BM User Manual
Dave Trulli, NN2Z
BBBBMMMM is designed to serve as the mail user-interface for the
KA9Q TCP/IP inter-networking package. It provides a full
set of mail services to the user which allows the sending
and receipt of electronic mail.
To install BBBBMMMM requires the modification of the supplied
configuration files and the creation of the proper
directory structure. The following sections describe the
file and directory structure used by BBBBMMMM and SMTP.
\spool\mqueue This directory holds the outbound mail
jobs for SMTP. Each job consists of 2
files a xxxx.txt and xxxx.wrk file where
xxxx is a unique numerical prefix. The
format of the files are described in a
\spool\rqueue This directory is used by SMTP for jobs
that have been received and will be
processed by a user defined mail routing
program. This directory is not used
directly by BBBBMMMM.
\spool\mail This directory holds the individual
mailboxes for each user name on your
system. The extension .txt is add to the
user name to form the mailbox name. Mail
received by the SMTP server is appended to
the mailbox file.
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2.2.1 _T_h_e__\_b_m_._r_c__f_i_l_e The \bm.rc file provides BBBBMMMM with
the configuration needed for the operation of the mailer.
The format for the \bm.rc file is:
The following variables are valid in the bm.rc file:
defines the path to the directory containing the mailbox
files. The default directory is \spool\mail on the
Is used to set the local hostname for use in the RFC822
mail headers. This is a required field.
Defines the user name of the person who is sending mail.
This is also used as the default mailbox for reading mail.
On the AMPRNET this is usually set to your call. There is
a DOS limit of 8 characters for the user name.
Defines the name of your favorite editor which can be used
to construct and edit the text of outgoing messages. The
use of edit is optional.
Is used to provide your full name to the mailer for use in
the comment portion of "From:" header line. The use of
fullname is optional.
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Defines the address where you wish to receive replies to
messages sent. This option is useful if you are operating
your pc on a local area network and would like your mail
replies sent to a more "well known host". The address
specified by reply is used to generate a "Reply-To:"
header in outbound mail. The "Reply-To:" header overrides
the "From:" header which is the address normally used to
reply to mail. This field is optional.
defines the maximum number of messages that can be
processed by BBBBMMMM in one mailbox file. The default value of
maxlet is 100.
Specifies the default file to be used for the "save"
command. This file is in the same format as a mailbox and
may later be viewed using the -f option of BBBBMMMM. If this
option is not used then the default is set to mbox.
If defined a copy of each message sent will be saved in
If defined folder contains the path used by the save
In the Turboc compiled version of BBBBMMMM, screen sets the
display output mode to use either direct writes to screen
memory or the ROM BIOS. The default is direct which
provides the fastest output mode. If you are using a
windowing system such as Desqview you should set the mode
Here is a sample bm.rc file.
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fullname Dave Trulli
# send my replies to the Sun
reply [email protected]
2.13.1 _T_h_e__\_a_l_i_a_s__f_i_l_e The alias file provides an easy
way to maintain mailing lists. An alias can be any string
of characters not containing the "@" symbol. The format
for the alias file is:
alias recip1 recip2 recip3
Note that a long list of aliases can be continued on an
additional line by placing a tab or space on the
Some examples aliases are:
dave [email protected]
phil [email protected]
# mail to local nnj users
nnj [email protected] [email protected]
[email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
In the above example, when specifying nnj as the
recipient, BBBBMMMM will expand the alias into the list of
recipients from the alias file. At this time an alias may
not contain any other aliases.
2.13.2 _\_s_p_o_o_l_\_m_q_u_e_u_e_\_s_e_q_u_e_n_c_e_._s_e_q The sequence file
maintains a message counter which is used by BBBBMMMM and SSSSMMMMTTTTPPPP
to generate message ids and unique filenames. This file
is created by BBBBMMMM.
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The timezone used in mail headers is obtained from the DOS
environment variable TZ. An example TZ setting is:
It is set in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. The first 3
characters are the timezone and the fourth character is
the number of hours from GMT time. If TZ is not set, GMT
All BBBBMMMM commands are single letters followed by optional
arguments. The command list has been designed to make
those familiar with Berkeley mailers comfortable with BBBBMMMM.
The mail command is used to send a message to one or more
recipients. All local recipient names ( those which don't
contain an '@' ) are checked for possible aliases. If no
arguments are supplied you will be prompted for a
recipient list. While entering a message into the text
buffer several commands are available such as: invoking an
editor, and reading in text from other messages or files.
See the section below for a description of these commands.
To end a message enter a line containing a single period.
It is important to remember that the input line buffer has
a 128 character limit. You should format your text by
entering a carriage return at the end of each line. Typing
excessively long lines may cause data loss due to
truncation when passing the message through other hosts.
Keeping lines less than 80 characters is always a good
Mark messages for deletion. Messages marked for deletion
are removed when exiting BBBBMMMM via the qqqq command or when
changing to an alternate mailbox with the nnnn command.
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Display message headers. The message headers contain the
message number, the status indicating whether it has been
read or deleted, the sender, size, date, and subject.
Undelete a message that is marked for deletion. The status
of a message can be determined by looking at the status
field of the message using the hhhh command.
Display or change mailbox. The nnnn command with no arguments
will display a list of mailboxes containing mail. If an
argument is supplied, then the current mailbox is closed
and a new mailbox is opened.
Run a DOS command from inside BBBBMMMM. An error message will
result if there is not enough memory available to load the
Print a help menu for BBBBMMMM commands.
The ssss command is used to save messages in a file. If no
filename is given the default from the mbox variable in
\bm.rc is used. If no message number is supplied then the
current message is saved. The message is stored in the
same format as a mailbox file with all mail headers left
The pppp command is used to send messages to the printer.
This command uses the DOS device PPPPRRRRNNNN for output. This
command is equivalent to:
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s [ msglist ] PRN
The wwww command is used to save messages in a file. Only the
message body is saved. All mail headers are removed. If
no message number is supplied then the current message is
The ffff command is used to forward a mail message to another
recipient. If no message number is supplied the current
message is used. The user is prompted for the recipients
and a subject. The RFC822 header is added to the message
text while retaining the complete original message in the
body. Also see the ~m command.
Bounce a message. Bounce is similar to forwarding but
instead of your user information, the original sender
information is maintained. If no message number is
supplied the current message is used.
Reply to a message. Reply reads the header information in
order to construct a reply to the sender. The destination
information is taken from the "From:" or the "Reply-
To:"header, if included. If no message number is supplied
the current message is used.
Entering a message number from the header listing will
cause the message text to be displayed.
List outbound messages. The job number, the sender, and
the destination for each message is displayed. A status of
"L" will appear if the SMTP sender has the file locked.
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Remove an outbound message from the mqueue. A message can
be removed from the send queue by specifying the job
number obtained by the l command. If the message is
locked you will be warned that you may be removing a file
that is currently being sent by SMTP. You will asked if
this job should still be killed.
Update the mailbox. This command updates the mailbox,
deleting messages marked for deletion and reading in any
new mail that may have arrived since entering BBBBMMMM.
Exit to DOS without changing the data in the mailbox.
Quit to DOS updating the mailbox.
The following commands are available while entering
message text into the message buffer.
~r read into the message buffer.
~m read into the message buffer.
~p display the text in the message buffer.
~e invoke the editor defined in \bm.rc with a
temporary file containing the text in the
~q Abort the current message. No data is sent.
~~ Insert a single tilda character into the
~? Display help menu of tilda escape commands.
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BBBBMMMM may be invoked as follows:
To send mail:
bm [ -s subject ] recip1 .. .. recipN
To read mail:
bm [ -u mailbox | -f file ]
-s subject This option sets the subject to the text on
the command line.
-u mailbox Specify which mailbox to read. This
overides the default from the bm.rc.
-f file Read message from "file" instead of a
Please send any comments, suggestions or bug reports to:
Usenet: [email protected]
packet: [email protected]
AMPRNET: [email protected] [184.108.40.206]