gmail invites on ebay. go figure.

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later. I’m just surprised it didn’t happen sooner. There are Gmail invites available on eBay. If you’re really desperate, go and check them out. I just can’t believe that some idiots are trying to have one week auctions on these. These are 24 hour auction material, if even that. In a week these things will probably be worthless (not that they’re worth paying for right now when they’re so readily available for free).

Anyway, here’s the link if you feel like checking them out.

google to IPO!

I just read in a BBC article that Google is about to float its shares on either the NYSE or Nasdaq in an IPO! So the rumours have finally been confirmed. I must give these guys my compliments for creating the hugest and most amazing hype imaginable around the time of their IPO. Sheer genius.

gmail overload

Wow, the first four of the Gmail accounts I signed up for (mine, my fiancee’s and my two brothers’) just each got two invites available to send to others! Because I still hadn’t turned them over to them yet, I had 8 invites I could give out to people. So, now all 12 people in my extended family have Gmail accounts with the optimal username (either, or if that was too short, then, plus a second account for me for good measure. For now I’m all out of invites, and am going to turn the accounts over to each of their respective owners soon. So from now on I’m only going to ever have two accounts’ worth of invites.

When I get the next round of invites I’m going to start inviting my friends on campus and other people I know who I think would enjoy having a Gmail account. If I’ve never heard from you before, please don’t email me asking for a Gmail account. I’m not going to have enough invites to satisfy all of you plus all the people I know. If that situation changes, and Gmail gives me more invites than I know what to do with, I’ll post here and let people know they can get in touch with me for an invite. This means that if you email me right now asking for an invite, and I have no idea who you are, your email will most likely be ignored. Unlike the Google/Blogger employees who get hundreds of invitations to give out per round, I do not, and am therefore unable to give them out as liberally as I’d like.

If you do know me, or we’ve spoken before in some non-Gmail context, feel free to drop me a line and let me know that you’d like an account. That way I won’t forget about you when I think about who to give out my next round of invitations to.

yet more gmail

Unbelieveable. Just got another Gmail invite. This one just created an account for my mother, who is currently battling it out with Hotmail, where she has a 10MB account that costs about $20/year, and is still way too small for her. Hopefully she won’t mind migrating over to Gmail, which is clearly superior to Hotmail. again!

gmail quasi review

I think I’ll post a little bit about the Gmail interface, which is pretty sweet. First of all, here’s a screenshot of a random conversation I was having with a friend (who also happens to use Gmail, but it would work with anyone else the same way, even if they weren’t):

Gmail Interface

So lets go over a few things. First of all you’ll notice that the conversation is in a threaded format, which is different from the traditional way of organising things in folders. In Gmail there are no folders. Everything is organised by thread (“conversation” in Gmail speak) and by label. Basically, the entire conversation shows up on screen, in expandable format. If I click any of the message titles, that email will expand inline. If I hit reply, a reply box will be appended at the bottom of the same window (as can be seen). The interface is pretty slick, probably the best I’ve seen out of all the webmail interfaces.

Another thing you’ll notice is the complete lack of graphics, apart from the Gmail logo and a few spacer images and the star. There are no popup or popunder ads, and there are no graphical ads at all, actually. This makes Gmail ideal for modem users who are sick of waiting for sites like Hotmail to load their numerous ads. Because of the way the interface is set up, you’ll find yourself not having to load too many pages, and the pages load very quickly because they are so small. So yeah, for modem users this is a great thing. I wish more web companies would pick up on the simple-yet-functional design ideal, instead of the lets-bomard-users-with-pretty-graphics-so-they-think-we’re-cool design ideal.

At one point I was considering doing a more detailed review of Gmail, but firstly, I’m too lazy to do that, and secondly, countless people have already done the honours, so why duplicate their effort? So instead, I just made a screenshot and wrote a little bit of stuff about Gmail. If you want to find out more about Gmail, I suggest you use Google (see a theme here?) and do a search. I’ll let you be creative and figure out the search terms for yourselves.

Anyway, I should probably get back to what I should be doing, which is writing a paper on what China’s foreign policy will look like in the year 2020. Isn’t that fun?

more gmail accounts

I’m on a roll today! This time yesterday, zero Gmail accounts. Today, I have 3 invites (none of them from, I should add)! That’s one for me, one for my fiancee, and one for one of my brothers. Both of them got My name, unfornately is too short for that, as the username has to be at least six characters long, so I just picked aebrahim, as you might expect :).

I’m kind of surprised that no one is selling the invites they receive, because the invites are not tied to a specific email address. Rather, they are unique links that let you enter any name/username you want. Here is a sample invite below (from a Google employee, with names removed, to protect those who offered them to me from being spammed):

Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 14:45:14 -0700
To: Ali Ebrahim
Subject: Ali, xxxx has invited you to open a Google mail account

I’ve been using Gmail and thought you might like to try it out. Here’s an invitation to create an account.


xxxx has invited you to open a free Google Gmail account.

To accept this invitation and register for your account, visit
URL removed — but the URL is unique to each invitation

This invitation can only be used to set up one account, so please read the information below carefully.

Once you create your account, xxxx will be notified with
your new address so you can stay in touch with Gmail!

Gmail is a new search-based webmail service that offers:

– A new webmail account and address at
– 1,000 megabytes (one gigabyte) of free storage
– Built-in Google search that instantly finds any message you want
– Automatic arrangement of messages and related replies into “conversations”
– Links to related web pages and text ads

Gmail is still in an early stage of development. As one of the system’s first testers, you may experience some turbulence but you’ll also get to see how it improves over time. While we think Gmail is ready for a taste test, we still need your help to add the frosting and little colored sprinkles. We’ll ask for your comments and suggestions periodically and we appreciate your taking the time to provide feedback.

If you’d prefer to wait until Gmail is fully baked, please delete this message and sign up to receive email updates on our progress by visiting this page:

Speedy delivery,

The Gmail Team

To learn more about Gmail before registering, visit:

(If clicking the URLs in this message does not work, copy and paste them into the address bar of your browser).

gmail is here!

I got Gmail! I’ve already set up a watcher account to send all copies of all my bugmail to it, so I can test it out and see what the new searching features and stuff are like.

I’m thinking of forwarding copies of all my other mail there too, but I won’t do that for the time being. If I were to do that, I’d just ssh into and type the following command, and I’d be all set:

echo “\aebrahim,” > .forward