E-mail is the most widely used feature of the Internet. In fact, despite being a free service, it is the bread and butter of most Web sites because this is what brings most new surfers to a site. Yet despite its heavy usage, very few persons know how they can improve their e-mailing experience. There are many useful freeware utilities available on the Net, which can be handy. As you get used to e-mail, you will need a few tools to perk up your e-mail client, ensure privacy and find programs, which will let you handle greater volumes of mail with ease. For a starter, let us begin by perking up the MS Outlook Express 5 Welcome Window.
Outlook Express 5.0 Tweak’r 2.0
This program has the
ability to tweak Outlook Express 5.0’s hidden settings to allow you
to customize your mail client. Here is what it can do: it can change
the title of the window, remove the Hotmail features and remove the
MSN Messenger. The title tweaking feature can replace the words
Outlook Express on the welcome window with anything of your choice.
For instance, you may replace this by: Welcome to Mr XYZ’s Mailbox
or whatever you fancy. Once this program is installed, it helps you to
choose whether to play sounds, play animations and videos or not.
There are so many choices. It is MS-Windows 9x/NT4/2000 compatible. It
is a 2.5 MB zipped file (OE5setup.zip), which you can download from www.janzkiel.de/accesscodes/freeware.
Now that OE is spruced up to your satisfaction, let us look at the security and privacy angle. SecureOutlook gives several users the ability to safely use Microsoft Outlook Express on a single computer by making them log on. Its usefulness will be apparent if you neglect to select the command "Exit and Log Off Identity" when exiting Outlook Express, the next person who opens the program is logged in as you. SecureOutlook gets around this problem by launching Outlook Express, ignoring the default login. Thus whenever you enter Outlook Express via SecureOutlook you are greeted with the familiar login screen. This simple utility thus ensures privacy especially if you are sharing a computer with colleagues at office or other family members at home. It is a freeware and requires Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000. The approximate download time is 2 minutes over a 56k modem – just 434 KB. This is available on all popular download sites. The easiest way is to search for SecureOutlook on www.downloads.com or www.zdnet.com/downloads to grab it.
If you are new to e-mail, you and not using the forwarding facility in your client program, then you are missing out on a lot. Forwarding and receiving jokes, graphics, pranks or a virus alert is of immense use or a lot of fun depending on what you receive or forward.
However, one problem is symbols like ‘ >’ that accumulate as these messages are forwarded render them illegible. This is where eCleaner comes handy. eCleaner is a simple text editor, which allows you to make your e-mail messages more readable by removing these symbols. It lets you remove any HTML code and obscure headers, remove the ">" symbols, and fix fragmented sentences that are caused by word wrapping. In addition, you can open and edit RTF files, customize fonts and colours and print your files. It is a freeware. You can download this file from e-mail downloads section of www.downloads.com . The filename is clean201.zip and the program is listed by its name – eCleaner. It works with Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000.
Maxiimus-Outlook Security Monitor
E-mail brings joy. But of late it has also become the primary means of transmitting computer viruses and worms. You therefore need a security manager that works in the background taking up very little resources and warning you about the viruses and worms you receive via e-mail. Maxiimus is designed to proactively monitor Microsoft Outlook 97/98/2000 for viruses such as ‘I Love You’ and ‘Melissa’. It continually scans your Outlook inbox for incoming messages with suspicious attachments. When potentially harmful attachments are received, it alerts the user and provides an option to destroy or ignore the message. When combined with anti-virus software, Maxiimus is an added layer of security. It is designed to start automatically when Windows is started. The Maxiimus icon (yellow lightning bolt) can be observed in the system tray next to the time. It is a freeware but it displays embedded advertisements that are not botheration considering the safety it provides. You can download it from www.maxiimus.com.
If you are a heavy e-mail user, you need a buddy to manage some aspects of your e-mailing. You may need to create templates that can be used for replies. EmailBuddy is one such utility that allows you to create e-mail response templates. You can categorise and sort your templates, spell-check them, log all events, perform searches, as well as back up and restore your data. EmailBuddy supports most e-mail clients and includes tight integration with Eudora, Outlook, and Outlook Express. It is a freeware in which you can create a maximum of five templates. But for a freeware, even this much is enough for normal users and even small companies that need to reply to queries with prepared replies. The next time someone asks the same question, you can quickly find the e-mail template in your database, and with two clicks, create a ready to send response. Each time you get a new question, you just add another email template or edit one that exists. You can download this friendly utility from: www.alysta.com/software
Won’t you like to have a tool that will add your favourite quote or the first line of a song
you are playing on your CD-ROM or a humorous one-liner as a tagline or signature to your e-mail messages to let your friends know how you feel on a particular day? That is what signature tools are for. One such freebie is KookieJar. Just look at its features: It has a timer operation to automatically create a new signature at intervals that you specify. The timer can be switched off, temporarily or permanently. While normally taglines are chosen at random, there is a full-screen selection window that lets you choose a specific tagline manually. Taglines may be added, removed and edited while the program is running. You can select a different tagline file while the program is running. It has the option to save the signature as RTF (rich text format) file, (for use with MS Outlook Express) or in HTML format. It offers a choice of font and background colour used for displaying the signatures on screen and much more. Still unsure of what a signature tool is? Well, you can choose from hundreds of quotes from this program to be added as a tagline at the end of your e-mail message. This is one example — For every new
foolproof invention, there is a new and improved fool. So that is what it helps you do. You may download it from: www.lodz.pdi.net/~eristic/free/kookie.html
Coffeecup Free Viewer Plus Version: 2.1
As you get used to e-mail, you learn to share your pictures with relatives and friends. Besides, family photographs, you may also like to share a good picture picked up from the Net with those who you think will appreciate it. Coffeecup Free Viewer Plus’s latest version makes this task very easy. It is an image viewer that also includes built-in e-mail, FTP, and ZIP functions. This utility allows you to select a group of images and e-mail them to a friend, upload them to your Web site, or create a ZIP archive, all from inside the program. You can also browse images by folder, find images on your computer with the search feature, and create HTML thumbnail pages for your Web site from any group of images. It supports BMP, animated GIF, GIF, JPG, PNG, and other formats. It also includes zoom, rotate, flip, crop, convert, resize, and other features. The only limitation in downloadable version is that it displays advertisements. You can download it from: ftp.blackdomino.com or ftp.greendomino.com . The filename is CoffeeView20.exe.
— Raman Mohan