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This week I’m explaining why I use certain Internet software and programs, and wondering why some people don’t.

I’ve had to ponder why I’d deign to write anything even remotely resembling a tech review, since I’m so technically inept. Coffeesister is the one who does all of that stuff in this house, like setting up our WordPress accounts and blogs, running  adware and spyware, etc.. blah blah blah.

That Handsome Gary Cooper

That Handsome Gary Cooper

I’m like an old lady reviewing the Blu-Ray DVD player her grandchildren gave her for Christmas. “My goodness, Gary Cooper has never looked so handsome!” I’m not telling you why it does what it does, or how.. I’m just telling you why I like it.

Here’s the week’s schedule..

Monday – Twitter/Tweetdeck (post removed because I no longer use Tweetdeck and although I still use Twitter, I have no idea why.)

Tuesday – Firefox

Wednesday – Gmail

Thursday – Google Reader/Google Docs

Friday – Skype

So, here we go again, with..


I once paid $65.00 for Eudora.

No, she wasn’t a hooker, she was an email program named after a writer..

Eudora Welty was an award-winning American author and photographer who wrote about the American South.

That’s according to everyone’s favorite do-it-yourself encyclopedia, Wikipedia. How she got an email program named after her I’ll never know, mainly because I’m too lazy to go find out.

It’s beside the point anyway.

The point is, in early nineteen-ninety-something, I came across an email program in a cardboard box on a store shelf somewhere and convinced coffeesister that it’d be a good investment, so I plunked down sixty five clams and went home to load it on my computer using the enclosed floppy discs. She then loaded it on her computer, and we both used the Eudora email program for a while.

I don’t even remember what it was like.

I’m pretty certain that you stored email in “folders” on your computer. HAHA! What an archaic concept! Today I use Gmail, and it not only doesn’t have folders, it’s not even on my computer.

I remember when the first popular web-based email services started offering to let you leave your email on their computers – Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, etc. – I tried them all but didn’t much care for any of them. Mainly because we were still dialing-up the internet then (ZZZZzzzttt  sh-dong-SH-DONG!) and it was excruciatingly slow.

Now that we mainline the Internet like heroin addicts with a high-speed infusion day and night, we can haz a service that keeps all of our email on its computers and we access it anytime we want, which is all of the time. Granted, we could still do this with Yahoo and Hotmail, but when coffeesister twisted my arm a few years ago to get me to try Gmail, I did and I liked it.

Are you ready for the high-tech portion that makes me famous for my reviews? Okay, here we go..

It’s just better.

It uses these label things, that you can apply to an email to save it if you want. That’s basically what the folders are in all the other programs. And being Google, you can just search for an email you’ve lost and it pops up right away.

If coffeesister sent me something about Albanian yaks last year, all I have to do is type in “Albanian yaks” and everyone who has sent me an Albanian yak report will come up. That’s like, thousands, so I type in “coffeesister Albanian yaks” and it only shows me the reports she sends.

Then there are the filters, and the fact that you can add stars to your emails, and my favorite feature.. the way it folds down reply emails in a conversational thread. I can write something to someone, and they reply, then I reply to them and so on, and it’s all right there later in one big long email that cascades down like Rapunzel’s hair. I climb up it and then we make mad love until the witch comes and throws us out.

There’s also this thing called Gmail labs, where they keep adding stuff that you can use. You select it by clicking on the little green lab beaker on the Gmail program and then you have hundreds – nay, thousands of things to choose from. I think they just released a gadget that polishes each incoming email and has a butler announce its arrival.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that you can select from a variety of themes – mine, of course, is a yak theme. They’re just so adorable. You can also forward to Gmail from other accounts and forward Gmail to other accounts and account for your forwardings in Gmail and count the number of Gmails you have forwarded to other Gmail and non-Gmail accounts.

The biggest and bestest thing about Gmail, besides those butlers, beakers and cascading replies, is the spam control. They seem to strike a good balance between keeping hothorsecocks4U out of your Inbox while making sure your bank statements don’t end up in your spam section.

I occasionally get a spam that’s gotten past Google security because they were in the lab confiscating meth from the lab scientists, and I’ve had to send it to spam hell myself. That doesn’t happen very often, though. Of course, I check the spam section once a day to make sure no Albanian yak reports have been mistakenly tossed in there, but so far that’s not a problem either.

Coffeesister wants me to remind you all that it’s not entirely web-based. You can back up your email to your own computer and/or use an email program to get your Gmail. I don’t do any of that because I’m a caveman.

Overall, I like Gmail – a LOT – and I wish everyone would use it.

That Gary Cooper sure is handsome.

RhodesTer on Twitter/Facebook/Subscribe to this mess


I Was So Worried..

February 24, 2009
Thumbnail image for I Was So Worried..

I’ve known Gmail for a long time and I know that deep down, Gmail is a good kid. He just needs to grow up a bit.

4 comments Read the REST..