Saturday, September 24, 2005

Goodbye, Videotron

To co-opt a popular theory, I have a "tipping-point" temperment. No matter what goes on around me, I adapt, go with the flow as long as I can - until I reach that tipping point, when I act.

Psychologists call this "bottling up the rage inside you".

This week, I reached the tipping point with Videotron, the Quebec-based cable conglomerate that supplies me with that lovely coaxial cable full of creamy Intardnet goodness.

The cable Internet service truly is wonderful. My download bandwidth regularly reaches T1 speed. Much of that, I suspect, is due to my neighbourhood of NDG, which has one Canada's highest per capita rates of seniors - a cohort that doesn't traditionally suck up much of the neighbourhood share of cable bandwidth.

Videotron runs an open-relay SMTP server (the one that sends out e-mail). No matter the advantage to such a system, one big drawback is that open relays find their way onto spam blacklists. Often, ISPs will block all Videotron e-mail as spam, and few spam filters bother to send back a bounce message. That's understandable - replying to every spam is as bad as spam itself - but it means that any Videotron user must trust that their e-mail has gone through.

That's not good enough for me anymore. I was trying to set up an interview this week and my e-mail failed to get to its destination. Only because I overcame my misanthropy enough to pick up the phone did I learn that my e-mail never made it.

I've had three e-mail accounts for a while: Videotron, Gmail, and Yahoo. This week, I gave up on Videotron. I will still retrieve my Videotron e-mail, but everything I send from this point on will go through Gmail (with the exception of posts to Yahoo Groups mailing lists).

Gmail isn't perfect - call me old-fashioned, but I like to archive my e-mail in distinct folders rather than use a search every time I want to look something up. But I can use Eudora to retrieve the Gmail e-mail and store it on my own machine the way I like.

If any of you want a Gmail address, just post a comment.


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