Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Life Before Email…

One of the very first things I do in the process of starting my day is I check my Inboxes. It is as much a part of my routine as my morning cup of coffee. This morning, it struck me that you do not have to be a computer geek to realize and appreciate that electronic communication has become an important — if not vital — part of our lives. And that it has changed the way we live.telephone

If you will pardon a little self-indulgent reminiscing, I would like to tell you in a before-and-after method, that I am old enough to well-remember what it was like in the days before email, Instant Messaging, and cell phones. In my High School years there simply were no such things. (There were no ATM machines either, if you can imagine that.) When I wanted to find out what my friends were up to, I picked up a Slimline telephone (with cord). Besides Ma Bell, the other method of communicating was the mail, now known as “snail mail”.

How we ever got along, back then, is beyond me.

Today the speed at which I transmit written correspondence is limited only by how frequently the recipient checks their Inbox. My pals answer their phones no matter where they are or what they’re doing (or their voicemail does) — who doesn’t carry a cell phone? I not only talk to my niece and nephew out on the East Coast, but I can see them via “videoconferencing” (free). Or I can “chat” with IM, no matter the miles of separation (also free).

But of all these modern methods, I still rely the most on email. Email is the main way I stay informed and in contact with my friends and kinfolk, and the same is probably true for you. (For kicks, I challenge you to a little test: how long can you ignore your Inbox before it irritates? Could you take a week’s vacation… and never check it?)

Because I am an “email guy”, I am perhaps overly aware of the negatives of email. I am peeved by spam, alarmed by phishing, nervous about privacy, and paranoid about hackers and e-criminals. I have written a few articles on these ‘negatives’ and how to combat, and my “Tip of the day” today is; if you have not read them, to consider clicking on the following links.
Managing your email: eliminating the junk
Managing junk mail in Outlook/Thunderbird
They ARE reading your mail
How to block ads

It is my hope that the knowledge you find there will make using the modern miracle of electronic communication a more pleasant experience, as it is something we are exposed to daily… and would be hard-pressed to live without.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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December 6, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, e-mail, how to, Internet, tech | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spam, spam, spam, spam, spammitty spam…

“Spam” did not always mean “unsolicited (junk) e-mail”. Spam is, in reality, a processed and canned meat.. for, like.. when you go camping in the woods.. or something.
cannaspam.jpgI cannot recall ever having eaten SPAM — though I’m fairly certain I have — and so I cannot say whether this item is a tasty treat, or whether it deserved its (in my recall, anyway) reputation as being.. not so good. I think it’s supposed to be similar to ham.

I do recall watching a lot of the British comedy group Monty Python’s Flying Circus on television. One of their more well-known and popular skits was about SPAM.. and vikings.
The song seemed to catch on.

One of the character’s lines is “I don’t like spam!”
And, we don’t like unsolicited (junk) e-mail!
Hence the birth of an expression/joke that’s turned into an actual dictionary definition of common, accepted, everyday usage.

(from Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary)
Main Entry:  1spam Listen to the pronunciation of 1spam
Pronunciation:  \ˈspam\
Function:  noun
Etymology:  from a skit on the British television series Monty Python’s Flying Circus in which chanting of the word Spam overrides the other dialogue
Date:  1994
: unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses

Yes. I don’t like spam!
Not terrribly surprisingly, the spammers are at it again, using their botnets (our infected computers) to send e-mails offering discount drugs.. out of Russia. At the end of January, I wrote about the “Spam blocked” counter on the side column of this site (which shows you how many such solicitations are being posted as Comments) and, the psychology of these spammers… There’s been an extraordinary barrage of spam comments here at Tech–for Everyone these last several days (automated spambots in action).
Will spam ever go away? Not until not one human being EVER clicks the link.
Humph.

Until spamming doesn’t work and the spammers move on to some other technique to try to rip you off, you can learn how to manage the amount of junk e-mail you receive by reading (or reviewing) these two articles.
https://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/managing-your-email-eliminating-the-junk/
https://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/08/27/managing-junk-mail-in-outlookthunderbird/

The sun is out, and I got things to do.. so, until next time, “spam spam spam, spam spam spam spam..”

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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March 15, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, spam and junk mail, tech | , , | 1 Comment