Help for the Computer User

January 26th, 2004

Setting Up E-Mail Programs
Joe Margiotta (flyfisherjoe)

E-mail programs are many and varied in features and ease of use. Most people just use whatever was provided with their Internet service or computer operating system, usually standard POP3 (Post Office Protocol ver 3). This e-mail is sent using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.) This type of e-mail can be used with mail client software (e-mail programs) as well as through web based utilities know as "web mail." Some types of e-mail can only be used through the providers interface and are limited to the functions and features that the provider places in the interface, along with a few ads. Examples of this type would be AOL mail, Juno mail, free services like Hotmail and Yahoo mail. Because they are not true POP3 e-mail they can not be used with an e-mail program and you do not have the choice of choosing your own software with the features and ease of use you want or need.

Since most of you have standard POP3 e-mail with your Internet service, let's talk about your options for an e-mail program, what they offer and what demands they may make on your computer's resources. Here are just a few popular options available:

Outlook Express : Comes with Microsoft Windows , susceptible to many viruses. needs Microsoft word to be installed on your system for the spell checker to work.

Outlook : Comes with Microsoft Office Integrated with many "extras", appointment calendar, etc. requires more system resources and is susceptible to many viruses. Also need Microsoft Word to be installed for spell checking.

Incredimail : Similar to Outlook in the way it is used, it offers many "bells and whistles" for creating very "fancy" email. By default it runs at startup and continues to check for email and will notify you with sounds and popup graphics. Uses more system resources. Allows you to easily create emails that are so fancy some of the people you send to won't be able to receive them. But it's fun for some. Free and pay versions.

The Bat : Popular in Europe, available in most languages. Useful for those that need a different language. Free trial, pay version.

Eudora Mail : Has a user interface that some find easy, others do not. Has a free trial, pay version.

Mozilla Mail : A good mail client with many features included with the free Mozilla Browser. Good setup for handling multiple e-mail accounts. Easy on your system. Spam filtering. It's free.

Mozilla Thunderbird : A stand alone version similar to Mozilla Mail. It does not need to be installed in the usual way, Just unzip and use by double clicking the program (thunderbird.exe) in the thunderbird folder. It makes no demands on your system unless it opened, and then very little. It adds no backround programs or registry entries. Also, free.

To set up to send and receive your e-mail on an email program you will need to have the following information, not necessarily in this order, to fill in. If you don't know what to fill in, you should contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

  • Your Name: Simple enough, but remember it will appear along with your e-mail address. Maybe you just want to use a nickname here.

  • E-mail Address: Example:  ffexpert@yourservice.com

  • Incoming Mail Server (POP3):   Example: mail.yourservice.com

  • Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP):   Example: smtp.yourservice.com

  • Username:  The one you chose when you set up your service. Example: ffexpert

  • NOTE:  usernames or account names are case sensitive although you may use any case in your email address Example: FFExpert@YourService.com Also, e-mail addresses and server names do NOT contain spaces.

  • Password:  You can select to have the program remember it if you like, or it will prompt you for it when you get your email.

  • Name or Label to refer to this account:  It's just for you to see in using the email software. Example: My Home Account.

You can set up one of these email clients and try it. If you don't like it you can use your old one, it does not eliminate it. In most cases it will ask if you want to make it you "Default Account", you don't have to or you can switch it back to the old one later. Most all will import copies of your address book and even old email. If you are unhappy with your old program, want more features or are concerned about viruses that attack Microsoft e-mail programs you might want to give one of these a try. There are many e-mail programs besides the ones I mentioned. They each have their different "feel" and features. You should be able to find one that you really like.


Tip of the Week

Ever wonder how you can put those special characters into your e-mail, letters, even your bulletin board posts? Here's some you may find useful:

To produce the character: Place the cursor in the e-mail, bulletin board post typing box, word processing document, etc., where you want the character to be. Hold down the "Alt" key and using the numeric keypad (make sure "Num Lock" is on) type the four number sequence. The character will appear!

Char Alt + Symbol for
0169 Copyright
0174 Registered
0177 Plus or Minus
0247 Divided by
0176 Degree
0188 Fraction 1/4
0189 Fraction 1/2
0190 Fraction 3/4
0216 Slash zero
0163 British pound
0209 Spanish ee upper case
0241 Spanish ee lower case

Hope you find this useful ~ JM

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