June 11, 2004
Q. How can I retrieve my email when I'm visiting a friend who only has cable access to the Internet?
A. Assuming you normally use a dial-up connection at home to check your POP3 mail -- as opposed to Web-based mail -- you can access your email from just about anywhere. All you have to do is enter the appropriate mail-checking information on your friend's computer so it knows where to check.
You didn't mention which email program you normally use, but assuming it's Outlook Express, just click Tools > Accounts > Mail. If you click Properties on your email account, you'll find all the required information on the General and Server tabs.
Using this information, you can set up an account on your friend's computer -- assuming he or she agrees. If you do set up an email account, you might want to go back into your Mail account properties on your computer, select the Advanced tab, and choose the option that allows you to leave a copy of your messages on the server. Doing this lets you review mail quickly while on the road. Anything you don't need to respond to immediately you can delete and retrieve again when you get back home. If you do create a mail account on your friend's computer, be sure to remove it at the end of your visit.
If you would rather not bother your friend -- or your soon-to-be former friend won't permit you to create a mail account -- check with your ISP to determine if it provides a way for you to check your email remotely. Many ISPs offer some form of "Web mail" that allows you to log in to your ISP's Web site using your email address and password, and check your email.
If your ISP doesn't provide this service, you can always use a free service such as EmailAnywhere (www.emailanywhere.com) or Mail2Web (www.mail2web.com). Using either service, you can enter your email address and password and check your mail from anywhere in the world, as long as you have Internet access.
Q. I've been looking at the spam I receive and notice that most of it isn't addressed to me, personally. That being the case, I'd like to use Outlook Express to filter those messages into a junk folder, rather than my Inbox. I tried to use OE's Message Rules, but I'm stumped how to tell OE to perform a specific action on email that's not addressed to me. Any help would be appreciated, Mr. M.
A. The steps you'll need to follow are very similar to the usual steps for creating message rules, but with a couple of special twists. Start by clicking Tools > Message Rules > Mail, then click the New button.
2. Under the Conditions section, place a check mark in the box labeled "Where the To line contains people."
3. Click on the underlined words "contains people" in the Description section at the bottom, and enter your email address. Then click the Add button.
4. Click the Options button, and under "Apply Rule If," select "Message does not contain the people below," and click OK > OK.
5. Under the Actions section, place a check mark in the box labeled "Move it to the specified folder."
6. Click the underlined word "specified" in the Description section at the bottom.
7. Create a new folder by clicking the New Folder button, and name it something like "Junk Folder" or "Spam Trap," then click OK > OK.
Once you complete the above steps, any email that arrives without your address in the "To:" field will be routed to your Junk or Spam Trap folder rather than your Inbox. Be sure to periodically review the messages in your Junk or Spam Trap folder because legitimate messages may occasionally get caught by the trap.
Mr. Modem's Tip of the Week:
Save Ink When Printing Web Pages
You can save ink by omitting background colors and images when you print Web pages. To accomplish this using Internet Explorer, click Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab. Scroll down the list to the "Printing" category and remove the check mark next to "Print background colors and images," then click OK.
Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week:
Cold Storage Chart
Have you ever wondered how long something will keep in the refrigerator before evolving into a new life form? Thanks to this chart provided by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, you can now look up various food products and their refrigerated versus freezer shelf life.
Pop vs. Soda
Proving that no controversy is too small to study, scholars (and I use the term loosely) at the California Institute of Technology and Lewis & Clark College have joined forces to study how Americans order carbonated beverages. Do you order a "pop," a "soda," or a "coke"? Based on a national map that plots our usage, "soda" appears strong on both coasts, "pop" leads in the heartland, but "coke" is bubbling up from the south. View the map, complete a survey, then grab a cold one and toast your own contribution to academia.
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