Friday, September 02, 2005

eMail Pt 2

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In part 1 we discussed the various protocols used in handling eMail as well as what a client and a server were. I also mentioned that I would tell you a little about MIME. No, it isn’t a street performer trying to get out of a non-existent box or juggling air.

MIME is short for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, a specification for formatting non-ASCII messages so that they can be sent over the Internet. Many eMail clients now support MIME, which enables them to send and receive graphics, audio, and video files via the Internet mail system. In addition, MIME supports messages in character sets other than ASCII. There are many predefined MIME types, such as GIF graphics files and PostScript files. It is also possible to define your own MIME types. In addition to e-mail applications, Web browsers also support various MIME types. This enables the browser to display or output files that are not in HTML format.

So, now that we’ve covered the background information, let’s talk about the client side of things. Usually, the most difficult part of installing one of these packages is in the area of set up. Before you start, determine what your server names for both sending and receiving eMail, your ID, and name, as far as the server knows. Some of these packages have set up tools that will simplify the process. But, if you run into a problem, give the folks at your ISP a call and ask for assistance. It shouldn’t take but a moment or two and you’ll be up and reading email before you know it.

Now, to begin.

Thunderbird makes e-mailing safer, faster, and easier than ever before with the industries best implementations of features, such as intelligent spam filters, a built-in RSS reader, and quick search. It gives you a faster, safer, and more productive e-mail experience. Thunderbird was designed to prevent viruses and to stop junk mail so you can get back to reading your mail. Thunderbird provides the most effective tools for detecting junk mail. Our tools analyze your e-mail and identify those that are most likely to be junk. You can automatically have your junk mail deleted or you can put it in a folder you specify, just in case you like reading junk mail. View your e-mail the way you want it. Access your e-mail with Thunderbird's new three-column view. Customize your toolbar, change its look with themes, and use Mail Views to quickly sort through your messages.

Eudora, which is the client I use, is a robust e-mail client whose features include multiple address-book-formatting options and the ability to filter, redirect, and forward mail. It supports QuickTime- and HTML-enriched e-mail, letting you include stylized, formatted text and in-line graphics in your messages. Other features include a multipane interface; background mail-checking and sending; the ability to import existing settings, e-mail, and address books from Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, or Netscape mail programs; a Qualcomm PureVoice plug-in that allows voice-message exchanges; and a customizable interface, including movable, dockable window groups and toolbars. Eudora also features support for regular expressions in filters, field auto completion, an automatic spelling checker, and a filter that will speak the name and subject of incoming messages (requires sound card).

Pegasus Mail is a free, standards-based electronic mail client suitable for use by single or multiple users on single computers or on local area networks. It has special support for Novell NetWare LANs that allow it to operate intuitively and with almost no maintenance. Pegasus Mail gives you multiple viewing options; automated rule-based filtering and content control; MailMerge and distribution list functions; support for SMTP, POP3, IMAP4, LDAP, and PH protocols; comprehensive HTML mail generation; address books with aliasing functions; and even a spelling checker.

All of these clients have set-up wizards and supports MIME. IMAP , and POP servers so consider these as being good choices. But, they may not fit your needs. So go to our Favorite download sites and enter Mail as a search entry and be careful. You don’t want a Server and you’ll find a lot of them. Read the descriptions and select the Client you want.