Am I missing something about internet/email service?

I think this belongs in that thread about teaching Grandma to use the internet, but I am wondering what I missing here. I do the newsletter for a craft group, and most of the women in it are older.

Member 1: She goes South for the winter, so during Jun-Oct I should send the newsletter to her address Nov-May, use . :confused:

Member 2: She sends me a new email address (, saying she got a new Mac. Follow-up: printer’s not hooked up yet, could I send it to the old address ( so she can print it at her daughter’s house.

Now, I only have access at work and all this carrier business is invisible to me, but regardless of the carrier on the specific computer, anyone can access any of their mail addresses, right? Is there something that make it easier to use one over the other, given a specific ISP thingie on the machine?

I’m not going to try to talk to them about this, I’d just like to make sure my impression is correct.

You are absolutely correct.

A person should be able to access their e-mail from whereever they are, irregardless of carrier, service, or location.

This is just an example of users not knowing the basics of some stuff.

You can tell the lady that she can get her AOL mail from any computer in the world just by going to www dot aol dot com, and putting in her username and password.

They probably put their password into whatever shitty proprietary software their ISP provides and promptly forgot it, so they couldn’t access their mail via a browser even if they wanted to.

Ok, thanks. I thought maybe they put a handy-dandy aol icon on the desktop or something and she doesn’t know any other way to get there, and so feels like she has to use that mail. :confused:

I recall for a time when I had a email address I could not access it “remotely.” At least that’s what the website told me. I didn’t use it and never cared enough to figure it out.

This lady doesn’t know how to set up her email at a different computer it’s that simple.

OK, cool. Like I said, I won’t try to change her mind (I know I will hear “uh-huh, uh-huh, oh. Well, I’ll just keep doing it this way”) but it’s good to know. Especially if I ever get a computer at home!!

Most people have absolutely no idea that many (most? all?) ISPs provide webmail access, so that you can get your email from anywhere in the world, even if you don’t know diddly about POPs and IMAPs and SMTPs…

If she had her mail set up through IMAP on her home machine, using Thunderbird, say (does Microsoft make an email client? :stuck_out_tongue: ) she’d have to get her mail through a browser and do something different, which might confuse her. (I support my father-in-law who is 93, and lots of things confuse people.) She could add it to her daughter’s email client, but that is probably way dangerous.

There are exceptions. My work email only goes through our mail server. I can set it up remotely easily enough, but it is not available through a browser, for security reasons I assume.

I’m not an older person. I consider myself fairly comfortable with computers.

I hate my ISP’s webmail UI. It’s awful. It’s clunky. It makes reading email really, really annoying. The tools it supposedly has implemented are badly designed and counterproductive. (There are many unpleasant web based email systems. My ISP has takes their worst features and “innovates” with inconveniences of its own.) So while I can access it from anywhere, I won’t. I mean, I will if I highly expect a very important piece of email is being sent to that account, but I tend to avoid that interface when I’m away from my home computer.