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Free e-mail for parents, kids

Sept. 11, 1996

By Michael Giles Lariat Reporter

One night in Waco, a student sits on his bed, alone and stressing out over the biology exam he just bombed and his English Literature class in which he is five days behind. He does not want to admit it, but he would really like to talk to his mom. Still, funds are pretty low and long-distance telephone calls are awfully expensive.

More than 500 miles away, a mother is thinking about her son, wondering if everything is all right. She does not want to invade his space, but she misses him. A new e-mail account offered by Freemark Electronic Mail may aid in communication without using a phone and without waiting several days for a letter.

Most Baylor students have an e-mail account and frequently use it to contact fellow classmates and friends. Freemark provides access to free electronic mail without having to get on the Internet. If a parent has a computer and a modem, the parent can send e-mail messages to a college-age son or daughter at no cost.

According to a press release, Freemark has the ability to provide this service because it has advertisers such as Life Savers, Barnes & Noble and Citibank that post ads on each message that goes out. It is strictly an advertisement that looks like a 'stamp' that people can click on if they find it interesting.

The actual Freemark computer program contains step-by-step instructions that can be easily followed. The only requirement is that the user have at least a 386 PC with Windows 3.1 and a modem. Currently, the program can only be used on IBM compatible computers, but the release included that Freemark does have plans to create one for Macintosh computers. Freemark can be used to send messages to any e-mail service, so students on Macs can still receive messages.

Rebecca L. Kramer, a Freemark representative, said that in the two months the program has been available, Freemark has received many more inquiries than expected.

'We have had nothing but positive reaction to it,' Kramer said. 'A big surprise has been the amount of recent college grads that have applied. They apparently miss the free e-mail service they had in school.'

Neley Chatarpal, a Houston sophomore, said the program would interest her and her parents. She said that although her parents already have an e-mail service and send her messages, 'Freemark would make communication much easier than calling on the phone or writing a letter.'

Students or parents can call 1-888-MY-EMAIL or access the Freemark web site at http://www.freemark.com for information.

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