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Tip: To get e-mail from other servers using RocketMail, sign up for an account. Then from the opening screen, click "Options" and "External Mail." Enter your mail server (listed in your current e-mail program), user name and password.

Hotmail also brings e-mail to the Web page, but it doesn't let you check existing accounts.

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I've never understood the need for free e-mail services that work within a Web browser if you hit the World Wide Web on a regular basis, odds are you already have an e-mail account. But a service that lets you access your existing e-mail accounts via the Web, that's real news. RocketMail lets you log onto the Web from any computer and pull down e-mail from your "real" address. From the RocketMail site, you can then read, delete or reply to messages and since you can designate your primary e-mail account as the return address, your correspondents will be no wiser. This is far easier than other ways of getting at your e-mail while away from your desktop hoping your Internet provider allows remote "telnet" access (sadly rare, and baffling to newcomers); temporarily reconfiguring somebody else's e-mail program to access your account; or lugging a laptop. The only catch is that RocketMail can operate only with Internet-standard Post Office Protocol e-mail accounts, so you can't Rocket into mail from your office network or America Online account.

-- Rob Pegoraro (rob@twp.com)

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