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E-mail programs

In response to my agony over how to get my various free web-site e-mails to load and be saved permanently offline, the Hungry Poet, also known as the Computer Guru, has kindly responded below.

courtesy of the Hungry Poet

The most popular POP email clients for personal use are by far Outlook, Outlook Express (MSOE), and Eudora. I will not cover Eudora because I have stopped using this quite a while back, and have no hesitation in recommending Outlook or MSOE depending on what you want to go with it.

Generally speaking, Outlook offers several advantages over Outlook Express (MSOE):

  1. marginally more secure than MSOE although still susceptible to mass mailing worms
  2. folder contents can be properly password protected, whereas MSOE content can be "peeped" easily even when password protected
  3. comes with integrated Calendar, To Do List, Appointments, Notepad, etc which can be very useful
  4. supports Mail Faxing and Fax Mailmerge interface with software such as Winfax Pro
  5. takes up less disk space because of folder compression and single file storage whereas MSOE is space hogging

However, some of the major disadvantages of Outlook versus MSOE are:

  1. marginally more troublesome to maintain/support/manage whereas MSOE is relatively simpler to archive/move/manipulate etc
  2. cannot recover from damaged/corrupted folders easily because of compression/encryption whereas corrupted MSOE folders can be recovered partially if not fully with relative ease

If you are a KISSer and want to keep it simple (no need for calendar/to-do-list/appointments and not concerned about confidentiality), then MSOE is recommended because it's simpler.

Here are some of the features with "workarounds" in MSOE assuming you normally use MSOE to retrieve & send messages, and may wish to use web services at cyberecafes while on the road. All these will work for Outlook equally well.

a) Retrieve all unread incoming messages from any POP server including your ISP account and your web hosting email account (eg * into one single MSOE mail box.

b) Retrieve all unread incoming messages into one MSOE mailbox from most free Web mail services such as and which provide pop mail access options. However retrieving from or and some other "free" web mail services require paying a nominal fee for the "value-added" services.

c) Send messages from MSOE using SMTP servers from your ISP account, or your web hosting account if they offer this option (not all do).

d) Access your emails globally without carrying your notebook PC around. While on the road, go to any cybercafe or set-top boxes in hotel room and use, or etc to retrieve unread emails from your ISP account and web host email account. You can even retrieve unread messages from all your different web mail services into one single mailbox, for instance using to retrieve unread mails from, etc. You can also set an option to retain the retrieved messages in their original servers.

e) Fool most mass-mailing worms by configuring MSOE default mail account in such a manner that most mass-mailing worms will not be able to mass mail from MSOE even if you happen to be infected by a new worm before your virus scanner is able to detect/stop it. However this is not an excuse not to keep your virus scan data up to date, ideally on a weekly basis, and definitely not less than monthly basis.

f) Dodge spammers by setting up different email addresses for different purposes and maintain a strict discipline of their usage. This is not fool-proof but it helps. In addition, MSOE can be easily configured to ignore/discard known spam mail but this is one step too late. It may be necessary to change some email addresses periodically (eg every 3 or 6 months) if you are a frequent victim of spammers or you are being "massively" spammed. Rule #1 is never to publicly reveal your ISP account email ID (your "permanent" email address) to anyone other than personal friends or known business contacts. For public use, preferably use email addresses from free web based mail services so you can change it easily and freely as necessary.

g) If you use MSOE regularly, you must constantly remind your friends never to send large attachments by email - it slows everybody down. The smart approach is to use Yahoo Briefcase to upload/download large attachments. Apart from using Winzip to compress large files, you should also break very large attachments into separate chunks if you are not on broadband, ideally not more than 1MB per chunk.

In addition to the above, and apart from your virus scanner (McAfee or Norton), you need to implement some additional protection/disciplines as follows:

h) Install and update regularly Ad-Aware (freeware) to scan and remove advertising linked trojan horses and browser tracking worms etc

i) Install personal firewall (eg Zone Alarm - freeware) to protect against possible hacker accesses, port scans, or activated trojan horses.

j) Enforce strict discipline of clearing the cache of Browser (eg MSIE) before shutting down to remove temporary downloaded files and keep your browser running more efficiently.

I have not elaborated the above workarounds because of space/time unless you have questions. If you need elaboration on any one, or help in setting up, feel free to let me know which one. Items (e) and (f) are especially interestng, but quite lengthy.

22 October 2002 Tuesday

I didn't realise there is a difference between Outlook and Outlook Express. But where can I get Outlook?
Hungry Poet adds a comment about installing the Microsoft Outlook program.
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