Jewish World Review June 25, 2004 / 6 Tamuz 5764


Still more about online e-mail

By Mark Kellner

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Just when I thought the topic of Web-based e-mail services was well in hand, as I did when I wrote about it last week, along comes Yahoo! Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., to upset the apple cart.


One week ago, the firm pulled a switch on its millions of e-mail subscribers. Those who signed up for a free Yahoo e-mail account went from 4 Mbytes of free online disk space to 100 Mbytes, more than enough for most personal needs. Those of us who paid a little extra each year for more online e-mail storage are now getting 2 Gigabytes of online disk space, which, the firm says, is 200 times the 10 Mbyte standard of most online e-mail providers.


Oh, and now outgoing e-mails can be as large as 10 Mbytes each, or the size of my very first hard disk drive, nearly 20 years ago.


If the issue of limited disk space has been a hassle for online e-mail users, the promise and presence of Web-based e-mail has not been. The easiest thing in the world - I've done it in Nairobi, Amsterdam and Helsinki, among other places - is to log on and check e-mail via the Web at an Internet cafă or kiosk. Now, having this vast amount of space to store e-mail means a user could, conceivably, funnel their business and personal mail to one location for easy retrieval while traveling.

Donate to JWR


The moves, as tech industry trade magazines have widely reported, come on the heels of Google, Inc.'s "G-mail" experiment, which aims to offer 1 Gbyte of free online storage to its e-mail subscribers. Those who partake of the free G-mail accounts will be flashed advertising that's keyed to their interests and/or e-mail contents, all computer sampled and generated, but free is, well, free, and one gigabyte isn't anything to sneeze at. However, G-mail isn't in general release yet.


Meanwhile, the Yahoo folks believe they have the high ground in the e-mail wars. Yes, you'll have to either subscribe to Yahoo's DSL service (from SBC communications) or pay extra to obtain the giga-storage feature, but DSL has its appeals and those already happy with their Internet access won't mind the $20/year that Yahoo wants for 2 Gbytes of space. That works out to a penny per Mbyte, if my math is correct.


In use, the Yahoo e-mail system truly shines. There's anti-virus software screening, and automatic "bulk mail" filtering. The "bulk" items are put in a separate folder, and don't count against your total e-mail storage space. One click will banish the junk mail, although you can view a list of such messages just in case Aunt Dora used a poor choice of words for her e-mail subject announcing that her daughter was now "free" from that cheat of a husband. ("Free," of course, is one of those "trigger words" that sets off most anti-spam filters.


I also like the fact that Yahoo mail works in two directions: you can set it up to scan your "POP" mail accounts, like the one you have at work or school, but it can also sends its messages, via "POP," the Internet "post office protocol," to your favorite e-mail client. Thus, Yahoo will integrate with Microsoft Outlook or Entourage, Qualcomm's Eudora, or Apple's Mail.app (stet), among others.


With this new hike in storage space, its flexibility for use with an e-mail client, and a rather nice set of filtering features, Yahoo's e-mail might be all that anyone ever needs. The firm will even, for $35/year, let you set up your own Internet domain name and funnel e-mail to "you@you.com" to the Yahoo mailbox.

Find this column useful? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

Your vacation e-mail options
Mr. Reagan's Computing Legacy
Following your heart
Power Mac G5: A powerful tool
Opera: This browser sings
Motion's new tablet a step up
Fuji's S20PRO is for you — maybe
Last week's small revolution
More small wonders bring delight, challenge
Livin' large, livin' cordless
Small wonders: Gadgets good and bad
The right tool for the right job
Office 2004 for Mac is coming
Good Computer Info? It's In Print
'Office' suite good for price
The Delightful Deja Vu of the iPod Mini
Another check creation option
Blocking pop-up ads
Apple's super-cool iBOOK G4
MSN, the AOL alternative?
It's Konfabu-lous (and other Mac joys)
The world on my wrist, courtesy MSN
Treo 600 is great business tool
How to make good computer choices this year
The year behind, the one ahead
Last minute gifts, and other thoughts
Something special in the air, again
Veterans Admin plans computer revolution
More holiday gifts
Holiday Shopping Ideas (One of a Series)
Now, Mr. Gates Joins War on Spam
Stopping "Phishers" From Scamming You
Staying safe online
Franklin Covey Brings Order to Outlook
Upgrades: Should you do it?
Time to dump Ma Bell?
Palm T3 widens users' options
Electronic reading
Lessons from a hurricane
Can the PC and phone really merge?
The case of the curious keyboard
The season ahead
New keyboard adds flair to motion tablet
Upgrade path smoothes a bit
Dreamweaver, make me a web
Experiments in upgrading
A tale of two headsets
A declaration of Mac-dependence
Fuji's Fine FinePix S602Zoom
In search of good Mac apps
Little gadgets make computing easier
Adobe Acrobat 6.0 scores
Toshiba's Twisting Tablet PC
HP printer a steady worker
iTunes store, Mailblocks are cool online services
Palm's objects of D-Zire
Gateway's Tablet a winner
Outlook 2003 beta: A promising program
Tungsten's handy "Dubya"
Lexmark's winning all-in-one
Wireless ways
Long distance tech support does trick
Tablet Planner software a hit
Up and down the road with Joyride
Clarion's "AutoPC" is no "Joyride"
Apple's Keynote is PowerPoint for less
Moving adventures
Traveling companions
HP's Compaq Tablet PC a winner
The war on spam continues
Browser for Mac users has good start
New Adobe software organizes photos
Techno-war
The year the PC grew up
PC meets philately: one hit, one miss
Digital Nikon camera a winner, at a price
Honey, they shrunk the COMDEX
Last-minute ideas
Microsoft's Tablet PC has promise, problems
Upgrade with a plan
Palm's New Tungsten PDA Shows Its Mettle
Nobody asked me, but ...
Love, in Quicktime
T-Mobile's sidekick a good partner
Put on a (happy, unwrinkled, tanned, whatever) face
Apple software upgrade very useful
I came, I saw, iPod
How's that? A tech critic reflects, briefly
Satellite radio gets favorable reception
HP's desktop printing marve
Mac satisfaction --- and some really good software
Off to college ... with eMachines
Have PC, must travel
After Shot manages your digital camera images
X200: Mobile worker's fantasy
Beware: Consumers face a fee for printing own checks

© 2004 News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com