Thursday, August 10, 2017

Replacing Contacts, Calender and Mail with Thunderbird on OSX


I prevously wrote about the reason why I prefer open source software above proprietary software for my DIY projects. This time I'd like to take it a step further by replacing all proprietary software on my iMac with open source or non-proprietary software. This is of course not possible because the OSX operating system itself is proprietary but I'm replacing as much programs on it as I can. This will ultimately make it easier to move to the Linux operating system.

Thunderbird the replacement for Contacts, Calender and Mail on OSX.



Today I replaced the proprietary Contacts, Calender and Mail, that come with OSX, with Mozilla's Thunderbird (v52.2.1). Most important are my mails. I have three email accounts from which two migrated without program. Not suprisingly I was unable to migrate my iCloud account. Not a huge problem since I want to abandon this account anyway.

All contacts from OSX Contacts were imported during the installation of Thunderbird. Next I exported my Calender data as an .ics file. Thunderbird imported this file without problem (Events and Tasks/Import).

After just a couple of hours of usage I can't provide a opinion of the Thunderbird software but that is not relevant. Even if Thunderbird would lack certain features or the user interface is not as pretty as the other programs the more important point is that I gained more freedom today. I unchained myself from three proprietary OSX programs and I'm slowly freeing myself from the Apple ecosystem.

Further down the road

Next on the agenda are Quicktime and iMovie which I use extensively for my video tutorials. Possible candidates are OpenShot and Kdenlive. I've heard that both programs can have stability issues so that may be a challenge also the Kdenlive version of OSX is outdated according the Kdenlive website.

Even further down the road is OSX Photos. I have thousands of photo's and as you can imagine they're precious to me. Finding an non-proprietary image organizer for OSX is not easy. My son uses Shotwell on his Ubuntu system but I haven't found an OSX version of it. Another alternative is digiKam. This program appears to be maintained very well so I might want to give it a try.

Any comments on migrating from proprietary to non-proprietary programs are welcome as well as any comments on proprietary versus non-proprietary in general. In the future I'll regularly write an update on how I'm faring with the transition.


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