back to article OS X Mavericks mail client spews INFINITE SPAM

Apple’s update to OS X, Mavericks, has gone rather better than Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 upgrade. Except if you try to use its email client, the prosaically-named “Mail”. One complainant is cloud email outfit FastMail, a company that offers hosted email. One can point any client at its service, or use webmail. The former …


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  1. Mo McRoberts

    Given that Symphony was discontinued last year, the solution is presumably to install an up-to-date version of OpenOffice…

    1. stizzleswick
      Thumb Up

      Agreed, OOo works fine, as does LibreOffice. Had a few hiccoughs with Aperture though (since fixed).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As anyone who's upgraded an iPhone or iPad to iOS 7 will tell you, Apple has clearly spent the last six months of development time cramming as many stupid design decisions and shitty, irritating bugs into their email clients as possible.

    Apple email clients are in a woeful state at the moment; by comparison, even Lotus Notes is starting to look refreshingly speedy and functional.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple email clients

      "Apple email clients are in a woeful state at the moment"

      I think you can leave off the "at the moment" bit, I have yet to see anything remotely approaching usefulness in them. I wish there was a Thunderbird for iOS.

      Apple in their wisdom decided that having access to the "Read" flag was only of possible use to programmers so they got rid of it in the client, and their sandboxed the thing so badly that a GPG plugin doesn't work either, removing two bits of functionality that could have convinced me to hang on to the damn thing. So, out it went in favour of Thunderbird, but that leaves iOS which also doesn't have a very hot email client. Ditto for calendar and contacts, but those apps are at least still reasonably useful on iOS. Maybe there's a Mail app that works, must check (no, not interested in Gmail or GMX, I need a decent "I speak IMAP" sort of client).

      For a company that made good UIs, the triumvirate Mail - Calendar - Contacts is without explanation. It sucks, big time. Not enough to make me spend money on Outlook, but it sucks. Badly.

      1. Robert Grant

        Re: Apple email clients

        I generally will bash Apple if it comes to it, but in all seriousness - do people really think they make good UIs? I know they make simple, clear workflows through programs, which is definitely part of good UI design, and Windows/Linux programs often don't do that, but if you look at OS X, doesn't it look really weird?

        Cartoony, floating icons at the bottom (some of which are running programs; some aren't), big high res picture in the background and almost 1980s Unix looking menu bar and icons. Beautiful hardware aside, the look of OSX just puts me off it.

        Also, the alt-tab behaviour in OSX pretty much kills me. What is up with that?

  3. dorsetknob

    Apple's Equipment dont go wrong its a user problem

    your holding the keyboard wrong

    Apple fix will be an upgrade of a 10c elastic band

  4. ThomH Silver badge

    Mail's always been dodgy

    ... though it's working well for me at the minute. The last update appears finally to have resolved the bug whereby new emails sometimes display as empty until you restart the client, and even the iOS version no longer occasionally decides someone is trying to email me from 1969*.

    So far I've had no issues whatsoever with any part of 10.9. But why do I feel like I'm tempting fate?

    (* the UNIX epoch versus the PST time zone, I assume)

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Mail's always been dodgy

      No problems with Mail here, including google interaction. Oh wait... Snow Leopard.

      Please excuse my smugness as a peer around the side of my imac screen and pop in a DVD to watch.

      Look Ma! No messy cables - I've got an all-in-one computer!

      Razor blades. They're shiny too, but we don't jump on them as soon as we see them.

      (We need a proper *smug* icon)

  5. IAmTheMillipede

    Give em a break..

    Apple can't even get their clock programming to handle daylight savings time and new years correctly.

    Something as complex as email surely pushes the limits of their talent.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Give em a break..

      Well, my 2009 13in MB running 10.9 handled the change from BST to GMT perfectly well.

      Perhaps they have fixed the problems now.

      But here, it works fine.

      Other Timezones may be different.

  6. Steve Knox Silver badge


    Maybe you should switch to something more current, like WordStar.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Symphony?

      Call me new-school, but I've always rather liked Amipro.

      1. Captain Save-a-ho

        Re: Symphony?

        Pfft. Real writers only use Edlin.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Symphony?

          Pfft^2. Real writers use LaTeX. The only wp with it's own clothing range.

          1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

            Re: Symphony?

            Real (TM) writers use TeX and have defined macros to suie them as MyTeX

      2. Ilsa Loving

        Re: Symphony?

        Oh my god, how I miss Ami Pro! It could handle object positioning in a way second only to professional desktop publishing applications. Even now, MS Word is still unable to match it.

        And then Lotus had to botch it all up when it released Word Pro....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Symphony?

      Real men use ed.

      1. PJI

        Re: Symphony?

        Non-quiche eaters use cat(1)

  7. thechanklybore

    It was always broken. I really like the fact that Mac-land, as well as Windows-land, is full of websites telling you how to use their broken software. That said, Windows-land tends to consider breakages as bugs.

  8. jake Silver badge

    I can help a brother: "our preferred word processor, Lotus/IBM Symphony"

    Learn vi. It's been my main-stay for putting ASCII into a computer since before MS-DOS existed.

    1. M Gale

      Re: I can help a brother: "our preferred word processor, Lotus/IBM Symphony"

      ASCII? Really now?


      If you can see the above, you're not reading ASCII. Extended ASCII at best, and even then only if you have the right code-page loaded.

      And if you really think either vi or emacs are at all suitable as word processors (as opposed to script editors, a task at which I'm sure they excel, so long as you don't mind learning obsolete or esoteric keyboard shortcuts that no modern editor uses), I may want to give you a percussive introduction to a clue-by-four.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: I can help a brother: "our preferred word processor, Lotus/IBM Symphony"

        They asked about a word processor. They did not ask about document formatting. Please try to read for content. The first is about putting thoughts into the computer. The second is about formatting it for presentation.

        I published my first book using vi as the word processor, and LaTeX to format the document.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I can help a brother: "our preferred word processor, Lotus/IBM Symphony"

        IA5, ASCII should have been dead long ago, but still used as a convenient shorthand or for American variant.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I can help a brother: "our preferred word processor, Lotus/IBM Symphony"

        >>And if you really think either vi or emacs are at all suitable as word processors

        Actually, vi(1) is pretty good for a pure text word processor, with all sorts of handing settings and easily written macros to speed up "ascii art". Add some troff(1) commands and it is good enough to produce books, such as the original K & R C, Perl etc..

        What you mean is megabyte-consuming Word and similar.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Only bell-ends use vi to word process, its good for some things, but using it for word processing is like using Word to edit scripts, technically possible but lacking pretty much all the features you'd actually want for the task in hand.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yawn...

        Then I suggest, most respectfully, that you do not know vi very well. It is brilliant for writing documents quickly and, in conjunction with (g)roff, tbl, eqn, pic and friends or Latex, one can produce beautiful documents in PDF, postscript, text and so on, as many technical and other books until just a few years ago. You've probably got some if you are a programmer or network designer. The things I really miss with Word etc. are control, interesting global edits using patterns, easy, fine adjustment in one command of fonts or indents and the ability to write macros or use abbrev or map. Like most things first aimed at "non-technical" users, Word has become vast, over-complicated, displays difficult to understand or control interactions and produces vast files just to record, "hallo world" in any of its output formats. What's more, roff has been around for most of the life of UNIX, is installed on most as standard and can handle the oldest and newest forms. It includes lots of macro packages, such as those to produce manual pages and it is easy to write your own. Better still, for UNIX developers/users, it works on UNIX. To do the code documentation, one does not suddenly have to copy it to a windows machine and cope with the formatting problems of your code that that entails.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yawn...

          @AC 13:18 - You prove my point exactly. VI is great for making scripts, that sort of thing, but in order to act as a wordprocessor with even basic functionality it needs several add on packages, which you helpfully list. I can't put my mum in front of vi and get her to produce a basically functional document with a little formatting and some spell check, maybe a picture or a table. Word, OO, LO, Symphony all these other wordprocessors she'd be able to use just by finding the icon. As likely as not, if I put my mum in front of VI, she wouldn't even be able to work out how to start typing, depending upon the version of vi/the OS it runs on, she wouldn't be able to move the cursor because of the whole hjkl thing, and she certainly wouldn't know that :qw! means save.

          I get that vi has fans, but really it's a nieche tool for techies (which I use), but in no way is it intended to be a user friendly wysiwyg wordprocessing environment.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yawn...

            Am I the only one here who saw Jake's post, got to the bit about "my first book", and envisioned something like this?



            ֹ               ֹWHY I'M SO AWESOME



            ֹ            a list of things I have done

            ֹ                    and you haven't


            ֹ                           by Jake

            ֹ └───────────────────────────┘

  9. wolfetone Silver badge

    So, Tim Cook.... this a radical new innovation on how email clients should handle spam?

  10. Dan 55 Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Disappointed that nobody's mentioned this yet...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Here in Vulture South, OS X Mavericks is not doing well: our preferred word processor, Lotus/IBM Symphony, crashes as soon as it opens a document. Feel free to help a brother out with a fix."

    Oh, I have a ton of helpful advice. You could try Pages, MS Office, Google Docs, Open office, Wri. Actually, forget Google Docs (and pages too, if it can't be used in a none cloudy manner) - you don't want to make it too easy for the NSA.

    Seriously? Symphony? That's awfully bloody minded of you.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignoring user comments is POINTLESS!

    You can't block AC so even if I do annoy you, I can still do so using AC.

    So what is the point?

    It's a bit retarded!

  13. big_D Silver badge

    Common theme

    Fastmail, Gmail and Exchange... Anyone notice a common theme there? That's right, none of them is an iCloud account... Apple are oh so subtle.

  14. Anthony Hulse

    Gmail problems? Not here...

    Using Mail with IMAP4 to Gmail on an iMac I took from Mountain Lion to Mavericks last week. Not seen any issues with performance nor stability. Am I just lucky or is there a common link between the Macs seeing problems that excludes mine, i.e are they all MacBooks or something?

  15. MyHandle123

    Steve Jobs is gone

    And I can see the quality of Apple's products decline — getting sloppy. Jobs would never have let this crap get through.

    They need to hire a product dictator who is a high-functioning OCD crazy person. Tim Cook isn't up to the task. Neither Jonathan Ive (VP of Design) or Craig Federighi (VP Software) are good enough with getting all the details right.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Steve Jobs is gone

      And I can see the quality of Apple's products decline — getting sloppy. Jobs would never have let this crap get through.

      Jobs was around for the stupid i4 antenna nonsense, and the beginning of the iOS-ification of OSX, and I think he was still with us when they started gluing stuff together again.

  16. jubtastic1


    Jobs let plenty of crap through, these are just bugs in a point zero update, which for reasons that will never be understood, always include some that would appear to be impossible with even the most cursory of pre-release testing. Which is why I always advise my clients to let the fools rush in and discover all the bugs.

    Regarding the article though, one sentence stands out: "using legal IMAP commands in a stupid way", That strikes me as the sort of qualified statement people issue when they're technically to blame, but aren't prepared to admit it.

  17. Breen Whitman

    A few years back, Macs were essential for designers etc. as the software only came on Mac

    Now Photoshop, and Indesign look and act as their Mac brethren.

    Screens could be an argument, but these days I note the Hipsters in Graphics grizzle about "colorspace" etc.

    PCs with professional monitors would now outperform a Mac and save the company money and productivity.

    But why is it everyone is scare of stomping on Graphic Designers. I know they do whine and squeal a lot. Just do it when their nose is pressed against their iPhone screens. So ample opportunity...

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      On the contrary, the Mac is still better than a PC for creative work in a whole bunch of key areas — see e.g. in which the author starts from the position that some people will be turned off by the new Mac Pro so, hypothetically, what would the perfect alternative platform be?

      The Mac comes out as by far the closest thing to the ideal, based on much better out-of-the-box support for professional formats (HDR, EXR, etc), better multitasking under load (so you can do something else while a render occurs), system-wide scripting (though the author dislikes AppleScript, he likes the Automator) and search (ie, in every file dialogue in every app), much more mature HiDPI support (for people working with 4k video and without magnifying glasses) and a bunch of other things.

      Windows wins only in 10-bit video output (which sounds quite significant to me, but isn't enough in isolation) and aero snap.

      1. Ian 55

        Having just read that, it is fascinating to see how well Linux does and the ways in which Apple is determined to lose.

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