SCN FAQ: E-mail


How much file space can I use?

Each user can use up to six megabytes (6 Mb or 6144 kilobytes) of file space. You can check how much file space you're using from the file utilities menu. (When you're logged in, type "go files".)

Can I read and send my SCN e-mail through my ISP?

You can use a POP mail program, such as the freeware Pegasus or Eudora Lite mail programs or the Netscape browser's built-in-mail program, to retrieve your e-mail from SCN. Set the POP3 (receive) address to "". Set the SMTP (send) address to "". For more information, see Using Eudora and Other POP Mail Programs with SCN.

Or you can simply forward your SCN e-mail to your current ISP account, or your work or school account. To forward your e-mail, see Mail Forwarding on the E-Mail Menu when you're logged in.

How do I view a file attached to an e-mail message?

Save the attachment to a separate file in your work directory. In Pine, press E to export the message to a file. In the Freeport mail reader, press the > key. If the file is a binary file, you'll have to download it to your computer to run it with the intended program, but it might be a worm, so if you decide to take the risk of downloading it to your computer you should always scan it with an up-to-date anti-virus program first!

If a binary file was encoded to pass through systems that can handle only 7-bit ASCII e-mail, then you'll have to download the file to your computer and run the appropriate decoding program first, to change it back into its original binary form. In an encoded attachment, typically you'll see a notation like UUENCODE or MIME. Type "go download" to transfer the message to your computer. Then use a program like uudecode, munpack or Wincode to decode the attachment back to its original binary format. SCN's software download area has a selection of public domain, freeware and shareware programs to decode file attachments. To download one of these programs to your computer when you're logged in, type "go softutil" or see the "Work with Your Files" menu.

Also see Privacy & Security.

How do I send a word processor or graphic file by e-mail?

You can upload it to SCN and attach it to an e-mail message. In the Pine e-mail program, press Control-J to attach a file.

E-mail sometimes has to travel through systems that don't transmit 8-bit codes. To send a file that contains any characters that aren't plain text, you can run a program like Wincode on your home computer to convert the binary codes in the file to printable ASCII characters. Then upload the encoded file and send it as an e-mail attachment or in the body of your message. The recipient can use a similar decoding program to convert the file back into its original binary form.

How can I avoid junk e-mail (spam)?

You can use SCN's e-mail filter to avoid receiving e-mail from any specific addresses from which you don't want to receive e-mail (see the E-Mail menu when you're logged in), but it will automatically send a reply to the address in the "from" line. This assumes that it's not a spoofed (forged) return address. Also, replying to spammers lets them know that they have a live e-mail address which they then may sell to other spammers.

Usenet - Since many junk e-mailers harvest e-mail addresses from Usenet, some people add extra "anti-spam" characters to their e-mail addresses when posting messages to Usenet, so that messages sent by automated mailers will bounce. An example is *remove-to-reply* You can do this if you use an offline reader, POP mail, or some of the Web-based Usenet posting services.

Web pages - Robots (spam-bots) can harvest your e-mail address from Web pages, so be careful about leaving your e-mail address on Web pages. If a spam-bot can read HTML it may also be able to read ASCII, Javascript, ETC..

E-mail readers - POP mail programs have an option to send a confirmation "receipt" to the sender, when the sender requests one, to indicate that the message was received or was read. These provide indications to unwanted mailers that yours is a valid e-mail address and that you have read a certain message. Turn this feature off or delete the receipt messages from your outbox. Also see: E-mail Issues

Never respond to offers to remove - Spammers typically offer to remove you from their spam lists. Usually, all this does is to confirm that your e-mail address is valid, which in and of itself is valuable to spammers. You may then find your address being sold at a premium price as part of a hot list of recently verified addresses belonging to people who are known to have read the sales message.

Mailing lists - Some mailing list programs return a list of subscribers when queried. Spammers occasionally can abuse this feature. But this happens much less often than automated address harvesting from Usenet and the Web. Some mailing list software can be set up not to show your address in a subscriber listing, if you prefer.

Also see: Avoiding Spam and E-mail Abuse.

How can I avoid tying up my phone so long with e-mail?

You can compose e-mail messages on your home computer, and upload them as finished files to your work directory. Then you can import the files into the e-mail program. (When you're logged in, type "go upload" for the upload menu.)

My connection died and I can't reopen my e-mail. What should I do?

Pressing x at the menu prompt does some end-of-session processing and logs you out. If you are disconnected before you can press x to log out, you may have to wait for the system to clear up any unfinished mail sessions (supposedly it usually catches up with this within 15-20 minutes). In the meantime, your e-mail files are as safe as they are at any other time.

If you need to login and work with mail again immediately, use Pine to read your mail. Pine, unlike FreePort, can retrieve the lock from an earlier, still running mail session. When you first start Pine with an unfinished session running, Pine will operate in read-only mode. Exit Pine, then start Pine again. Mail will then work normally. If you have trouble with this, please contact the help desk

Updated May 28th, 2003 -