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thunderbird 2 in 2012 (and into 2013)

Hopefully this will be the last thing I write about Mozilla Thunderbird for a while. Only the nerdiest of email nerds will understand this one. I'm writing it for my own reference just in case I ever have to reinstall this crap, because it's an involved process.

I switched versions of Thunderbird again - to Thunderbird 2. Yes, that now-really-old version of the email client. Why? Well, as it turns out, my 3.1 install still would not show notifications in the tray in certain instances (thought I had this fixed but I was wrong). But TB 2 does, and fortunately I was able to outfit it almost exactly like I had it in TB 3.1.

I had to do a lot of digging around to find all the stuff to get myself a very lightweight, very efficent, perfect-working TB 2, but I got it.

This is what I'm running now:

  1. Thunderbird - I use this instead of because that one bugs out with certain add-ons.
  2. EditHTML - Allows me to directly edit the HTML of formatted emails as I'm composing them. Very handy.
  3. GMailUI 0.6 - This adds in an archive-to-folder function and it's the only reason I have it installed. When I press the Y key, any mail that's currently highlighted gets sent to the archive folder of my choosing, just like pressing A to do the same thing works now in modern Thunderbird.
  4. ImportExportTools - Needed for importing/exporting messages.
  5. Mail Tweak 0.16 - This is a TB 2 specific version that gives me a bunch of tweaking options, inclduing word counting, set image defaults (instructing TB to always attach the image and always pre-assign it ALT text) and a bunch of other stuff.
  6. MinimizeToTray - Don't ask me why the version number is what it is because I don't know. But what I do know is that it's the ONLY to-tray minimizer that works correctly for TB in Windows 7 when you have multiple IMAP accounts running, such as I do.
  7. SmartTemplate 0.6.0 - Allows me to define a custom signature without the stupid dash-dash (--) delimiter. The function to remove that didn't appear in TB until version 5, so SmartTemplate is a workaround for that, and it works great.
  8. Stylish 0.5.9 - Needed so I could change a few icons in the interface.

All the stuff mentioned above I do have archived as downloadable stuff right here; it's all original and unmodified.

So, after dealing with a crazy amount of email nonsense with TB to get the dumbest things running right, I finally got it all working.

My TB 2 setup on average is so lightweight it's not funny. It stays well under 40,000 K of committed memory at any time and usually sits between 22,000 to 33,000 or thereabouts. On startup it uses less than 17,000 K even with all the add-ons above loaded and that's no joke.

Email is supposed to be a really fast, really easy experience.. but wow do you have to do a lot just to get there. I got there, but it took a while to get all the stuff I needed in my setup.

TB 2 is the lightest possible Thunderbird you can use that has a good selection of add-ons (after digging around for them) that do work. It's rock-solid stable, light as a feather and runs in Win98, Win2000, WinXP, WinVista, Win7 and assumedly Win8. It has everything you need and nothing you don't.

TB was released August 1, 2007, which is close to 5.5 years ago. The software is old, but it just plain works. And that's all I ever want from my email.


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