Denver's Other Group (DOG) Computer Club
ENRICHING YOUR PERSONAL COMPUTING EXPERIENCE!
DOG December 2009 Meeting Notes
Best Free Email Service
Gmail provides a whole new way of accessing and managing email. Many people
believe Gmail is a great innovation. It’s an improvement over desktop email
applications. It’s also better than other Web mail.
Gmail currently allow users 7.2 GB of online storage space.
Most email services offer some sort of Spam filtering these days, but Google's is one of
the more effective. Compared to other email accounts, users report seeing fewer Spam
messages in their inbox. Gmail rarely flags legitimate email as Spam.
Web Mail Usage
The best way to use Gmail is online, as Web mail. You get all of the built-in features.
You can use these Web browsers with Gmail: Chrome 2/3, Firefox 3.5 and Internet
Explorer 7/8. Gmail does not support Internet Explorer 6 so some Gmail features
don't work in it. I used Firefox 3.5 in my demonstration.
Mail Client Usage
A mail client is computer software used to send and receive email. These mail clients
work with Gmail.
Outlook Express and Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007
Thunderbird 2 and Windows Mail
Gmail supports two email protocols, POP and IMAP. Google recommends IMAP, a
better and more modern protocol. It is free, easy to setup and offers
Ø Two-way communication with mail client.
Ø Access to multiple clients and devices.
POP only allows one-way communication, from your email service to your mail client.
A lot more mobile devices work with Gmail when IMAP is enabled. All of the mail
clients listed above should work with IMAP. But Google says it does not support IMAP
with Outlook 2000 and 2002. Google also cautions that every email client handles
IMAP in a slightly different way.
A Google account is needed to use Gmail and a lot of other Google services. Create
your free Google account at http://tinyurl.com/bpmf29.
Web Mail Features
I demonstrated using the built-in features of Gmail on the Web:
Inbox, Search, Labels, Gmail Notifier, Gmail Mail Fetcher and more.
This picture shows the Inbox of sample Gmail account on the Web.
Just click a line to open a message and read it. Gmail defines messages with the same
subject a conversation.
You must checkmark a line to use any button (Archive, Report spam, Delete, etc.).
The Archive button makes it easy to retain messages in All Mail.
On the left side of the picture, a line “5 more” is selected. That’s where you access All
Mail, Spam and Trash. Email in Trash is automatically deleted after 30 days.
The Search line is next to the Gmail logo. You can Search Mail or Search the Web
or click the Show search options link.
Labels are used instead of folders in Gmail.
To label an email source, checkmark a message. Click the Labels button and select
Create new. The next window lets you name your new label.
After creating a new label, Gmail can automatically label incoming messages. Gmail
also lets you easily apply that label to all existing Inbox messages and archived
messages from the same source. Use the following instructions to create a filter.
Checkmark the same message again. Click the More actions button and select Filter
messages like these. Another window opens. Click Next Step. Another window
opens. Checkmark the line Apply the label and select a label name. Checkmark the
line Also apply filter to XX conversations below. Finally, click Create Filter.
Color Gmail Labels
This is a marvelous Inbox feature in Gmail. Label colors make it extremely easy to
locate important email in your Inbox.
I suggest using bright RED to color your DOG label.
On the left side of the Gmail window, click a faint box to the left of a label name.
Select a color from the two dozen choices. This menu also lets you Remove color,
Rename, Hide label and Delete label.
You can have a Desktop alert for new Gmail messages.
Gmail offers a downloadable application called Gmail Notifier. When installed, an icon
is added to your System Tray (Notification Area). Gmail Notifier checks every two
minutes for new messages.
Visit http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=9429 and click
"Download the Notifier. Then install the downloaded file.
I found alternative software with the same name that you may like better.
Visit http://www.gmailnotifier.com to see and get Gmail Notifier - The easiest way
to check your Gmail.
Gmail Mail Fetcher
Mail Fetcher can download messages from up to five other POP email accounts,
centralizing all your email in Gmail.
Mail Fetcher seems to check your other inboxes every hour for new email messages
throughout the day. You cannot customize the frequency of automatic mail fetches.
But you can manually trigger the mail checking process by clicking Check mail now.
Gmail also has a neat optional feature. You can set external email addresses as
custom From addresses. This allows you to compose messages in Gmail, but have
them appear to be sent from your other email account.
Instructions are available in Gmail Help, “Get mail from other accounts”, at
Use Settings, Filters to automatically Label incoming email and Archive it if you wish.
Use stars to temporarily flag special messages. Use stars to easily mark certain
messages as important or indicate that you need to reply to them later.
Try Superstars in Gmail Labs (Settings, Labs) for more options.
Gmail has TO, CC and BCC address lines for sending messages. Begin typing a name
and a list appears where you can select a single address. Type again to add more
View DOG PDF Files
DOG Newsletters and Meeting Notes include Adobe Reader (PDF) documents as
Under the attachment filename are two links: View and Download.
Click Download instead of View. The Adobe Reader document is shown when
Download is clicked and Web links in the document are clickable. Web links are NOT
clickable using View, which opens a Word document or a WordPad document.
Gmail calls View their “fast PDF preview:
“You can preview PDFs right in your browser without waiting for them
to download and open in another application. Just click the ‘View’ link
next to any .pdf attachments you receive.”
iGoogle Home Page
When you sign up for Gmail, you get a Google Account that gives you access to all
Google products, including iGoogle.
Consider customizing iGoogle as your Home Page. It contains a Google search
box at the top and your choice of many gadgets. Gadgets provide access to activities
and information from all across the Web. A Gmail gadget lets you view your latest five
Setup your iGoogle page at http://www.google.com/ig. View "iGoogle: A Mini
Product Tour" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbf0dlESX8E.
To get the full functionality of iGoogle, make sure you have the latest version of your
Google Gmail is a great service. It’s the most hassle-free email account you can get.
You can consolidate up to five other email accounts. Use it with Chrome, Firefox or
Internet Explorer 7/8 for Web mail or use it with popular mail clients.
Get a Gmail account soon. You’ll be glad you did!
A decision on the club proposal is needed soon. Dues resume in April and payment
notices will begin in January. People need to know what they will get before they pay
dues next year.
Most club members (46-81%) have a broadband connection. They can use the
Internet as a modern information source and view online videos. Our 11 dialup users
cannot view online videos. They get too many buffering interruptions. Dialup users are
a small minority that should not dictate our club’s future.
We had 57 club members and 56 people could have voted. I propose but don't vote.
The response was greater than some public elections: 33 votes (59%) – thank you!
The result was 20 YES votes (61%) and 13 NO votes (39%). Eight NO votes (24%)
have broadband but prefer live demos.
27 people attended our meeting. Almost all of them indicated they would continue
to attend meetings if the proposal is adopted. Most comments during our discussion
supported the proposal.
I’ll make more videos and our meeting format will change beginning in March 2010.
January 7 Mozilla Thunderbird Mike McCutcheon
February 4 Windows 7 Revealed Ron Jefferies
I may give two more meeting demos in 2010.
Volunteers are needed to give meeting demonstrations.
Visit the Meeting Topics page at our Web site for available months.
We now have 59 club members.
I am pleased to welcome Stanley Frahm and Marilyn Raymond.
Hal Rojec was the lucky winner of a Christmas ornament donated by Jerry Heagney.
His new company sells custom ornaments. Click MEMBERS on the Membership page
at our Web site to get his email address.