Yup. I got myself an ICQ number. You may ask why? Many reasons.
I *hate* integration. The only reason I’m holding on to my Yahoo id is because of its IM. I can subscribe to Yahoo groups using my non-Yahoo ID too. This integrated/consolidated service reminds me too much of MS and MSN. Did you know that MSN has a blogging service too – of course you need a MSN id for that. Thank God that up to now, Gmail and Blogger are separate. And so, ICQ it is.
I hate integrated services that offer you everything (even if you want only some things) or nothing.
There’s this new app floating around (in w32, it’s called a shell extension) allowing you to treat your Gmail account as a password-protected, mapped network drive of 1000 MB. Its available in Linux too. The December issue of LFY carried an article on it. I recognised the w32 app because I had read about its Linux counter-part.
And the important thing is – IT WORKS! I’ve set up the proper label and filter so that uploaded files bypass the inbox and get labeled as GMAILFS. Its cool.
Sure, Yahoo has its briefcase of 30 MB plus 250 MB mail. Rediff has 1024 MB. In Yahoo’s case, there is no single point of entry. You have to go from Yahoo Briefcase to Mail or vice-versa. Second, even if those mail services have storage, you either have to store files as attachments to drafts or mail them to the proper account – I’ve never tried it. BUT you have to use a net browser. Forget the web storage services – none give 1000 MB for free.
In this Gmail app, you login once by right-clicking on the Gmail Drive in My Computer [sadly, I’m not yet able to use the net from my Linux box – damn RASPPPOE] and selecting ‘login’. Then right-click any file you want to send to the Gmail space – in the context menu, there is ‘send to Gmail’. When you check your account later on, there will be a mail from email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject GMAILFS and the file attached. That simple. And a single point of entry for mail and web storage. Also no messy attaching a file or sending blank emails. Also proper, automatic labeling and filtering options available.
All this is possible because Google has released its APIs. In a short span of time, more email software has been released, quite a lot of them free, for Gmail than for any other email service.
Gmail, Firefox, Thunderbird – way to go, champions!!