POPmail for PC/MS DOS- 1 -
18 September 1991
Computer & Information Services
University of Minnesota
Room 125 Shepherd Labs
100 Union St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
1991 University of Minnesota
This manual is about POPmail for IBM and compatible microcomputers that run the MS-DOS
operating system. POPmail is an electronic mail (E-mail) system, written by the
Microcomputer & Workstation Networks Center at the University of Minnesota. With the
POPmail program, you can send and receive E-mail messages locally or to and from large
systems on campus and around the world. In addition to POPmail for the IBM, we also
support an Apple Macintosh version, although all references to POPmail in this manual will
pertain only to the IBM version unless specified otherwise.
POPmail uses the standard IBM character set to emulate a graphical user interface (GUI). For
this reason, POPmail runs on a wide range of IBM PCs and compatibles, including the earliest
PCs which contained a monochrome display adapter (with no graphics support). In other
words, POPmail does not require that you install a special graphics display adapter in your
With a GUI, you interact with the program by responding to graphical symbols which appear
on the computer screen, rather than by issuing single line commands (as with the MS-DOS
operating system). Because of its graphical user interface, POPmail is largely self-explanatory.
If you are familiar with the GUI in Microsoft Windows or the Apple Macintosh operating
system, you will be able to run POPmail without much help from this manual.
We allow free distribution of POPmail to all interested parties as long as our copyright notices
are not altered or removed and you do not charge others for distribution of our software.
If you run into difficulties installing or using POPmail, you should first contact your local
network administrator. If you have questions, bug reports, suggestions, or general comments
about POPmail you can send E-mail to us at: [email protected]
or if you prefer paper mail:
Microcomputer & Workstation Networks Center
University of Minnesota
Room 125 Shepherd Labs
100 Union St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
In all of your correspondence pertaining to POPmail, please indicate:
your POPmail version number; and
your operating system and version number (e.g., DOS 3.2).
POPmail User's Guide
Background and Philosophy
To be widely effective, an E-mail system must embody these three qualities: wide connectivity,
ease of use, and reasonable cost. We designed POPmail to meet these goals. Wide
connectivity is crucial because most people dont want to use three or four different E-mail
packages to communicate with colleagues who use different computers. You can use POPmail
to send and receive E-mail to and from the academic computer centers on campus Academic
Computing Services (ACS), St. Paul Computer Center (SPCS), Health Sciences Computer
Services (HSCS) as well as departmental minicomputers and workstations. Moreover, you
can use POPmail to send and receive E-mail to and from machines on the worldwide Internet
(CICNET, NSFNET, and MRNET) and on BITNET. POPmail is easy to use and it is in the
public domain (its free).
Because Unix machines have excellent connectivity to other systems, they are a good choice
for a mail server. However, most non-technical users do not want to learn to use Unix just to
use E-mail. For this reason, we achieved POPmails design goals on the IBM by writing the
program in Turbo Pascal so we could hide the ugly realities of the traditional Unix mail system
from the POPmail user. By developing our own custom application with an intuitive user
interface to the Unix mail system, we can give POPmail users the best of both worlds: wide
connectivity and ease-of-use.
POPmails name is derived from Post Office Protocol, the protocol that defines how a
computer can retrieve mail from another computer which acts as a shared post office or mail-
server. POPmail uses the POP2 or POP3 protocols to communicate between POPmail and a
Unix mail server; this setup lets us present an easy-to-use interface to the E-mail user.
In addition to connectivity, there is another reason to use POP and a Unix machine as a post
office. Since microcomputers arent usually left on all the time, any reliable E-mail system will
require a post office machine (or host mail server) to hold mail that arrives when someone's
microcomputer is turned off. The Unix mail server is available 24 hours a day to receive and
store incoming mail and the user can call for it when it is convenient.
Selecting a Host Mail Server
POPmail requires a host computer to act as a central shared mail server. Several host options
are available to you. The easiest option is to sign up for mail-server-only service with ACS
(the Universitys Academic Computing Services department). For $20 per year, ACS will
provide you with unlimited access to the ACS mainframe mail-server. (For further information
about this service, you can call ACS Accounts at 612-625-1511.)
If you have access to a Unix-based computer in your department or work group, you may want
to use that machine as your host mail server. Examples of small Unix hosts include SUN
workstations, NeXT computers, or Apple Macintosh IIs running the A/UX operating system.
Computers of this size should be adequate for servicing around 150 POPmail users.
Another low-cost option you can consider for a host mail server is to use our MailStop
program. MailStop is a mail-server application, written by the Microcomputer and Workstation
Networks Center, that runs on Macintosh computers. This server software is designed to
service client workstations, either IBM-compatibles or Macintosh computers, that run
POPmail. MailStop is in the public domain and is included as part of our overall POPmail
package. This means that MailStop, along with POPmail, is available from us via anonymous
FTP on the internet. (See the "Configuring POPmail" section below for details.)
In any case, to use POPmail, you designate one machine to use as a post office (also known as
a POP server). Incoming mail is held in your mailbox on the post office server until you use
POPmail on your microcomputer to call for the mail. This process is similar to having your
paper mail held for you in a P.O. box at the U.S. Post Office. Like the paper mail user, those
who use POPmail dont need to know how the post office business works; they just need to
know how to collect their mail.
Figure 1 is a diagram of a worksite that uses the ACS mainframe computer as the mail server;
the server is connected to the campus-wide backbone network. The worksite is running
POPmail on both IBM and Macintosh microcomputers. The IBM computers on the top of the
diagram are connected to the campus backbone network by Ethernet cable and a LANmark
Ethernet telephone Type LDI-410. (Making a connection to the Ethernet backbone may entail
running wires for the network and setting up a LANmark phone connection. If you do not
have the wiring and phone in place, call Telecommunications Services at 612-625-6333.)
Figure 1: Sample POPmail Setup
The POPmail User Interface
The POPmail screen consists of two full-sized windows. The Viewer Window is for viewing
messages which have been sent to you. The Composer Window is used to compose new
messages to send to others.
In addition to POPmail's two full-sized windows, smaller windows, (dialog boxes) pop up
from time to time in response to commands you issue.
POPmail's Menu Bar
The very top line of the computer screen contains POPmail's menu bar with five menu labels.
The menu bar looks like this:
Options Edit Group Memo Window
The menu bar is the primary mechanism you use to communicate with the POPmail program.
The menus have "pull-down" labels; that is, when you select Edit in the menu bar, a list of
specific editing commands are dropped down from the Edit menu label and displayed in a list.
If one of the commands in a pull-down menu is followed by three periods (...), choosing that
command will result in the display of a modal dialog box (explained later in this section). If a
command in a pull-down menu is not followed by three periods, this means that once you
choose it, the indicated action will occur immediately.
You can use either a mouse or keyboard to select commands. To use a mouse, click on the
desired menu title to display the pull-down menu. (Use only the left mouse button if your
mouse has more than one button). Then click the desired command. Alternatively, instead of
clicking you can push the mouse button down over a menu title and then continue to hold the
mouse button down while you drag straight down from the menu title to the desired menu
command, and then release the mouse button. If you decide not to choose a command, just
drag out of the boundaries of the pull-down menu and no action will be performed.
To choose menu commands using the keyboard, first pull down the menu. You do this by
pressing the F10 key to make the menu bar active. (When the menu bar is active, one menu
title is highlighted.) If the menu title you want is not the one currently highlighted, use the
arrow keys to move to the right or left along the menu bar, until the menu title you want to
select appears highlighted. (Alternatively, you can just type the first letter of the menu title.)
Then press the key. This will cause the menu to pull-down (drop-down). There is
a hot-key alternative method to pull-down a menu. Hold the Alt key down while typing the
letter corresponding to the first letter of the menu title you want (e.g., type Alt-G to pull-down
the Group menu). The hot key to pull-down the menu (called the system menu) is
Once the menu you want is pulled down, use the up-down arrow keys to highlight the
command you want. Then press to choose (perform) the highlighted command.
(As a shortcut: press the key corresponding to the highlighted letter of the desired command in
order to choose that command.)
Once you choose (perform) a menu command, POPmail will do one of two things: carry out
the command directly or display a modal dialog box.
POPmail's Status Bar
POPmail's status bar is located across the bottom line of the screen. The status bar looks like
Alt-X Exit Alt-F2 Fetch F3 Prev Msg F4 Next Msg F7 View F8 Compose
The status bar contains "hot spots." Hot spots are located wherever words occur in the status
bar. For example, "F3 Prev Msg" constitutes one hot spot. Hot spots are separated from each
other by more than one space. When you click on a hot spot with a mouse, the indicated
function will occur. For example, when you click on the words "F4 Next Msg", POPmail
allows you to view the next message stored in your mail database, and when you click on the
words "F8 Compose", POPmail will display the Composer window, allowing you to compose
an outgoing mail message.
To activate a hot spot without using a mouse, you type a hot-key. For example, if you press
the F8 function key, POPmail will display the Composer window; and, if you type Alt-X, you
will exit the POPmail program.
The individual items under the pull-down menus are organized as follows. Highlighted letters
(shown here as capital letters) are used to perform the various short-cuts described in the
previous section and elsewhere in this manual.
Note that the key (capital) letter associated with each command is not always the first letter of
the command. In addition, some menu commands are considered to be so important that they
can be activated with a hot key alternative. These hot keys are also shown below.
Once you execute a menu command, POPmail will do one of two things: either carry out the
command immediately or display a dialog box. If a menu command is followed by three
periods, (e.g., Save As...), the command opens a modal dialog box. A modal dialog box is
essentially a question-and-answer session which requires you to select choices and fill in the
blanks before POPmail will proceed. Note that while a modal dialog box is displayed, the
menus and status bar hot spots are inactive.
In order to set options in a dialog box, you use five basic on-screen gadgets. These five
gadgets or "controls" are: radio buttons, check boxes, software buttons, list boxes, and input
boxes. Figure 2 shows a dialog box illustrating the five controls:
Figure 2: Modal Dialog Box
With a mouse, you choose a software button by clicking on the button desired. The modal
dialog box shown in Figure 2 has two software buttons: Ok and Cancel. If you choose Ok, the
choices you select in the dialog box are instituted. If you choose Cancel, nothing happens and
the dialog box goes away without instituting any of your changes.
If you don't have a mouse, use the keyboard command equivalents to choose and activate a
button. Press the key consecutively to advance forward through the dialog box until
the button you want becomes highlighted and then press the key to choose that
software button. (Press Shift- to move backwards in a dialog box.) When you have
finished making your choices in a dialog box, type Alt-O (to activate the Ok button). To
cancel, type the ESC key.
Input boxes let you enter text. For example, in one of POPmail's dialog boxes, POPmail
requires that you enter your full name in an input box. If you type in more text than will fit
within the input box, the text will scroll automatically.
Some dialog boxes also have check boxes. An X inside a square indicates that that option is
set ON. An empty box indicates it's OFF. You set a check box to the ON- or OFF-state by
clicking on the square or by clicking on the text immediately to the right of the square. (If you
don't have a mouse, press the key one or more times until the check box is highlighted
and then press the Spacebar. Alternatively, you can turn a check box ON or OFF (toggling) by
holding the Alt key down while typing the highlighted letter (if one is provided). Any number
of check boxes can be checked ON at any one time.
If several check boxes are grouped together, pressing the moves to the next group and
once the group is selected, you can use the up-down arrow keys to highlight the check box you
want within the group, and then press the Spacebar to turn the individual check box ON or
OFF. On monochrome monitors, POPMail indicates the highlighted check box or group of
check boxes by placing a chevron symbol () next to it. When you press , the
symbol moves to the next check box or group of check boxes.
Radio buttons work just like check boxes, except that one and only one radio button in a group
is ON at any one time. Since only one radio button in a group can be ON at a time, any other
button in the group which was previously turned on is turned OFF automatically when you
A list box lets you scroll through a list of choices. You activate a list box by clicking in it or by
pressing the until it's highlighted. Once a list box is active, you can use the mouse to
manipulate the scroll bar (or if you don't have a mouse, press the up-down arrow keys to move
within the list).
(Note: Inside a dialog box, any item with a highlighted letter indicates that that particular
gadget can be accessed by holding the ALT key down while typing that highlighted letter.)
Editing Text in POPmail
POPmail contains basic word-processing features. Anywhere in POPmail, the
deletes text forward from the current cursor position, and the key deletes text to
the left of the cursor position. Except within a modal dialog box, you can use the mouse to
drag over (select) text to be cut or copied. Without a mouse, you select text by holding the Shift
key down and using the arrow keys to expand the amount of text selected, starting with the
current cursor position. Once the text is selected (highlighted) you can cut the selected text, by
selecting Cut from the Edit menu. Likewise, to copy selected text, select Copy from the Edit
menu. Once selected text has been cut or copied, it is stored temporarily in POPmail's
clipboard. To paste the text contained in the clipboard, position the cursor in the desired
location and then select Paste from the Edit menu.
POPmail does not support underlined, bold, or italic text.
The current version of POPmail does not support word-wrapping; therefore, when composing
a message, always type the key at the end of each line of text. However, POPmail
will scroll text automatically within the message field. Note: Users who are familiar with
WordStar are advised that the POPmail editor also supports the WordStar Control Key
sequences for cursor movement (Ctrl-E = Line Up; Ctrl-R = Page Up; Ctrl-F = Next Word;
Ctrl-Y = Delete Line, etc.).
In order to run POPmail, your microcomputer must be connected to a local area network
(LAN). Usually, the LAN will be connected to the campus backbone network, allowing you
to send and receive mail outside your local work group.
In order for your microcomputer to operate on the LAN, you must have a network adapter card
installed in your microcomputer. In order to run POPmail, your network adapter card must be
one supported by the Clarkson packet drivers, mentioned in the "Configuring POPmail"
section below. (For a list of network adapter cards currently supported by the Clarkson Packet
Drivers, please consult our accompanying documentation entitled "Installing the Clarkson
POPmail runs under DOS version 3.0 or greater and requires 640K of RAM. POPmail was
designed to run on a wide range of IBM PCs and compatibles, including the earliest PCs which
contained only a monochrome display adapter (no graphics support).
A Microsoft-compatible mouse is helpful but optional. You must load mouse driver software
into your system before running POPmail. Note also that if your mouse contains more than
one mouse button, you will be using only the left mouse button when running POPmail.
How to Obtain POPmail
POPmail software consists of two components: a Clarkson Packet driver (matched to your
microcomputer's network adapter card) and the POPmail program software itself. All the
software components and their manuals are included on the POPmail diskette, or they may be
obtained on the internet through anonymous FTP from
(IP address 184.108.40.206). Look in the UNIX directory called
Loading POPmail and the Clarkson Packet Driver
Each Clarkson packet driver is a specialized piece of software designed to talk to a specific type
of network adapter card. You install the appropriate Clarkson packet driver according to the
installation instructions contained in the manual entitled "Installing the Clarkson Packet
In order to run POPmail, the appropriate Clarkson packet driver must be loaded into RAM
(random-access memory) each time you boot-up your computer. To do this, you first run the
appropriate packet driver by typing the packet driver name, followed by the necessary
parameters, as described in our accompanying documentation entitled "Installing the Clarkson
After you have installed the appropriate packet driver, copy the POPMAIL.EXE file into a
directory. If you want to be able to run POPmail from any directory, modify the PATH
statement in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file to include the directory containing POPMAIL.EXE.
Then, you can run the POPmail program by typing: "POPMAIL" at the DOS prompt.
The following two command lines represent an example of the steps needed to load the packet
driver and start POPmail (of course, the specific packet driver and parameters will depend on
your configuration). Type each line following the command prompt and end each line by
pressing the key:
3C523 0x60 0x3 0x300
At this point you are running POPmail. As long as you do not turn the power off to your
computer, you can quit POPmail and do other things and then start POPmail again without re-
loading the Clarkson packet driver. Also if you already have the packet driver loaded for other
programs like FTP, Telnet, or tn3270, you do not need to re-load the packet driver before
When you use POPmail for the first time, you need to set up POPmail parameters. POPmail
needs these configuration parameters in order to identify you and your computer on the
network. When you run POPmail for the first time, POPmail will display the "Configure"
dialog box shown in Figure 3A, allowing you to enter the required parameters. You must enter
all of the parameters, according to the instructions which follow. (Consult your network
administrator for the correct parameter information.) Space for entering multiple name servers
and gateways is provided, but only one of each is required. You will not need to enter
parameter information during subsequent POPmail sessions, because POPmail will
permanently remember the parameters you have entered. You can modify your configuration
settings at any time by selecting Configure from the Options pull-down menu.
Figure 3A: First Time Users
Initially, the User Name line will be empty and highlighted. Since it is already selected, you
can simply type in your User Name. To enter or edit Full name, Password, or any of the other
parameters in the Configure dialog box, use the key (or Up and Down arrow keys) to
advance to the appropriate parameter field. Then enter the appropriate parameter information.
(As a short-cut you can select any of the parameter names by holding down the Alt key while
typing the highlighted character in that parameter name, e.g., type Alt-P to select the Password
parameter name. Remember: In general, we use a capital letter to designate a highlighted letter
within a dialog box.)
A brief description of each of the parameters follows:
Initially, the User Name line will be empty and highlighted. Since it is already selected, you
can simply type in your User Name. This User Name corresponds to the User Name
(sometimes called the account name) that has been assigned to you for use on the host mail
server. Generally, the host mail server will be a Unix machine, and by convention, Unix
machines use all lower-case letters, so be careful not to capitalize letters in your user name
when they shouldn't be.
This is your full name in real life, e.g. John A. Doe.
The Password is the key word that the host mail server uses to validate your user name. The
person who sets up your account on the host mail server will assign you this password.
Warning: Be sure to type in your password exactly as it was assigned, (again, be careful of
upper- and lower-case considerations). Note that when you enter your password in the
Configure dialog box, you will not see your actual password displayed on the screen. This is a
security feature of the POPmail program, since it prevents people from viewing your password
as you enter it.
This is the name or IP address of the computer you are using as a host mail server for running
POPmail. Every computer on the TCP/IP (world-wide) network has a unique numerical
address called an IP address. The IP address looks something like 220.127.116.11. In much the
same way as the post office uses home addresses to distinguish one residence from another,
the network uses IP addresses to distinguish one computer from another when delivering
electronic mail. In addition to having an IP address, each computer on the network often has a
name, e.g. vx.acs.umn.edu. Although both the IP address and name are unique for each
computer, they don't have equal status. Specifying the host mail server's IP address will
always work to identify the host computer successfully, while specifying its name identifier
may not always work. You can use either the host computer name or IP address. The
advantage in using the name, although it is less reliable on the network, is that it's easier to
remember a name than it is to remember a series of numbers. If you use a name, the name will
be converted to an IP address by a computer on the network called a name server.
Microcomputer IP address
This is the IP address of your individual microcomputer or workstation. See your network
administrator for a microcomputer IP address assignment.
Subdirectory for Mail
POPmail writes a copy of each message you receive to a file on your personal computer, one
file per message. This parameter specifies the drive and subdirectory for POPmail to use when
saving your messages. If this subdirectory does not exist on your disk, POPmail will ask you
if you would like to create a new subdirectory when you exit the dialog box. (Note: POPmail
will also ask you if you would like to create the subdirectories called ENCL and ENCL\RSRC
within your subdirectory. See the section called "About Enclosures" for more details.)
A gateway is a device which gives your computer access to the outside world, by transferring
information from one type of network to another. If you want to use POPmail to send
messages beyond your local area network (LAN), you must specify the IP address of one or
more gateways to which your LAN has access. If more than one gateway is available to you, it
is to your advantage to enter more than one, increasing the chance that you will find one that is
up and running when POPmail needs it. A gateway moves your POPmail information off your
LAN and routes it on to the outside world. Contact your network administrator for the IP
address of gateways accessible to your LAN.
As discussed earlier in the "Host Computer" section above, a name server converts a host mail
server name into an IP address. You type in the IP address of your name server in this
parameter field (see your network administrator for the value to enter). If more than one name
server is available to you, it is to your advantage to enter more than one IP address, increasing
the chance that you will find a name server that is up and running when POPmail needs it.
Figure 3B shows the Time Zone List Box which pops up when Figure 3A's Time Zone
software button is activated. The Time Zone List Box allows you to indicate your time zone, if
you are not located within the Central Standard Time zone of the United States, which is the
default setting. To indicate your time zone, use the scroll arrows or the up-down arrow keys,
to select your time zone from the list. Once your time zone is highlighted, type the
key or click on the Ok button.
Figure 3B: Time Zone List Box
When you have finished entering the parameters, click on the Ok button to have POPmail save
your changes to the configuration. If you decide you don't want your parameter changes to be
saved, click on the Cancel button.
Advanced Configuration Parameters
Starting with Version 2.10, we have enhanced the Configure dialog box to provide network
administrators with more advanced and specialized configuration parameters, in case they are
needed to install POPmail on network environments which have unique or unusual
requirements (see Figure 3C). Network administrators can set these specialized parameters by
activating the Advanced software button found within the Configure dialog box. POPmail has
appropriate default settings for these advanced parameters, which in our experience are suitable
for most networks. However, if you encounter problems in installing or using POPmail on
your network, consult your network administrator to see whether it might be helpful to alter the
Advanced configuration parameters.
When the Advanced... software button is activated, the following advanced configuration
parameters are displayed:
Figure 3C: Advanced Configuration Parameters
b.Domain request timeout (sec)20
c.Connect timeout (sec)20
d.I/O timeout (sec)20
e.Retransmit timeout in ticks1
f.Max transmit unit in bytes: MTU1024
g.Max segment we can receive: MAXSEG1024
h.Most bytes we can receive without ACK2048
The net mask parameter has to do with how your local area network is configured and
connected to the backbone network at your work site. See your network administrator for the
correct value to enter here. Most sites are configured to use a net mask of 255.255.255.0 (the
Domain request timeout (sec)
This parameter sets the maximum number of seconds allowed for the name server on the
network to convert your computer's host mail server name to an IP address. The default value
is set to 20 seconds. If an error dialog box is displayed stating "Domain name request failed"
when trying to send or fetch messages, try increasing this value.
Connect timeout (sec)
When POPmail attempts to connect to the host mail server, this parameter sets the maximum
number of seconds POPmail will wait before the host mail server will acknowledge your
attempt to connect. The default value of 20 seconds is sufficient for most mail servers. If an
error dialog box is displayed stating "Open failed" when trying to send or fetch messages, try
increasing this value.
I/O timeout (sec)
This parameter sets the maximum time allowed for POPmail to send and receive data from your
computer to the host mail server. With the default value of 20 seconds, POPmail will wait 20
seconds for a response from the host mail server. If a response does not come through within
20 seconds, POPmail will present an error dialog box and abort the Send or Fetch operation in
progress. Again, if your host mail server is slow and frequently times out, you may need to
increase this parameter value.
Retransmit timeout in ticks
This parameter sets the length of time in sixtieths of a second POPmail will wait before
retransmitting a packet whose earlier transmission was not acknowledged.
Max transmit unit in bytes: MTU
This parameter specifies the maximum allowable packet size that POPmail will transmit in
Max segment we can receive: MAXSEG
This parameter specifies the maximum size packet in bytes that a host mail server is allowed to
transmit to POPmail.
Most bytes we can receive without ACK
This parameter sets the maximum send/receive TCP window size in bytes.
Sending Mail to Other Users
Using POPmail to send an electronic mail message is easy. Just follow these steps:
1.Make the Composer window the active window.
2.Specify the recipient of the message.
3.Specify recipients of carbon copies.
4.Specify the subject of the message.
5.Type the message itself.
6.Send the message.
Make the Composer window the active window
Press the F8 function key. This will make the Composer window active. (The active window
always appears in front of all other windows.)
In order to send a letter to someone through the United States mail, you must know their name
and address. Likewise, to send an electronic mail message to someone, you need to know
their electronic name and address. This is commonly called their E-mail address.
You place the recipients E-mail address into the POPmail field labeled To. (Initially, the
cursor is positioned in the To field). In order to move the cursor between fields, you press the
key or simply click in the desired field with your mouse and then type the recipient's e-
mail address. Figure 5 shows a sample message in the Composer window.
Figure 5: POPmail screen with the Composer window visible
Options Edit Group Memo Window
Alt-X Exit Alt-F2 Fetch F3 Prev Msg F4 Next Msg F7 View F8 Compose
In this example, the message is being sent simultaneously to two people. One recipient is
someone whose E-Mail address is:
(This address is read: kathy at boombox dot micro dot umn dot edu. The address denotes a
person whose E-mail user-name is kathy. Kathy gets mail at a computer called
boombox.micro.umn.edu on the Internet.)
To send the same message to more than one person, enter additional E-mail addresses
separated one from the other by one or more spaces (a comma is optional). The message in
Figure 5 is also being sent to:
(a recipient named ellen who gets her mail at a computer called UMNMOR on BITNET). You
can send the same message simultaneously to as many recipients as you wish.
Specify Carbon Copies
With POPmail you can send a message directly to some people and as a carbon copy to others.
After specifying the primary recipients of your message in the To field, press the key
once to enter the CC field where you can enter E-mail addresses of the people who are to
receive carbon copies of the message. To send carbon copies to more than one person, enter
additional E-mail addresses separated by one or more spaces (a comma is optional). Those
who receive messages see E-mail addresses of both the primary and the carbon copy recipients
of the message. If you dont want to send carbon copies of your message, you may leave the
CC field blank.
You must fill in the Subject field. To move to this field, press the key. Once your
cursor is in the field, type a succinct one-line description of your message. Be courteous and
wise; use this field to describe the contents of your message briefly but clearly. The subject of
our sample message is Next Committee Meeting.
Type the Message
The big field just below the Subject field is the Message field. This is where you will enter the
body of your message. To move the cursor to this field, press the key again. Once
your cursor is in the field, type your message. Editing text here is easy. You can use the
arrow keys to move around in the text and use the and
keys to delete text.
You can also use the WordStar control key sequences for cursor movement. POPmail uses a
simple version of a word processor and has some limitations. For example, you cannot make
text bold, italic or underlined and you must type at the end of each line of text.
When you are done typing your message click on the Send button (alternatively, type Alt-S; or
press the key until the Send button is highlighted and then press ). The
message will be sent to the recipients you specified in the To and CC fields. When the
message has been sent to the mail-server, a confirmation dialog box is displayed.
Sending Mail to a Group
Sending POPmail to a group is as easy as sending a message to one person. With POPmail
you can keep group lists. A group is simply a list of recipients (E-mail addresses) that have
been given a one-word alias (identifier). For example, you could create a group called Marx
composed of these three E-mail addresses:
To create a group alias name, select the "Make Group..." menu item from the Group pull down
menu. An edit box with scroll bars will appear to allow you to enter the desired alias name and
the recipients you want to include in the group. When you define a Group, you must type the
group name first. In our example, shown in Figure 6 below, committee1 and committee2 are
group names. The group names are followed by the user names of the members of the group.
Within a group, each user name is separated from the next by one or more spaces (commas are
optional). When you are finished entering the user names for one group, type the
key twice before entering information to define another group. (Groups must be separated by a
Figure 6: Making Groups
When you have finished making groups, click on the Ok button to save your changes.
Selecting a Predefined Group
To send mail to a group you have already defined, select the "Select Group..." menu item from
the "Group" pull down menu. A list box with a vertical scroll bar will appear, giving you a list
of all your group alias names, as shown in Figure 7. Select the group name by typing the up
and down arrow keys until the desired group name becomes highlighted. Then click on the
Select button to select that group. The "To" field of the Composer window will be filled in
automatically with the full E-mail addresses of the members of the group; the group alias name
itself does not appear in the To box.
Figure 7: Select a Predefined Group
POPmail allows you to enclose files, such as an Excel chart or worksheet, or a memo created
with Microsoft Word, with each mail message. Each recipient of your message receives an
exact copy of the enclosed files. (Of course, to receive an enclosure from POPmail, the
recipient must be running POPmail/PC or POPMail/Macintosh.) Enclosed files appear on the
recipient's disk with their original contents. Your recipient can peruse and modify the file and,
if desired, return it to you as another POPmail enclosure.
When the POPmail program receives a message with an enclosed file, the document is stored
on your disk. POPmail automatically stores the enclosure in a subdirectory named ENCL of
the directory you specify for mail (see Configuring POPmail). For example, if you specify the
C:\POPMAIL\MAIL directory for incoming mail, POPmail places your enclosures in the
Since enclosures are regular files, you can treat them as you would any other file; that is, if
someone sends you an enclosure containing an executable program, you can run the program
on your machine as well. In addition, an IBM enclosure containing graphics, italic or bold
characters, or spreadsheets, will retain all its original characteristics. In short, sending IBM
files as enclosures is really no different than transferring files from one machine to another
using a diskette.
Receiving Enclosures from a Macintosh
Macintosh files are somewhat more complicated than IBM files. First, Macintosh files can
have longer and more complicated file names, so if necessary, POPmail/PC will alter the
original Macintosh file name in order to comply with DOS file name requirements. Second,
Macintosh files are divided into one or two forks (parts). Part One, called the "data fork," is
completely equivalent to a data file on a DOS computer. Part Two, if present, is called the
"resource fork." The resource fork contains special Macintosh-only information. If an
enclosure is coming from a Macintosh, POPmail will store the data fork of the document in the
subdirectory called ENCL. If the document also contains a resource fork, the resource fork
portion of the document will be stored in a subdirectory of ENCL called RSRC. For example,
if someone sends you a Macintosh HyperCard stack called "French," POPMail/PC will divide
this incoming Macintosh document into two parts. Part One the data fork, would have the
Part 2 (the resource fork), would have the name:
Actually, the information contained in the resource fork is useless to the IBM user; however, if
someone sends you a HyperCard stack, you may want to pass it on to another Macintosh user
without losing any information. That is why POPmail saves the resource information on the
PC even though PCs don't have any way of using Macintosh-style resources.
Sending Enclosures to a Macintosh
It is possible to send enclosure files to a Macintosh, as well as receive them. In fact, many of
the newer applications, such as Microsoft Excel, have compatible data formats. They achieve
this by using only the data fork on the Macintosh and storing the data in compatible formats.
In general, if you are creating files on the IBM for later transmission to a Macintosh via
POPmail, you must be careful to assign the correct file extension to your file name. The
Macintosh then will be able to assign the proper system icon, etc. to the IBM file when
received. For example, if you are using Excel on an IBM and want to send the Excel
spreadsheet to a Macintosh user, your file name must have a .XLS file extension. The
recipient will be able to receive and modify the spreadsheet with no problem, and then send the
modified spreadsheet back to you.
Here are other important file extensions to employ when sending IBM files to a Macintosh:
EXT Application Document type
==== ========= ===========
.XLS MS Excel 2.2 spreadsheed
.WKS MS Excel 2.2 spreadsheed
.WK1 MS Excel 2.2 spreadsheed
.PAS Turbo Pascal 1.1 program source
.TXT MacWrite II ASCII text
.BAT MacWrite II ASCII text
.C MS Word 4.0 ASCII text
.CPP MS Word 4.0 ASCII text
.DOC MS Word 4.0 internal
.RTF MS Word 4.0 RTF
Exchanging Documents: Caveats
Those who exchange documents with others (via POPmail or even floppy disk) using different
versions of the same software soon learn that they cannot always save, open, read, or retrieve
documents in the usual manner. New versions of the software can usually open or read
documents created with older versions, but older versions do not recognize documents created
with newer versions. However, newer versions of the software usually are backwardly
compatible in that they contain an option for reading and writing documents in the old
Exchanging computer documents is generally straightforward when you and the recipient use
exactly the same version of the same software; for example, when you both use WordPerfect
5.1. However, even in this scenario, if the recipient does not have the font you used to create
the document, they probably will not be able to see the document as you intend it to be
reproduced - either on the screen or on a printer.
Whenever Microsoft Word users want to exchange documents but are unsure of the recipient's
software, they should save the document as an RTF (rich text format) document. Documents
saved in this manner are compatible with all versions of Word on the IBM and the Mac, as well
as with some other word processing programs. Word 5.0 users will see the RTF document's
name show up in the Transfer/Load menu if the document's name ends in .DOC. If the
document's name does not end in .DOC, Word 5.0 users must type in its name to load the
document. The newer Word 5.5 is more flexible; it has an option that lets you view a list of all
documents regardless of their names.
Some software comes with built-in file converters. For example, Microsoft Word for
Windows 1.1 includes converters for several word processing packages, such as Word for
DOS, Word for Macintosh, Windows Write, WordPerfect 5.1, and WordPerfect 4.2. When
you install Word for Windows this conversion feature is automatically copied to your working
disk. Not all software makes using its conversion features so easy to use. Some software
requires that you follow special installation instructions to use their converters.
Finally, keep in mind that when you E-mail large documents or multiple enclosures, you can
bog down a network. To avoid congestion, consider these strategies: send only one enclosure
per mail message; break up large documents into smaller documents; and mail your documents
during off-peak hours.
As you can see, enclosing E-mail documents is not always straightforward. The less you
know about the recipient's hardware and software setup, the more likely you are to run into
When sending a message, it is often desirable to enclose another file within your message. For
example, you may want to send a message notifying others of an upcoming committee
meeting, and enclose a copy of a map indicating directions to the meeting site. If you push the
"Enclose..." button in the Composer window shown in Figure 8, POPmail will display the
following modal dialog box:
Figure 8: Choose file to enclose Dialog Box
The list displayed in Figure 8 is simply a list of all the files contained on your disk. The
information at the bottom is provided to give you further information about the file you are
proposing to select as an enclosure. This helpful information includes: drive, path, and file
name information, the file size in bytes, and the date and time the file was last modified. To
select a document to be sent with the current outgoing message, click on the file name desired
and then click on the Ok button. At this point, POPmail returns you to the Composer window.
The enclosure file name will be displayed on the bottom of the Composer window (on the
window frame) to remind you that you have selected an enclosure.
If you hold down the shift key when you invoke this dialog box (figure 8) the dialog box will
be titled as "Choose TEXT file to add to message". You can then choose an ASCII text file
that will be appended to your message body when the message is sent. You can use this
feature to send enclosures to others who are not using POPmail and cannot accept BINHEXed
enclosures (the normal method POPmail uses to send enclosures).
Sending multiple enclosures
If you select the Enclose... button from the Composer window after you have already selected
one enclosure, you will see the following dialog box:
Figure 9: Add/Remove Enclosures Dialog Box
To add additional files to POPmail's enclosure list for the current outgoing message, click on
the "Add..." button. Then POPmail will display the modal dialog box called "Choose file to
enclose" (Figure 8) on top of the Add/Remove Enclosures dialog box:
For each enclosure you wish to send, repeat this sequence, choosing one file at a time, until
you have chosen all the desired enclosures. If you find that you have selected an incorrect file,
you can click on (highlight) the incorrect file name in the list and then delete it by clicking on
the Remove button. When your list of enclosures is complete and correct, click on the OK
button in the Add/Remove Enclosures dialog box, and POPmail will return you to the
Fetch Incoming Mail
Your incoming mail is held for you at the post-office server until you fetch it. When you fetch
incoming mail, each message is moved from the mail server to the POPmail subdirectory you
have specified. Incoming messages remain in your database until you explicitly discard them.
To retrieve your new messages, click the Fetch button on the Viewer window (Figure 11
below). (No matter which window is currently active, you can type Alt-F to make the Viewer
window active and Fetch your mail.) POPmail will present you with a dialog box to inform
you whether or not you have mail. Then POPmail will display the first new message in the
Figure 11: POPmail screen with the Viewer window visible
Options Edit Group Memo Window
Alt-X Exit Alt-F2 Fetch F3 Prev Msg F4 Next Msg F7 View F8 Compose
If you are connected to a printer, you can print the message by selecting Print from the File pull
down menu. If you want to delete the message click on the Delete button in the Viewer
window. If you dont delete the message, it will remain in the database.
Paging through the Database
Messages are stored in the database in the order they were received. Each new message is
stacked on top of its predecessor, just like file cards on a stack. To move backwards in the
database (view the previous message), press the F3 function key. To move to the next
message in the stack, press the F4 function key.
If you save a copy of your outgoing messages (specified in the Preferences dialog box shown
in Figure 12) from the Options pull-down menu, each outgoing message will be stored in order
at the end of your POPmail database.
Each incoming message is saved to a file on your disk in the subdirectory you specify in the
Configure dialog box (see Figure 3A). The name of each file is stored near the end of the To:
field along with the complete SMTP header. (More advanced users may wish to scroll down
the To: field to view or retrieve this optional information. This feature is useful because
POPmail will only display the first 45K of the message body. If the message is larger than
45K in size, you would want to know the file name of the message so that you could retrieve it
from disk and view it with some other word-processing program capable of reading arbitrarily
Reply to Incoming Mail
One important difference between the Viewer window and the Composer window shown
earlier in Figure 5 is that the Viewer window includes a REPLY button. The Reply button
allows you to respond to an incoming message quickly, since POPmail automatically takes the
Subject field and From field information from the original message and fills it into the Subject
field and To field in the Composer window for your reply. When you are finished typing your
reply, you click the Send button to send your message.
If you hold down the shift key when you select Reply, the function of the Reply button is
altered to function as a Forwarding feature to forward an original unaltered message on to
another person. The Composer will be filled in as follows: the subject field will be prefixed
with the text "Forwarded->" and the text in the body will be prefixed by a line indicating who
wrote and sent the original message.
Setting Program Preferences
POPmail is designed so that you can customize the program to meet your needs. To customize
POPmail, select "Preferences..." from the File pull-down menu. The Preferences dialog box
shown in Figure 12 will appear. Use the mouse to click in the little box to the left of each
option in order to toggle the preference ON or OFF (when an X appears in the box to the left of
preference, it is turned ON). (Using the keyboard you can toggle a preference by pressing the
Alt key together with the letter that is highlighted for the preference in question; or, press the
key repeatedly until the desired preference is selected [highlighted] and then press the
Spacebar to toggle that preference ON or OFF.) The default values are pre-set by POPmail to
the values shown in Figure 12. If you don't like these default values, you are free to change
them at any time. POPmail permanently remembers your settings.
Figure 12: Preferences Dialog Box
The first preference option is "Include incoming message in Reply". This feature is used in
conjunction with the Reply button in the Viewer window (see Fig. 11). When there is a check
in the square to the left of this preference, POPmail will collect the text in the incoming
message and include it for reference as a preface to the reply you will formulate to the message
while using the Reply feature on the Viewer window. The text collected from the incoming
message will appear before your reply, with a leader line stating, " On [such and such a date]
[so and so] writes: ". In addition, to further differentiate the incoming message from your
reply which will follow in the message field, POPmail places a greater than (>) symbol before
each line of the incoming message. You then type your reply following this reference text.
This feature is useful because it allows each recipient of your reply to consider your reply in the
context of the original incoming message.
The second preference option is "Display POPmail's copyright screen". When there is a check
in the square to the left of this preference, POPmail will display the POPmail copyright dialog
box (POPmail's initial screen) whenever you start up POPmail.
The third preference option is "Add signature to outgoing mail." When there is a check in the
square to the left of this preference, POPmail will automatically end each of your outgoing
messages with a signature block of your choice, as shown in the John Doe example in Figure
The fourth preference option is "Save copy of outgoing mail." When there is a check in the
square to the left of this preference, POPmail will automatically place a copy of each outgoing
message into your POPmail database. This convenient feature saves you a record of every
message you send.
The fifth preference option is "Prompt for password." When there is a check in the square to
the left of this preference, POPmail will require you to enter your password every time you
start POPmail. The password will not be stored in the configuration file.
The sixth preference option is "43/50 line mode as default." When there is a check in the
square to the left of this preference, POPmail will start with the program in the highest
resolution mode allowed by your computer's video display adapter. You can always use
POPmail's Video mode command under the (system) menu to switch to low resolution mode
(25 line mode) and back again as often as you wish.
Moving a Window
You can move the Viewer and Composer windows, as well as dialog boxes, by using a mouse
or the keyboard. Using a mouse, place the mouse cursor on the top bar of the window frame,
press the left mouse button, and continue to hold the mouse button down while dragging the
window to a new location, then release the mouse button. Using the keyboard, press Ctrl-F5
(or select "Resize/Move" from the Window pull-down menu and use the four arrow keys to
move the window. Press when done.)
Resizing a Window
The Clipboard window (you can view the clipboard by selecting "Show Clipboard" from the
Edit menu) and the Trace Window (see the "Trace Facility" below) can be resized as well as
moved. To resize a window using the mouse, grab the lower right corner of the frame and
press the left mouse button, dragging the mouse until the desired size is achieved; or, using the
keyboard, select "Resize/Move" from the Window menu and use the arrow keys while holding
the Shift key down. Press when done. Note: The Composer window, the Viewer
window, and dialog boxes cannot be resized.
POPmail has a built-in trace facility to assist network administrators in trouble-shooting when
POPmail fails to Fetch or Send properly. When tracing is turned ON, POPmail will write a
detailed log of the transactions between the PC and the host mail server when messages are
fetched or sent. Then your network administrator can use this log to help locate the source of
the problem. You press Alt-F10 to display the Trace Options dialog box, as shown in Figure
Figure 13: Trace Options Dialog Box
By default tracing is turned off. You turn tracing on by selecting a trace destination, either the
trace window or a file.
You can direct the trace output to a Trace window by choosing the "..to trace window" radio
button and then clicking on the Ok button. Then a movable and resizable Trace window is
made visible and active. You can scroll back through this window to see earlier messages.
(The Trace window has an 8k buffer). All new messages are always added to the bottom of
the window. If the Trace window gets covered by the Viewer or Composer windows, you can
bring it to the front by successively pressing F6 (Next Window) until the Trace window
appears on top of all other windows. You can close the Trace window by clicking in the close
box in the upper left-hand corner of the window or by pressing the key. Even if the
Trace window is closed, transactions will still be recorded to the trace window, you just won't
be aware of them. Remember, if you have closed the Trace window, you can make it visible
again by pressing Alt-F10.
You can direct Trace output to a file by selecting the "..tofile" radio button and typing the
name of the file in the input box just to the right of this radio button and then clicking on the Ok
button. By default, POPmail uses the file name "POPTRACE.TXT". If you enter PRN for
the filename, the trace output will go to your printer. If your network administrator is
unsuccessful in trouble-shooting the problem, we can be more helpful if he or she sends us
The values you enter into the Trace dialog box are transient. They are forgotten once you quit
the POPmail program. The Trace dialog box initial (default) settings are shown in Figure13.
The POPmail program has two advanced optional parameters called program switches. They
are the /P and /BATCH options.
Using the /P switch allows multiple users to run a single copy of POPmail on a network, each
user with his own POPmail configuration file (as well as making it possible for each user to
choose among multiple sets of POPmail configuration files by specifying the path (location) of
the desired configuration file).
Using the /BATCH option allows you to find out how many incoming messages are waiting to
be read. When you use the /BATCH option, POPmail runs in a batch file in a non-interactive
mode; that is, POPmail simply reports the number of messages waiting for you and then quits.
POPmail sets ErrorLevel to the number of messages waiting. In batch mode, you can also
redirect the output.
For example, to have POPmail use the configuration file in directory C:\POP77 and run in a
batch file so POPmail will report the number of messages waiting, you would use the
following command at the DOS prompt when starting POPmail:
POPMAIL /BATCH /PC:\POP77
This sample batch file runs POPmail in interactive mode only if there are messages waiting:
@POPMAIL /BATCH >NUL
@IF NOT ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO :QUITNOW
Shift-Send will cause POPmail to make a copy of your outgoing message regardless of the
setting chosen in the Preferences dialog box.
Shift-Reply will forward a message.
Shift-Discard will discard a message whithout prompting.
Summary and Cautions
POPmail is designed to give networked microcomputer users an easy to use E-mail system
with wide connectivity. While other Post Office Protocol software for the PC already exists,
POPmail/PCs user interface mirrors the Macintosh POPmail user interface. This consistency
helps simplify training for departments that have mixed Macintosh and PC computing
Since there are many details to be considered in establishing a connection to the campus
backbone network, we strongly advise that you consult the staff at the Microcomputer
HelpLine before you plan your network or purchase any hardware.
If you want to discuss POPmail (or other E-mail systems), call or visit the Microcomputer
HelpLine. If you visit the HelpLine, our consultants can demonstrate POPmail for you. If
your department decides to run POPmail, we would be happy to help you set things up.
We wish to extend our thanks to Borland International of Scotts Valley, California, for
continued excellence in the enhancement of their Turbo Pascal product. We developed POPmail
Version 2.0 using Borland's TurboVision, an object-oriented library of special-purpose
routines provided with Borland's newest release of Turbo Pascal, Version 6.0.
For the use of the Clarkson Packet Drivers, the foundation on which our network products are
based, we gratefully acknowledge Clarkson College of Potsdam, New York.
Using POPmail with Novell
Version 9.x of the Clarkson packet drivers will work with Novell NetWare.
First, you must configure Novell NetWare by using a special IPX. It requires
that you SHGEN a new one using the driver from BYU to create the interface
between the packet driver and NET3/4/5. The BYU_IPX is a generic IPX that works with any
of the boards that use the packet driver, so if you have a mixture of 3COM, Novell Ethernet,
and other boards you just need the appropriate packet drivers and the BYU version of the IPX.
Second, to configure the packet driver to work with Novell NetWare, simply add the -n switch
to the command line immediately after the command to invoke the driver, before any other
parameters. For example, to invoke the packet driver for the 3COM 503 board, allowing for
use with TCP/IP and Novell NetWare, you would use the following command line:
c503.com -n 0x60 3 0x300
Using POPmail with Microsoft Windows 3.0
Version 9.x of the Clarkson packet drivers will work with Microsoft Windows 3.0. To
configure the packet driver to work with Windows 3.0 or greater, add the -w switch to the
command line immediately after the command to invoke the driver, before any other
parameters. This allows you to use Windows to invoke POPmail, Telnet, ftp, or tn3270
directly. For example, to invoke the packet driver for the 3COM 503 board, allowing for use
with TCP/IP and to work with Windows 3.0, you would use the following command:
3c503.COM -w 0x60 3 0x300
If you want to use Windows and Novell NetWare together, your command lines would look
3c503.COM -n -w 0x60 3 0x300
In addition, you will need to set up a separate Windows .PIF file for each of the applications
(POPmail, Telnet, ftp, and tn3270) with the following options so that Windows can run these
packet-driver-dependent applications correctly:
Full screen ON
Background execution ON
Close Window on Exit ON
Background priority 100
Detect Idle Time OFF
Lock Application Memory ON
Video Memory TEXT
Monitor Ports OFF (i.e., all boxes off)
Retain Video Memory ON
The .PIF file should point to the .EXE files for each of these programs.
POPmail Q & A
This section presents frequently-asked questions about POPmail/PC.
Q. Does POPmail PC have a "find message" feature?
A. We are currently working on a message search, organizing, and archiving facility. Right
now the "database"-like features are modest.
Q. What can I do if POPmail says there is not enough memory
to run POPmail?
A. The current version of POPMail needs at least 512K of memory. If you have a lot of TSRs
or your network software has a large resident portion, then POPMail will have trouble running.
Do a "chkdsk" or "mem" command to see how much free memory is left for applications.
Q. How do I define a group in the "Edit Groups" window?
A. Groups are defined by listing a group name, followed by one or more spaces, followed by a
group member's mail address, followed by one or more spaces, followed by another group
member's mail address, etc. Put a blank line after the group to separate it from the other groups
you have defined.
Q. Is there a way to include a full name in the group listing so that they can be more easily
For example: am [email protected]nsandfur.fw.umn.edu (Alan McClure)
A. We suggest that you define the alias as the guy's name. Then you can easily remember who
it is when selecting it from the list displayed by the "group" button. So, I suggest that you
define the alias like this:
Alan_McClure [email protected]
By doing this, you can select Alan_McClure off the list of groups rather than trying to
remember who "am" is.
Spaces are separator characters; that is, they mark the end of names. Use the underline
character for making long names look pretty. For instance, define a group called
AIS_CSO_Nameserver_Dude like this:
AIS_CSO_Nameserver_Dude [email protected]
Q. We are running a POP3 server on port 999. Can we use POPmail with this POP port?
A. Yes. To have POPmail use a port other than the default 109 port, simply put the port
number after the "Host computer:" field in the configure dialog box. For example:
Q. I just FTP'd POPmail/PC and tried to run the program. I get the error message "TCP
Driver did not load". What is wrong?
A. The other possible problem is that POPMAIL.EXE is being truncated in the ftp process.
This can happen if you forget to specify binary mode when doing the ftp. Sometimes we also
see this problem if there are too many gateway hops, resulting in the file getting mysteriously
truncated along the way. For some reason, we've seen this problem frequently when people
ftp POPmail from Canada. Other than forgetting to specify binary mode, we still do not know
why this phenomenon occurs. Often subsequent attempts will succeed where the first try
failed. After you ftp, just make sure that you have the complete file by checking to make sure
that you received the correct number of bytes as shown by the directory command (ls). (FYI:
The TCP driver is an overlay embedded in the POPMAIL.EXE file.)
If all else fails, many people with this problem have had success when they ftp the compressed
file version of POPMAIL.EXE (popmail.exe.Z).
Q. In what format is the POPmail/PC manual?
A. The manual is in 3 formats: (1) man.hqx is in binhex format for Microsoft Word 4.0 on the
Macintosh; (2) man.rtf is in RTF (rich text) format, so you should be able to download and
read this file with any version of Microsoft Word for the IBM; and (3) man.txt is a straight-
ASCII version of the manual.
Q. I have a friend who gave me his access numbers on various computer services including
CompuServe, Prodigy, PC link, and Genie. Can I use POPmail to send him mail?
A. For Prodigy, PC Link, and Genie we are not aware of any procedure that would work.
Contact those services directly and ask them how to send/receive mail to the TCP/IP internet.
(When you are using POPmail what you are really doing is sending TCP/IP internet e-mail).
For CompuServe, you are in luck.
From internet to Compuserve:
Compuserve addresses are of the form nnnnn,nnnn where n is 0 to 9. For example,
72555,3235. Change the comma to a period and append @compuserve.com and you've got it.
For example, to send to 72555,3235 you would address your mail to
From Compuserve to internet:
Preface the internet address with >INTERNET: and you're done. For example, to send
mail to a user name fred with an account on an internet mail server named
boombox.micro.umn.edu from Compuserve you would address mail to
Q. Does POPmail support BOOTP?
A. We do support automatic configuration through BOOTP. BOOTP is a protocol that lets
you define all the paramaters, IP address, gateways, name servers, at one central server.
POPmail/PC interrogates the BOOTP server if the microcomputer IP address is 0.0.0.0. In
this way new users can just start up POPMail with not knowning any IP numbers and
POPMail will configure itself.
Q. We have more than one Packet Driver loaded. POPmail can't seem to find the correct
packet driver. What's going on?
A. Popmail uses the first packet driver it finds. Make sure the packet driver POPmail needs
has the lowest interrupt number. You can ensure success by assigning it the lowest possible
interrupt number: 0x60.
Q. Does POPmail/PC work on an AppleTalk network?
A. We have tested POPmail with token ring and ethernet cards. POPmail does not currently
LocalTalk support is an important future product direction, but we are not yet working on it.
Q. When I tried to use the 3C503 packet driver I was required to change the jumpers on the
3C503 to allow shared memory. This allowed me to run POPMAIL which looks like a real
good product. However when I reconfigured the PC to boot with PC-NFS it wouldn't work
unless I set the jumpers on the 3C503 back to "memory disable" (note: I didn't try to load
3C503 packet driver).
A. The packet driver for this particular hardware requires memory sharing, while PC-NFS
disallows it. This is an unfortunate incompatibility and there is no solution to this problem at
Q. Can you run PC NFS and POPmail together?
A. No, they can't both be running at the same time. PC-NFS and POPMail each have their
own TCP protocol code. They end up confusing each other. The ideal solution would be for
IBM to mandate *one* TCP driver that all applications must use, just as the packet-drivers are
common low-level drivers all net applications use.
Unfortunately, there is no simple common TCP driver that we know of and that all TCP
programs accept as a standard.
You'll have to set up some way of switching autoexec.bat files to selectively load PC-NFS or
POPMail, but not both at the same time.
Q. What language is POPmail written in?
A. Turbo C version 1.5, Turbo Assembler 1.0, and Turbo Pascal 6.0
Q. How is the software in POPmail/PC layered?
A. It is arranged like this:
POPmail main program (user interface)
net mail (same code for Macs and IBMs)
seg (all written in C and ASM)
The SEG code is really a C program that is loaded into a segment by the Pascal program, in
this case POPmail. The Pascal program then transfers control to the C program (written in the
small memory model so it fits into one segment). The C program then hooks an interrupt and
returns control to the Pascal program. When the Pascal program wants a TCP function it calls
a routine in ibmtcp that then calls the C program via an interrupt.
SEG provides simple functions like open, close, read write.
Q. Can you make POPmail a TSR?
A. A POPmail TSR would be nice in theory, but it would take up about 80k of RAM. Most
users don't want to or can't lose 80k without wreaking havoc upon their main applications. So
while it would be an interesting exercise in programming, it's not too practical on DOS
machines. However, POPmail does have a batch mode that you can use to have POPmail
report the number of messages waiting for you on the server (see the manual for further
Q. Where are the POP2 protocols described?
A. The description of the POP2 protocol is in RFC937.
Q. Does POPmail use password encryption?
A. We added DES encryption to the login sequence. Our POP2 server makes up a random
key and sends it to the client. The client encrypts the password with the key and sends it to the
server. The server can then unencrypt the password and check it. By choosing the right
defaults, we can keep the server and clients interoperable, i.e., the client can recognize our
"extended" POP2 server by the presence of a key in the server's welcome message. Therefore
the client sends encrypted passwords to extended servers, and regular clear passwords to plain
pop2 servers. Similarly, our server accepts both encrypted and clear passwords
interchangeably. Therefore you can mix and match. Our clients can talk to a standard POP2 or
POP3 server, and other clients such as Eudora can talk to our server. As another level of
security, if our client determines that it is talking to a standard pop2 server, and must send the
password in the clear form, it sends the password 1 character per packet with long random
delays between packets, instead of sending it all in 1 packet. This disguises the password from
all but the most knowledgeable of network peekers. You can get our extended POP2 server by
anonymous FTP from boombox.micro.umn.edu. It is in /pub/POPmail/unix.
Q. We are using POPmail/PC and when sending a file attachment to a Macintosh client that is
using Eudora, the Macintosh client gets info stating the file needs to be bindHex. Why?
A. There is a slight incompatibility between Eudora and POPMail's method of sending
attachments. Eudora will sometimes complain that there may be extra characters at the end of
the attachment, or some similar message. You can ignore the message as the attachment is
okay. It is just that POPMail send one harmless extra character in certain cases. This triggers
an error message from Eudora.