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by Phil Ball

Q. I've been sharing my photos with my brother but when I try to send a photo, I get a strangely worded error message that seems to be telling me I can't do that, something about an email client. I don't understand the problem.

A. I notice from your email address that you are using Gmail. The problem stems from not having a program dedicated to email on your computer. If there is no email program on your computer, then other programs cannot connect to it. If this is a big problem for you, then I would suggest installing an email program on your computer which will allow you to send photos from your editor.

There are several ways of working with email. You can use a web-based program like Gmail or you can have a program on your computer that sends and receives email. When you use Gmail, you go to your Internet browser to read your mail, and other programs like your photo editor can only connect to a program that is actually installed on your computer like Thunderbird or Windows Mail. Web-based mail provides the software, stores your messages, and is simple and easy to use.

Your mail is stored at Gmail which is fine if you are content with letting them store your messages for you. That's only a problem if you're inclined to save lots of old messages, because they only offer limited storage space and they will discard older messages when your account gets full. Having an email program on your computer gives you more control over your email.

Actually, this is not an either-or situation because you can use a program on your computer to read your Gmail by simply directing the program to send and receive mail from Gmail. You'll still retain the ability to read messages in web-based method. If you have a program on your computer, your Internet provider often offers a way to read email while away from your computer so you actually have the advantages of both methods. Both methods are fine and if you can live with going to the web-based mail program to send your photos, they are otherwise equal.

Published: Courier 10/26/14 - Page 1D