[nSLUG] ISPs in NS

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 08:49:32 ADT 2007

On 10/15/07, D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com> wrote:

> I don't have any trouble figuring out how to do this - it is
> dead easy, and that is why I'm saying Aliant should have set him
> up with his current email software rather than Outlook.
> My Dad is in a different town, and after the trouble
> of changing his ISP set up, email address,
> and importing/exporting his addressbook, he will not
> let me walk him through the switch back to Thunderbird.

Does Outlook Express provide an easy way to export mailboxes
to other formats?  Certainly Outlook does not.  At work I used to
have rules to forward all my Outlook (dept. std.) mail to a unix
workstation where it was processed by procmail and stored in
mbox format, searchable by all sorts of tools (namazu, etc.)

If your dad understands that his saved mail may be inaccessible
if he does decide to switch, he may be more willling to invest
the effort now.

> That policy of Aliant's is effectively converting people
> like my Dad into Outlook users - this is evil.

It is an example of what economists call "network advantage"
of a monopoly.  It is easier/cheaper (e.g., they can use low-rent,
know-nothing support staff) for companies like Aliant to ignore
all but the most widely used email client.

One of the reasons we have government is to impose standards to
reduce lock-in tactics.  ISP's should be required to provide services
according to the standards, and users should be able to use any
stds compliant mail system.  Implementing this would require a
government agency to have the ability to verify compliance and
force changes.   The people who currently have the most influence
on how government regulates ISP's don't want this.  It won't change
until people like your father start telling politicians that change is

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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