Turnpike (software)

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Turnpike is a British-developed software suite for Microsoft Windows, originally written by Chris Hall and Richard Clayton (who had previously been the co-founders and principal programmers of Locomotive Software). The suite, which comprises a combined email and news client as well as a separate program for handling the Internet connection aspects, first appeared in 1995. It was acquired by Demon Internet later the same year and for a number of years was supplied to their customers free of charge. It also has a small following of non-Demon users. Amongst its early reviews were those in Everyday Practical Electronics in November, 1995 and PC Format in Spring 1997.[1][2]

Its advocates claim it to be more straightforward to use and less buggy than the equivalent Microsoft product. The current version is version 6.07, the first that will run successfully under Vista; further major revision is unlikely. Turnpike 6.07 can be run on the 32-bit version of Windows 7, but not on the initial release of the 64-bit version.

Turnpike uses the Berkeley mailbox format for the export and import of email files.

The suite consists of two principal components, Connect, which interfaces with the modem driver or LAN, and Turnpike, which controls, sorts and displays news articles and email. Prior to version 6 the Turnpike component was a stand-alone executable whilst from version 6 onwards it is implemented as a Windows Shell namespace extension. Mail filtering can be done using Unix-like regular expressions.

Versions 4 and beyond were 32-bit, and early versions of 5 included PGP.

Although no Linux port was produced, all versions work satisfactorily under packages such as the proprietary Win4Lin. Versions up to and including 5 also work quite well under Wine[3] , but the Windows Explorer integration of Turnpike 6 has proved difficult to use in this way.

Versions 5 and 6 have received the Good Netkeeping Seal of Approval.[4]

Demon no longer supports Turnpike.


  1. ^ Everyday Practical Electronics, November 1995, "Special Review, Turnpike for Windows" by Alan Winstanley, pp892-893.
  2. ^ PC Format CD Gold Special, Spring 1997, "Turnpike", p97.
  3. ^ Wine application DB entry for Turnpike 5.01U retrieved 21 May, 2015
  4. ^ GNKSA Evaluations retrieved 5 June, 2011

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