Now that the vacation season is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, grandparents, parents and many of their children will face a quandary: how to stay in touch while traveling? E-mail is a great invention but those of us who use dedicated e-mail programs may not find them to be as portable as we wish. Luckily, there is an easy, and free, solution.
I have used dedicated e-mail programs for years. I used Eudora for a long time, then switched to Thunderbird a couple of years ago when it matured into a more powerful - and free -program. I also occasionally experimented with other e-mail programs. I have used them through a progression of several e-mail providers as I seem to switch Internet providers every few years. I have been generally satisfied with these programs although I did find a few shortcomings.
I also travel a lot, and it seemed like I never had the e-mail message that I wanted at the time I needed it. For instance, I might be traveling with a Windows laptop when I realized that I needed to find the e-mail message that John Smith sent me a few weeks ago. That message was probably stored on my Macintosh desktop computer back home. Likewise, when I was back home, I might need an e-mail message that John had sent to me when I was on the road. I'd realize that the message was on my laptop. I'd have to dig the laptop out of the briefcase, fire it up, and then search for the message of interest. Time and again, I found that an e-mail message that I needed was stored in the wrong place. This is not a convenient method. Computers are supposed to make our lives simpler, not more complex!
To make things worse, I also read and write e-mail frequently when using the wireless connectivity in an Apple iPhone. I also often check my e-mail from the office when using still another computer. Occasionally I even check my e-mail from a friend's computer or at an Internet cafe.
I have experimented with multiple methods of synching laptops and desktop computers together to share files and e-mail messages, but I never found one that was simple and reliable for my multi-computer use. In short, my e-mail messages were never well organized. Then I found a solution that works for me, and I bet it works well for millions of others. The best feature is its price: free.
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