Once of my favourite places to visit is the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. It’s pretty easy to forget that the software and hardware we can use today came from some of the things on display there. But I didn’t realise, until today, that the museum also has a significant holding of old source code. That code repository was extended with the acquisition of the email client, Eudora. The museum has been negotiating with Qualcomm for a while and has acquired the ownership of the code, the Eudora trademarks, the copyrights, and the Eudora domain names. And it’s all available under the BSD open source license.
There’s a great article describing the history of Eudora and how the Computer History Museum (CHM) managed to to negotiate with the owners of the software, Qualcomm, to give it all to the museum.
It’s hard to remember a time when web-based clients like Gmail or software like Outlook and Apple Mail weren’t the most widely used ways to access email. But back in the late 1990s and early 2000s there was a turf war happening with email just as there was with browsers. And Eudora was one of the casualties of that war with development stopping 12 years ago.
There are lots of passionate people who still use Eudora despite it being out of development for many years. But perhaps there’s someone out there who grabs this source code and runs with it. Even if that doesn’t happen, it’s good to know that this small, but interesting chapter in computer history is saved.