Thunderbird for Calendar and Email
#1
In case this is helpful to others, I thought I would just provide a "heads up" about what seems to be a surprisingly well-behaved program which has solved my calendar and email needs, -thunderbird.

I have tried several programs for these 2 needs, and always run into problems for my desired use, and had also initially dismissed tb too, but after much trial and error, I finally found that tb is surprisingly suitable for me, if tweaked in certain ways, and also fairly robust.

disclaimer: I am no computer expert, my experiences here are just provided "as-is" and completely at your own risk.

I installed tb from the terminal using:

sudo apt install thunderbird

then, to make if fit the screen:

scale-to-fit thunderbird

then, to increase some text sizes (including my homescreen, which changed to 3 columns):

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface font-name 'Cantarell 15'

(it was previous set to 'Cantarell 11')


I ran tb (from a new icon which appeared), and setup an email account, then setup a calendar (I use caldav).

Here are some tricks I had to discover:

If I cant see an off-screen option, try swapping to landscape to get to it.

If I cant see the keyboard, button at bottom-right will bring it up, and also get it back out of the way.

If my keyboard doesn't have arrow keys visible, press round symbol at bottom, second from left for a few seconds, and a menu pops up, I press the "terminal" option, and then you can access arrows, del, ctrl, alt esc, f1-f10, and many more.

I permanently enabled the menus on tb, as they only take a few millimetres of height.

To get to the menus first time, I bring up keyboard, press second from right bottom button which looks like this >_ and then press F10, -however I then have to navigate the menus via the keyboard arrow keys untill the menus are permanently enabled for the first time (selecting: View-Toolbars-Menubar), as touch wont operate them till then.

On the menu of the email page, I choose View-Layout-Wideview, which make the messages go full width across the screen.

I reduce the width of the folders colunm to the least that it is workable, -this can take patience, and can crash tb, but it seems to recover just fine.

I can increase the size of individual email messages by using CTRL +  (ie: choose numbers on the keyboard, then toggle the Ctrl key to on, then press the + till the text is big enough.) -I have to remember to toggle the Ctrl key off again afterwards, or I cant type anything!!! -that's tricked me a few times...

If I need a right-click menu, I can achieve this via the >_ button of the terminal, where I have found a "Menu" key.

In the "subject" pane, the last tiny option on the right of "Date" gives the option of unticking various symbols on that line, ie: "threads" etc, giving more room to see the subject of emails.

In the calendar tab, I select month view, and strectch the window above it to about a third of the screen height, and set it to display all future events.

I also switch off the long window on the right side which gives an overview of today's appointment, as it takes too much space.

I also go to the preferences menu and choose to display short-dates, and also increas the font size to about 20 or 30.

Regarding the scale-to-fit function, I noticed that it is good to enable the calendar, as this seems to trigger the scaling to fit the screen better, for the email tab as well. The scaling can take a few seconds to catch up when the program is first started.

I find that though the detail is quite small, with the tweaks I make it works pretty well for me, -however I do have quite good sight at close range.

Regards all, hope this is helpful to someone!
  Reply
#2
(01-07-2021, 06:32 AM)rp3 Wrote: In case this is helpful to others, I thought I would just provide a "heads up" about what seems to be a surprisingly well-behaved program which has solved my calendar and email needs, -thunderbird.

I have tried several programs for these 2 needs, and always run into problems for my desired use, and had also initially dismissed tb too, but after much trial and error, I finally found that tb is surprisingly suitable for me, if tweaked in certain ways, and also fairly robust.

disclaimer: I am no computer expert, my experiences here are just provided "as-is" and completely at your own risk.

I installed tb from the terminal using:

sudo apt install thunderbird

then, to make if fit the screen:

scale-to-fit thunderbird

then, to increase some text sizes (including my homescreen, which changed to 3 columns):

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface font-name 'Cantarell 15'

(it was previous set to 'Cantarell 11')


I ran tb (from a new icon which appeared), and setup an email account, then setup a calendar (I use caldav).

Here are some tricks I had to discover:

If I cant see an off-screen option, try swapping to landscape to get to it.

If I cant see the keyboard, button at bottom-right will bring it up, and also get it back out of the way.

If my keyboard doesn't have arrow keys visible, press round symbol at bottom, second from left for a few seconds, and a menu pops up, I press the "terminal" option, and then you can access arrows, del, ctrl, alt esc, f1-f10, and many more.

I permanently enabled the menus on tb, as they only take a few millimetres of height.

To get to the menus first time, I bring up keyboard, press second from right bottom button which looks like this >_ and then press F10, -however I then have to navigate the menus via the keyboard arrow keys untill the menus are permanently enabled for the first time (selecting: View-Toolbars-Menubar), as touch wont operate them till then.

On the menu of the email page, I choose View-Layout-Wideview, which make the messages go full width across the screen.

I reduce the width of the folders colunm to the least that it is workable, -this can take patience, and can crash tb, but it seems to recover just fine.

I can increase the size of individual email messages by using CTRL +  (ie: choose numbers on the keyboard, then toggle the Ctrl key to on, then press the + till the text is big enough.) -I have to remember to toggle the Ctrl key off again afterwards, or I cant type anything!!! -that's tricked me a few times...

If I need a right-click menu, I can achieve this via the >_ button of the terminal, where I have found a "Menu" key.

In the "subject" pane, the last tiny option on the right of "Date" gives the option of unticking various symbols on that line, ie: "threads" etc, giving more room to see the subject of emails.

In the calendar tab, I select month view, and strectch the window above it to about a third of the screen height, and set it to display all future events.

I also switch off the long window on the right side which gives an overview of today's appointment, as it takes too much space.

I also go to the preferences menu and choose to display short-dates, and also increas the font size to about 20 or 30.

Regarding the scale-to-fit function, I noticed that it is good to enable the calendar, as this seems to trigger the scaling to fit the screen better, for the email tab as well. The scaling can take a few seconds to catch up when the program is first started.

I find that though the detail is quite small, with the tweaks I make it works pretty well for me, -however I do have quite good sight at close range.

Regards all, hope this is helpful to someone!
thank you verry much, this will get me closer to daily driver.
  Reply
#3
I just thought I would add another point about using tb:



The "profiles" are very handy, especially in saving much time in setting accounts up again if a system crashes.



I wont try to comprehensively recreate here what can be found on the official site for the program, but very approximately once I have fully set up tb the first time, I find my profile folder then copy and paste it somewhere else and rename it to something convenient (ie: Tb), and then copy it to an external drive for backup, keeping it secure as it contains passwords of accounts.

If I have to wipe my phone I can save a great deal of time by restoring this profile, and hopefully all my accounts and previous settings appear. It saves a lot of work!




Regards all!
  Reply


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