Google's Gmail web-based email service
your ordinary web mail service. Maybe you're
attracted to the slick, interactive, real application-like
likes the Pine-like keyboard shortcuts (Pine is a text-only email
application, typically found on Unix systems). Or is it the sheer
volume of storage—one gigabyte, at the time of this
writing—that's made you question your
relationship with your existing web mail service and its puny 50
megabyte allotment. Most are enticed by the promise (and delivery,
mind you) of a Google-like search interface to their email.
There was a day when a simple off-by-one (technically, an off-by-999
error) caused quite a stir among early Gmail users. Logging into your
Gmail account, you were met with the double take-worthy:
"You are currently using 16 MB (0%) of your 1000000
MB." I'll see your gigabyte and
raise you a terabyte.
Whatever your reasons for trying, switching to, or lusting after a
Gmail account, you're sure to be delighted both by
its proper and "improper"
uses—the latter being the focus of this chapter.
As with all things Google, the official interface to Gmail is only
one of many. Thanks to some clever screen scraping, analysis of the
frontend, and some good old tinkerer's enthusiasm,
you can use Gmail as everything from a filesystem [Hack #78 and Hack
#79] to a backup server [Hack #80] to a mobile email account for Gmail on the go.