Charles Moore's Mailbag

MailForge Not Truly Useful, Eudora Problems with Leopard, Firefox 4 Beta for PPC, and More

Charles Moore - 2010.09.02 - Tip Jar

MailForge Still Not Ready for Everyday Use

From Bob:


I read your recent review of MailForge 2.0.4.

I too have been using Eudora for many years and have not found anything that I like better. I have tried MailForge and have the latest version (2.0.4).

However, I can never get it to work properly, so I have not converted to MailForge. I use to have problems with not being able to select the date and get it to show the most recent email at the top. It now finally does that. But when I sent a file from Eudora (which did not show some graphics) to MailForge, I was amazed that the graphics were there.

However, when I tried to print, it showed that there were three (3) pages for the email. When I tried to select page 2, I got a "ding" and nothing happened. I tried to create a PDF file, and it showed the progress bar with no progress. After a couple of minutes, I clicked on the Cancel button and got a "barber pole", but again nothing happened. I had to force quit MailForge and start over. The same thing happened again. So I cannot print, view more than the first page when printing, and cannot create a PDF file. All not good.

Then I sent the email back to my dominant account (the one that I use Eudora on), and I received nothing. So I cannot send either. I can receive emails but not send. I sent it a second time but got nothing in Eudora. However, if I go to the out box in MailForge, both emails are listed as being sent.

So MailForge is not an option for replacing Eudora for me as of yet.

I thought that you might be interested in my experiences with MailForge. I hope that some day they get it fixed. I am surprised that they haven't done it yet, as they have been working on it for several years. I don't know why some of these "basic" features don't work.


Hi Bob,

Your phrase "I can never get it to work properly, so I have not converted to MailForge" sums it up concisely for many of us who really want MailForge to succeed but remain frustrated and thwarted by its bugginess. I too have problems getting MailForge to send mail, although this seems to be a somewhat generalized issue with my ISP (I have similar issues with other email clients, and even Thunderbird/Eudora OSE is not completely trouble-free as regards sending). You hold your mouth right and hope, but the ongoing issue has pushed me more and more into the Webmail cloud, notwithstanding my preference for POP3.

MailForge is young software. The old Eudora we loved was the product of two decades of development, beginning in an era when email software was far less complex. Like you, I'm hoping for MailForge to be able to get the bugs squashed, but in the meantime, I'm using Eudora OSE, and it's really not bad once you get used to it.


Eudora 6.2.4 Fails with Leopard

From Ron:


I'm a Mac user (not technical) have MacBook Pro OS X 10.5 (Leopard) for Eudora 6.2.4. I understand there exists a direct replacement to Eudora and fully compatible with Eudora. I run PGP software (Phil Zimermann's version). Also use Eudora - signatures to contain high volumes of research a real need. Will not accept any email that cannot reside within my machine (not onwww). Can you alert me on which way to proceed?

Interesting that Apple repair centers have no knowledge on Eudora - except Computer Village in Billings, MT. Don Lewis has taken time to delve into Eudora problems - e.g. No Apple Store nor Apple factory would sell me a machine two months ago running Leopard period. The Apple Store manager sold me his machine from his desk, as it was running Leopard. That all files and applications from Tiger were downloaded and Eudora 6.2.4 has never run right since. I need help and willing to pay for that assistance.

Thank you,

Dear Ron,

Apple usually demurs comment on third-party applications.

Here's what I can tell you (no payment necessary):

Eudora 6.2.4 is a lame duck, and really has been since Leopard came out. I have never been able to get it to work successfully with Leopard, although I continue to use it with OS X 10.4 Tiger on my old Pismo PowerBooks.

Theoretically, Infinity Data Systems' "new from the ground up but inspired by classic Eudora" MailForge would be the answer to your dilemma, but at its present stage of development and refinement (often lack of), I would hesitate recommending it for mission-critical duty. Hopefully someday, as it promises to be a worthy Eudora replacement.

In the meantime, as a Eudora devotee, I would suggest that your practical alternatives are two, since you're not likely to be happy with OS X's build-in Mail client. (Some profess to love it, but I suspect that few of them were real Eudora enthusiasts). There are a number of other OS X compatible POP3 clients, but likewise unlikely to satisfy a classic Eudora aficionado.

The first would be's Eudora Open Source Edition, which can import your classic Eudora files and archives, and it shares some appearance similarities with real Eudora, but it is an entirely different application that works very differently from classic Eudora. It's a pretty decent email application, and I find it generally reliable as my main email software these days.

The other suggestion would be Mailsmith, the former Bare Bones Software client that sold for c.$100, but has now passed into the Open Source domain as freeware. Mailsmith is more complex than Eudora but has the advantage of using a multi-window interface that classic Eudora fans will find reassuringly similar.

In either case, or for that matter with MailForge as well, there will be a learning curve to scale, and none of these programs is really as elegant and tractable as classic Eudora, but they're as good as it gets so far in the post-Leopard era.

Good luck!


My Pismo Won't Come Back from the Dead

From Steve:


I understand you are still using your Pismo.

I have quite liked my old laptop, having upgraded the CPU to a G4 and added 1 gig RAM. When my drive died, I put in a larger one. but soon after that the 'Book stopped booting (just a black screen).

I wonder if you might be able to help me diagnose my dead Pismo or point me to someone who might.

I have tried the suggestions I found on your site and on the iFixit site, here is what I have tried.

I thought it might be a power problem, as I saw no lights, not even the caps lock.

I left the power adapter connected to the 'Book and overnight the battery fully charged (the dead PowerBook had been on my shelf for several moths), so I think it is good (I had already tried 3 thought-to-be-good adapters)

I disconnected the PRAM battery, removed the AirPort Card, keyboard, hard drive, DVD, both upper and lower RAM.

Pressing the power key does nothing, no sound or image on the screen.

Tried removing and reseating the CPU card several times, still no sound or image when power key pressed.

Pressing the PMU reset button and then the power key did something; the screen slowly lights up to a white screen, and then slowly darkens, showing weird splotchy patterns (a picture is attached), with about 8 vertical bars of differing intensity. the screen slowly darkened, starting on the right side and soon the whole screen is blank again.

I thought I had tried the PMU reset before, with all the components still in the computer and not seen this, but after putting the RAM, drive, keyboard back in, I tried the PMU reset again and saw the same images and no sound.

Any thoughts will be appreciated; I don't have an extra Pismo to swap parts to help diagnose this.

Do you think this sounds like a bad CPU card?

Thank you.


Hi Steve,

Two Pismos actually.

These sorts of faults are difficult to diagnose precisely even hands-on without trial-and-error component substitution.

My inferences would be in descending order of probability:

  • Bad Power Manager board
  • Bad logic board
  • Bad CPU daughtercard
  • Bad hard drive

I emphasize that these are at best semi-educated guesses based on the symptoms you've described.

At this point in time, I would not suggest spending any serious money repairing a Pismo. Complete used units in good working condition are frequently available quite reasonably (I encourage buying from either a reseller who offers a warranty or limiting your shopping to machines you can start up and try). You can pick up a stock Pismo for a couple or three hundred bucks (or perhaps much less) and swap your upgrade bits in, keeping your old machine as a parts mule.

That's the course I took when I fried the power manager board in one of my Pismos a couple of years ago.


Firefox 4 Beta Optimized Builds

From Gavin:

I just wanted to say that I am using a special build of Firefox 4 beta 3 available from that works just fine. Something to note is that these builds are highly optimized for either PowerPC or Intel-based Macs. PowerPC builds are available for several types of Macs including G3s, early G4s (PPC 7400s), later G4s (PPC 7450s), or G5s, while users with Intel Macs can choose between 32- or 64-bit versions. In my experience, the PPC7450 version is faster than the official build.


Hi Gavin,

Thanks for the useful link.

Have you tried any of the post-Firefox 3.6 builds with Tiger?


Publisher's note: currently has PowerPC builds of Firefox 4 Beta 5. I've just tested it on my Power Mac G4 under Leopard and can report that it launches, handles some pages correctly, and has problems loading many pages (including Yahoo Mail and Facebook). Not recommended.

If any reader knows where you can download Firefox 4 Beta 3, the last PowerPC version (which runs very nicely on my G4 with Leopard), please let us know so we can post the link. Thanks! dk

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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