[mandelbrot set] MATH DEPT Computer News, Volume 8

A convenient way to do e-mail from home.

by guest columnist, Donu Arapura

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I'm writing a guest column for the network news. The topic is how to check or send email from a home computer or a laptop and a modem without actually telnetting to the math department and logging in. This is something that I had wondered about because I wanted to avoid tying up the phone line, as well as the possibility of getting disconnected in midstream (which has happened more than once). Last year, I stumbled on a solution which has worked well for me, and it should for you.

The first thing to do is to set up a new email account at Purdue's Mail*Hub . If you do not know know your ph login ID and password, you will first need to fill out the information at the bottom of


and then wait to receive your ID and password by campus mail. Once you have your ID and password, you can logon to the ph service and set your mail service to store by following these steps:

At this point you will be able to receive mail at an address which looks like


However, you have the option of setting up a shorter alias. More information can be found at http://directory.purdue.edu/.

The next step is to create a file called .forward in your directory at math with the following two lines:


(Of course, "your-..." should be replaced by your actual login id's).

The effect of this is to forward a copy of all email sent to the math department to your new account, while keeping a copy on the math department system. (The "\" in the first line is designed to prevent a disastrous infinite loop, so either OMIT THE FIRST LINE if you don't plan on checking email from math, or KEEP THE BACKSLASH.)

Finally you'll have to set up things on your home computer. I'll assume that you've successfully set up PPP. Then, if you haven't already done so, you'll need to install an email program, such as Eudora (see http://www.eudora.com), that can handle the POP mail protocol. You'll need to configure this appropriately. Although the specific steps depend on your software, one way or another you will need to give it the following information:

That's it. To check your email from home just dial up and connect to the server and get your mail, then disconnect. You can now read it at your leisure. Similarly you can compose your email without being connected, and then dial up only when it's time to send it. If you're at the math department, you'll have a duplicate copy of all email on the local mail spool, so you can use elm, pine, xmail or whatever you normally use to check it.

There are a couple of variations on the above instructions. For example, if you use a commercial internet provider, you should be able to modify the above instructions to forward mail to that address. Also you can use more than one computer to check mail at your ...@purdue.edu address. For example, in addition to a home computer, you can set up Netscape running on a workstation here to do this also. If you do this but want to keep a copy of all received email on one particular machine, you can set up the other emailers to leave the email on the server (or if you can't then try another emailer).

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