail, they weren't sure but "You'll have to check the documentation for your mail client to see if it too allows Virus Replication like Outlook Express"....
I know I'm messing up that quote, but it was basically a part of the page they took down FAST because it said flat out they knew Outlook Express had a great way of letting Worms and Viruses fly through.
Ah well though, it was still decent if you turned off the stuff that allowed it, or at least attempted to. I used it, and didn't have any Viruses or anything. I think taking steps to secure something, not opening mails from people you don't know, blocking off Spam, NOT letting the "Preview" pane, the bane of email clients, load anything, including images, is a good way to use it safely.
I think now they actually have a way to block this stuff don't they? I saw something the other day while screwing with mail that it can block images that try top ID you or send data back from the image, and it's like blocked now by default. It was really neat actually, I just don't know where it was.
One thing I wanted to try, was "The Bat!" but, paying for email, just seems so wrong on so many levels. Outlook is one thing, it came with Office, and it's proven itself to be a decent product, but, TheBat! I'm not so sure heh.
May 27th, 2009 04:19 PM
For mail I only use Thunderbird, I like the spam filter it has and it does what it's supposed to do.
As for media players, mainly VLC but recently started using SMPlayer. SMPlayer is basically a windows version of MPlayer. I love the way it handles mkv (fonts and all).
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
May 27th, 2009 05:07 PM
Outlook 2007 and iTunes
May 28th, 2009 08:11 AM
I use Itunes sometimes, but it doesn't always do the best job. I LOVE the interface, and it's pretty good at ripping CDs, though I think other ones do a little better at this part, and it would be nice if they made like, a light version of it for quick stuff. Windows Media Player has this in a way with some of the things it can do, but it's usually easier on other systems.
I don't have 2007 for Outlook, because it's been a little tight to buy new stuff I don't really need right now. I still use the Office XP stuff, mainly because upgrades cost quite a bit for what it is. I used the newest versions at school, which were like a test ground for me to see if I liked it, and it seemed to work about the same as XP.
I'd have probably went for it, but the last one, it seemed like a lot of it was more paint job like. I don't know anyone who uses every feature of it. And I'm actually trained in it heh, the MOUS test was easy and, maybe looks OK on a CV.
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