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Matthew Bacon kicks of a new series by rounding up the free e-mail and news services for Atari users

 

My parents always taught me that "nothing in life is free". However, following the arrival of the internet, this is now far from the truth.

As net savvy users, I am sure you are all familiar with the "free" services on offer from the likes of Hotmail, Yahoo, Geocities and Tripod - as long as you don't mind the adverts. But how many of you are familiar with the range of products and services on offer with Atari enthusiasts - like yourself - in mind?

Let me give you the tour...

I am not a number... I am an Atari user!
When you join an ISP, it is now quite rare to be able to get your e-mail address of choice. It is much more common to be stuck instead with something like yourname99@yourisp.com, which is neither short nor memorable. Even trying to get a good e-mail address from the likes of Hotmail or Yahoo nowadays is virtually impossible - after all, who wants to be somebody178@hotmail.com?!

So why be stuck with a dull and instantly forgettable e-mail address when you can have a cool Atari one such as defender@atari.net, pacman@atariland.com or megast@fujiland.net.

Atari.NET
If you're after a short and memorable Atari related e-mail address, then having yourname@atari.net will no doubt appeal.

[Screen-shot: Atari NET sign-up page]

Signing up for an Atari.NET e-mail account couldn't be easier, just fill in the simple form and agree to the terms and conditions (pretty standard including; any dormant accounts for 30 days will be cancelled and no spamming) and you're up and running before you know it ;-)

The Atari.NET web-based interface is extremely friendly and includes the following features;

  • 1.5 MB e-mail space
  • 0.5 MB attachments
  • Multiple attachments per e-mail
  • E-mail forwarding
  • Retrieve mail from another POP3 account
  • Up to 10 folders
  • Address book
  • Unique signatures
  • Secure password protected
  • Comprehensive help page

[Screen-shot: Atari NET mail]

With no adverts to wade through and all those features, an Atari.NET e-mail account is hard to beat!

FujiLand.Net
FujiLand.Net is brought to us by the same people behind Atari Users Network, the popular Atari portal and currently offers four e-mail / hosting packages to suit all but the fussiest of users. The entry package offers 12 MB of web space, e-mail forwarding and some rather fun tools including a file manager, webring, guest book and hit counter. However, a few restrictions do apply to this package such as a 256 KB file size and 512 MB monthly bandwidth limit.

The sign-up process uses a friendly wizard approach which takes you step-by-step through the process of registering an account (as shown below). By signing up, not only do you get yourname@fujiland.net, you also get the matching web address, http://yourname.fujiland.net. Cool or what!?

[Screen-shot: Fujiland sign-up page]

While the entry package will probably meet most users' requirements, FujiLand.Net does offer three subscription based packages for the more feature hungry user. The Starter, Value and Professional hosting packages include all the features of the free service (minus the advertising) and more besides. For example, the Professional package (which costs $14.95 per month) includes;

  • 500 MB of web space
  • 500 MB file size limit
  • 3 GB monthly bandwidth limit
  • No banners or pop-ups
  • FTP access
  • E-mail forwarding
  • Web-based or POP3 access
  • 10 POP3 accounts
  • Frontpage support
  • Site stats
  • Collection of tools to help you develop your site

[Screen-shot: Fujiland members area]


Atari-Jaguar.Net

[Screen-shot: Atari-Jaguar sign-up page]If you're a fan of the Atari Jaguar console then a funky e-mail address courtesy of Atari-Jaguar.Net is probably going to tickle your fancy!

Providing you can spare the time to complete the rather lengthy registration form (see right), you too could have yourname@atarijaguar.net.

Like FujiLand.Net, Atari-Jaguar.Net has chosen to outsource its e-mail service to a third party - in this case Everyone.net. The result of this choice brings both pros and cons.

Everyone.net are one of the leading community building sites that enable domain name owners to provide features such as e-mail and bulletin boards to its users for free. Consequently, Atari-Jaguar.Net provides a feature packed service including a 6 MB inbox to fill, address book and comprehensive help pages. Unfortunately this also means that the end user is subjected to a fair bit of third party advertising. But hey, what do you expect for free?!

[Screen-shot: Atari-Jaguar.Net mailbox]


Atariland
Atariland is one of the newcomers to the free Atari e-mail scene. Atariland is a community site which describes itself as the "Premier Portal for Atari Enthusiasts Worldwide!" and provides a selection of member only features including chat, message boards, games and e-mail.

To register an Atariland e-mail address, all you need to do is pop along to the Atariland portal and fill in a simple web-based form (see below). Once you have submitted this, a confirmation e-mail is sent to you containing your username and password, then you're ready to log in!

[Screen-shot: Atariland sign-up page]

After logging in, you are free to access the members area of the site (including your mailbox). The entire site is beautifully presented (if a touch graphical heavy) and easy-to-use. Although not as feature packed as some of the other e-mail services on offer, the e-mail account at Atariland does include an address book, the ability to send and receive e-mails to yourname@atariland.com and retrieve mail from any other three POP3 accounts. Priceless!

[Screen-shot: Atariland mailbox]


Atari.Org

Last but no means least is Atari.Org. As you all probably know, Atari.Org has been generously offering a free e-mail forwarding, sub-domain, hit counter, search engine, message board service for a few years now. Signing up for an Atari.Org e-mail address is quite straight forward.

Simply, complete and submit the web-based form including your name, e-mail and web site address (that you want Atari.Org to forward too) and wait...

[Screen-shot: Atari.Org sign-up page]

Unlike the other services we've already looked at, you cannot register and instantly use yourname@atari.org. In fact, after you register yourname@atari.org, it could take up to seven days.

Why? Well this is because an Atari.Org e-mail address also comes with the corresponding sub-domain, http://yourname.atari.org. In order to prevent automated or fraudulent requests, Atari.Org double checks every single account request it receives. While this can at first appear frustrating, this does ensure only true Atari enthusiasts are awarded an account.


Roll up, roll up, read all about it!

The on-line Atari community is a busy place. To keep find out the latest news and gossip is certainly challenge! However, thanks to the following Atari sites, you can quickly and easily stay up-to-date with the latest scene news, gossip and more... all for free!

[Screen-shot: Atari news sites slideshow]

If you have any suggestions for the next article in this series, please send them directly to matthew@myatari.co.uk.

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MyAtari magazine - Feature #3, July 2002

 
Copyright 2002 MyAtari magazine