The E-mail Revolution
Just think how technology has made communicating in writing so much easier and quicker. Nearly 150 years ago, the Pony Express took days to deliver messages by horseback. By 1861, the telegraph made ponies as mail carriers obsolete. Postal services then opened up inexpensive written communication to
In the past 15 years, the rise in the popularity of electronic mail (e-mail) has made it easier and quicker than ever to send written messages most anywhere in the world, delivered in just seconds.
With e-mail software, a computer, and a connection to the Internet, exchanging messages with friends, family, and colleagues is as simple as acquiring some modest typing skills and clicking the software’s Send/Receive button. Best of all, it’s free (except for the cost of your Internet connection).
Not only that, you can send and receive much more than just plain
old text. E-mail software comes with the capability to attach digital files to your messages. This means you can send all types of files via e-mail. Documents created by word-processing software and digital photos, especially family photos, are the most-common types of files sent.
But don’t stop there. You also can send electronic spreadsheets, digital presentations, links to web pages, and desktop publishing documents. You can even make an e-mail message look like a web page or a word-processing document if the e-mail software supports a type of Internet communications language called HTML. Files that you can attach to an e-mail message even include short video and audio clips. Truly, e-mail makes it easier than ever to communicate all types of information.
Although e-mail technology is now commonplace in businesses and homes, we know some computer novices might be put off by technology they have never used before. But truly, there is no reason why learning the ins and outs of e-mail technology should be daunting.
In the tutorial, we guide you through the steps you need to know to send and receive e-mail messages. For the tutorial, we use Microsoft Outlook Express, a common e-mail software program that probably came with your PC loaded with the Windows operating system. Instructions for other e-mail software programs and free Internet-based e-mail services such as Yahoo! and Hotmail will vary, but are quite similar.
The Magnificent Seven
Are you not convinced e-mail is for you? Here are seven reasons why you should give it a try.
1. Messages are delivered in seconds rather than days as with postal mail.
2. Postage stamp prices keep going up; sending an e-mail message is always free.
3. Documents delivered as attachments are crystal clear, unlike a fax, and often can be edited or otherwise changed by the recipient.
4. E-mail reduces the use of paper, which saves trees.
5. You can send one message to as many recipients as you like instead of sending out individual letters.
6. E-mail addresses and messages are stored in the software, eliminating the need for printed address books and printed messages cluttering your desk.
7. E-mail can be sent anytime: 24 hours a day, seven days a week.