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Note: Information contained in archived ITSS newsletter articles was current at the time of publication, but may not reflect the present state of technology or ITSS.

February 2003

Email Options

As with most networked services these days, there are often several ways to accomplish the same thing. Email is no exception. For accessing email on campus and home computers we recommend using Mulberry, which is site licensed for faculty, staff and students at UMD. We also provide a web based email service called "IMP" which is especially useful for those who travel or aren't near their own computers when they want to check email. Netscape and Mozilla also have built in email services. Other email programs, such as Eudora and Outlook are also popular. We have a text based email program called "Pine" available on our central servers. If you usually use one particular email client you can still access your same inbox and saved mailboxes using a different email program as long as it's using the IMAP protocol. Programs that use the POP protocol can only access your inbox and will delete messages from your system after downloading them to your computer's hard disk.

If you are using a web-based email client like IMP and you are having problems reading your email, try connecting to IMP with both Netscape and Internet Explorer or try newer versions of these web browsers. You might also try logging out and back into IMP since we run several IMP servers to handle the email loads and the one you connected to may be under a heavy load. We went from two to three IMP servers during Fall 2002 and will add a fourth server during Spring 2003. This new hardware plus the upcoming IMP software upgrade should improve reliability and performance during the spring semester.

We recommend using Mulberry rather than a web based email package because it uses fewer central resources. Mulberry is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux systems. Check the Email, Internet and Network Services home page for information and download links. Mulberry is available in all the ITSS labs on campus, including the SunRay workstations. Since Mulberry stores your preferences and address books on the server you should get your same email "environment" from any computer you use Mulberry on.

When all else fails there's always Pine, which runs on our bulldog unix systems. You can use NCSA Telnet on the Mac or QVTerm on Windows to log into You won't be able to save messages or attachments to your hard disk with Pine but since it is text based and doesn't have a graphical interface it works quite well on slow Internet connections. If you are using PC-Pine we do encourage you to upgrade to the most current version. Please check the PC-Pine web site for details.

Watch for future articles regarding securing your email access when traveling or using alternate Internet Service Providers (cable modem, wireless, DSL, or alternate modem pool providers). Until this information is ready for security purposes we do recommend you use IMP when traveling or using alternate Internet providers.

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Last modified on 03/31/05
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