Monday, April 16, 2012

TenFourBird (or the App Icon Hall of Fame)

As TenFourFox is to Firefox, TenFourBird is to Thunderbird. At least you'd think, right? Well, now it is as a new developer took Cameron Kaiser's lead and released a brand new version of Thunderbird for PowerPC users called, naturally, TenFourBird. I downloaded and installed it and the results were excellent.

Setting up an email account was easier than with any other client I've used. It basically just needed an email address and password and the rest was automated. Importing mailboxes from Apple Mail was successful and so was importing from OS X's Address Book. I couldn't find anything in the preferences about blocking remote images, but it turns out it's done by default. Performance was snappy, though if you notice high cpu usage after importing, it's most likely from indexing the new mailboxes. The only thing buggy I found was a zombie progress bar the first time I ran it, but that disappeared after subsequent startups. Overall I'm really impressed, but that's not what I want to talk about.

I want to talk about TenFourBird's icon:

tenfourbird icon

This is the best icon ever. Now, I'm a fan of "bad" icons, ones that draw the howls of Apple's carefully cultivated aesthetic-fascists but are actually creative and have a well-placed sense of humor about these things. So with that in mind, I thought I'd share my icon Hall of Fame, masterworks of hand-drawn desperation, a clip art purée for your dock's delight, and see if you'll agree.

tenfourfox icon

Let's start off with TenFourFox. This is a marginal choice because, say what you want to say, it at least looks professionally done. But I'm including it here because so many people hate it.

handbrake icon

Then there's Handbrake. The application isn't as fun as the icon, but what was fun was reading the reviews on Macupdate where they'd constantly beg to change the icon.

sheepshaver icon

I couldn't leave out Sheepshaver, not only because it's so literal, but because it's got that 8 bit look to it.

mactheripper icon

MacTheRipper wins the award for most homicidal icon.

phoenix slides icon

And finally Phoenix Slides' first icon. I feel like adding my commentary to this is like trying to add words to the Mona Lisa, so I won't even try. I'll just let this sit here, and linger, until it becomes burned in your retina and you can never shake it loose.


  1. I´m going to give TenFourBird a try, it is clear that the designers have sense of humor and they are being ironic with Apple. And that´s cool.

    TenFourFox´s icon sucks (i´m sorry, Cameron, but that´s the truth).

    Phoenix Slides´ icon is a surrealist masterpiece. =)

  2. I hate all the icons you show... except Sheepshaver. Who wouldn't like a half shaved smiling sheep?

    I replaced TenFourBird icon with a simple white envelope and TenFourFox with a pale blue & white Earth. (...with accurate features unlike the default TenFourFox "Earth" - what continents are those, exactly??)

  3. Epic, I've been stuck on an old version of Thunderbird on my PowerPC Macs for ages now.

  4. Hello Dan et al,

    1. TFF's icon is fine
    2. Topic suggestion: leopard-webkit, the greatest multimedia browser for 10.5 PPC
    3. If LEM folk read this you should also cover it

  5. Benefits are add-ons, better IMAP support, cross-platform. If you're just keeping a single POP account on one computer, then there probably isn't any reason to switch, but if you have multiple accounts that you have to keep synced across different computers, Tenfourbird is worth checking out.

  6. @commenter: leopard-webkit 1.5. On ibook G4 1.07ghz I have:

    Midori webkit : 1.6.1
    AppleWebKit/535+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0 Safari/535.4+ Midori/0.4

    on mintPPC. Give it up. Mac OS X has moved on, come to the dark side where all is penguin.

  7. I wouldn't call Linux the dark side-- I would say it is closer to "seeing the light". (Though I don't fault people for loving OS X, it is a beautiful/tightly integrated OS.. and I am a former Mac Addict....)

  8. I'm using TenFourFox and TenFourBird right now!