Here’s a little thing about me: I hate email and here’s why: It’s such a headache. You see, being the nerd I am, I like to have access to my email wherever I go, so one would think that webmail would be the way to go right? Wrong! Webmail sucks. I have sub-56k dialup internet, which means wading through webmail is a pain. It also means I don’t have reliable internet, so we move on to the offline mail. Most ISPs (and some webmail providers, sometimes for a fee) will give you POP mail. However POP mail has problems of it’s own. Like I said before, I like to keep all of my computers synced with each other so I can access my mail wherever, however POP mail is more not meant for this type of scenario. POP stands for Post Office Protocol. In a sense, it allows you to download your messages from the POP server (in a sense, post office) to your computer (home). However, after you download the messages, they are no longer on the server, so you can’t download them to your other PCs. Sure you can leave a copy on the server, but then you are redownloading the messages all the time. You could also just download unread messages and mark the downloaded ones as read. But then your other computers would never download the messages since they are marked as read! So we are back at square one. Luckily some one smart invented IMAP, the Internet Message Access Protocol. With IMAP, the client communicates to the server and gives you access to your mail which resides on the mail server. The client shows a list of folders and messages that are on the server, including any status they are in (like read, unread, important, etc…) and allows you to view each message from the server. “But, wait,” you say, “Didn’t you want to be able to view your email without having to be online?” This is where cached IMAP comes in, using a cache of all your mail, you can view your email when not online, just as if it were downloaded using a POP client. Also, using Kontact on KDE, I can store my calendar, journal, tasks, notes, and contacts on my IMAP server and share them between computers. So now I don’t have to add appointments or dates on both my PC and laptop, I just check my email and my contacts and calendar are automatically updated. Neat huh? The best part is I also have a webmail view so I can get to my email from any computer with an internet access and a web browser. Too bad popular webmail clients like Yahoo and GMail don’t provide IMAP access, since I like their webmail interfaces much better than Squirrel Mail.