Friday, August 17, 2007

Upgrade to Thunderbird Version 2

When I launched Thunderbird on my desktop machine this morning, the automatic update notifier said that version was available. This was a bit of a surprise, since I was running version Usually, I think of updates (minor bug fixes) being delivered this way, not major upgrades.

Evidently, the lead developer of Thunderbird, Scott MacGregor, views things differently. He did say this past April: "Thunderbird 1.5.0.x users will be offered Thunderbird 2 via software update at a later date." My bad.

No matter. I've been running Tbird v2 on my laptop for a while, and it has been well-behaved. I accepted the upgrade update offer. The whole new program downloaded (about 8 MB) and it seemed to self-install without a problem. When the installation was complete, I clicked "OK" to restart Thunderbird, as directed.

The new version launched. Everything seemed smooth. No need to reenter passwords or change settings or anything of that nature. All old mail was where it belonged. Getting and sending mail worked fine.

I did notice a minor display glitch, which is apparently specific to the ancient NVIDIA graphics card that I and six other people on the planet still use. This was easily remedied.

If you've been putting off upgrading to version 2, my inner procrastinator salutes you. However, according to a note at the top of the Tbird 1.5 page:

Thunderbird 1.5.0.x will be maintained with security and stability updates until October 18, 2007. All users are strongly encouraged to upgrade to Thunderbird 2.

So, in two months, you're doomed you might as well fix things now. If you aren't offered the option to upgrade by Thunderbird itself, you can probably force it via Help -> Check for Updates. If that doesn't work, visit the main Thunderbird download page.

Finally, Mozilla has a page describing the new features of version 2.

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