QUALCOMM Unleashes Eudora 6.0

Looking to keep inboxes free of spam, QUALCOMM Thursday released the latest commercial version of its Eudora e-mail software.

Version 6.0 of the program for Windows and Macintosh users now features automatic spam protection, an e-mail thread condenser, automated type formatting tools, and mailbox organizational shortcuts.

The San Diego-based company said a paid mode is available for $49.95 for new purchasers; $39.95 for previously paid registered users (Version 4.3 and higher); and no charge to users who purchased and registered the paid mode of Eudora versions in the last 12 months.

“Spam e-mail is the single biggest problem we hear about from users, followed closely by the challenge of managing the increasing volume of e-mail. This latest version includes many new features, but there are two in particular that address these issues directly: SpamWatch and Content Concentrator,” QUALCOMM vice president of Eudora Products William Ganon said in a statement.

Beyond the basic quarantine functions, the SpamWatch feature, available in paid mode only, sorts through the junk e-mail box to find the “wanted mail,” if there is any. The software assigns a numeric ranking system, which QUALCOMM calls a “junk score.” A higher number indicates e-mail with a greater number of criteria defining that mail as spam. The feature also includes the option of adding “Junk” and “Not Junk” icons to the toolbar.

The company says its Content Concentrator feature helps users weed through long e-mail threads by focusing on key words with three levels of concentration. Window’s users can copy fonts and styles from one place to another in an e-mail with the Format Painter function. Macintosh OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) users can access their list of mailboxes from any mailbox window with the Mailbox Drawer function.

The software also includes dual SMTP authorization that lets Eudora interoperate with the ISP’s increasing restrictions on sending and forwarding mail and improved filtering and transfer actions in IMAP mode.

QUALCOMM also included an open API architecture in both paid mode and sponsored mode, available to third party developers, so other anti-spam tools and plug- ins can be added.

Rich History

Eudora was developed by Steve Dorner at the University of Illinois, where Mosaic was also eventually developed. Dorner was a computer programmer working on TCP/IP applications and servers for the computer science department on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

At the time there were two basic e-mail systems in use at the time. One system required users to log in to a large timeshare computer, typically running UNIX or VM/CMS, and send mail over the Internet. The alternative method was to install an e-mail package on a Mac or PC local area network (LAN).

Dorner had difficulty building a graphic user interface for e-mail that didn’t use more memory space than computers of the day (1987-88) had to spare. Then Apple Computer released MacTCP, the first operating system-level, application-independent TCP/IP stack for personal computers. The new OS-level TCP/IP stack allowed multiple applications to use TCP/IP services. Since an unlimited site license for MacTCP was then available for only $1,000, Dorner started to write Eudora to the MacTCP protocol.

After working on the new e-mail program for a year, Dorner was ready to release it for free to the Internet community at large. The working name was UIUCMail, which Dorner realized was a tongue twister. Then he remembered a short story written by Eudora Welty titled “Why I Live at the P.O.” It’s a story about a woman who decides to live at the post office where she works rather than put up with her family at home any longer. Dorner was processing so much e-mail at the time that he felt like he lived at the post office, and his program used a “post office” protocol to fetch mail, so he saw a metaphorical connection.

Originally developed as a freeware product, QUALCOM purchased the rights to Eudora in 1991 for internal use, and quickly extended development to the Windows platform. Dorner joined the company the same year, and QUALCOMM launched Eudora as a consumer product soon afterwards.

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