online, sort of

I started work at Nokia yesterday and I’ve got a nice laptop and a phone! So I am back online. My new phone number is:
+358-50-4869193

Also I managed to find an apartment in Helsinki. I’m going to live at
Mechelininkatu 18 A 26
00100 Helsinki, Finland

The apartment is still empty of course but I have the keys and a sleeping bag so I’ll have to camp there until the 12th (then my stuff arrives).

going offline

I’m about to disconnect my PC. Tomorrow the movers will come and take everything away so that means I’m offline for a few weeks. I’ll try to occasionally check some mail. Next post should be from Finland.

gmail

Since last year, April the 1st, Google is regularly releasing interesting new products and services. Last year they kicked off with gmail, a free email service with some interesting technical characteristics.

It basically shook up the whole web design community by demonstrating that html+javascript+xmlrpc (a.k.a. AJAX) allows for some nice, interactive applications. It and similar web applications that since have been developed basically show how the next generation of webapplications can and should work.

So gmail uses xmlrpc to implement some interesting things using ajax:

  • Spelling checker
  • Address completion
  • Auto save of new messages
  • Fetching content without refreshing the page

Plus they allow their users to store gigabytes worth of email. The entire collection of email I’ve collected and kept over the past ten years is less than that!

Recently I’ve abandoned thunderbird, which is a nice mail client, and started using gmail for all my things. I find it works very well and includes a number of features that I have not seen elsewhere so far. The most important feature for me is that it groups related messages (and replies) into conversations on one webpage. This allows you to keep track of long running conversations easily and is also very convenient for mailinglists.

Another thing that I like is that the mail sits on a server. It doesn’t matter where I am, I can always access my full mail archive. I’ve been messing with pop based accounts for years. Inevitably you answer some important mail via some webbased account while traveling. Then you need to forward the reply to yourself for archiving, which is error prone and generally forgotten.