The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just because I can, I guess

You know about OCD? Yeah, well... I don't have it. Should have, I suppose, but I don't. Why should I have it? Well, first off, I have this need for email accounts. A lot of them. And I have a very messy desk. One is a sign of some kind of OCD, the other expresses a need for some kind of OCD.

I recently went cable. The primary reasons were to reduce my overall entertainment and communications costs. I was paying around $250 a month for satellite, DSL, and phone service. I have cut that back to just about $200 while giving up nothing and, in fact, increasing my internet connection speed.

In the process, I had to give up my old email addresses. I had, through the telco (which provided my DSL and internet access), 7 email addresses: my primary one plus 4 secondaries for myself and one each for Faye and Frances. Trust me, I used those secondary addresses. When I switched to Gmail, creating (and using) secondary addresses was not as easy, so I set up only 2 for me and one each for Faye and Francis. I recently added one Hotmail account which I foolishly thought would be temporary (used to as a testbed for fixing a friend's email problem) but will likely stay active and activated my Comcast account plus added a secondary address to that.

Faye refused a secondary account. She'll stay on the single Gmail account I set up for her. She's a smart woman. She keeps her life simple... which doesn't fit with her putting up with me.

What will I do with all these email accounts? I will find a use for each, trust me. For instance, I use the accounts and email filters to pre-sort email from various companies with which I do business online and various sites which send me newsletters from time to time. Oh sure, I could simply create folders and let the filters alone do that sorting but I have found the filters to not be as reliable as I would like. My method works, for me anyway, so I will continue.

Comcast assigned me an email account when I signed up for cable service. I promptly forgot all about it until Saturday when I decided to activate a couple of email accounts through them. I mean, why not? It won't cost me anything extra.

The problem with Comcast email setup is similar to every other server I have dealt with; they do it just a bit different than others. So I went around and around trying to access the account by resetting the password (which I did not know) and trying to figure out what my original login name was. I know, I should have written it down somewhere... and I probably did, along with the initial password assigned, but where that is now I haven't the foggiest idea. Possibly somewhere on this desk (whose surface I have not seen more than 6 square inches of in several months) or somewhere else.

Anyway, apparently Comcast lays some cyber traps which trigger chat sessions with support as people like me stumble about. And, so, I found myself chatting with someone who punched out platitudes and assurances (as they were taught and probably are required to do) as they reset my password for me and revealed that long lost login name. I did, of course, have to repeatedly enter the account number and verify name, date of birth, and a couple of other things. Which bothers me. In order to get into the chat, I was shunted off to a form in which I provided all that info. I then went right to chat from there. Why didn't these (alleged) techs have that information right there on their screens?

So, after 2 hours or so, I had two new email addresses (one of which I will have to modify) and a desire for a rather large gin and tonic. And a nap.


Tom Sightings said...

What does OCD mean? Overly Computer Developed? You have my sympathies! I myself suffer from the KISS disease, which is of course keep it simple stupid.

Steven Scott said...

One GMail-specific trick you might find handy is "+".

According to the RFC spec, + is a valid character for the username portion of email addresses. Not all sites' programmers know that, some will spit back an error that it's an invalid address.

Gmail has a "feature" that anything after '+' is ignored. So you can sign up for different sites, using the same gmail address, but having a different value after the plus. So for spammysite, and  for site 2, etc. They'll all come to you, but the To: field is retained. Using that method, you can filter (by to: address) into folders or trash or whatever, and you can see if a certain site sells or exposes your email address by seeing what addresses spams are sent to.

anyway, a tip you may or may not find useful.

Douglas4517 said...

Tom, OCD = Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Like Monk in that TV show. But I am mostly just disordered.

Steven, that is a very handy tip. Much easier to do than keeping track of the sites and what email address I gave them.