Recently, last night to be exact, I was at a bar (Butch's) with a good friend. We were attempting to contact thefez to get him to come to the bar, but had forgotten his work number. Having activated The Internet on my cell phone that day, I began to figure out how to send mail from my cell phone.

I think the interface that Qualcomm/Airtouch has created is something that could have come from The Spanish Inquisition. You use the dialpad's alphanumeric selectors to go through and write your to and such. What's even more irritating is that to do things like "@" and "." are not by default in the first symbol menu you come to, necessitating additional click-thrus. You, of course, are paying by the minute. Now, granted, they have created a My Airtouch where you can create address books and such, but still, the system is terrible.

Thus it took me six minutes to write:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen - technology!

The portal website at, run by BT Cellnet, provides a very useful email <-> SMS gateway for users of mobile phones on any of the British networks. If I want to send an email from my mobile phone I can either go the WAP route, with all the complication and expense detailed by hemos above, or using Genie I can simply:

Compose an SMS message offline, ensuring that the first word is the address of the person I want to mail. Once finished I simply fire off the SMS to phone number 212 and within seconds the recipient is opening mail from {my mobile phone number} No fuss, no bother, it just costs me the price of a standard SMS -- about 10 pence. The recipient can reply to that email address and it will be sent to my phone as an SMS.

OK, so I'm limited to 160 characters, less the length of the email address, but being able to send email from a mobile phone is an extravagance not a necessity so I'll put up with that.

From any UK network*, you can compose a SMS message offline and send it on to any email address.

Ensure the first word of the message is the email address. Then leave a space, and the rest of the message. And send it to +447973577510.

If your phone doesn't have the @ sign (or you can't find it), replace it with a #.

You can also use a fax number, in international format, and the message will be forwarded via the email to fax gateway.

This free service is provided by Andrews and Arnold, more info at

* or any network which lets you send messages to UK Orange.

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