Gore is Vice President of Praxis International, Inc.
Technical Training, Consulting, and Publishing since 1988
Email Becomes Easy, Affordable with PocketMail
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The PocketMail Group Limited, an Australian listed company with headquarters in Sydney and offices in California, has produced a nifty, simple, and affordable e-mail system that is quickly developing an almost cult-like following among bikers, hikers, campers, RVers, and cruising boaters.
The PocketMail system is comprised of the PocketMail Composer, a mobile “e-mail appliance” and personal organizer, and the PocketMail Service Plan, which is the e-mail service component used to send and receive e-mail and to send faxes using virtually any type of telephone from anywhere in the U.S. or Canada using toll-free 800 numbers.
The PocketMail Composer combines e-mail capability with a 512KB organizer featuring an address book and reminder, scheduler with alarm, memo pad, to-do list, and calculator. The compact, attractive case comes in either purple or silver, measures approximately 6.38L x 3.15W x 0.94D inches, and weighs only 8.22oz. including two AA batteries. The efficient case design is similar to that of the electronic organizers that were in wide use before the arrival of stylus-driven, touch-screen PDAs.
Users input data via a QWERTY keyboard. The backlit LCD screen has a resolution of 240 x 80 pixels and displays 8 lines of 40 characters each. The PocketMail Composer uses a DSP microprocessor with a proprietary acoustic link to transmit e-mails by coupling the built-in speaker and microphone to the microphone and speaker of any home phone, cordless phone, digital or analog cell phone, corporate or hotel PBX system, or payphone.
Included with the PocketMail Composer is PC Link software for desktop and laptop synchronization with Microsoft Outlook and other popular Microsoft windows programs. Also included are the PC Link cable that plugs into the PC and the 19.2KBS, RS-232, 3-pin serial data port on the Composer, full documentation manual, fast-start instructions, and the two required AA batteries.
With activation of the PocketMail Service Plan, users can begin using their PocketMail Composer to send and receive e-mails and send faxes toll-free across the U.S. and Canada. Activation includes one PocketMail e-mail account with three alternate “Reply-to” addresses. One big benefit of the service plan is that users can consolidate and automatically download e-mail from personal POP3, IMAP, and AOL accounts. In addition, users can receive forwarded mail from corporate accounts and reply as if from those accounts.
In addition to using PocketMail Composer for e-mails, users can access their PocketMail mailbox using any personal computer and ISP (Internet Service Provider) via webmail at http://my.pocket.com, their private e-mail and news portal. Moreover, users have unlimited POP3 access to their PocketMail mailbox for incoming mail and attachments using any standard client such as Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, and the like and any ISP.
Sending an e-mail using the PocketMail Composer and any telephone is easy. Compose the message, dial the toll-free number, wait for instructions, couple the Composer to the phone (Composer speaker to phone microphone and Composer microphone to phone speaker), and press the PocketMail button.
Users can configure the Composer to their liking using the Settings and Tools features to set SPAM filters, password protection, maximum message download size, message preview options, e-mail signature, and more.
The list price for the PocketMail Composer is $99.95 and the list price for the PocketMail Service Plan is $49.95 quarterly or $149.00 a year for unlimited e-mail. The price to send faxes is 25 cents per fax to destinations in the U.S. and Canada. A search on www.google.com revealed that Internet retailers such as www.dialtone.com and www.mobilemania.com have special offers on the Composer and the Service Plan.
More information about the PocketMail Composer, PocketMail Service Plan, and pricing options can be found at the corporate web site, www.pocketmail.com. In the Community section of the web site, readers can also find interesting and entertaining stories from bikers, campers, hikers, and others on how they are using the PocketMail system.
The Greg Gore Web Site on Computers and the Internet (www.GregGore.com)
column was published in the Daily Local News, West Chester, PA on
March 26, 2003.
Greg Gore can be reached at gg@GregGore.com.
2009 by Greg Gore. All rights reserved.