Extract from the OS/2 Computing! electronic magazine, June 96 issue.

Posted locally with permission.


Knight Software's MR/2 ICE

by Ronny Ko

From my usability tests, MR/2 ICE is in no way a slouch. MR/2 ICE is written by the same author who brought MR/2 offline mail reader. The offline mail reader is one the best .QWK packages I have ever used. But this is another story.

MR/2 ICE having seen companies like Innoval and Softside grow with their email offerings, Knight Software jumped into the market and brought this amazing product. It was built for performance for systems with little resources. Systems with only a dot matrix printer really perform. For example, users that wanted to print a message had to use the OMNI drivers and these drivers don't really work well with dot matrix printers. The printout would be ugly (nothing like Microsofts True Type Fonts). I would not mind that it was slow but the output was so bad that Knight Software added an icon specifically for dot matrix. It allowed dot matrix printers to print in ascii which was quick and good lettering because it used the built in fonts of the printer.

MR/2 ICE interface is very unique because, it does not have PMMail's split screen interface but short of Post Road Mailer's main user screen in that it is more compact through the use of smaller fonts. This is very useful for users that recieve more than 8 emails per day.

Like PMMail and Post Road, MR/2 ICE can be set to automatically check the pop server for new notes. It is as elegant and transperent as PMMail.

Unlike PMMail and Post Road, this software features tabs for in, out and a folder tab for all other user defined folders. MR/2 makes heavy use of the right mouse button. Everthing about the note can be acessed by just placing the mouse over the note and click.

One the pleasant things about this package is that when a new note is created, a general dialog box is brought out that features TEMPLATES. Templates allows users to quickly make a general note and chose the same one for every user. Users are not restricted to one "pre-fabricated" note but to as many as the user wants.

Question marks beside the recipient box allows users to quickly access the phonebook. It is placed such that it does not give the impression of a cluttered window. Users can always go back and add a new email address by just clicking the Header button to add under CC.

MR/2 went a step further by adding a dictionary, thesausurs, calendar and a calculator. Unlike Innoval, the dictionary is FREE! and users can download it at Knight Software FTP site.

MR/2 also includes utilities which allow importing the address book from Post Road Mailer and PMMail. Talk about competition.

Users can use the symbols option under Untilities to add more flavour to their new note.

But...

MR/2 is really a program designed to run with little resources. In doing so, Drag 'n' Drop is completely absent.

A very primitive form of Post Road swipe and download is implemented which requires the use of WebExplorer. By using this type of code, Knight Software can really keep the size of the program at by and hence keeping it snappy.

No MIME encoding and decoding is supported but UUdecode/encoding is fully supported. Multiple files attachment is supported but I have not had a chance to test if the program can really put back binaries together like Post Road Mailer.

Support

Knight Software has certainly done a top notch job in supporting and working out bugs as soon as they are found and reported by users. Almost every email that I have sent to nick has been replied to within three days. Knight Software has also setup a mail bouncer so that users can test their mail programs without asking someone else to send an email to him/her.

Because of the huge success of this program, some unhappy users of Post Road Mailer have been leaving it and choosing MR/2 Ice. Its price tag is truly attractive.

Verdict:

Mark: 8.5/10


Author: Ronnie Ko <ronny@unixg.ubc.ca> WWW: http://iceonline.com/home/ronnyk/