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Sunday, September 28, 2003
Being out of work has at least reinforced for me the value of a dollar (currently about $1.15/euro). I was able to save a packet of money by building my own computer, but software can very easily double the price. Fortunately, there are many useful applications out there for little or no money. Here is one of them; I will bring up some of the others I'm currently using in another article.

Pegasus Mail is a free mail client application that I use instead of Microsoft's Exchange or Outlook. Why bother, when you get the MS product free with purchase of Windows or Office? Well, that's one of those questions that contains its own answer. Just as virus and worm writers target the Windows operating system, and used to write malicious Word macros, they target Outlook because nearly everyone uses it. If you use something else, you are less vulnerable. To get the full benefit of the switch, make sure you uninstall Outlook.

Pegasus uses a rather clever way of making money from a free program. The software is free, but you have to buy the manual. There are no ads. Naturally, I felt obliged to take my chances. The mistakes I made setting up my POP/STMP accounts resulted in standard error messages that I simply copied into a search engine and found help for on the Internet. Problem solved. The address book is OK, but does not import entries from other programs or files. It does not work well with my firewall, Sygate Personal Firewall (also free -- maybe a later item), but there is a work-around: switch to "Allow All" on the firewall security setting, send the queued mail, then restore the firewall. When setting up your options, make sure to check "Send enclosures instead of attachments" in outgoing mail. If you ignore this rather opaque item, you need to send two messages: the one you typed with your text but not attachment, and one with your attachment but no text. The second is automatically generated, but both are in queue and both must be sent. This options combines them.

The features available in Pegasus are actually a big step up from Outlook. Whitelists and blacklists are available.E-mail filters are easy to set up and extensive. The default file is actually very comprehensive. I have been very careful about promulgating my e-mail address, but whether due to this or to the filter, I have not received a single spam item or missed an actual e-mail.
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