Sunday, 27 June 2004

Update on email views

Went looking around today to see what I could do to get gmail working a bit more like yahoo (as I have suddenly discovered isn't so bad)

Found this first of all: Spamgourmet which is quite a way to generate disposable email addresses on-the-fly. Quite handy.

Have only just started looking at it really, but I think it will do the job well (and seems to be a freely available, open-sourced program which is good too (and the service is free).

If you'd like to test it for me, email me here.

I found another similar program too (I forget the name now...) which looked better in some regards, but it specifically mentioned using it for keeping your flash new gmail address safe and the web page wasn't complete (the 'help') page was unfinished for example), so it didn't really evoke trust.

As to the POP access, there seem to be a couple of programs written that act like yahooPOPs, but for now I figure that is not so important. Downloading your gmail would sort of defeat the purpose of gmails added features anyway. And this is supposed to be beta - I am supposed to be testing it after all!

Thursday, 24 June 2004

Well, I got my gmail, but now what?

I actually logged in to blogger the other day, rather than just viewing
it (or even ignoring that I am supposed to be writing to it) and
lo-and-behold, what do I see but a gmail invitation?

Like I said in my April post, the only reason I started blogging (if you
can call it that) was to see if I could score an invite, but now that I
have got one it seems a little bit of an anticlimax.

Why?

I have one word for you: Yahoo!

I know that they (Yahoo) have only increased their mail limit to (try)
to match google's, but I'm not terribly excited by large mailboxes
anyway. I delete my mail when I use a desktop client and don't try to
keep it forever, so why would I want to using a web mail service?

No, it's Yahoo!Mail's other features that have got me hooked. Now, I
have not played with my yahoo account for ages, so I am not sure how new
these features are and whether they are added in to compete with google.
But they are good, at least to my needs, and google does not have them
yet. So what are they?

First of all, I can get POP access with yahoo. When I first joined yahoo
when they bought geocities, POP access was standard. Then they took it
off all us cheapstakes, and kept it only for their paying customers
(fair enough I suppose). Then I discovered YahooPOPs, a program that
runs as a daemon or service and acts as a type of POP-server itself
which downloads the messages from the web and serves them to the email
client. I just got that working nicely and then I checked Yahoo and if
you sign up for Yahoo Delivers and agree to accept some of their junk
mail (once or more a week, and related to subjects that you choose) then
you can have either POP access or mail forwarding. So I did.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly is "Address Guard". This is
basically a system whereby you can create unlimited numbers of
"disposable email addresses". These are to be used for signing up for
special offers, newsgroups, mailing lists etc, or any number of things
where you don't necessarily trust the holder of your email address or
are worried about who can see it publically. Your mail can then be
filtered by the address, and if you start getting spam to it, you (a)
know who to blame and (b) can delete the address and never see it again!

So besides the geek cool value, I don't know how much use my gmail
account is going to get. But at least I have managed to get an account
with no numbers or extra long words in the user name (see here for more details). And knowing google, it won't be long until the feature list improves.