The rise and fall, and rise of the thick client

I've switched from Gmail to Thunderbird. Why? Two things: Firefox's instability and memory hogging ways, and Gmail's IMAP support.

The fact is that my firefox.exe process was getting into 400MB range and was crashing all of the time. It's not surprising: I was running gmail, meebo, firebug, and a bunch of other, smaller plugins. Firefox was essentially serving as a simple operating system.

Time to lighten the load. Thunderbird for email has been a big win - Firefox 2 never ran gmail very well, and Thunderbird is like a breath of fresh air. However much I miss email search and organizing messages by conversation, I like being able to write an email without fear of a crash even more. Plus, thick clients have other benefits like offline operation and better integration with other apps (e.g. I can use the "email this document" option in my applications now).

Meebo actually runs very stably, but it does take up a good deal of browser memory, and it doesn't do "auto detect whether I'm at my computer" thing - which has misled others to think I'm online when I'm not. Miranda does the trick (although it doesn't support Google Talk).

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