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AFRIK-IT  September 1997

AFRIK-IT September 1997

Subject:

Portable Email on a floppy disk

From:

Don Richardson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 29 Sep 1997 09:27:42 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

Hi all,   (sorry for any cross-postings)
I came across an article on the weekend about something called Mailcard
(http://www.mailcard.com).  This is something that could be quite
valuable to people working with telecentres, people working with people
who share a computer to access email, people who travel alot, etc.  The
potential telecentre and public access terminal potential is
fascinating.  There is also good potential for NGOs and peoples'
organizations that have one email account, but wish to have multiple
accounts for staff, without having to obtain additional accounts from
their local ISP.  It would be a useful tool for donor agency field staff
who travel.

Mailcard is essentially an email program that resides on a floppy disk
and enables users to access their mail from virtually any PC connected
to the net, without having to install the email program on a computer,
or have an email package that resides on any one computer.  And, the
user can have a personalized email address.

The company is also pulling together a searchable database of public
access Internet locations... while the database is mostly Canadian &
North American at the moment, it is simply a matter of time before users
add more access sites - this in itself could be a wonderful tool!

Here is part of the promo blurb:
"For those who do not own a personal computer at home or at the
                        office, The MailCard offers the ability to
obtain and utilize a
                        personal e-mail address for sending and
receiving e-mail
                        worldwide via public access computers.

                        Once you have obtained your personal e-mail
address complete
                        with ID and passcode, you are ready to use The
MailCard.
                        Access is available through most internet active
computers. Simply
                        insert your disk, enter your personal
information, and send and
                        receive mail. When you are finished, pop out
your disk, and your
                        personal mail is stored on your disk for future
use.

The MailCard can be installed on most computers with or without
                        internet access. *

                        There are many households and offices that have
an older model
                        computer that is not capable of running the
internet without
                        expensive upgrades and additions. Depending upon
your make
                        and model, you may install The MailCard on your
home computer
                        to compose, edit, or read previously downloaded
mail messages.
                        This can be done at home at your leisure and
when you are out at
                        an internet active computer, you can send and
receive via the
                        internet."

It allows offline reading and writing and also enables users to use
additional floppy disks to store mail without the need to store on a
hard drive.

I hope I don't sound like a salesperson for this, but I have to admit
that it does solve some problems and it does open up email to a wider
user group.  The down sides would be that the floppy would not be able
to handle large file attachments and a single disk can probably only
hold about 100 email messages before you have to insert another blank
disk.

Mailcard is distributed by a Canadian outfit based in Vancouver.  The
mailcard costs $24.95 (Canadian I assume), and email accounts are
available for $4.99 per month or $50 per year.

Cheers,
Don Richardson
Director - Don Snowden Program for Development Communication
Department of Rural Extension Studies
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Tel: 519-824-4120 ext. 3811  Fax: 519-836-9941  Email:
[log in to unmask]

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