The Day my EMAIL Address Died

I was quite proud of having the same EMAIL address for almost twenty years. Besides “shopping local” staying with a local service provider meant that friends of mine who may touch base once a year were comfortable knowing there was little chance of my EMAIL changing when they reached out again.

Back in the early 90s my dial-up service to the Internet as well as my EMAIL provider was provided by local company we will call  “FamilyProvider” . They were so local that I do not recall any more than three people working there. When Broadband became available I switched to my local cable provider for Internet access but kept FamilyProvider for my EMAIL. FamilyProvider rolled with the times so when they added web hosting I signed up with them to host some web sites though I registered my domain names with a “TopRegistrar” and managed name services from there.

FamilyProvider’s sysadmin/owner, we will call “Bob”,  was always very helpful and personable when I had any issue with EMAIL or hosting.  When I needed more hosting features than Bob could offer, he was very understanding and amicable when I moved my web sites to another provider we will call “CoinOpProvider.” Still I kept my EMAIL with Bob.

Many years passed with Bob continuing to provide my wife and I EMAIL services, CoinOpProvider providing web hosting, and TopRegistrar name services – Life was good.  But in the past year the time to resolve occasional EMAIL problems was going from a call back in a few hours to the next day. I was getting a sense business was not going well for Bob. The few times I would be able to reach him live I would mention that I was interested in buying his domain in case he needed to sell. I had already rationalized what is was worth to me if I had to change EMAIL addresses.

Then one day I ran into a situation where my EMAIL had been down for two days and no response from Bob. Reluctantly I called him on his personal cell phone.  Bob fixed the problem during the call and then he said “you know the servers are shutting down midnight for good.”  I responded “I difn’t know” and then he proceeded to tell me the story why and that he was shutting the business down. Bob mentioned he sent me an EMAIL three months ago saying he was shutting the doors and I told him I did not receive the EMAIL. Equally he never recalled my offer of buying the domain from him should he run into this situation. To his credit he already offered the domain to someone else and he was going to see if that person was truly interested and if not was going to give me the domain gratis. Unfortunately that did not work out.

Since it was 8PM when I hung up with Bob I only had four hours to change the EMAIL addresses of all my critical accounts to another EMAIL address.

Tune in next time to heard what I did next.

For what it’s worth,

– Joe

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