Monday, March 19, 2007

Having more than 1 email account - Part 1

Since 1994 I have made a living doing computer work. For a number of those years I did software training, so this post can be considered continuing education for those who read it.

I have had (and still have) numerous email accounts. My very first account was with Compuserve and was a sequence of numbers. Then Compuserve allowed me to have names and I changed to using the name format that I currently use for all of my personal email accounts (you can figure it out from my blog name). Compuserve went to AOL and I went to Juno (didn't everyone at one time have a Juno account?)

Somewhere along the way I opened FREE accounts at Hotmail, Yahoo, and Excite - hey, I'm a Baptist preacher, we like FREE stuff.

When we came to SC we began using Mindspring as our ISP. They eventually were purchased by Earthlink, but did not require users to change to an Earthlink address. After a few years we moved on up to the east side, to a deluxe apartment.... oops, we moved on up to cable access (I still have dial-up at my office). Our ISP is still Earthlink but the service is provided by Time Warner. I found out last week that we are paying $10 more for Earthlink cable than we would pay for Road Runner cable, even though it is the same service. We may have to change to Road Runner account to save money. I could buy 4 more boxes of Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream (when it's BOGO) with the monthly savings. Now that is a real incentive. But I would make the change only if I could keep the same email prefix - you know, the letters before the @.

A few years ago someone that I had worked with gave me an invitation to join Gmail (now you can join without an invitation). It has become my primary-secondary email account.

What, that makes no sense!

This is my blog and it makes perfect sense to me!

It is the address that I use for all non-personal correspondence - bank, credit card companies, newsletters, online ordering, basically everything that is not personal. I prefer Gmail for a number of reasons.

1. It has a better Spam filter than Yahoo or Hotmail. I seldom get spam in my Inbox.

2. It allows me to download into any email application - I use Mozilla Thunderbird (more on that below). Hotmail used to allow downloading to Outlook Express for FREE but changed a few years ago to charging $20 for that privilege as part of a Premium package. I seem to recall that Yahoo allowed that as well but started charging for the privilege too.

3. It works better for my parents. They have a 2 hour dial-up access plan for $5 per month, which means they cannot download mail with attachments. I am able to go to their Gmail account online and delete files, which I cannot do with their ISP. Their ISP email address gets about 300 pieces of junk mail every week. My mother has Portable Thunderbird on a USB flash drive, which gives her access to email when she is at her children's homes.

I still use Hotmail because it is the address I give to my computer customers, and Yahoo for my work as the Missions Coordinator with the International Fellowship of Churches.

If you do not have a second email address, I give you permission to get a FREE Gmail address (like you really needed my permission). Then send me an email telling me how much you appreciated this post (I'm holding my breath while the emails pour in). Remember that you can figure out my email address from my blog name - I don't want to write it here because spammers will pick up on it.


Mozilla provides Firefox as their FREE internet browser and Thunderbird as their FREE email application. There are a number of reasons why I use them, but the one that stands out is their use of Profiles. Each user has a profile, which stores all of their settings. The profile can be saved and copied to another computer, or used as a backup in the event of a system crash. There are also Portable editions of each program, which are designed for USB flash drives. The entire program resides on the flash drive so there is nothing left on the computer that is being used. I take mine with me when I leave the house, and can access my email on whatever computer has a USB port. Since nothing resides on the computer I am using I never worry about leaving passwords behind.

p.s. There is also a Portable edition of Sudoku.

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