09 September, 2004

ZDNetIndia.com: Google Gets the Geeks Going !

The 1000 MB capacity captures your attention, but in truth the huge storage is only the foundation for GMail. When Rediff offers 1024 MB free, and Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. chip in with their few hundred MB sops, it is not the same they still have a folder hierarchy based interface. Google throws away the folders in favour of Labels. You can 'apply' several labels to a mail, as opposed to 'putting' the mail into one folder. Once you get used to labels, folders will feel decidedly primitive. The concept and the technology have been languishing for decades, but Google is the first to implement it on a scale that makes a difference. Score one for Google.

The GMail interface is one huge JavaScript file, weighing in at around 250kB. Sign-in and wait while this downloads. But once it is on your computer, the interface is simply blazing. The JavaScript processes all your clicks right on your computer, instead of relying on the server to decide what to do next. The only data needed from the server is your email contents. Contrast this with almost all other web-mail applications that force a full page reload on every click. Yahoo recently bought Oddpost, the guys who first made this concept work for email way back in '00. Welcome to the next wave of browser-based application interfaces. This interesting approach does have it's accessibility drawbacks though, and Mark Pilgrim does a great job of presenting them at (http://snipurl.com/7ryx). These kinks too will eventually be sorted out, and you can safely credit Google with bringing yet another useful technology to front and centre.

Few tools* for Gmail :-

G-mailto: http://www.rabidsquirrel.net/G-Mailto/

Transferring mails to G-mail...
One neat way to do this is to chain a tool like the free YahooPOPs (http://snipurl.com/7ryp) with a mail redirection/forwarding tool like the free Mail Redirect (http://snipurl.com/7rys). Mail Redirect will download mails from your Yahoo account through YahooPOPs and transfer them to you GMail account with all sender information and the mail body intact.

Migrating from Hotmail is even easier with the free GetMail for Hotmail (http://snipurl.com/7ryn), that will do this in one step!

Local mail client to GMail...
GMail Loader: http://snipurl.com/7rx2

GMail account to POP3 account...
Pop Goes the GMai: http://snipurl.com/7ryj
FreePOPS: http://snipurl.com/7ryl

GMail backup script: http://snipurl.com/7rxt

* - You can't legally use most of these tools ! lol !

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