Friday, October 22, 2010

Printing a list of my mail in the folder

It appears to be a common request, to print a list of the contents of a folder in Thunderbird. The trouble with the request is that Thunderbird does not support this function and many are left disappointed.

What follows here is a workaround, that will allow a list to be printed, or edited.

The import/Export tools for Thunderbird which can be downloaded here provides a right click context menu to 'export' the folder. This export offers an options to export as a list either in HTML or CSV formats, as well as the more expected whole mail export options.

If you choose the HTML option a folder is created at the place you choose to save the file a single HTML file is saved in there which, when opened in your browser of choice, can be printed. Personally I find this option creates extraneous columns, like the TO: and prefer to select export list as CSV. CSV files are easily edited in a spread sheet program like Excel and it is easy to delete the extra columns and print out the list containing just the things I want.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Can't sent mail (network.tcp.sendbuffer)

I can't send mail is a fairly common complaint in the Thunderbird support forums. The reasons for this are Myriad, but Today I want to discuss just one in Particular.

It is something of a real gotcha and usually only appears when you try and send mail with attachments. The issue is that with the release of Thunderbird version 3 a rather obscure value that controls communications was changed to increase performance. This is all well and good for the vast majority of users, but there are those out there with older routers and modems for whom it has caused a significant communications failure. The value is stored in Thunderbird as the network.tcp.sendbuffer.

The following is a copy and paste of a workaround posted by Michael A Pasek for the problem

This _may_ be due to faulty network equipment -- usually "low-end" routers. TB3 increased the amount of data that TB can send without waiting for an acknowledgement from the SMTP server. With properly-operating equipment, this change increases performance because it allows all available network bandwidth to be utilized.

However, some equipment apparently cannot buffer this much data, and will "reset" when the amount of outstanding data reaches (approximately) 128KB. For those cases, you can decrease the "allowed outstanding data" size in TB so that it will send less data before waiting for an acknowledgement from the SMTP server. Do do this, you need to add a variable to your configuration:

If the problem you are experiencing is due to faulty network equipment, you should now be able to send mail. You MAY need to quit and restart Thunderbird; I don't have this problem, and others who have used this workaround did not specify whether they had to restart TB or not.

Please note that this is NOT a Thunderbird "bug"; it is a bug in some network component between your computer and the SMTP server -- most commonly a "SOHO" (Small Office/Home Office) router. If you have such a router, check to make sure you are using the latest version of its firmware (although in at least one case, even the latest router firmware still exhibited the problem).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hyperlinks in Email Don't work

This was my prototype for my official article on the Mozilla site.  This post has not been updated for Thunderbird 5, the one at Mozilla has.

Each operating system has a 'default browser' for viewing web pages. Internet Explorer and Firefox, as well as others I assume, check this setting by default when they start up and prompt the you to set them as the default. Sometime this process goes a little awry for some reason or another and your computer looses the details of the default browser. To cure this problem you simply need to get the browser of your choice to check this setting and update it.


In FireFox the setting can be found by going to the Tools menu and selecting options. Select the advanced picture and then click the check now button. Unless you regularly use multiple web browsers it is probably a good idea to check the box on the right to have Firefox check each time it starts.

Internet Explorer under XP (it may differ on other windows versions)

Go to the control Panel select the internet options. Select the programs tab and in the middle of the page will be options to turn the checking on and off.

Ok so that did not work

It is time to look for an extension that may be causing some unwanted behavior. Run Thunderbird in Safe Mode. There is an entry on the Help menu for Thunderbird (Start with add-ons disabled) that you can use. Safe mode disables extensions and allows you to check if the unwanted behavior is cause by one of them.

Next is to try the Standard Diagnostics.

If you still have a problem, it is time to go to Get Satisfaction and ask about what could be the cause of the problem.

Before you post in Get Satisfaction read this and be sure to say exactly what you have done already to diagnose the problem.

Windows Live Mail :- Moving From

Windows live mail uses a very different method to Thunderbird to store emails. In Thunderbird a single file is used to store all mail in a single folder. In windows live mail mail is stored as individual EML files in the mail folders.

There is at this point no direct import for those wishing to move from Live mail to Thunderbird. It is however possible.

Getting it all together

1. Install Thunderbird and the import/Export tools extension. Installing an extension is discussed here
2. Create your accounts in Thunderbird.

The process

In windows live mail, starting with the Tools menu select Options then the advanced tab followed by the maintenance button  Finally select the store folder button.  This will show you exactly where Live Mail keeps your mail.

Use the import export tools entry on the Tools menu in Thunderbird and select the import all EML files from a directory, then the an it's sub directories menu option.  Navigate the file picker to the location shown by Windows Live Mail and let it do it's thing.  Now all of your mail and folders should be imported to Thunderbird under the Local folders in your folder tree.

Export your contacts from Live as a CSV file and import that into Thunderbird using Import on the Tools menu. Just be sure to click on the addressbook in the next window. Everything will not work.


If you are migrating from Live with Hotmail,  ensure the account you create is IMAP or your folders will not import. If you create a POP account the contents of the inbox only will be downloaded to Thunderbird.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Move from Outlook on old computer to Thunderbird on New

There appears to be some confusion about this process. It is simple and painless, but it requies Outlook to be installed on the computer along with Thunderbird. The Thunderbird Outlook import filter needs outlook to provide the necessary services to reassemble the mails that outlook has pulled apart.

The short simple method is to install Thunderbird on your old computer, do the import of all the data, and then using Mozbackup Transfer all you data to the new computer. If you want to pay for data translation from outlook, there are a number of comercial operators that will sell you products that will do that, but if you want it for free, the above is really the only way.