Monday, June 29, 2009

2469 I Hate Google

Monday, June 29, 2009

Euripides: "Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish."


I just wasted most of today trying to set up a Gmail account.

My primary email is on AOL, and I don't have a lot of confidence in AOL any more, so I tried to move to Gmail. It's free, and from what I heard it's pretty good.

It was easy to set up the account, using my chosen id, and then Gmail moved all my existing inbox and all folders of stored mail and my address book from AOL to Gmail, leaving copies of everything on AOL. Fast and smooth. Simple.

Then, THEN, the horror began. It turns out that if you go directly to Gmail to set up the account, you are actually setting up a second Google account. AND you can't be logged on to two separate Google accounts at the same time on the same machine. AND the second account, the one with Gmail, doesn't know anything about your old bookmarks!

So if you want to use your bookmarks, you can't have Gmail up at the same time. You have to log out of one Google account and log into the other to switch back and forth between browsing favorite places and checking your email. AND although Google will import browser bookmarks, it won't import from another Google account.

I checked all the help and forums I could find, and the complaints have evolved from "Where's my bookmarks?" to "Why won't Google answer?"

The only solution was to kill the second account, the one with Gmail, and start over, this time being careful to create the Gmail account under the old Google account.

I tried that. Unfortunately, my chosen id is now "not available". It's MINE! I WANT IT!

I tried every possible variation, and there's nothing acceptable available.

I'm spitting nails here.


Later. I thought of an id that's close to what I want and not too awful, and it was available. So I set up a new Gmail account under the old Google account. So far, so good. I checked, and I still have my bookmarks.

Now here's the part that has me ready to hop the next plane and punch out someone at Google - when I set it up under a new account, that first attempt, Gmail asked if I'd like my mail, including new, old, sent, and saved, transferred from AOL, and I said yes, and Gmail went off and did it, including the address book.

This time, under the old account, it didn't. It wants me to set up a .CSV file from the AOL address book, which must be a table on my hard disk, with blah blah headers, blah blah. Huh?

And this time there isn't the slightest hint or option anywhere that it will transfer all the saved mail folders - which it DID do the first time, without any problem whatsoever.

I don't understand.

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