From the Actrix Online Informer December 2009

by Rob Zorn

Readers' Forum December 2009

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send us an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may also turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (


Alison writes: Hi there, I am wondering why or how we got the .gen in our email address – and could we use .co instead? No one else seems to have .gen in their address. I notice that your address has .co not .gen.

Hi Alison and thanks for your email. The bottom line is, yes, .gen and .co (called sub-domains) are interchangeable in Actrix email addresses. The reasons for .gen being in early Actrix email addresses are historical.

Actrix was New Zealand's first ever Internet Service Provider. We began in 1989 and at that time there was a limited number of sub-domains available: .ac denoted academic, .mil denoted the military, .govt denoted government, and .gen (short for general) included just about everything else. There wasn't yet a .co domain. So in the early days Actrix customers had email addresses. Some customers who have been with us for a long time may still have that in their settings.

Now that there is a .co sub-domain, Actrix has appropriately included itself there, but we've made it so either will work.

If you'd like to change your email address settings, we have some online instructions about setting up accounts at There you can click on whatever email program you use to see how to change that setting. If you’d like some help, give the help desk a call on 0800 229849.

It's an interesting thought that .co was absent when the first sub-domains were set up. .Co is short for “company” and this indicates that in the early days of the net, people probably weren’t thinking it was all that relevant to business.


Justine writes: Hi Rob, Did you know about this website? I saw it written up in the Reader's Digest! A good one to check out those urban myths and conspiracy theories!  Regards, Justine

Hi Justine, Yes the Snopes (or Urban Legends) website is a fantastic resource, and I should have mentioned it in last month's conspiracy article. Snopes is great for checking up on any rumour that you might read about on the Internet or receive in one of those forwarded emails. Did Microsoft just draw your email address out of a hat at random and you can now claim a gazillion dollars in prize money? Is there a new virus that will eat your entire hard drive unless you forward the warning email on to 25 other people? Enter some key words at and you're sure to find out. Thanks for this!


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