Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

More on Poor Man’s Exchange

We posted in http://www.chrismendlascorner.com/2008/03/poor-mans-email-option-for-verizon.html about how to access your email on your web enabled phone.

If you set your email account up the way we mentioned in that post you can gain some flexibility for your email (again, use caution when messing with email settings)

We are running a new laptop with Vista. I haven’t gotten around to parting with the money for a copy of Outlook for that machine. I’m using the Windows Mail app that comes with Vista. It’s the successor to Outlook Express. You could use any email client.

What happens is that our main account is set to leave messages on the server for one day as indicated in the post mentioned above. When we are on the road, we can fire up the email app on the laptop and get any recent messages.

Here are a couple of things to consider.

  • When you configure the email client, make sure that it is NOT set to delete messages from the server.
  • When you have an internet connection, simply connect and download your emails. IMPORTANT – email passwords are notoriously easy to sniff. If you are on any kind of a public network, you should change your email password as often as you change your underwear (And we don’t mean once a monthh). We don’t use public wifi since we have a cellular aircard. However, we do check our email at times when connnected to a client’s network.
  • You would need to import your address book into your laptop email client. This was a pain for us since we have all of our Outlook contacts in folders and subfolders.
  • When you reply to an email, the sent copy is in the email client on your laptop. Keep this in mind when you really want a record that you sent the email. We often BCC ourselves if we want a record of sending an email that will end up on our main machine.
  • You can delete the older emails periodically if you are not deleting the messages from the server.

Overall, this works fairly well. If you are somewhere without a laptop, you can go to a web based email reader such as www.mail2web.com HOWEVER, be sure to use the secure connection and be aware that sniffing email passwords is easier than pouring yourself a cup of coffee. Change your passwords regularly. Also, keep in mind that any messages you delete while using a web based email client WILL NOT be available for download to your main machine unless they were already downloaded.

You should be aware of the amount of traffic you get in terms of the total messages. Since your are leaving messages on the server, it is possible that you can fill up your inbox. We get around this by

  1. Asking for a mailbox size upgrade if possible
  2. If you get an important email while on the road that has a large attachment, you can forward that to something like a Gmail or Hotmail account. Then you can delete it from your server. The easiest way to delete something from your server is to use a web based email client such as mail2web.

Overall, coupled with the ability to check emails on our Envy, we now have a whole lot more flexibility.

One other thing. If we are going to be away from the office for a couple of days, we usually shut down outlook. At that point, you might want to change the settings on your laptop to “Delete messages when deleted from the deleted items folder”. That way you can delete the spam and unneeded messages and empty the deleted items folder. That will reduce the number of messages waiting for you when you get back. Be careful what you delete and be sure to change the setting back when you return.

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