Charles Moore's Mailbag

Spam and Freemail, WallStreets and OS X, MyRealBox and Yahoo! Groups, and Pro-MS Bias

Charles Moore - 2002.09.30 - Tip Jar

Spam on free email accounts?

From Lee Kilpatrick

I read your recent article on Low End Mac about the .mac alternatives. I want to sign up for an account (or two) and was wondering about the amounts of spam you receive on the various email services. You mentioned that howlermonkey has almost no spam, but how do the others compare? Yahoo and Hotmail accounts, for example, seem to have a lot of spam, or at least that is my perception.


Hi Lee,

I don't think spam is really a problem of particular email services per se, although some my do a more thorough job of filtering incoming mail than others. I have very mixed feelings about someone else filtering my incoming email.

I have had accounts with most of the services I mentioned in the article for months or years, and I get essentially no spam on ones where I give the address to only a select few people.

OTOH, my ISP email account, which I've had since 1997, got so bad this spring that I was getting 50 to 100 spam messages per day. I finally just changed the login name, only sent the address change to people I want to hear from, and I don't think I've received a single piece of spam at that address since the name change.


10 Free POP3 Email Services/GMX

From "DS"


I am writing to you because of your article on April 8 concerning your picks for the Top 10 Free POP3 Email Services. One of your picks was GMX, and a number of other sites and free email directories have also cited GMX as a quality provider.

I've been having trouble registering for the service, and I thought perhaps you could provide some help. I try registering for an address with and without the use of a translation site, and through both methods I have been able to go through the whole registration process. However, at the end, even when it says I am registered and gives me the POP3 server information and my supposed customer number (the number being -1), there is always an error message at the top of that welcome greet, stating that a connection to the database cannot be made at the time due to technical reasons and I should try again later.

So as the end result turns out, my registration never goes through, and my email does not function. I would send an email to support services, except it may be odd sending a letter in English, and if they were to write back asking questions, I would not be able to write back in German.

The network status under the Support page indicates that there are no problems with the servers. Is there any possible way you could provide some insight into this problem? After a week of multiple attempts, it is getting frustrating, and I'd like to be able to have a replacement address in order to receive mails from Yahoo! Groups, instead of the address I have at present (whose lack of change and news update since March is annoying). Any information would be appreciated, and if not, thank you for listening anyhow. :)


Hi DS,

I did find it a bit of a challenge to get GMX signed up and configured, but it hasn't missed a beat since.

-1 doesn't sound right for the Customer number. Mine is eight digits.

Also, make sure that you use your entire GMX emails address (i.e.: when signing in or configuring your POP3 client.

Perhaps it would be worth a shot to try going through the signup process again.

Good luck!


MyRealBox and Yahoo groups

From E McCann

"However, MyRealBox will not accept any Yahoo! Groups email messages."

Actually, they will.

  1. Incoming: I have about 1/3 of my groups going to my MyRealBox account. It doesn't care and gives me space for more of my aircraft walkarounds, etc.
  2. Outgoing: Here's where it gets tricky. It has the same problem as NetZero (if you want to use them as an email service and not a full ISP, you don't need their software). Some ISPs won't let you send mail through other SMTP servers. Why, I don't know. It's the only "advantage" AOL has over my ISP - AOL doesn't care, and I can connect to MRB or NetZero's SMTP servers and send mail through them with no problem. I also had no problem with them through broadband (when I had it.)

It's not MyRealBox, it's the ISP.

Thanks for the correction. I wasn't able to test it myself. Bad?/outdated? info, I guess.



From Tony Rayner

Have you tried

It's new & free

Also you can fw anything you want?

cool {;¬)=

Hi Tony,

It looks like a good webmail service. Another one you might like is

However, I prefer POP3 email that is accessed with an email client rather than a browser.


Mac-friendly ISP for travelers

From Russell Ain

Mac-friendly ISP for travelers

Hi Charles,

I recently came across your site while looking for POP3 email providers and found it to be an interesting read.

I work for BAMnet ( who offers nationwide Internet access via a single 800-number. There are no monthly fees with our service - the only charge is 6.5 cents per minute. Service can be prepaid for with a credit card or the charges can be billed to the user's local phone bill. There is also no software to download so BAMnet can be used with any operating system that can utilize a modem - Windows, Mac, Palm OS, Windows CE/Pocket PC, etc.

Our service is ideal for those who have a home-based broadband connection but still require a dialup service for traveling. This may be for a quick two-day business trip or a two month vacation down by the shore. BAMnet is also good for those who have a local Internet provider that doesn't have nationwide service. Finally, we benefit those who travel from other countries and desire Internet access in the US but don't wish to establish a monthly account.

Let me know if you have any additional questions. Thanks for your time!

BAMnet Corporation

Looking into a WallStreet purchase from Wegener Media...

From Scott Strungis

Hi Charles,

I am contemplating a WallStreet purchase from the above vendor. I am looking into the 12.1" model to save a little weight. I just read your older article on the WallStreet. I am a 2400c user now, but I would like something that is X capable. Did you ever get X on the WallStreet? If not, what happens when you do try? Do you still have it? I would feel really dumb if I plunked down some hard green and was in the same OS boat as my 2400c.

Scott Strungis

Hi Scott,

I never did get OS X to install on my now-deceased WallStreet, but I never tried after my marathon attempt to install the Public Beta. The CD would mount, but the machine wouldn't recognize the installer or vice-versa. I don't know if I would have had the same trouble with the final releases or not.

However, I hear from folks all the time who are running OS X (including Jaguar) on WallStreets. The problem that I had was not unheard of, but I deduce that it was rare.

That said, I can't guarantee that OS X will work with a WallStreet that you purchase, but I think David Wegener does have a satisfaction guarantee policy.


Re The 'Book Review: "Replacement Hinges for G4 PowerBooks":

From: Andrew Main


Re The 'Book Review, 2002.09.27: "Replacement Hinges for G4 PowerBooks"

When I clicked on the link, I got the following message:

JavaScript Alert: This site can be viewed at 800 x 600, however best viewed at 1024 x 768 or above. This website is optimized for Microsoft Internet Explorer only. If you use Netscape, versions 6-7RC1 would be best, formatting of this website might be off if you are using Netscape or you are NOT using the latest version of Internet Explorer (6), this is available now on Microsoft's website, version 5.x of IE will show an uproperly formatted page.

My default browser is iCab, and indeed not only was the above message truncated (got the whole thing in Opera, below), but the page showed nothing but white space, bordered by a scroll bar with a large "thumb." Though iCab does seem to have trouble with a lot of Web pages, I prefer its effort to maintain nonproprietary, public standards (though it does seem to have more trouble with JavaScript stuff than perhaps it might).

I use Opera for second tries; it showed the same message above, complete, and did display what appeared to be the desired page, with a big IE 6 logo and a bunch of other Micro$loth junk on it. (Is there an IE 6 for Mac? I don't use it myself, but I haven't heard of one.) Yeah, my "antique" G3 PowerBook has a 1024 x 768 display, but I don't usually cover every square pixel with some egomaniac's jerk-off Web page. If I don't have the right 16-digit M$ registration number tattooed on my forehead, he doesn't have to take my money.

Whatever the quality of this guy's work (his command of the English sentence is hardly confidence-building), he appears to be a real M$ fascist (well, at least he's honest: this is the most blatant M$-sycophant, anti-standards attitude I've seen), hardly deserving of recommendation on a Macintosh site. I can provide an alternative referral: For years I've been using DT&T Macintosh Service of Fremont, California (first discovered in an ad in Macworld in the mid-90s) for hardware repairs and component swaps of all kinds. They're fast, helpful, inexpensive and reliable. I'm not certain they do the exact repairs in question (never having needed them myself), but they'd be worth a query.

Andrew Main

Hi Andrew,

I have to wonder if he's getting some sort of compensation for the MS promotion or whether he just likes IE a lot.

There is no IE 6 for Macs. Netscape 7.0 brought up most of the content on the page, and displayed it quite decently. However, the left column remained blank, and certain "applets" refused to load.

I too use iCab as my browser of first reference, but Netscape is there to pick up the slack.


Editor's note: I got exactly the same message when using IE 5.x, so I emailed the owner. He says it's a JavaScript that displays for anyone not running IE 6 at 1024 x 768 or greater. He doesn't apologize at all for offending people who don't use his choice of browser or screen resolution. dk

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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