When I went to Iran in March 2002 I decided I needed an email account distinct from the one my work would give me. I didn't want the Iranians reading all my email, I wanted a secure connection (eg ssh to connect to the service). So I went with Eskimo North. They have been around since 1982 and on the net since November 15, 1992.

But that post also mentions that they are running SunOS 4.1. And guess what, as of April 12, 2006, they still are. This is like running Windows 3.1 on your home computer. It is a dinosaur operating system. The only advantage it provides is security through obscurity. Even back then in Nov'92, SunOS's successor Solaris had been released.

So I made a bad decision going with them, ignoring advice from a newsgroup that they were having problems. I picked "rwb" as a username but that was too short and the account started getting spam immediately. Then I posted on usenet without disguising my address and I started getting swamped with spam. My parents sent me email from bigpond and eskimo's spam prevention services (RBL blacklist) bounced their email... and the support was non-existent. Eventually I got sick of spam and set up procmail to immediate delete everything coming from China, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong, and Taiwan and that helped a lot.

I had bought a 2-year account for $US180 so it expired in April 2004... I renewed it because I wanted to keep in touch with friends from Iran who I had given the address to. Renewal came up again last Thursday and I emailed support with my CC details on Wednesday, and yet they still expired my account with no communication! I had attempted to renew for the new five-year option for $US360. I called them twice and I sent emails from another account to support suggesting ways to contact me but there has been no reply. If that's the way they want to run their business all I can do is write this blog post so that no-one else is stupid enough to buy from them. They actually did something similar in 2004, but I had forgotten about it.

So I can start again with a fresh email address, one without spam! What a great feeling! Without trying, I am off all those silly mailing lists I subscribed to unwittingly, like Student Flights, DFAT, FCO, amazon, gree.jp, the ruffian chess mailing list, etc. And free from silly people's emails ;-)

I'm think of getting an address @fea.st, I just think that sounds cool. They have IMAP unlike Yahoo, Hotmail, or gmail, so I can keep track of my email from anywhere using either the web, Mac mail at home, or Outlook at work, for example. You get what you pay for.

Also, it's a good idea not to let work and play email/web pages get too mixed up, UQ has very strange policies about web pages and email. I remember a famous case where a guy working for the Refugee Review Tribunal lost his job for views expressed on his personal homepage - we all have to be careful.


Post a Comment

<< Home