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Looking Back on a Decade of Gmail

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I still remember where I was when I first heard about Gmail. It was April 1, 2004 and I was at my parents house, recovering from having my wisdom teeth removed. At 21, and finishing my third year of college, most of my recovery consisted of listening to my iPod (a 20GB third-generation model) and browsing the Internet. If you replace LiveJournal with Tumblr, Slashdot with Reddit and Hacker News and Gawker with, well, Gawker, the open tabs in my browser (Firefox 0.8 in 2004, Google Chrome today) aren’t that different.

Gmail was the news story that day. I remembering discussing it in IMs with friends and on LiveJournal. Google — a company we then only knew as a search engine — was launching its own mail service, and it was going to give 1GB of storage to all users, for free. Because of this extraordinary claim, and because it launched on April 1, many of us thought it might be a hoax. Read more…

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