I’ve received email from about half a dozen people in the last month who are victims of the shutdown, or impending shutdown of the @Home network, which was providing cable Internet branding and technical services to Rogers, Cogeco and Shaw cable systems across Canada.
All of my correspondents had email addresses @home.com, and all of them were forced to change to @rogers.com, @shaw.ca, and so on.
This is annoying. Not annoying to me — it’s just a quick change in my email address book — but annoying to them, I’m certain. You have to send out an email to everyone you know, and you’re certain to miss some people, so you’ll lose track of them or they of you. In some ways it’s worse than having to change your phone number — at least the phone company will forward your calls for 6 months.
I’ve had to go through this myself: I started out Internet life as firstname.lastname@example.org, then was email@example.com, then firstname.lastname@example.org, then email@example.com. Finally, when the company became Reinvented, I became “peter at rukavina.net” and vowed never to change my email address again. So far so good.
So a word to the wise (and not only the @Home refugees): it’s quite a simple matter to set yourself up with your own domain name. I deal with a registrar in Edmonton called Trinic, but there are innumerable others that can offer you the same services. Trinic will let you register your own .com domain name for $20/year, and will forward email from firstname.lastname@example.org to an email address of your choice for $34/year.
That’s a good deal, and something everybody should consider seriously. Not only does it mean that you can keep the same email address for life, but it also means that you’re no longer shackled to a particular Internet provider just to keep your email address. It also means that you can dispense with insane email addresses like @pei.sympatico.ca which never should have seen the light of day in the first place.
By the way, if your last name happens to be Rukavina, I can offer you an @rukavina.net, @rukavina.ca or @rukavina.info email address at no charge. Just let me know.