Day 4

Sorry, Google – I’m giving you the push. Yahoo’s Mail and Calendar services have stolen me away. Yahoo’s new mail interface, currently in beta, is a close match to Outlook, and I can still access my normal POP3 mail account – Yahoo Mail even colour-codes the incoming emails to differentiate between accounts.

If Gmail is a little like staying in a hostel, this is more like hiring a holiday cottage: it doesn’t feel exactly like home, but it’s close enough for comfort.

Sadly, there are still problems. First, Yahoo Mail has issues downloading new messages from my POP3 server. A little searching in the Help files reveals this is because my POP3 provider doesn’t support the “LAST” command correctly. The only workaround is to ask Yahoo Mail to download all messages and delete once it does so, which sadly blows my Gmail archiving. I get around this by setting my POP3 account to forward all mail to my Gmail address.

More seriously, Yahoo Mail won’t allow me to respond to incoming mail from my regular POP3 address unless I pony up for a premium account. I refuse, so any correspondence in the next two days will have to come from my most unbusiness-like Yahoo address.

As I’m ringing the changes, I’m also looking for an alternative to Google Docs & Spreadsheets. ThinkFree’s Office seems like a contender, particularly as the Write app is a dead-ringer for Word 2003. However, even after a lot of checking through the online help and FAQs, I’m unable to get the drop-down menus to work correctly, and it’s painfully slow to load and edit files. Back to the drawing board, I think.

Next: Day 5

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