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Unix ---> Electronic Mail

Most users with access to computer accounts in a higher education setting and many in a corporate environment have access to internet. Your email address is your_account_name@hostname.domain where hostname is the name of the local computer and domain is the name of the "system" you are on. For example, taylor@sunp.cr.usgs.gov was my email address this past summer. In this case, taylor was my account name, sunp was the local computer name, and cr.usgs.gov was the name of the "system" I was on. I can read mail sent to me by logging on to the sunp computer and typing mail. Mail is sent to others by typing:

    mail internet_address
where internet_address is the address of the person you wish to send a message to. You are then thrown into a very crude line editor that lets you type your message. Remember to hit <return> at the end of each line because it can't handle word wrapping. Typing a "." or a <ctrl-D> on a line all by itself will signal the computer that you are finished with the message. The computer will then send the message you just wrote. If you wish to send a file rather than typing the message, use the following command:

    mail internet_address < filename
where filename is the name of the file containing the message you wish to send. The Redirection section covers the redirection (<) operator in more detail.

Some people get by just fine with mail; however, many people prefer to use a more substantial mail program. Some popular alternatives are elm, pine, and mh.

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© 1993-1998 Christopher C. Taylor