I’ve been using Evolution quite a bit in Linux Mint lately, and it’s really made me realize just how frustrating Outlook can be. After the jump is a list of features that I believe are missing from Microsoft Outlook. If you know of any easy way to add any of these features (other than payware add-ins), please let me know. Also, if there are other features that you’d like to see Microsoft add to Outlook, please feel free to post them.
I’m noticing more and more that everyone seems to be abandoning the traditional e-mail server in favor of Google’s Gmail. My Internet Service Provider switched over a while ago. Recently, I also joined a consulting group, working on managing and maintaining their Web site (and doing side Web work for them), and found that their e-mail is completely managed through Gmail. That Web site is hosted by GoDaddy. After a bit of research, it seems that Google and GoDaddy have (and have had for a few years) some sort of agreement that allows users to sign up for Google Apps and GoDaddy hosting all rolled into one.
In addition, I have heard that many colleges are now switching their student e-mail servers over to use Gmail rather than the services they have used in the past. In fact, the entire state system under which I work has moved over to Gmail for the student e-mail system. While our support staff e-mail is still hosted locally on an Exchange server, all student e-mail now runs through Gmail.
Is the whole world switching over to Gmail? Is anyone still using their own mail servers to handle sending and receiving correspondence? Does it even make sense to use your own server anymore? Will the world come to a grinding halt if Google’s e-mail servers ever shut down for any reason?
Though there is a version of Evolution available for Windows, I have not yet used it, so all of my comments in this article will be based on the Linux version. I cannot say for sure whether or not the Windows port has the same features, but I am hoping that it does.
I saw an interesting article on Yahoo! the other day. It appears that someone at Carnegie Mellon came up with the idea to use a CAPTCHA script to mask e-mail addresses. Basically, they provide you with special link code to put in place of your normal mailto link. You can use the link anyway you want, but the script generates some HTML code automatically that looks similar to:
In the example above, the whole e-mail address would actually be firstname.lastname@example.org, but the rest of the username is obscured by the script. Of course, they also supply you with just the address to the CAPTCHA page, so that you can build your own link any way you want.
The link, in turn, leads to a page with a CAPTCHA script. Once you correctly answer the CAPTCHA question, you’re lead to another page with the complete e-mail address. The script is called Mailhide, and it appears to be a completely free utility. It’s such a simple idea that I can’t believe no one thought of this before.