This column is a mixed bag about communications and the Internet. If you can't understand the headline, perhaps you need to visit the WWW site members.tripod.com/~tassiedevil/ chat.htm where you'll find a list of Internet chat abbreviations. IMHO means "in my humble opinion" (but you knew that already, didn't you). You'll have to look up SNERT and you'll have to guess SANH. Others include OIC, which means what it says, as does QT.
I'm not suggesting you start using these abbreviations in company e-mail, but it helps to be able to decipher them when they appear. Likewise with our old friend the Smiley or emoticon. The above Web page has a list of these including a fairly new :---) which is apparently a Viagra smile. There's also |C| and |P| which are well-known soft drinks and, (::()::) which is a bandaid.
Personal e-mail. If the idea of a personal e-mail address appeals, but you don't like the idea of being firstname.lastname@example.org, you might consider an alternative. It isn't free but it could be what you're looking for. For $80 a year you could be email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if it isn't already taken. Any mail sent to these personal addresses can be forwarded to any other POP account.
Anyone buying this service will get a certificate, so it could be the Christmas present you've been looking for. To get more details, go to www.yoo.au.com/.
The service at www.familypoint.com is a free family Web site. It allows you to put up all those photos of the new baby so Auntie Gertie in Zimbabwe can log on for a look. You can also put up a searchable calendar of family dates, post messages on a virtual fridge, chat with other family members who are online and so on.
Telstra does good
While I'm the first to complain about Telstra when it does something wrong, I'll also praise it for doing something right. Just such a thing is the new Single Bill service. It allows you to have all your fixed and mobile phones put on the one bill. That's just one bill to pay, and everything is itemised by phone number. For more details ring 018 018 090. It makes me go all :-)