NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, August 2002
My Favorite E-Mail Program
by Sigrid Foreman, Tyler Computer Club
(click to email author)

Many of us use e-mail on a daily basis and we use different e-mail programs depending on what we want from it. Here are a few that are available.

Free Programs...such as Juno do not require you to have an internet account with anyone. They simply let you send and receive e-mail (including attachments) without any internet surfing. This means that you have no monthly or hourly charge to worry about. (NWA-PCUG Editor Note: There is a $9.95 charge for the Juno Web version, without fixed ads.)

E-mail programs that require an Internet account: this is what most of us use, be it thru providers like AOL, Prodigy, MSN or an independent internet provider such as Gower, Ballistic, Flashnet, Cox-Internet, etc.. where you would use programs such as Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, Eudora or my favorite Incredimail, http://www.incredimail.com/

Many of you have not heard of it, and I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little about it. Incredimail is provided to you free of charge...unless you choose to get the full program ($29), which basically provides support (which I have used and is pretty good) and allows you to preview your messages on the server prior to you downloading them. It comes with a demo program of Letter Creators (you're allowed to make 1-3 letters before you have to purchase the full version at $39...or get both for the price of $49). IM offers you e-cards, letter backgrounds, sounds and animation that you can add to personalize your e-mail. It also comes with an mail notifier (of your choice) which will tell you when you have new mail. You can even make your own handwritten signature to add to your mail.

The thing I like about Incredimail (IM) is that I have such a large variety of letter backgrounds to choose from, that I can add to personalize my e-mails. Besides the basic ones that come standard in the program, there are many more backgrounds; e-cards, animation and sounds that can be added (all free of charge) without having to make your own...if you're not talented enough like me...by going to Incredimails's multimedia web gallery, or to one of the many IM websites where you can find a variety of all of these plus help with problems you may encounter. These sites also list other sites where you can learn how to make your own backgrounds using either Letter Creator or using a different program such as Paint Shop Pro.

One of the IM letter sites I went to:
(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/A_S-A-F-E_Place/) offers a link to tutorial classes at http://enchanted1designs.com/abcs/about.html that have at least 2 tutorial links every week for the following subjects: psp (paint shop pro), eye candy (plug-in for psp), blade pro (plug-in for psp), sig tags, making letters for LC/Incredimail & 20/20. Classes last for 8 weeks & have a top limit of 30 "students" per class. The owners of this tutorial site, Becky & Candy, said, "We have had great success with the classes so far & have high hopes of it's continuous success!" Hey... If I'm in the class, they can't be bad - right??? So check it out!!

Ok, some people (I won't mention any names Wayne) don't like me to use this program because it takes a little longer to download than a standard e-mail, but at least I don't use sound which DOES take a long time due to the midi or wav file attachment... All you have to remember is that the more you add to an e-mail, the longer it will take to download. If someone does not like receiving these "stationary" e-mails, ask them to let you know and you can then select a "no background" and they will receive a standard e-mail with a white background. Most people do not mind that it takes a little longer since there are so many neat backgrounds or sidebars (including your own pictures) that can be seen and that they can "snag" or add to their own collection just by viewing yours.

One thing about e-mail programs, you **do** have a few choices: you do not have to stay with the default selection that is given you. Use your imagination, use it in color, use it with pictures...it's all up to you!!

There is no restriction against any non-profit group using the article as long as it is kept in context, with proper credit given to the author. This article is brought to you by the Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an International organization to which this user group belongs.

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