At (he’s such a nice guy) I read of a nice new ser­vice — gmail4troops — that allows you to donate your gmail invi­ta­tions to troops in Iraq. This is an advan­tage over oth­er web-based mail ser­vices, because since gmail gives you a gig of space, our troops can share such things as movies and pic­tures with their loved-ones while they’re away.

How sweet! I think this is a nice idea — and I donat­ed a cou­ple of my gmail invi­ta­tions already, and thought I’d try to help pop the word around so in hopes of encour­ag­ing oth­ers to do the same.

new design and gmail

After a bit of a hia­tus, I’m final­ly post­ing again — and with a new design (again). These past sev­er­al weeks I’ve been fig­ur­ing out how to redesign my page since I dis­cov­ered that IE does­n’t ren­der the CSS prop­er­ly (stu­pid IE…). For some rea­son, while Mozil­la and Safari did a fan­tas­tic job with lay­ing out my page — IE com­plete­ly screwed it up (which I did­n’t find out until I hap­pened to look at my page through a friends brows­er). Ugh! How frus­trat­ing. At any rate, I think I came up with a lay­out that I can live with and that fix­es the problem…and I think it looks quite nice. I also cleaned up the side­bar a bit (it was a lit­tle mes­say and chaot­ic before).

And…my friend Bob­by gave me an invi­ta­tion for Gmail which I was thrilled about (I have been want­i­ng to try their ser­vice for some time). And so far, I absolute­ly LOVE it — it is the only web based e‑mail ser­vice that I would con­sid­er using in lieu of a POP or IMAP account. While the fan­cy labelling and search fea­tures are quite spiffy, Gmail would­n’t have won me over except for the fol­low­ing reasons:

  1. Speed. This thing works as quick­ly as my non-web-based accounts — I click on “reply” and I’m in my reply win­dow imme­di­ate­ly…there is no 10 sec­ond (or longer!) pause while the web­page loads up. 
  2. I don’t have to log in each time I want check my mail. You can click on a “Don’t ask me to log in for 2 weeks” but­ton, and when­ev­er you open the Gmail page all your mail is right there, with­out hav­ing to enter your user­name and pass­word. (Of course, this would­n’t do on a pub­lic com­put­er, but at home it’s fantastic). 
  3. It auto­mat­i­cal­ly checks my e‑mail for me peri­od­i­cal­ly, so my inbox page is always fresh. With oth­er web­based accounts — I had to click a “check mail” but­ton when­ev­er I want­ed to see if there was new mail in my inbox. Now I just leave my Gmail page open all the time, and I don’t have to touch it — I just glance over every once in a while to see if I have new mail.

n rea­son I have been wary of using web-based e‑mail is because of the minor incon­ve­niences that make it an absolute pain in the ass — the log­ging in, the click­ing, the waiting…and waiting…and wait­ing. Gmail, on the oth­er hand, has all of the advan­tages of a POP or IMAP account, plus all the oth­er neat good­ies. (Do I sound like an advert yet?) 

So, in short Gmail ROCKS! (Although, there is the whole pri­va­cy worry.…Gmail “read­ing” your e‑mail, look­ing for key­words to base your text ads on. I just can’t seem to muster up any wor­ries about that…I sup­pose I just can’t imag­ine Google doing any­thing mali­cious with that kind of access. Am I naive?)