Wednesday, 27 April 2022


 I was off down an internet rabbit hole researching something to do with Dow’s when I stumbled across a local history society’s contact page which listed a Rocketmail email address.


That was a blast from the mid nineties. I had a Rocketmail address back then, originally for testing things, but it turned out to be useful in other ways.

Back then if you were away you were away. 

Strange to relate, but at that time it was entirely normal to disappear to Greece, Bali or wherever for two or three weeks and be utterly uncontactable. It just was - not like today when you end up with a complex discussion standing in a foreign carpark somewhere.

Mobile coverage was variable, and anyway phones didn’t do email. If you needed to check your email you needed to find a cyber cafe, pay your ten bucks and logon for thirty minutes or so.

And this is where the early webmail services came into their own - type the URL, logon, and you were in. In fact quite a lot of cyber cafes would have a captive home page on their locked down machines that had links to the main services.

At work, at the time, we didn’t have our own webmail service - that came a little later - so the best way to check email remotely was to write yourself a .forward file to one of the webmail services.

Rocketmail was bought by Yahoo! and formed the basis of their original webmail service. I moved across to Hotmail, which was promptly bought by Microsoft for the same reason.

I don’t have my Rocketmail address anymore - I managed to lock myself out of it by accident, and after around twelve years of trying, eventually got Yahoo! to bin it. 

I still have (and use) my hotmail address though ...

Saturday, 16 April 2022

A minor Google Drive annoyance

 I'm not sure how you use Google Drive, but I usually keep a tab open in Chrome, purely because the documents I've got on Google Drive are 'live' documents which are edited frequently - dot pointers, live notes, some spread sheets etc. Basically I use it as a set of scratch pads.

This isn't a new thing, I've been using Google Drive pretty much since it first came available, and I've been keeping a tab open for pretty much forever, especially as I used to be a linux user in the early days.

As a way of working this works pretty well, especially as last four most heavily worked on documents appear as 'Suggested Documents' at the top of the window.

Now, you would think that you could go to the window and click on the document you wanted. 

Not in the land of Google. 

When you click on a document in the open window it does a refresh and sometimes reorders the documents in the 'Suggested Documents' list.

Which wouldn't really be a problem, except it honours the position of the click, and opens the document that has been reordered to that position rather than the document you clicked on:

So if your 'Suggested Documents' list showed

DocA DocB DocC DocD

and you clicked on DocB, but at the same time the document list reordered itself to

DocD DocA DocB DocC

you get DocA not DocB

which personally, I find incredibly annoying. 

I can see a logic to it - after all you (or someone else in the case of a shared document) may have been working on some of the documents from a different machine, and therefore the list of most recently modified documents may have changed since your window was last refreshed.

I'm pretty sure that the behaviour changed sometime in the last year or two, but I can't pinpoint when ...