Chapter 12. Email and Internet Browsing Tricks
Two killer apps fueled the personal computer explosion of the late '90s. One was emailthe ability to solicit millions of people with advertisements for either herbal Viagra or teen Web cam sitesand the other was the Web browser, which provided a much easier way to play fantasy football. Both, of course, helped introduce most of the world to the Internet, and to previously unheard-of security threats.
Okay, that's the cynical view. In reality, these two applications presented users with a whole new way to immediately exchange information. And, on the heels of these two killer apps came messaging programs like ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Messenger, and MSN Messenger. All of these apps do essentially the same thing: they take advantage of Internet connectivity to let people exchange files, typed conversations, and even video and sound, all in real time.
In this chapter, we'll take a look specifically at some techniques that can make your Internet, email, and instant messenging experiences more productive and trouble-free. And, because this is a book about Windows XP, we'll talk mostly about the programs that are shipped with this operating system: Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, and Windows Messenger.
There are a host of other email and Internet browsing choices available that we could talk about, but they are not built into the operating system. If that has you crying "foul," consider that OSs like Sun's Solaris and Apple's OS X also bundle email and Internet browsers with their products as well. If this book were about OS X, we'd be talking about Safari. But since it's not, the topic here is IE.
Outlook Express (OE for the sake of brevity) is the younger sibling of Outlook. Outlook Express enables you to send email and manage contacts. Outlook includes each of these features and adds a robust scheduling calendar, task manager, and journaling capabilities.