Get Windows 7 for Christmas? (Gmail versus WindowsLive)
Yup, get a new computer, stand in awe at it’s speed, then realize you have to teach it to walk. Tempered excitement.
First on my tasklist was a “computer image” backup and backup disk to have on hand. Very glad to have all that under my belt.
Then, setting up email after getting Windows 7 on two new computers. Apparently Outlook Express died and I didn’t even get to attend the funeral. It’s all sad really, we were quite close.
After streamlining/forwarding all my mailboxes through gmail to Outlook Express for a few years, having not deleted anything from gmail, and a few hours trying to weed through and delete 4000 emails, I decided WindowsLive wasn’t going to work for me. It kept trying to download ALL that mail and there was no way to weed through all of it.
I tried deleting some, archiving some, yet there was no way to choose was email I wanted to synch to WindowsLive (basically, the new brand of MSN mail). I installed and uninstalled it twice trying to be patient. Loved the preview pane, but it just wasn’t working for me. I don’t want all that mail on three computers, all synched when I can access old stuff at gmail. Just give me the new mail! I’ll have to keep working on this to see if what I want is possible. I also couldn’t figure out the labels/folder thing in WindowsLive. I’d have to go to gmail to create the message rules, then let it synch that way to WindowsLive. Whew.
Instead, I’ve been working with gmail to try to figure out how to manage my inbox better there (eliminate all but recent mail in the inbox from my view.
When we didn’t have WiFi, gmail was a pain, but now we do–we shared one family computer and fought over log-ins.
With his iTouch and wifi, perhaps I won’t be wrestling over that constant sign-in drill. ( Outlook Express eliminated the need for me to actually sign in to gmail.)
Issues the need attention with Gmail :
- it doesn’t offer preview pane of emails for fast deletion without opening mail.
- I’d like to sort email alphabetically to find an email, or by date…not sure how to do that yet to find messages, and if it exists, I can’t find it.
- Deleting email completely is a two tier process, which I find a bit more cumbersome.
- Select All doesn’t select all from a sender (think weather, ads) if you want to keep ONE most recent email from a sender (think weather alerts, sales ads)
- Gmail doesn’t have a feature to “automatically delete after one week/one month”. Again, would be a good feature for managing weather emails and sale ads.
- Today I went to download Picassa, which easily downsizes photos for Gmail integration in emails (among other categorization features I don’t want or need), and the Section 11.1 of that TOU says I own the pictures, but when I use their Service, they can have any use they want with them for advertising their Services. Basically, as it is worded legally, I cannot agree. I just wanted to sent my friend a picture of our two girls, but I can’t give Google permission to use someone’s else’s child in an ad, much less wanting to use my own without conversation on the matter. There has been much discussion about this for over a year, and even news of a change on Picassa’s end, but I do not yet see acceptable change in the wording. Yes, photos can be downsized with other free programs, like Infranview, however, a second copy of the photos must be saved. It would be very nice to eliminate this step. UPDATE: Picassa has a second “legal notice: on their site which reads understandably, and honors our ownership of photos. They need to cut the bull and figure out what they want to say one way or another. Probably covering their tails in case somebody does something stupid. I don’t appreciate the mixed messages, but feel somewhat better about using the service.
Your Intellectual Property Rights
Google does not claim any ownership in any of the content, including any text, data, information, images, photographs, music, sound, video, or other material, that you upload, transmit or store in your Picasa account. We will not use any of your content for any purpose except to provide you with the Service.
Other than that, Gmail is hip, cool, nice looking, and doesn’t demand storage space on your own computer.
I have recently learned that I can keep it a lot more clean by creating “filters” (think mail rules) which sent some mail straight to a folder. Click “bi-pass inbox” and give it a label (think file folder). The mail will show up in your folders when you want to read it rather than cluttering your inbox.
As to Windows 7, my minor problem on my computer is that it runs on a 64 bit encrypted system, which means it isn’t compatible with my daughter’s new Barbie “All Doll’D Up” fingernail printer…her big Christmas gift. Ugh. Looks like I’ll be reformatting the dinosaur to be able to do our nails! (My nails look cool, though.)
I haven’t explored all the Windows 7 options yet, but my start list on distractions is:
- don’t like the HP Assistant bar floating around on the desktop –be glad when I figure out how to make that go away. Mostly sales stuff.
- not crazy about the taskbar’s showing all my open programs in bright icons…that’s what the desktop is for: icons. That’s what the startup menu also does. Why all the duplication? I’ll be figuring out how to make both of those change. It’s visually distracting.
- I end up hitting taskbar icons accidentally on my laptop a lot, including the blackout screen feature on the far right corner of the taskbar screen. Not crazy about that. .
So, there’s my thoughts on my Windows 7 experience so far. It’s fast. It’s cool. But I wish I weren’t distracted by some irritations early on. Wish I could personalize the look of my desktop the way I like to manage it. After all, it is MY desktop.