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Re: [hants] Gmail - WHY

Subject: Re: [hants] Gmail - WHY
From: Paul Tansom
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004 13:50:14 +0100
On Thu,  7 Oct 2004 09:04:14 +0100
ken@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
<snip> 
> To make full use of the 1Gb, you would need to run Broadband. If you
> try to use a dialup it would be prohibitivly (sp) expensive and you
> may as well go fopr broadband anyway.
> 
> So this said, you have broadband installed. So, GMAIL - WHY
> BOTHER!!!!...
> 
> Run your own server with, say, SME running horde/imp etc. You then
> have all the webmail services you would wish, coupled with IMAP SSL
> Virtual Domains etc etc etc. AND< as much hard disk space as you can
> cram into the server box.
> 
> So again I ask...
> 
> GMAIL - Why Bother !!!!
> 
> Even if you do love the interface and facilities. It is MUCH cheaper
> and easier to do it all yourself and it takes about 45 minutes to set
> it all up.

Hi Ken, it's not like you to cause quite such a stir when you pop in
here! Anyhoo, why Gmail? Well....

o If you don't want a webmail service then forget it. Gmail is basically
a new one of those - nothing special.

o Forget the 1Gb issue, this is Google we're talking about, lots of G's
and big numbers, so as a marketing gimmick it's a natural choice. It's
just another webmail service at the end of the day.

I have several webmail accounts in various places, although most I have
let die. I have Yahoo! simply based on the fact that I am on a couple of
their forums and so you get one as part of the sign up. I also have an
Opera one because I was looking for a half decent webmail setup that
wasn't Hotmail or Yahoo! If Gmail continues to be free I'll probably let
the Opera on die too, but for now I'm hedging my bets, just in case when
it is launched there's an unexpected catch!

As to why have a webmail account when you could do your own, well that's
down to personal usage and preference. If you don't have multiple
machines and broadband at home then it is the only way of getting
webmail. I know a number of people who just have a single Windows box or
no box at all at home and use webmail to get a personal email account.
That probably doesn't cover many, if any, people here though. It is an
easier way of getting a webmail setup for those who need/want one than
setting up your own server, and doesn't involve opening up pinholes in
your firewall - personal preference again.

Personally I have a webmail setup on my own hosted server where I can
access my mail before it downloads and send out properly from my
standard accounts. I also have a webmail service with Nildram who
currently provide my internet connection, but I don't like using an
email tied to an ISP, so that address is little used (only for testing
purposes). Testing is probably one of the key reasons I use webmail. I
need access to an email account that has nothing to do with my own or my
ISPs setup (i.e. not using any common servers for routing, or domain
names). Gmail is not only from Google, who I currently consider to be
one of the more ethical companies out there (although these things are
relative and changeable!), and also, from what I've seen so far it has
one of the best webmail interfaces around (I wish I could use it for my
own system!). I am in fact considering subscribing to some of the lists
I'm on and letting mail sit on the Gmail servers where I can search the
lists easily - although again I could do this locally myself, and may
well do when I get the time - that's not a high priority though as I
have other things I want to play with first like LDAP and getting back
to the backend code on my websites to either continued development in
Perl, or switch to PHP or Python, oh, and doing some scripting to link
in on of my sites with an automated printed version using Scribus and
Python (well, semi-automated - I'd still have to start Scribus and run
the script as the Scribus scripting language is not stand alone -
yet...).

So it all comes down to your current setup, your requirements and a
little bit of whether you want to play :-)

Oh, I wouldn't go for the cheaper and easier bit - currently Gmail is
free, it takes seconds to sign up, and little more to track down an
invite! With your own server you have to be on 24x7 to enable remote
access, as well as reconfigure your ADSL box and possibly firewall
(depending on your setup), so you may have to factor in power usage and
hardware costs into the equation if you aren't already setup for that
(although I am, so the costs are the same - zilch). Connection costs
don't come into it either way, if you are on dial-up you have to use an
external service, and if you are on broadband there's no charge for
using local or remote webmail.

-- 
Paul Tansom | Aptanet Ltd. | http://www.aptanet.com/

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