A few days ago I received a message from BT/EE/Orange/wannadoo or whatever they call themselves this week which reads "Orange Email will close on 31 May 2017. This means that from this date onwards, you will not be able to access your account email@example.com"
Great, just what I wanted to hear!!! I was one of those that headed for a Lloyds(?) chemist shop to acquire a freeserve disc when they were launched around twenty years ago. I have used the same email ever since and it is linked to almost everything I do online as well as being my main 'fishing' contact throughout the world (emails from Germany and Australia as well as all parts of the UK currently await action). Out of the blue I receive emails because years ago I left a card with it on or it was on a document I produced. Unfortunately in the autumn of 2015 I suffered catastrophic multiple computer failures which meant that my email contacts and history were corrupted and although believed backed up it has never been possible to retrieve them. Slowly this has been rebuilt as people have made contact but many who I might wish to contact have not yet resurfaced.
The 2015 problems really opened my eyes to how we have been sleepwalking into the clutches of what was predicted for 1984. When it comes to computers everything is now download rather than disks. Why? This does not suit me as it takes control away from me. Software such as FoxPro, that is essential for my data I have on disc, and for now at least can still be installed. But not other essentials such as the operating system, Word and Excel. Discs allow main and reserve computers to be configured exactly the same. Downloads do not allow this and problems I am currently having emphasis the point. I have two computers both with properly licensed Windows 7 downloads. One allows Genie timeline one does not because some code is missing!!! However much protection you have, connecting to the interweb opens you up to attack and being spied on. My strategy is to have a computer that is never ever connected to the interweb. Thus I can use it as I did in the early 1990s to manage my data and produce hard copy documents. Transfers in and out by memory stick or similar and set up using discs with external hard drive/memory stick backup. Proving somewhat difficult to achieve! In addition I have a computer that is connected to the interweb but still I wish this to be disc configured as much as possible.
Anyhow, having suffered so many computer issues recently the email thing is the final straw. Still developing a strategy but it will be much lower profile and less contributory. The biggest problem is finding someone who understands my requirements and can point me in the right direction.