Eudora source code given to the Computer History Museum

The code, along with all of the trademarks, copyrights, etc were given outright, not just leased. The code (windows and mac) is now available to anyone under the BSD open source licence.

Pretty please, someone improve the imap & transport security, and make it 64 bit? But not degrade it with social or other added features. (If I were younger I’d give a try, but if I were that young I probably wouldn’t know it was worth doing…)


I’m dedicated enough that I purchased an older iMac, installed Snow Leopard on it (last OS that runs Rosetta), and keep it running so that I can access my Eudora files.

There is a movement afoot to bring back Eudora as an open source project:

Yes, I know that there have been attempts to bring back Eudora previously that failed miserably. Just thought that I’d point it out for those who are interested.

I filled out the survey, fwiw. If I could run a 64 bit Eudora on my current Macs, I’d be very happy. I don’t even really care if IMAP works correctly.

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Eudora was badly out of date when it was discontinued, and that was ages ago. At this point I’m not sure how helpful it is to have access to the original legacy code. It probably needs an entire re-write.

There are a bunch of new, quite excellent, e-mail programs on the market. Instead of starting over from scratch with Eudora (which has been tried a couple of times without notable success), it seems to me that it makes more sense to get behind a modern product and simply ask the developer to add whatever features are missing to make it as good as, or better than, Eudora.

Some suggestions:

Canary ($10) both Mac and iOS versions
Does encrypted mail. works well with Exchange and IMAP

Spark (free)

How-To: 50 getting started tips for new Spark users | 9to5Mac

AirMail ($10)

AirMail will connect to an Exchange server!

Postbox ($40 for a lifetime license)


(This seems to be the consensus most popular alternative to Mail.)

MailMate ($50)
(IMAP only)
(Lots of previous Eudora users say good things about this program.)

Mail Pilot ($20)
(IMAP only)

Inky (free/$5 per month)
(IMAP only)


Inky (paid version) will connect to an Exchange server!
Uses encryption for high security

Unibox ($20)

I use Spark on iOS and like it a lot (I’m on the beta test program and find they are responsive to requests and complaints of bugs). The MacOS version suffers, for my purposes, by not supporting Applescript.

Canary is not $10. It’s $19.99 on the US store and, bizarrely and wholly unjustifiably (IMHO), £19.99 in the UK. I don’t know if the desktop version supports Applescript and I’m not prepare to blow twenty quid to find out.

Like many, I find Apple’s Mail on MacOS to be frustrating and buggy. I’ve yet to find a better alternative, sadly.


One major defect I remember with Eudora was lack of Unicode support, so that using any language other than English required special 3rd party add ons or was just impossible. It is stuck in an earlier age of technology in that regard.

I want to like Spark, but I really don’t. It starts with how it looks, which looks juvenile to me.

As for bringing back Eudora, I don’t think this is going to happen because Eudora had many many issues that were never really fixed.

  1. IMAP support was always poor
  2. Eudora never stopped munging the original message
  3. No support for any modern security (Eudora cannot connect to my mail server, regardless of how old a Mac you run it on).
  4. Poor support for alternate character sets, and no support for Unicode

There were a lot of neat things about Eudora in 1998, but there’s not much other than nostalgia that could make it compelling today. I mean, unlike 20 years ago, I mostly work to avoid email.

Eudora was badly out of date when it was discontinued, and that was ages
ago. At this point I’m not sure how helpful it is to have access to the
original legacy code. It probably needs an entire re-write.

A company I forget the name of tried writing a modernized clone from scratch, but ran out of money before it had even half the features. It was disappointing that it didn’t work out. Maybe if they’d had the original code to refer to it would have gone faster and better, even though I’ll bet the code is chock full of spaghetti.

it makes more sense to get behind a modern product and simply ask
the developer to add whatever features are missing to make it as good
as, or better than, Eudora.

Adding more than a few of Eudora’s minor features to some existing mail program is unlikely to please anyone. The attempted merger with Thunderbird, “Eudora OSE”, was basically a disaster. I can’t see any current mail client developer doing any better. It would be nearly as much work as starting from scratch anyway (write a real search engine instead of just using spotlight, etc), and many of the needed changes would probably tick off their current users.

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Two different groups embarked on creating two different “successors” to Eudora, one a commercial version based on all-new code, and one open source version based on the existing open source program Thunderbird. Both have now been dead for several years, after both spent years trying to come up with something that approximated Eudora. It was a much bigger, harder project than either team expected it to be. Previous Eudora users, by and large, didn’t like either successor:

MailForge ($20) (first known as Odysseus)!msg/comp.sys.mac.apps/Hkb1CWDskbI/4x13LGmQnHIJ

Eudora OSE (Open Source Edition; first known as Penelope) (FREE)

There are A LOT of e-mail programs for the Macintosh. By my count there are at least 20 of them. Not to mention the one that comes with every version of the macOS (Mail), and the various Web-mail offerings. If someone can’t find an e-mail program that currently exists to suit their tastes, I strongly doubt that anything will ever please them.

Eudora was never wildly popular, despite its loyal followers. If it had been, it wouldn’t have been discontinued. I think that Eudora has lapsed into the status of other long-lost software programs that people look back upon with rose-colored glasses. e.g. FullWrite, WP/Mac, SuperPaint, etc. Those programs were nice in their time. But they also had severe problems even way back when they were being supported. They have been gone for a good while now, and it’s well past time to move on and stop looking back.


Eudora was wildly popular for quite some time (Basically, all of the 90s and into the first couple of years of the 2000’s). It was the client for email and everyone used it who wasn’t using a text-based client like elm (later pine then alpine) or mailx.

But Eudora was never a product Qualcomm had any interest in and it was a product they pretty much accidentally had. They didn’t really know what to do with it, how to market it, or how to improve it since their business was entirely unrelated. I don’t know the story about how or why they bought it, but I think it was that they wanted Steve Dorner and they got Eudora with him. The husband of one of my wife’s friends was an executive at Qualcomm, so I did hear some details about it from the perspective of the 90s through its demise.

By the time Windows XP came out, Outlook Express was a ‘good enough’ client for most people, and Eudora, with it’s odd internal desktop and non-standard windows withered quite quickly, which meant revenue dropped and made it easy for Qualcomm to get rid of a product they never really liked in the first place.

And while most the revenue for it when it was paid came from Windows, the Windows version was simply bad, so the instant there was a viable alternative it dried up.

Dorner was tasked with the open source project back in 2006, but I don’t know how involved he was or what he’s done since or if he’s even still working for Qualcomm. He should be in his mid 50s, if I remember correctly.


Very happy with MailMate. Spending $50 on it was okay to do after I’d spent $30 on MailSmith back in the day. But then again I’m the kind of person who bought OmniWeb.

I can tweak it how I wish, it works flawlessly. I can write in Markdown and the searches and smart folders are exemplary. I’ve a workflow established and now I can’t imagine using anything else.

My wife uses Spark, likes it, it’s very straightforward to set up and I’ve pointed various people towards it when Mail proved bothersome. There’s AirMail too which has its benefits, a supercharged Spark in a way.