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eCOMMERCE TIPS FOR ALASKANS
column originally published in "Business News Alaska"

By Dave Nanney ALASKA eCOMMERCE ONLINE

TRAVEL LIGHT AND FAST AND WITH A LITTLE PREPARATION MAINTAIN ALL YOUR PERSONAL AND E-BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS.

When traveling you can use these three ways to access your regular Post Office Protocol(POP3) email account using most any host computer.

1) If you have a standard POP3 service provider for your email account you can request that they auto-forward your incoming email to another email address that you specify. This email forwarding address can belong to a friend, relative or business associate located anywhere.

Pros: Works great if you know where you are going to be and you have tasheir email address and can use their computer as a host and their email inbox to work your email.

Cons: Your email service provider must be POP3 compliant and willing to set up a ".forward" file auto-forward feature on their server.

2) You can do it yourself by using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) software to download your ".forward" file from your POP3 service provider, type in the email address you wish to auto-forward to, then "FTP" the ".forward" file back to your server.

Pros: This is very flexible because you can change your forwarding address at will. It is great if you are moving around a lot and will have access to host computers at most stops.

Cons: You may have to download the FTP software via the Internet to your host's computer. You must have a ".forward" file on your POP3 server that you can access and update.

3) You can use most any host computer to check your POP3 email account if you type your server's URL, your account name, and your password into you host's communications software "Preferences" or "Options" selections. Then you can access your email directly on their computer because your email service provider will know that "you are you" and send your email directly to your host's computer.

Pros: A quick and easy solution that works on most computers.

Cons: You have to know how to edit the "preferences" or "options" on your host computer's email communications software and you may have to change the settings back when you are done so your host can check their email again.

WEB BASED SERVICES ARE FREE AND EASY

The best free web based email services also allow you to check your regular POP3 email. Yahoo Mail, Microsoft's Hotmail, and Netscape's Webmail all have this ability and much more. You can be most anywhere in the world now and find a cybercafe with Internet service and you are back in e-business.

Combining web based services such as Driveway.com with free files storage and access, web fax-to-email services like eFax.com, and the free web based chat and discussion groups now available like eGroups.com and you can hit the road and stay totally e-connected. More on that in the next column.

EMAIL ON THE ROAD WITHOUT COMPUTERS

A very streamlined way to send and receive email on the road is to get a pocket size Sharp mini modem fliptop ($150.00). It is has a mini keyboard for typing email with flipup flat screen for viewing text. You just hold it up to any telephone, call in to your Pocketmail.com account and hit the proper buttons and your email is sent and received using digital sounds over the phone lines. There are no plug-in compatibility problems and no computer necessary, great for any cabin in the woods or casa in Costa Rica with a nearby telephone. You need a Pocketmail.com account with 800 number for $9.95/month. If you have regular POP3 email, Pocketmail.com will forward it to you. There is, however, a 500 word limit for each message transmitted.

Dave Nanney is a 30 year Alaskan who spent the 1960's at Stanford University with associates who started the personal computer revolution. He moderates this e-commerce and e-technology discussion group at https://www.egroups.com/group/Alaska-ecommerce which anyone is welcome to join, and he is webmaster at https://www.Alaska-E.com your "one stop shop" for eCommerce information and solutions.

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