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Dear Apple, (mac.com email)

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
I have been a faithful Macintosh user since I bought my first Mac, a LC III, in about 1990 or so. Since then I've gone through countless other models, and am currently using a PowerBook G4.

I have followed all of Apple's rules, in the interest of supporting my platform of choice. I adopted OS X as my primary OS, and have written emails to developers asking them to speed up OS X support.

Now I wonder if my patronage is being taken for granted.

When I bought my Powerbook, I was guaranteed "free email, for life". Having cancelled my AOL account, I figured "Great, finally, a spam-free POP email account that I can DEPEND on!" I frequently change my ISP, so this account was exactly what I was looking for.

I sent my new mac.com email address to my clients, my family, my friends. I sent it to people whose email address I have on record, as well as to those I don't.

I get email on my mac.com email address daily, and it has been indispensable tool.

Now Apple has redefined "for life". I guess it means "for the life of our profit ledger" or "for the life of our whim".

I'm currently struggling as a freelance designer and cannot afford the horrendously expensive $99 a year Apple wants to charge for this "free" email account (I don't need the other .mac services).

It looks like I'll have to take my business elsewhere, unless Apple can explain why certain marketing promises were broken.

Best regards,

Xxxxxxxx
post #2 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by tonton:
<strong>
When I bought my Powerbook, I was guaranteed "free email, for life".</strong><hr></blockquote>

Where? Do you have a scan of the document that said this? Or a screenie of the web site?

I remember Apple saying that you would have a Mac.com e-mail for life but I didn't hear Steve say it would be "free for life".

I'm sure if you read the Terms and Conditions when you joined iTools you would understand that Apple is quite at liberty to do this. Apple is Apple Computer Inc, not a charity.

J :cool: (A .Mac user and proud of it)
post #3 of 59
You paid them nothing for providing the e-mail address. If you want a free POP or IMAP e-mail address, I suggest looking at <a href="http://www.myrealbox.com" target="_blank">http://www.myrealbox.com</a> .

The more I think about it, the more I think $99 is reasonable for .Mac's current services, but I do agree Apple needs to provide a cheaper membership level or two...one with perhaps only e-mail, and one with e-mail and a small iDisk.

None of these services would be free. Perhaps Apple was naive in offering you free services for life, but you should have expected its demise from the very beginning. Free things don't last because they are abused if unchecked...and it's very hard to police subscribers of services like these.
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post #4 of 59
Eugene, I agree, a multi-tiered approach would sell more .mac subscriptions. Perhaps a scaleable price depending on iDisk size and/or number of e-mail accounts? Virex is something no one wants or needs, in my opinion.

They are making a dumb move however by canceling free e-mail. Free e-mail isn't so hard to provide, is it? Plus, considering it's at @mac.com, it's free advertising. I just barely signed up for iTools before the keynote and was disappointed, but now I realize paying for .mac and Jaguar are reasonable. However, free e-mail is a good promotion tool. Even though I think this MWNY was great, Apple is getting as much bad press as it is good press from this MWNY!
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post #5 of 59
i love how everybody in their whiny letters to apple descibes how iTools has been "indispensible", how they rely on their previously free e-mail account.

well, if it is truly "indispensible", then you should be willing to pay for it.

and hey, you're a current user. it's only $49, not $99. and if you can't swing that working as a freelance designer, then you're not much of one.

word to the wise, folks: never rely on a "free" service. if you do, then you're just plain stupid.
post #6 of 59
Aquatik, I used to run a computer lab that provided free e-mail, webpages, shell accounts, 250 pages of printing a semester, etc...We were budgeted $30000 a year from the university to maintain the lab. With only a few hundred active users, we still used up all that money.

Hotmail and Yahoo get away with free webmail because it's inconvenient. I always hated webmail only accounts. I don't use any of the ones I signed up for.

When you compare .Mac to Yahoo Geocities, .Mac actually looks quite good. For 25 MB and 5 GB monthly transfers, Geocities costs you $60 a year. For a single POP e-mail address, Yahoo charges $30/year.

These services obviously cost money to maintain. I'm not even sure if Apple could safely offer POP/IMAP accounts for ≤$20.

Apple will eventually offer e-mail only accounts. It's a no brainer. They just won't be free. I don't expect them to be under $25/year either. Add on a 20 MB iDisk and you will probably be paying $50/year after Apple fleshes out .Mac to include some more perks.
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post #7 of 59
$50 for .Mac is fair. $100 isn´t and I can´t wait to see what Apple will be doing the next 360 days to make it fair.
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post #8 of 59
Judging by several posts around here and at Ars, .Mac sounds like it's priced in the middle of the field for e-mail anywhere, storage and features. Not the cheapest, not a complete rip-off either. $100 might be a bit high, but it's close to being reasonable with some improvement to the services. Both Backup and Anti-Virus are kind of weak at this point, but I've already sent constructive comments to Apple about what would make them better (Backup: compression, other file type searches; Virex: hot folders, scheduled scans, auto-definition updates).
post #9 of 59
Response from Apple:

Mr. Everybody,

Thank you for your letter, however we have decided no, you must pay. Thank you for your patronage.

Sincerly, SJ & Friends.

PS, Please buy Jaguar also.
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post #10 of 59
I don't know what to say. Free email is only free to you...Apple's paying for this. Personally I think that if it's important to you pay the $50 and check it out for a year. That gives you time. Howerver, for the greater good of the Platform I understand Apples position. If someone wants to cancel future Mac purchases that is their decision but I actually applaud Apple for their changes. Perhaps some pretty neat services are coming down the pipe and I don't mind seeing how they can change my computing experience.
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post #11 of 59
$99 a year isn't horribly expensive, but it is for an e-mail address advertising Apple. iTools was a fine service, but nothing I can't live without. If I'm going to pay for an e-mail address, it will be for my own domain and not mac.com

After all iTools was supposed to be a FREE benefit of owning an Apple product.

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post #12 of 59
[quote] After all iTools was supposed to be a FREE benefit of owning an Apple product. <hr></blockquote>

It was free although not indefinitely.
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post #13 of 59
Obviously!
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post #14 of 59
BTW, iTools is now defunct. Apple broke no promises regarding the length of time your account would be free. As long as iTools was around, so was the free service. No one complained when iReview went under.
post #15 of 59
[quote]BTW, iTools is now defunct.<hr></blockquote>

Wow, that's clever.



Someone goes out today, buys OSX and can't get iTools even though it says it's free. Odd, isn't it?

But this is Apple, so it's perfectly acceptable.
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post #16 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by torifile:
<strong>BTW, iTools is now defunct. Apple broke no promises regarding the length of time your account would be free. As long as iTools was around, so was the free service. No one complained when iReview went under. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Amen. If you use a service you should pay for it, IMO. But then again the internet has unfortunately spawned a culture of people who exect everything to be free. Software, OSs, email, backup, webspace, everything. And the world doesn't work like that. No, I probably won't pay for .Mac because I don't need the email, virex, iDisk, or homepage. The backup is a nice idea, but I don't use OS X, so that's out too. (iCards are the only thing I'll miss, but it isn't worth $50 for the first year and $100/year after that. ) If you don't want it, don't buy it. Go elsewhere. Just my 2 cents.
post #17 of 59
Well, all I can say is, it should scale. Users choose the number of mail accounts, size of them, size of iDisk, whether or NOT to have Virex, etc. Then price is calculated. That would be cool, no? I'm thinking getting the "old iTools" back shouldn't cost more than $25 a year. I'd buy that. There are no OS X virii for starters, second what could they do in UNIX, third, what if I already have it? Fourth, I certainly don't need 100 megs, and some people may need more. Really all I want is my @mac.com back. e-mail only .Mac could be less than $25, right?
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post #18 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>

Wow, that's clever.



Someone goes out today, buys OSX and can't get iTools even though it says it's free. Odd, isn't it?

But this is Apple, so it's perfectly acceptable.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Are you disputing the facts or are you just stating that we're more forgiving because it's Apple? Either way, you've not really made a point.
post #19 of 59
Yeah technically Apple broke no promisses, they are just being weasels by dropping a service that was intended to be a benifit associated with buying a new Mac and I know plenty of people who bought Macs over PCs after seeing iTools and all the extras they get when buying a Mac.
iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, ect. are all advertised as advantages of buying a mac, but what if Apple were to suddenly start charging for those too? The development costs of these are pretty high, why shouldn't Apple make money off them too? Well because these apps are what help attract people to the Mac platform just like iTools did.
How soon before we see Apple charging for all of the "free" iApps? In a way we kind of are right now by having to pay full price for Jaguar. The cost of many of the new apps they have developed (iChat, Shelock III, ect.) are being factored into the cost of the upgrade so not only are these apps not really free anymore, we are being forced into buying them if we want Jaguar.
As a shareholder I want Apple to make as much money as possible, and the extra revenue Apple gets off .mac and Jaguar will probably make me more money off an increase in share price than how much money I would have to spend on these, but still I think Apple's pricing is totally unfair so I have to say something.
post #20 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by Aquatik:
<strong>Well, all I can say is, it should scale.</strong><hr></blockquote>

That's true, I was going to address this in my post, but I got distracted. I am currently using the webmail so that I can pop my email while I am on vacation. But I don't go on vacation that often, so I don't use the webmail that often, and therefore I don't need it enough to justify $50 for it. And that's fine with me. There are a lot of things I can't justify spending money on right now.

If I didn't already have another email address and I had been using the mac.com one regularly, then it would be important enough to me to pay for, but now it's not. That's not to say, however, that I wouldn't reconsider if they offered a mail only version for cheaper. Who knows.

[ 07-22-2002: Message edited by: Stroszek ]</p>
post #21 of 59
i would imagine the iApps would continue to be "free", even though they aren't even "free" right now. apple does charge for upgrades of iMovie and iDVD.

still, i would imagine it would be easiest for apple to continue to have these be free, or included in the cost of OS upgrades.

why?

because apple really can't make you pay for them. if you really wan them, get them from a friend or pirate them in some other fashion. apple really can't stop that.

one thing you can't pirate though, is a service. and that's what .mac is... a service. and THAT is the reason behind it.
post #22 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by elektrobank:
<strong>iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, ect. are all advertised as advantages of buying a mac, but what if Apple were to suddenly start charging for those too? The development costs of these are pretty high, why shouldn't Apple make money off them too?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I think you might be missing the point some people here are making. True, it cost them money to create iTunes etc. but those are one time things. They create it, we download it, and we use it. It doesn't cost them any more if I download iTunes 50 times than if I download it once.

That's not the case with iTools. IT does cost them more if i set up 50 email addresses and 50 iDisks than if I set up only one. And people did that. I'm sure people here did that. It's the abuse of the free system that lead to it's demise.
post #23 of 59
True Apple didn't break any promises, but it sure like to promote iTools as a free benefit of owning OS9 & OS X. OS 9 is dead by Apple's standards though....

Apple knows it was a brilliant move to get a lot of users hooked into mac.com's free e-mail address. Hell, I didn't even need it and I started using it.

It's a lot of fun to tell everyone, "Don't use my mac.com e-mail address anymore, I'm too cheap to pay for it".

<img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />
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post #24 of 59
Attracting new customers and getting everyone hooked on a free or cheap product or service, then replacing it with a more expensive product or service, is called Bait and Switch, and it stinks. It stinks enough that I've already dumped .Mac and use a pop mail address whose domain advertises another company. I'm happy, but I'd rather be promoting Apple and the Macintosh. Apple's loss, not mine.
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post #25 of 59
Well... 100 $ for an email service a year sounds rather high ... unless mac.com really provides it for that price UNLIMITED, so u could receive files of any size...

Even the horrible Microsoft offers their free services.. I'd prefer to have a proudly MAC and free email!
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post #26 of 59
Damn I'm pissed off now. I bought my lovely G4 and got the mac.com-adress, I already had several adresses, but i liked my mac.adress and started using it instead. I liked the punch it gave to my PC-lame-friends. I thought it was another smart marketing-trick by apple, and I still think it is (the free e-mail). But my illusion of a company that cared for the consumers died. I'm prepared to pay some, but no more than 25bucks a year or some student-discount. I know this is a regular whine-postal, but enough of these and apple might reconsider.
post #27 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by torifile:
<strong>BTW, iTools is now defunct. Apple broke no promises regarding the length of time your account would be free. As long as iTools was around, so was the free service. No one complained when iReview went under. </strong><hr></blockquote>

If you look at the OS X press release (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2001/mar/21osxstore.html), one of the advertised features is "free IMAP mail for Mac.com email accounts." Even if iTools is defunct, Mac.com email acounts aren't.

Also, if you look at their old FAQ (http://web.archive.org/web/20011006003921/itools.mac.com/1/help/email/pgs/mlfaq.html), you will see this line:
[quote]
Q. Can I change my email address?
A. No. Your Mac.com email address is yours for as long as you use your account.
<hr></blockquote>

I am still using my account, so my Mac.com address should still be mine, right?
post #28 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by Mulattabianca:
<strong>Well... 100 $ for an email service a year sounds rather high ... unless mac.com really provides it for that price UNLIMITED, so u could receive files of any size...

Even the horrible Microsoft offers their free services.. I'd prefer to have a proudly MAC and free email!</strong><hr></blockquote>

Unlimited disk space and bandwidth for $100?

<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> Nobody does that. If they do, you're welcome to try and see how they react 'cause they're lying thru their teeth.

Microsoft only offers a free version of hotmail because it's puny, full of ads, and so full of spam it's sick.
post #29 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by qazII:
<strong>I am still using my account, so my Mac.com address should still be mine, right?</strong><hr></blockquote>

The address is still yours, however in two months time you will have to pay to keep it.

Pay the $49.99, wait 365 days and see what Apple puts on the table.

[ 07-22-2002: Message edited by: serrano ]</p>
post #30 of 59
torifile:

Does it not say that a benefit of owning an Apple product is getting iTools for free with a screen to set the account up.

This is on copies of OSX that are on shelves today and will be for over another month.

I go grab one of these boxes that advertises free iTools and it's not there. Perhaps no laws broken, but that's a pretty lame excuse to use when dealing with customers.

"Oh yeah, what're you gonna do about it!?"

Again, if Microsoft had suddenly cut Hotmail off entirely and made it a pay-only option there would've been wails from all over the 'net. And the people here who think it's actually good for Apple to force people who only want to keep their e-mail address to pay $100 for a $40 service would be right in there calling Microsoft evil with everyone else.

It's got ads and is annoying in the free version, sure, but at least they didn't take my 5-year-old e-mail address away.
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post #31 of 59
[quote]It's got ads and is annoying in the free version, sure, but at least they didn't take my 5-year-old e-mail address away.<hr></blockquote>

iTools has been around for 2.5 years. It was free. It shouldn't have been. Hotmail doesn't compare to iTools. Hotmail gives you webmail only for free. You don't get easy access internet disk storage. You don't get POP or IMAP.

myrealbox.com gives you POP and IMAP for free, with no ads.

I find webmail interfaces very annoying and only use them when I'm away from my computer.

Maintaining Hotmail's service probably costs a great bit less than maintaining iTools. Ad revenue helps.
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post #32 of 59
Thoughts / Comments??

I sent this e-mail to Apple's feedback page on the .Mac service. I though it made some good points, and so I hope you will consider these words, also.

-------------------&gt;

I am concerned over your policies with the iTools conversion to .Mac. Many Mac users are furious about the switch from the free iTools to the fee-based .Mac. Many people simply do not use iTools heavily enough to justify the added expense. Other users are bothered by the fact that much of the value of .Mac seems to be in Backup and Virex, but people who are at all serious about backup and anti-virus software probably already own equivalent software that may be significantly more capable, as certainly is the case with Dantz's Retrospect backup applications. Plus, .Mac doesn't come with any Internet access, whereas most Internet connections from standard ISPs like EarthLink already include multiple email addresses and Web space, making the decision to pay yet again for these features more difficult. And finally, people feel let down because Apple initially made a big deal about how iTools was free and was intended to be a part of the overall Macintosh experience. On your "get iTools" blurb, seen upon installing OSX, you say, "Another benefit of owning Apple products is that you'll be able to use Apple's iTools for free". iTools does not exist any longer, and the .Mac model does not include any of these services for free. With no basic free options available under .Mac, it seem Apple has mislead customers. Personally, I believe Apple is within their rights in this matter, but I still understand how people could be very upset. Honestly, it is hard for me to say these customers were not mislead at all by Apple.

Perhaps a better move would be to keep only the Mac.com e-mail address, at least a forwarding address, available for free for current users. This option would ensure that Mac.com email addresses would continue to help promote the advantages of the Macintosh at large while significantly reducing the bandwidth and disk space requirements of the service model.

However, I do have another major concern. Many .Mac features are built into Mac OS X itself and into applications like iPhoto. It doesn't look good if high-profile functionality like having the iDisk be available from a Finder menu or HomePage publishing of Web photo albums simply doesn't work if you're not a .Mac member. It's poor user interface, and a poor user experience.

I hope you reconsider your position in these matters over the next sixty day. I think a severe backlash is possible, otherwise, but even with no severe reprucussions, Macintosh user's confidence will be damaged to some degree. I know that my confidence is wavering. However. I hope my feedback, alone with other user's writing, will help guild a change in .Mac policies. I know Apple has regarded feedback highly lately, and I feel this matter is very serious. It should recieve the same consideration that is present for other consumer feedback.
-------------------------------------------------------------

The main NEW item to discuss is on the intergration in OS X. A lot of the iApps and some of the OS X system is tightly intergrated with iTools (now .Mac). Someone goes to the GO menu, and he clicks "go to iDisk". It never happens, or they get some error. They try to post their photos, etc etc. You get the point. I am not saying Apple does not have a right to do as they pplease with their own services. I am not saying it should be free. However, it should have been a paid service from the beginning, maybe. Or Maybe, it should not be so tightly implimented within their own system, and they should not have an install banner saying it is free. I know the terms and conditions existed there, also.

I think Apple could have problems. Many users are not so forgiving. I LOVE Apple and the Macintosh. However, I can see how users could feel mislead by Apple. I can see how the computer itself was built around iTools to, now, be worthless without the .Mac service. There is a problem here guys...

[ 07-23-2002: Message edited by: Donny ]</p>
post #33 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by c5j:
<strong>.... I thought it was another smart marketing-trick by apple, and I still think it is (the free e-mail). </strong><hr></blockquote>

Exactly! I hope Apple "gets it" when a lot of users drop out. Homepage was a great deal for Apple too: photo galleries that had the stamp "made with a Mac", that everyone would show to friends and family.

Sure bandwidth and diskspace costs money, but so does advertising...


<img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
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post #34 of 59
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post #35 of 59
[quote]iTools has been around for 2.5 years. It was free. It shouldn't have been.<hr></blockquote>

We're obviously talking about the e-mail aspect, not iTools as a whole.

[quote]Hotmail doesn't compare to iTools. Hotmail gives you webmail only for free. You don't get easy access internet disk storage. You don't get POP or IMAP.<hr></blockquote>

Who said Hotmail and iTools were the same?

[quote]I find webmail interfaces very annoying and only use them when I'm away from my computer.<hr></blockquote>

That's the idea.

[quote]Maintaining Hotmail's service probably costs a great bit less than maintaining iTools. Ad revenue helps.<hr></blockquote>

So why, exactly, can't we keep our free/cheap e-mail addresses even if it means being relegated to a webmail interface?
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post #36 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by c5j:
<strong>Damn I'm pissed off now. I bought my lovely G4 and got the mac.com-adress, I already had several adresses, but i liked my mac.adress and started using it instead. I liked the punch it gave to my PC-lame-friends. I thought it was another smart marketing-trick by apple, and I still think it is (the free e-mail). But my illusion of a company that cared for the consumers died. I'm prepared to pay some, but no more than 25bucks a year or some student-discount. I know this is a regular whine-postal, but enough of these and apple might reconsider.</strong><hr></blockquote>

C5j PLEASE CHILL OUT. Life is nowhere, noway that misérable. The problem here is unrealistic expectatons of eternity. If you used iTools as your first internet gateway, started moving files from one machine to another without disks via the internet, posted some pics on the internet and then fell in love with iPhoto and started filling up your space, you did what Apple wanted... You used your new technology to open up your world. If you are affiliated with a University, you are probably used to general blundering incompetance in the IT Room, but with a smile, or an occasional shriek and resignation.

If you are at a BIG MEAN COMPANY WHERE THE IT MAN SAYS "NOTHING PERSONAL ON THE SERVER!" iTools was heaven. If you are one of the AOL unfortunates who thought a bleeping "YGM" was neato, then I'm sorry for you, but I understand.
err:

Time to Chill. I'm trying to figure out how to get an upgrade from my iTools account(s)--remember they never checked each time you registered at Apple they just gave you another one. Anyone know how? <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />

<img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" /> <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
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post #37 of 59
[quote]Originally posted by i am monkey:
<strong>

Exactly! I hope Apple "gets it" when a lot of users drop out. Homepage was a great deal for Apple too: photo galleries that had the stamp "made with a Mac", that everyone would show to friends and family.

Sure bandwidth and diskspace costs money, but so does advertising...

<img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>

Having just issued a longish decree, I have to admit the Monk's got a good point here. <img src="graemlins/embarrassed.gif" border="0" alt="[Embarrassed]" />
"Run faster. History is a constant race between invention and catastrophe. Education helps but it is never enough. You must also run." Leto Atreides II
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post #38 of 59
hahahah if we're talking FREE services then having alot of users drop out only SAVES Apple money. Fuzzy Logic here people
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post #39 of 59
? How many people own more than one mac thats not in their house or is a portable. what is the use of idisk when it only works on macs and if you where at school and had access to a mac how big of file can you send when all you have at home is 56k So the question where is the value in .mac?
post #40 of 59
[quote]So why, exactly, can't we keep our free/cheap e-mail addresses even if it means being relegated to a webmail interface?<hr></blockquote>

Because ads and spam suck?
I can change my sig again!
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I can change my sig again!
Reply
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