Welcome to InterconnectNow - Interconnected Technologies' blog about technology and other items of interest to small businesses and individuals.

The topics here will usually deal with productivity-enhancing technologies of interest to small businesses and individuals, but are often of broader interest.  Productivity is the goal of all of this technology that we use. Enabling productivity through refining or adding technology-based capabilities is what we're obsessed with at Interconnected Technologies, and so this blog is dedicated to discussions of all things related to that.


Entries in Email (10)


Rackspace Exchange Account setup

One of the best and most powerful capabilities of hosted Microsoft Exchange service is the ability to use it seamlessly on mobile device(s), computer(s), and via the web. image

Rackspace provides a handy reference site for setting up your account on a wide range of devices.

Go to the Rackspace Email Help facility here:


Enter your email address and password.

You will be shown which Exchange platform you are using, and then given links to show how to set up the account on various devices.

If you need additional assistance setting up your account on any particular device, let us know!


Outlook Connector update

If you are using Windows Live Mail, Hotmail or MSN mail for your email (really, these are all the same thing), and using the very functional (and free) Outlook Connector to sync email, contacts and calendar with Outlook on your PC – good for you! This relatively little-known combination can deliver, for free, almost the same experience with webmail, Outlook and mobile devices that the non-free Microsoft Exchange delivers (and did I mention it’s free?). The overall experience is superior in many ways to the more trendy Gmail.

This add-on, the Outlook Connector, will from time to time demand to be updated. I use the word “demand” advisedly. Unlike most maintenance, the Outlook Connector will stop functioning if not updated.

The message: do the update when asked!



Rackspace Email or Outlook Web Access Login

Over time I am migrating more clients to Rackspace’s web-based email and Exchange offerings. These services can be accessed it in several ways, one of which we’ll describe here: via the web.

“Webmail” used to mean a completely separate, independent internet-based mechanism to access one’s email from time to time, typically when away from one’s “main” computer. It was entirely separate from one’s main way of doing email, and nothing done in Webmail was ever reflected back in the “Main” email program (typically Outlook). That was before Microsoft Exchange became available as a hosted service at a reasonable price. Paired with the less-expensive Rackspace Mail, now clients can access email through Outlook, smartphones, tablets and via any internet-connected computer, and all with no loss of information: everything is available in each place, and changes in one are reflected in the other. This is one of the key advantages of this type of email.

With Rackspace’s service, there are two types of accounts: Rackspace Mail and hosted Microsoft Exchange. Each has its advantages; among them: access from any internet-connected computer. Rackspace Mail is intended to be used as an entirely web-based email program (like Gmail, Yahoo, and others), but also allows use through mobile devices. Microsoft Exchange can be accessed via the web, through Outlook and through mobile devices.

Logging in via an Internet-connected Computer

To access one’s mailbox (of whichever flavor), you may visit Interconnected Technologies’ web site and follow the link to Rackspace’s services, or you may go directly to this site:


You will see the following screen, regardless of whether you are a Rackspace Mail or Exchange user.



Enter your email address and password


Press the Log In button

(if you are on a private, secure computer, used only by you, you may first check the “Remember this info” checkbox to allow the web site to sign you in automatically in the future)

If you are a Rackspace Mail user, you will see the webmail screen:


If you are a Microsoft Exchange user, you will see the Outlook Web Access screen:


That’s it – this is how you access your mailbox from any Internet-connected computer.


Address books in Outlook

We get contacted all the time about the topic of addressing email using Outlook.

Outlook, depending on how it’s used, has several different methods of addressing emails:

  1. Typing in an email manually.
  2. Using automatic fill in of previously-entered email addresses from the Nickname File (pre-Outlook 2010) or Suggested Contacts (Outlook 2010).
  3. Using automatic fill in from Contacts.
  4. Using the To... or Cc... buttons.

This article addresses the 4th of these. We’ll address the other three later.

If your contacts are in your Outlook Contacts folder, as they should be, you can use the To... button or Cc... buttons when sending an email to view and select addressees from your Contacts folders. By default, if you are using Outlook as an internet email client, the Outlook Contacts folder will be what’s shown when you select the menu or toolbar button to view address books. If, on the other hand, you use Outlook with a hosted Exchange account (an option chosen by many Interconnected Technologies clients because of the additional capabilities available through doing so), by default you will see the Global Address List (the list of all addresses in your company who also use Exchange) as your first choice for selecting email addresses, and have to use the pulldown menu to select your own Outlook Contacts folder.

Most non-corporate users of this configuration would prefer that their Outlook Contacts folder be the first choice.

This can be changed as follows:

  1. Open the address book (in Outlook 2010, this is done by selecting the Address Book button on the Home Ribbon Bar).


2.  Select Tools, and then Options, and you will see the following:


3. In this windows you can specify which Contacts folder is selected by default when choosing email addresses.

Choose the behavior you wish, and enjoy!


Google Apps (etc.) still not ready for prime time

Many have heard me say it:  Google isn't ready for prime time, yet.  That appears to be the case, still.  I just went through the process of rationalizing the "old way" Google let users of Gmail and Google Apps be with the "new way" Google is requiring users to be. What this means is beyond the scope of this article.

Suffice it to say that with just a few services assoicated with Google Apps and Gmail, and only about 15 documents in Google Docs, this has taken me an hour (so far) to complete.  As is typical of Google Apps and associated services since the beginning, the process they document ALMOST works as described, and the places that comprise the cracks in that ALMOST working are deep and treacherous and time consuming.  I can only imagine what early adopters with thousands of documents and hundreds of users are going through.  I feel a tiny (1 user and 15 documents) bit of their pain.

Google Apps is very powerful and very capable and very attractively priced, but it has at least a couple of years of maturing to do before it catches up with with Exchange for core functions, and settles down the rest of the functions it offers beyond what Exchange can do.  Microsoft is threatened, to be sure, but as Google continues to mature its offerings, Microsoft is warming up the oh-so-complicated and oh-so-powerful Office 365.

Let the battle continue!