Now a blog about my Android adventure
... or why Telus' email solution doesnt work
Published on January 6, 2009 By CerebroJD In Living in Cyberspace

My mother is reasonably computer-literate, and is fairly careful with keeping backups of important data and things like that.  However, recently, her main computer suffered a hard drive crash resulting in the loss of the majority of her recieved emails.  In a modern Web 2.0 world, this wouldnt be a problem, however my family has long used the Telus-provided email address that comes with the internet subscription.  We discovered very early-on that it has limited storage capacity, so we were unable to keep a copy of recieved messages on the main server, and instead had to rely on our own archiving and backup solutions.

After the drive failure, I decided there had to be a better way to manage all these emails, without having to copy large archive files on her computer.  My own experience with Gmail has been very good, and I've been using the web-based email account since the first couple weeks it was in beta.  In this instance, the attraction was the massive storage that is available (and continuing to increase).

For my mother's new email solution, we needed to achieve the following:

  1. Large storage capacity.
  2. Ability to recieve mail from the old account (by default)
  3. Ability to send mail from the old address (by default)
  4. Needed to be able to use Outlook for all email work.
  5. Access from anywhere, for vacations and mobile work.

Naturally, I knew that Gmail could achieve goals 1, 3, and 5.  I use gmail's ability to send from multiple addresses for work, and for educational purposes (school emails are just irritating).  As for 2 and 4, I forsaw complications.  However, Gmail (and Outlook) proved remarkably easy to set up, and I'll show you how its done!

Step One: Make your Gmail account

Google makes it easy to create your new email account!  Simply visit Gmail.com and follow the steps.

Step Two: Set up Outlook to work with Gmail

The first part of our Outlook configuration is fairly straight-forward.  Gmail offers guidance on setting up POP3 from the "Forwarding and IMAP/POP" tab of the Settings.  We want to leave a copy in Gmail's inbox, for future web-access, and we want ALL mail to be available via POP.  After these settings are applied, follow the configuration instructions for your client (link is at the bottom of the POP section of that tab).

Step Three: Set up Gmail to retrieve mail from current address

At this point, we can send and recieve messages from our Gmail account, using the Gmail address that we set up.  This satisfies goals 1, 4, and 5.  Now to achieve number 2!

By going to the "Accounts" tab in the Settings section, you will see a section where you can add a POP3 account to Gmail.  This will allow Gmail to download the emails from that account, delete them from the remote server, and hold its own copy in the inbox.  Click on the "add another mail account" link, and follow the instructions.  Remember, we dont want Gmail to leave a copy on the old server.  Gmail seems pretty good at figuring out all the POP and SMTP server information, so it shouldnt be too much trouble.

If there is a point in the configuration of this where it asks if you want to be able to send mail using your old address, DO IT.  This will allow for you to email (from the web-gui of Gmail) using your old email address.

Step Four: Outlook Finalization

Currently, your Outlook setup will be configured to send/recieve email from Gmail AND from your old account.  This is no good!  We need to disable the RECIEVING of mail from your old account, and disable the SENDING of mail from Gmail.  (Essentially, using Gmail's POP setup, you can only send using the Gmail address, even if you've configured others inside the webUI)  To do this, we're going to go into Tools->Send/Recieve->Send/Recieve Settings.  We're going to "Define Send/Recieve Groups".  In this dialog, we can choose which accounts are Send Only, and which are Recieve Only.  We want the Gmail account to only Recieve, and your old address to only Send.

As a final step, in the Tools->Accounts dialog, we need to set (if not already) the old account to be the default account.

Step Five: Gmail WebUI Tweaks

Since the overall goal of this excersize is simply to use Gmail as a storage solution for email (and an emergency mobile mail client), we should make sure that you can send mail from the WebUI using the old address.  In the Settings section, go to the Accounts tab.  From there, you should see a "Send Mail As" section.  If your old email address is listed, then its a simple matter to set it as the default.  If its not listed, we need to add it using the on-screen instructions.

Final Thoughts

What we've essentially done at this point is created a gmail account for the purposes of storage, and nothing else.  The people sending you mail, and the ones recieving mail from you, should never even notice that you have a gmail account in between you.  It might take a few send/recieves in Outlook to get everything all synced up, but my mother has had no issues at all since I first set this up the week before Christmas.  Best of all, she'll never have to worry about storage or archiving again!

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Comments (Page 1)
on Jan 06, 2009

Cerebro....while it may seem that not having to rely on your OWN hardware data storage/retrieval guarantees any failure on YOUR part is covered.....you are now relying on a resource ENTIRELY outside your own control.

Probably one step forward and ten steps backwards.

There are simple ways of archiving/backing up your emails yourself....note....I have 12000 plus of them just from Wincustomize.....and recently [last year] dug out my very first one....back in 2001.....yes, it was still there.

Ignoring the issue of 'data-mining' that Gmail suffers....and the even BIGGER issue of how Google 'modified reality' just to please the Chinese....I can't think of a WORSE choice.

on Jan 06, 2009

and the even BIGGER issue of how Google 'modified reality' just to please the Chinese....I can't think of a WORSE choice.

Oh man, I haven't logged in to gmail in a year, I think I've got 52 accounts and about 5 thousand invites

on Jan 06, 2009

Grogmail...

on Jan 06, 2009

Gmail FAQ:

Q) Can I retrieve my e-mail if I accidentally delete it?
A) Yes - we automatically distribute your e-mail to everyone on the internet. So at any one time there are at least 56,895,265,000 copies of your e-mail.

Q) Is it secure.
A) Yes - we only collect personal data about you, your family and friends and your work collegues.

Q What storage capacity do I have
A) Infinite - we use every computer on the internet to store data - about 72 zillion Gb of storage. 

on Jan 06, 2009

Gmail FAQ:

Q) Can I retrieve my e-mail if I accidentally delete it?

A) Yes - we automatically distribute your e-mail to everyone on the internet. So at any one time there are at least 56,895,265,000 copies of your e-mail.

Q) Is it secure.

A) Yes - we only collect personal data about you, your family and friends and your work collegues.

Q What storage capacity do I have

A) Infinite - we use every computer on the internet to store data - about 72 zillion Gb of storage.

LOL

About right, though...

on Jan 06, 2009

Jafo is entirely correct in this.

I refuse to use Google because of the "China Politics" issue. Any support of Google supports (indirectly) human rights abuses.

I also don't think there's anything even vaguely resembling 'free lunch': My email is none of Google's business, and that's exactly what they do: They sell your information for their profit.

Cerebro: Take Jafo's advice.

And that "every computer on the Internet" thing. Give that a little thought.

on Jan 06, 2009

Fuzzy Logic
Gmail FAQ:

Q) Can I retrieve my e-mail if I accidentally delete it?
A) Yes - we automatically distribute your e-mail to everyone on the internet. So at any one time there are at least 56,895,265,000 copies of your e-mail.

Q) Is it secure.
A) Yes - we only collect personal data about you, your family and friends and your work collegues.

Q What storage capacity do I have
A) Infinite - we use every computer on the internet to store data - about 72 zillion Gb of storage. 

Precisely, Spock.

on Jan 06, 2009

DrJBHL

I also don't think there's anything even vaguely resembling 'free lunch': My email is none of Google's business, and that's exactly what they do: They sell your information for their profit.

Your email is *everyones* business unless you make a point of encrypting everything... There's no privacy on the internet unless you create it yourself, and if you think you're fully covered even then, you're most likely mistaken.

Privacy is long gone... The only thing you REALLY can do to protect your privacy is to not do something that attracts the wrong attention.

 

on Jan 06, 2009

Any support of Google supports (indirectly) human rights abuses.

I hate to cry 'bullshit' on this line, but there are plenty of other things you'd better be boycotting if that's your reason for disliking Google.

There are so many other, more legitamate reasons.

on Jan 06, 2009

I am willing to trade demographic and browsing history for the services gmail provides.  To each thier own.

As far as google's "human right.s abuses" - not having internet access to everything on the internet is not an abuse.  When google starts caning the Chinese I will get concerned.  We need to stop using pejorative words when describing things like this.

on Jan 06, 2009

Excellent point Zubaz.

I can think of hundreds of reasons as to why internet is bad.... I can also see equally many reasons why internet is good... I can't say for sure what's the right approach... unlimited or restricted access? There are tons of good reasons to do both that has nothing to do with human rights.

Or am I indirectly supporting human abuse by doing just about anything the chinese government request?

on Jan 06, 2009

I can think of hundreds of reasons as to why internet is bad.... I can also see equally many reasons why internet is good... I can't say for sure what's the right approach... unlimited or restricted access? There are tons of good reasons to do both that has nothing to do with human rights.

Or am I indirectly supporting human abuse by doing just about anything the chinese government request

Trying to avoid getting too political here, but . . . isn't this tantamount to saying it's okay to have a government policy instituted that bans unrestricted internet access for anyone? I suppose if you agree with that statement, then there's not much I can say that would change your mind, but it's certainly objectionable to me.

on Jan 06, 2009

I like the debate that has developed here... I think I shall respond to the two issues.

Google Privacy

Yes... Google profits from the information gathered and parsed from emails, searches, and personal user information.  At the same time, however, (as Zubaz pointed out) there is a net benefit as well.  Better search results, better mapping information, and a more focused and personal web experience.  Google [appears to] put the information to good use, with creative and innovative new ideas that make the internet a more human-readable place.

I will give, in order to recieve.

Google + China = Bad?

Human Rights... honestly didnt see the discussion going that way when I wrote the article.  In a nutshell, though, I would have to say that the attacks against Google for their decision to filter search results are likely a little over-dramatic.  Wouldnt it make just as much sense to blame... say... Wal-Mart?  Or any of the countless other companies that manufacture and/or assemble their products in the Chinese cheap-labour market?  These are the companies that are essentially feeding the fire of dicatorship over there.  Google has conceded to their demands in order to remain a viable player in what is arguably the largest digital marketplace in the world.  I think its fair for them to look out for themselves once in awhile.  Companies that purchase products and labour from China, however, are significantly more to blame for the current political situation.  Import/Export duties and fees are making the Chinese government incredibly wealthy, essentially handing them the power to force companies like Google to concede or withdraw.

Can you honestly blame Google for choosing to remain in the Chinese market?  The seach engine service is still a valuable one, even when filtered.  I would say that some Google is better than none.

on Jan 06, 2009

warreni

Trying to avoid getting too political here, but . . . isn't this tantamount to saying it's okay to have a government policy instituted that bans unrestricted internet access for anyone? I suppose if you agree with that statement, then there's not much I can say that would change your mind, but it's certainly objectionable to me.

Tell me ONE other thing that is truly unrestricted (worldwide) and I'll consider changing my mind.

on Jan 06, 2009

mickeko

Quoting warreni, reply 12
Trying to avoid getting too political here, but . . . isn't this tantamount to saying it's okay to have a government policy instituted that bans unrestricted internet access for anyone? I suppose if you agree with that statement, then there's not much I can say that would change your mind, but it's certainly objectionable to me.

Tell me ONE other thing that is truly unrestricted (worldwide) and I'll consider changing my mind.

 

I don't understand why things being restricted in the world is some kind of argument in favor of an arbitrary ban on certain websites and IP addresses because the sites contain material that may be critical of the government.

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