Tuesday, June 02, 2020


Time was, I commemorated all sorts of anniversaries, important or not, but last week there was one I wasn’t aware of: My “Yahooversary”. There—duly noted. But, there’s always more to the story, of course, even for something odd like this.

What this refers to is that 22 years ago I set up the Yahoo! Mail email address so I could send and receive emails when Nigel I were in the USA for our second trip together in 1999. At the time, the only two free emails services (that I knew of…) were Yahoo! Mail (originally RocketMail until acquired by Yahoo! in October 1997), and Hotmail (launched in July 1996 and acquired by Microsoft in December 1997 and renamed MSN Hotmai, after which it became enormously popular; today it’s known as Outlook.com).

In those days, email addresses were usually provided by one’s Internet Service Provider, and ended if the account was closed. Also, logging into ISP email via the web would be a problem when using Internet Cafés (remember those?) as we planned to do: We didn’t want to potentially give away our log-in details—although, I was usually far more worried about such things than Nigel was.

Today, I still use that email address for this blog, and some mailing lists (so they don’t clog up my personal email or unnecessarily give that address to a business or organisation. It was my first public use of the “AmeriNZ” brand.

And that’s about all I remembered about it. I got the year wrong in 2017 when when I mentioned it in a blog post about the demise of our former ISP; I said it was 1999, when, apparently, it was actually 1998—late May, I assume, from the timing of the “Yahooversary” email, though the other bits are accurate (I think…).

Back in March 2016, I was surprised that I didn’t get a 20th Anniversary anniversary email from the now-defunct ISP, because before its acquisition in 2006, I got them all the time. I’m probably a bit more surprised that Yahoo! chose to send me one at 22 years; I mean, even I wouldn’t single that sort of date out for recognition—although, there was that time I mentioned something for the first time on its twelfth anniversary. Clearly the rules are different for me. Of course.

There was one more odd Internet-related thing that happened. This past Sunday I got an email from Instagram. “We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use,” it said, before telling me it was from “Apple iPod · Mobile Safari · Secaucus, NJ, United States May 31 at 2:45 AM (PDT)”. Clearly that wasn’t me, and I suspect it wasn’t an iPod or in New Jersey (that sort of thing can be faked by professional hackers). Criminals hack accounts to use them to spread spam as part of attempted fraud (among other reasons). I changed my password to ensure my account was safe, but, sadly, that probably won’t be the last time I need to do that with some account or other.

I don’t really care about my “Yahooversary”, and it won’t be taking a turn in the anniversary spotlight, such as that may be, on this blog. But at least I now know what year I really signed up for my first free email service. That’s—um, something, I guess?

In any case, there’s always more to a story, even about odd things like this. Now, it’s on to the next anniversary.

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