PocketMail, keeps on ticking

Pocket Mail 1 Panbo

One factor inspiring me to get a bigger boat is an old friend who spend a few days with us recently. Bruce is older than me—which is old—but last year he sold his house and took off in his 34’ sloop down the East Coast and into the Bahamas. He had a wonderful time, and now has the boat back in the Chesapeake for some work, and plans a more leisurely trip South this fall. He kept things quite simple, no computer, but he did invest in that $100 PocketMail Composer above. In the photo he’s dialed an 800 number that came with his $15/month subscription, and then squeezed the gadget’s adjustable earphone and speaker against my handset and pushed the button that activates the acoustic modem. After a period of squeaks and squeals, he had sent and received his e-mail, as shown below. No color screen and  no attachments, but the PocketMail system works economically in many parts of the world (In the Bahamas, for instance, there’s a Nassau access number, meaning Bruce could use a cheap in-country calling card at pay phones). Here’s the PocketMail Web site.

Pocket Mail 2 Panbo 

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

2 Responses

  1. William Henry says:

    I’ve had the PocketMail service for a number of years. Although I don’t use it intensively (not a heavy user), I have found the system to be very reliable and simple to use.
    In addition to the toll free 800 number that allows the “Composer” device to send and fetch the mail, they also have a web site portal that allows reading of mail from any Internet connected computer (Internet Cafe???).
    The only problem I have had with the system is when using a cell (mobile) phone. The problem is caused by the small physical size of the phone and the difficulty getting the phone to fit against the Composer’s acoustic coupler microphone and earpiece. If one planned to rely heavily on a cell phone for connection, it would be worth looking into a somewhat largish cell phone that would nestle into the Composer.
    Cheers, Bill

  2. Don says:

    It seems to me that it would be more simple to use a Pocket PC than this device. Most cellular carriers have refurbished units in the $50-$100 range and they include a built in WIFI card, Blue-tooth, as well as conventional GSM/GPRS capability.
    The net result, you can email and surf the web anywhere there is an accessible wireless network using WIFI. If no wireless network is available, you can still send messages via GSM/GPRS.
    I don’t know for sure, but I’ll bet it is easier to find an unsecured wireless network in most areas than it is to locate a pay phone that works.

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