Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The World Almost Ended Today

Image representing Gmail as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

Gmail was down this morning. For a two and a half hours, for God's sake. In some parts of the world that was during the work day. It was a disaster! Apparently. Boy have we got it good these days, emailwise. When I was a girl we had to walk through five feet of snow, uphill both ways, to check our email and it was always down. OK, maybe not a girl exactly. When I was a girl the only computer we knew about was Univac. But when I was in my forties, email was a chore. And even as recently as five or six years ago or so.

I recall something like a decade ago, getting home from work to check my Yahoo mail. It was a big improvement over the first web based email account I'd had which was Hotmail, which was an improvement over my ISP's email. For some reason my account would decide to be inaccessable for an hour or so starting at 6pm more nights than not. But hey, we had 6MB of space. That was incredible. I tried just about every free email account that came along and even paid for an account for a couple of years. There was almost no such thing as a stable email system. Office email was down a lot, too. Nowadays we expect to get our email and get it instantly as the Good Lord intended. And mostly we do. But it helps you to remain calm during these rare outages if you're old enough to remember how it used to be.

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