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 ...

No comments: