THUNDERBIRD UPDATE….As I mentioned last week, I’ve switched to Thunderbird as my email client. Aside from what I said at the time, I don’t have much to add after using it for a week. Basically, it works fine and has several features that Outlook Express lacked.

One complaint: Outlook Express sends emails in the background. As soon as you press the “Send” button, it returns control to you. Thunderbird is just the opposite: it does everything in the foreground, so you have to sit around and twiddle your thumbs for five or ten seconds while it sends your email. Bummer.

The spam control is good, but not great. The good news is that it hasn’t marked a single good email as spam. The bad news is that even after a week of training it misses over 50% of the actual spam. However, my ISP filters about 90% of my spam at the server, so I assume that what gets through is only the toughest 10%. Given that, a 50% hit rate might not be so bad. (I should add that some of the spam that gets through is so fiendishly disguised that I’d be astonished if any anti-spam filter caught it.)

I still haven’t decided on an antivirus program, though. So far, I’d say PC-cillin is the leading candidate.

UPDATE: Well, I tried the much recommended AVG antivirus software, but unfortunately its email scanner caused my email to cease functioning altogether. If I had to guess ? and I do since the documentation was no help and the configuration screens were inscrutable ? I’d say it was because it didn’t know the password for my POP3 server. However, since there didn’t appear to be any way to inform it of the proper password, there’s no way to test this theory. So for now, it’s uninstalled. Further suggestions are welcome, of course.