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Why Microsoft Outlook is to be Avoided for Personal Use

Recently, I’ve had to work on a number of machines that have had Outlook as their primary e-mail client for a number of years and in doing the requisite work on these systems that I’ve come to see a broad issue with locally stored e-mail and the way Outlook in particular makes it very difficult to get away from. What is surprising to me is just how many people are still falling for the locally stored e-mail trap. Don’t get me wrong, allow me to explain. Some people (such as those who heavily value privacy, manage their own e-mail servers, etc.) can benefit heavily from such a system, but an average user who doesn’t know the difference between Gmail and an Exchange Server should certainly not be using the latter.

At first, Outlook seems like a great tool. It’s got everything in one place, e-mail, tasks, calendars, notes and so on. As you continue using Outlook over the years, I imagine it becomes familiar as you begin to make folders and subfolders, add to your calendar and make reminders for your calendaring. I get that.

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Why Yahoo Mail is Still an Epic Catastrophe

Someone in my family, with good intentions I’m sure, decided to give my dear grandmother a free Yahoo Mail account to replace her digit-ridden CompuServe e-mail address. I felt compelled to write this because as I was over at her house, she informed me that she hadn’t touched the computer in two weeks and for me to “clean out the junk.” I went ahead and logged into her e-mail and was shocked to see that her inbox had well over 2,000 messages! I knew that my grandmother likely didn’t have more than 10 or 20 real messages in there, but thanks to Yahoo’s brilliant SPAM detecting algorithm, I’d never know. I began sifting through the messages, deleting 25 at a time. After the tenth or eleventh page, I grew weary of looking at all of the SPAM that Yahoo failed to capture and decided enough was enough. Grandma was gettin’ Gmail (spam chart).

Below is a screenshot of my Grandmother’s old computer, a Windows98 system running Internet Explorer 5. Click to see the full sized screenshot. Evidently, Yahoo thinks that only 75 out of the 2,000+ messages are SPAM.

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