How Many Email Accounts Does One Need? – Plus a Word of Praise for Netvibes

January 10, 2008 at 9:42 am | Posted in Blogging, Netculture | 8 Comments
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Today I registered my fifth Gmail account. I am not greedy – I really need all of them. And I’ve got an additional one on GMX that costs me 2 Euros a month and allows me to send text messages/SMS and faxes to Germany.

I use the GMX-account for all things Amazon, Ebay, etc and for the job news letters for which I have subscribed. I am also using it for my “business liaisons”, yet am not quite happy with that. For one, I don’t really like GMX’s look and feel (they are working on an interface with an AJAX-appeal, but even that sucks), and also, this email address has a .de extension which occasionally leads to confusion in Austria, as GMX also offers .at accounts. So I might abandon it at one point.

Then I have got my cherished first Gmail account, which I try to use ONLY for human to human communication, featuring my real name. I don’t want any spam or dead line/business related mail to show up on that one.

This is why I’ve got ANOTHER Gmail account that I use exclusively for registrations on websites that force a registration upon you (e.g. to use their customer support). This one uses a made up name.

I’ve got a third account on Gmail which I use for all my blog related communication needs. It gives away my first name.

Then there is my fourth account which uses a silly name, something like “Getting out of here” that I first used when I was looking for jobs to get out of my previous jobs. I might abandon that one.

And today I finally signed up for my fifth gmail account, which is an inversion of my real name. In Austria, it is (oddly) common to introduce oneself using the last name first: “Hello, I am Smith Julia”. Email addressed are often created following the same logic: smith.julia@mail.com. Odd, but nobody here finds that bizarre.

This fifth email account I am going to put on a business card (just ordered 250 for free from vistaprint.at), so that arbitrary people to whom I’ve given my card can email me, but with my first choice account staying free from business affairs.

The only aspect potentially annoying about Gmail in that respect is that you log in and out of your Google account any time that you change the email acccount. Would be cool if they did something about that, e.g. allowed you to designate a primary account, but I doubt that is going to happen.

Google has become less user-oriented of late, which is particularly manifest in the way they are going about your privacy in Google reader: If you decide to share an item, it is going to be accessible to everyone and their dog who is in your address book. They call the people in your address book “your friends” – who can really have 400+ friends? And what’s next – sharing all your Google documents with your “friends”? that’d be he “Kill Google App”.

That’s why I unsubscribed from my Google reader feeds. I am now using netvibes which also has better microchunking options – they really manage to squeeze all my feeds onto one screen and still it doesn’t look cluttered. You can even export your Google reader feeds and then import them to netvibes. Check it out!

Spooky! My first email address still exists…

September 8, 2007 at 5:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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When universities first gave out email addresses, they simply applied the same database logic that they used for keeping student files. My first email address thus was:

a2743388@smail1.rrz.uni-koeln.de

Nobody could memorize this, of course. PCMCIA – People can’t memorize computer industry acronyms.

After some time, they got rid of the 1 after smail (which meant: student mail), and a little later they introduced alias which you could pick (and change) as often as you wanted. I remember that Lenina and I chose masculine aliases for a while, simply by deleting the last letter of our first names.

I got my first email address in 1996, and for many years I kept accessing my account via Telnet – an extremely insecure system which sends passwords in plain text. But I quite liked (and still like) the telnet appeal: You have to open a terminal application (on Mac OSX, you’ll find it in the Utilities folder, it is called Terminal) and then send your commands via telnet. As such you read your mail on a remote computer (unlike http, where a copy of a file is sent to you), where you also need to open a special program (at the time it was PINE) to read your mail. Everything on Telnet is entirely text-based.

Just for fun, I just tried to send another email to a2743388@smail1.rrz.uni-koeln.de – the odd thing is that I did NOT get a delivery failure notification. So I figured the account might still be up and tried accessing it via telnet. THAT, however, did not work. If I remember rightly, you’d have to access either via the Uni’s network, or from the network of another university. Too bad….

When opening your mailbox inflicts fear upon you

August 13, 2007 at 2:02 pm | Posted in job search | Leave a comment
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The one thing I DON’t like about the times when one is looking for a job is that opening your mailbox is always some kind of a lottery. If someone is interested in inviting you for an interview they are going to call you anyway, but if you get an email from them, you can almost be certain that it’s a rejection.

No mails for me today:-)

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