One of the basic tools you need on the internet is a free online email account that you can access from anywhere. An extra account is also good to have if you want to keep your "regular" email account free of online updates you have subscribed to, like newsletters or forums. Some of the providers you can use are Google Mail http://mail.google.com, GMX Mail http://www.gmx.net and WindowsLive Hotmail http://login.live.com. When you sign up, you can enable POP/IMAP to get those emails pushed from the online server to your email client, viz. Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail or Modzilla Thunderbird, on your home or office computer. However, keeping the online account separate reduces clutter.
When you register for a course in online technology that will take place in a media lab, you should have your online account information handy. The general procedure for using online platforms or tools is to sign up as directed, then pick up your "welcome" email right then and there from your online account server, and then to follow the login instructions. Being able to access your email account online is therefore essential.
Which online account provider do you prefer and recommend, and why? Any problems? Tips?