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Phone offers new way to check e-mail

Oct. 12, 2000

Services allow for users to hear mail



John is between classes running an off-campus errand. He remembers a group meeting he has later that afternoon. He can't remember when the meeting is being held, but he knows he has an e-mail that tells him the time of the meeting. He doesn't feel like going all the way to his apartment or the school to check his e-mail, so he reaches for his cell phone, dials a toll-free number and is able to check his e-mail while driving. When he realizes he will be late, he replies to the e-mail simply by speaking into his phone.

Recent technology allows users to check their e-mail by phone, but some students prefer to check their messages by computer.

Some of the e-mail-by-phone services work with the Baylor e-mail server; others issue a new e-mail address. Services also vary by offering access by dialing either a toll-free or long-distance number.

Meghan Crona, a senior from Littleton, Colo., said although an e-mail-by-phone service would take away from the 'fun of e-mail,' she would find it useful. Crona is only on campus twice a week and does not have Internet access at home. 'I would check it more often [with this service],' Crona said.

Jonathan Ryan, a Charlotte, N.C., freshman, said this sort of service would be especially useful when he is at home for a holiday or on vacation. During the regular semester, Ryan said he would not use such a service because he can check his e-mail on campus computers and also has Internet access in his dorm room. Ryan checks his e-mail several times a day.

Richard Carroll, a Midland senior, said he would not find use for the service because he is an information systems major and knows the steps to check his Baylor e-mail account from anywhere. 'For other students who don't have access to that sort of stuff, it might be good,' Carroll said.

Ray Nazzario, analyst and programmer in the Information Technology Center, said he would not like to adjust to the idea.

'I prefer to read e-mail the old-fashioned way. It would take me a while to get used to having it read to me,' Nazzario said.

Yahoo! announced Tuesday that it will issue an e-mail-by-phone service that will be available to its users for free.

Vocalis, a company based in Houston, offers a version of this service called SpeechMail for $5.99 a month. Students can check their Baylor e-mail by calling a Houston phone number. Vocalis began offering SpeechMail this past May.

Etrieve offers a similar service for a free 30-day trial period. After the first month, Etreive offers four packages to choose from, ranging from $19.95 to $49.95 a month.

Another service, called uReach, allows users to receive phone calls, faxes and e-mails on their own personalized toll-free number. Also available with this package is the option of setting up a personal appointment book and an address book, which can be accessed by phone or on the Web. uReach is a free service that requires users to sign up for a new e-mail account with a uReach domain.

To sign up for one of these services, students will need to enter the Baylor server name, which is The sign-up services may also require the Pop3 username or password, which is the Baylor student's user name and password.