Latest Eudora Pro release mails voice attachments

The Eudora Pro 3.0.3 interface is ugly, because Qualcomm has resisted the urge to
pretty it with performance-retarding graphics.


But the Microsoft Windows interface eases contact management by letting you drag
entries from one address book to another. You can sort messages by click-ing on column
headings and resize window panels by dragging.


I installed Eudora Pro on two PCs running Microsoft Windows 95 on a Windows NT 4.0
network. It had no problems exchanging mail with SLmail for NT, a mail server from Seattle
Lab Inc. of Bothell, Wash. Getting Eudora Pro to work with Microsoft Exchange Server on an
NT network wasn't as easy, though.


Because my NT network user name differs from my Post Office Protocol 3 account name, I
had some trouble configuring the client.


Eudora uses POP3 to find and transfer messages from server to


client. It sends via the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.


POP3 account log-ins usually are configured as "name@computer name.domain."
If your assigned log-in name is Jane and the name of the computer that hosts your e-mail
account is pilot.faa.gov, you would set up the POP account as jane@pilot.faa.gov.


But to log onto the Exchange server locally requires "domain name\user
name/mailbox" name.


To get Eudora to work with the Exchange server, I had to set the POP3 account as
"domain\user name/mailbox name@machine name."


It took a lot of trials over a couple of days plus the assistance of the GCN Lab staff
to get it running.


Most of the improvements in Version 3.0.3 aren't to the basic program but instead
derive from plug-in applications.


For example, Qualcomm has integrated the PGP for Personal Privacy 5.0 package, so users
can encrypt messages and attachments using the Digital Signature Standard/Diffie-Hellman
public-key encryption system.


If you use encryption software from RSA Data Security Inc. of Redwood City, Calif., you
can download a low-cost patch from Pretty Good Privacy Inc. of San Mateo, Calif., which
adds RSA capability to the Eudora PGP plug-in.


Encryption ensures that only authorized persons can decipher your messages and
attachments.


PGP also lets you authenticate or digitally sign messages and files. Authentication
guarantees the identity of the sender and verifies that no one tampered with the message
in transit.


Eudora Pro's PureVoice recorder-player plug-in for voice mail at first glance seemed
like just another bandwidth-hogging multimedia gimmick.


But I soon realized PureVoice could do real work.


It lets users with sound cards and microphones record and play back voice messages.
PureVoice attaches the voice messages to
e-mail via the Messaging Application Programming Interface, and recipients can play them
back on PCs similarly equipped with Windows or the Macintosh operating system.


Sight-impaired workers will find such voice-mail attachments extremely helpful.
Graphical user interfaces have diminished the usefulness of text-to-speech synthesizers,
and I suspect this enhancement will be welcome.


PureVoice also could reduce the cost and complexity of multilingual correspondence for
languages that have different character sets.


If I want to correspond in, say, Russian, I need a computer and software that supports
Cyrillic characters. But speaking and e-mailing messages would remove the need for special
keyboards and foreign-language software versions.


Unfortunately, Qualcomm gave PureVoice a proprietary compression and file format. The
compression scheme offers minor benefits, but PureVoice files lack compatibility with
other sound files. Both sender and receiver must have PureVoice to exchange voice mail.


If some of your staff share PCs, you can configure Eudora for multiple users. One way
is to create a folder for each user and copy the Eudora executable to the folder. A better
solution is to create a Personality for each user with a distinct account name and
password. Or a single user can take advantage of Personalities to access multiple
accounts.


If you're the e-mail point of contact for your office, Eudora's Stationery option will
cut the time you spend handling mail. Stationery is Eudora's term for electronic form
letters that respond to e-mail. If you send an acknowledgment whenever a document arrives,
you simply reply with the canned letter.


You can construct filters to manage e-mail, too. Filters scan designated fields for key
words and handle the mail as you have instructed.


Eudora can reply automatically to a request for information with a form letter,
transfer vacation requests into an action box, route Freedom of Information Act requests,
prioritize by sender, or associate a sound file to alert you when a certain message
arrives. There's almost nothing you can do manually that Eudora can't do with filters. I
was going to say Eudora does everything except read your mail, but then I realized it does
that, too.


Turbo Redirect, for example, can forward a message to someone on your recipient list,
queue the new message, then delete the original, all with a click.


Eudora has a history of minor bugs. Version 3.0.3 seems stable except for the
eudora.ini file that defaults to Remote Passphrase Authentication.


Telephone support is free for 90 days. My waits averaged about 10 minutes, and the
service was decent. Printed documentation is adequate, but the online help suffers from a
lack of detail and background.


Eudora Pro may look somewhat old-fashioned, but it's as fast, flexible and powerful as
any e-mail client around.


GCN associate editor Jason Byrne contributed to this review.


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