by March 1, 2005 0 comments

PCQLinux 2005 comes with the latest stable version of the lightweight and multi-platform mail client-Thunderbird. This mail client has some really good features like spam filtering, RSS feeds and saved searches. In this article we will see what all you can do with Thunderbird.

Filtering spam
Thunderbird has a built-in, spam filter, which can be easily and effectively trained. This spam filter is known as ‘Naive Bayesian’ filters and gets started by default. When you receive mail, the filter automatically tries to identify all junk mail and flag it. Obviously you have to train it to identify such mail more properly. So the more you train it, the faster it learns. Thunderbird has options in the control panel to allow you to redirect spam to wherever you want to send it. Another good thing about this software is that, you can set rules to not make any legitimate e-mail as spam if the mail is coming from a person who is in your address book. But disabling this option is better as nowadays spoofing mail is very easy for any viruses or a person. For example, have you ever received a mail from your boss’s id, which says-‘Here is the cheapest price for Viagra, go and get it’ or something like that. We found the performance of this spam filter really good. Just out of the box without training it at all, it was able to flag about 90 percent of the spam, which I received everyday.

Saved searches and virtual folders
There is an option in Thunderbird called ‘Save Search as a Folder.’ It’s a functionality known as ‘Saved Searches’ (a type of virtual folder). This means you can create a virtual folder that will search any selected folders for any mention of a selected word in the Sender or Subject fields (or other fields that are selected). The best part about this option is that it works like a folder and displays all messages without moving e-mail from their locations. There is another option called ‘Search Online’ that actually continually re-builds the search of IMAP and Newsgroup accounts whenever any new information is added to them. This helps Thunderbird load search results much faster, as the search is built locally in you machine. But one problem can occur that it may not be completely updated and re-built while searching. 

RSS feeds 
Like the Firefox browser, Thunderbird can be used to access websites that make content available through RSS feeds. But instead of providing you live bookmarks as in Firefox, Thunderbird lets you receive your RSS feeds as e-mail messages. When you subscribe to an RSS feed, it gets added into your folder pan and the title of the feed gets sorted under your message-list pane and clicking on the title will open up the article under the message-preview pane. See how easy it is to get your daily feeds with Thunderbird.

To add a new RSS feed you have to just go to the File menu and select New > Account and then click on the ‘Add Account’ button. In the dialog box that pops up, select ‘RSS News & Blogs’ and press the Next button. Now in the next screen, enter an appropriate name and press the Next button. This new account will now appear in the folders pane in the main Thunderbird window. To subscribe to a new feed, right-click on the account name in the folders pane and select ‘Manage Subscriptions’. Now, click on the account name in the folders pane and then click on the ‘Manage Subscriptions’ link in the main Thunderbird window. Now Go to Tools > Account Settings, click on the account name in the left-hand pane, and then click on the ‘Manage Subscriptions’ button. 

Now all you need to do to subscribe to an RSS feed is click on the Add button and enter the URL for the feed into the dialogue box. you are done.

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