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The Joy of Plaintext


SpamCop 98
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Good for you! - I remember with horror the year HTML emails became 'de rigueur' for corporate emails, a tale related before in this place. But I'll repeat it for those who came in late.

On annual trips around half the globe, using my little Cassiopeia palm-top for email on the road via an ibm/att dial-up account with gay abandon one year (with a local connection just about everywhere you went, how neat) - the next year I couldn't read but 1 in 10 of those emails I was getting. Which was crazy, the Cassiopeia could "understand" HTML just fine. But the email app. couldn't. Why should it? The world gone mad, those Cassiopeia people certainly hadn't anticipated that. Nor did I.

Of course there was very little in the way of hotel 'business centers' in those days (not with internet-enabled PCs laid on), nor 'internet cafes' that I recall. They came later, with all their risks of viruses and address scraping. So, I had to forward those emails home, get them converted to plain text and returned. Not good with 12 hour time zone spans.

It was all the fault of M$ and their 'upgrade' paths. As the Knight said, "There saw I first the dark imaginings of felony."

But we can save the world by reverting to plain text. With plain text there are less electrons prodded around, less "greenhouse gasses" needed to drive it. Well, it makes at least as much sense as some of the other things we are being herded towards. And people might learn to write again (one generation lost already). And it's safer.

It's easier to do now, some applications actually query your HTML/plain text preference for sending to a 'new' contact address.

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