January 7, 2004

No Offense Intended

I use the email client "Eudora" on my Dell at home. One of Eudora's fun features is that it rates your message to alert you to any offensive language you might have unwittingly added.

The rating system uses chili peppers. A use of the word "stupid" might earn you one chili. "Asshole" might earn you two. Of course, most people know when they are sending an offensive message, so the benefit of this feature is dubious, excluding the entertainment of being criticized by your email client.

So I was a little surprised when an email I sent to my boss and some others was flagged as offensive with two chili peppers. Here's the follow-up message I sent to them all once I realized my message had been flagged and did some detective work to uncover the offensive language:

Anyone else out there use Eudora? Eudora thinks "appearance manager" is an
offensive phrase. It's flagged with two "chili peppers" by the language filter.

That's bullshit.

On a slightly related note: what's the best email client for Windows? Anyone want to make some recommendations?

Posted by James at January 7, 2004 12:44 PM
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I've been having a lot of luck with Mozilla Thunderbird. I just need to find a way to get the message rules to replicate between acounts.

Posted by: Laurence Simon at January 7, 2004 1:04 PM

I second the vote for Thunderbird. It is slow and things can get hairy when trying to copy messages between folders (I'd recommend backing up Thunderbird's Application Files folder first just in case) but it has the best GUI around (think Outlook but less annoying) and is reasonably solid.

Posted by: Mike at January 7, 2004 1:23 PM

I like Eudora. However, mine gives me *three* chili peppers for "appearance manager."

Posted by: julie at January 7, 2004 2:57 PM

It's that much more offensive when a lady says it.

Posted by: James at January 7, 2004 7:16 PM

IT took me years to switch from PINE to Eudora. I think what finally did it was an ISP that did not allow telnet access.

I used Eudora up until I switched to PC over the summer, and I use Outlook Express now. It came bundled with Windows, and it works fine for me. I really like the use of contextual menus.

Posted by: David Grenier at January 8, 2004 10:17 AM

I also preferred pine, but hardly anyone offers shell accounts any more, especially DSL providers.

Anyway, I discovered that "appearance manager" is a 3-chili word, but using the word "programmer" discounts one chili. (Limit one chili discount per email, no matter how many times you say "programmer.")

Turns out the Appearance Manager is part of the Apple 8 and 9 OS. I think it's called something else in OS X (I want to say Carbon but maybe that's something else.)

As for the usefulness of the Moodwatch feature: I think it is not so much to warn you that your own email is angry; I think the main benefit is that it also rates incoming mail. If I'm not in the mood for potentially abusive language, or if I'm screening my kids' mail, I theoretically know which emails to avoid. Of course, this premise is laden with false assumptions, so the best way to enjoy the feature is to outsmart and abuse it.

Posted by: julie at January 8, 2004 11:48 AM

Most of my incoming mail is offensive. How do I teach the algorithm to be offended by spam?

Posted by: James at January 8, 2004 12:11 PM

I use Mozilla email and I love it. You can also turn off the email spicy filter in Eudora

Posted by: Jake of 8bitjoystick.com at January 8, 2004 4:03 PM

Oh, but the spicy filter is part of the fun!

And that's not why I want to replace Eudora. Actually, I just want something a little more flexible. I figured I could review whatever other people are using and choose among them.

One hting I want is the ability to have filters kick off a particular sound. F'rinstance, I like to be notified if someone posts a comment to the blog. I don't want to be notified if the only mail I got has been flagged as spam.

So far I haven't seen a Windows email client that will make no sound if all I got was spam (my spam is flagged by popfile before it gets to my inbox, so it's easy for any client to distinguish spam with the most rudimentary filter). The best I get is an additional sound for special mail. And Eudora doesn't even do that.

Posted by: James at January 8, 2004 4:19 PM

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