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E-Mail Help

Introduction To E-mail
- Checking Your Settings
- Managing Your E-Mail On The Server
- Appearance Of Messages
- Anonymous E-Mail Messages

Troubleshoooting E-mail
- E-mail Limitations
- Using A Different ISP
- Mailer-Daemon Messages
- Problems Receiving E-Mail
- Solving POP Client Issues

Introduction to E-mail

There are two ways to send and receive e-mail on EdZone.

The first way is through the web-based (also known as EZ Mail, Mailman) interface
The second is by using a POP client (e.g. Netscape Communicator, Microsoft Outlook)

Checking Your Settings

If another person has used your computer recently, they may have left the "From:" field set to his/her address. Messages you are sending may appear to be from someone else. Check your settings to make sure all of the settings are like they are supposed to be:

POP (incoming) mail server: edzone.net
POP3 username: ejetson (your EdZone username)
SMTP (outgoing) mail server: edzone.net
E-mail (from) address: ejetson@edzone.net
Reply-to address: ejetson@edzone.net

Managing Your E-Mail On The Server

In your e-mail program's settings, there may be an option to "check for e-mail every _______ minutes" This option should be set to no sooner than 10 minutes. EdZone is shared by thousands of users, and we average about 1 e-mail request per second. Setting this field to anything less than 10 minutes puts more of a demand on our resources and can ultimately disrupt service for other users.

There may also be a setting to "leave messages on server" This is generally not a good idea. If this option is on, you will only download new messages from EdZone, leaving a copy behind - never deleting old messages from EdZone. Eventually, over time, you will exceed your quota for e-mail storage. This will result in a warning at best, or temporary loss of service at worst. If you do know what you are doing, and you are checking your e-mail in two different ways (either from two different computers or by using both Netscape and the text interface), then you may want to set this feature on one of the machines, but not both. By default, this feature is disabled.

By default, most e-mail programs will download all e-mail messages regardless of how large they are (the larger they are, the longer they take to download). There is an option to not download messages that are larger than ______ KB. You generally should not turn this setting on, as it will only leave large messages on EdZone, making it more likely that you will exceed your quota for e-mail storage.

Appearance Of Messages

How your message appears to the recipient is important. There are many settings that can effect this. These are easy to overlook since you never send a message to yourself! Furthermore, even if they do look good to you, they may not look good to the recipient. These are our suggestions to send out e-mail that will be legible to everyone:

Make sure that your e-mail program is set to wrap "outgoing plain text messages" at something less than 80 characters. Anything longer than this, or if the feature is not set, may require the recipient to use their horizontal scroll bar to read each paragraph.

Avoid sending HTML formatted messages, as many people can't view messages in this format. Even more simply don't like messages in this format. It causes your messages to be much larger than a plain text message and is a poorly supported format (different e-mail programs handle HTML messages differently). Still not convinced? Well, then please make sure that by default, you do not send messages in HTML format. If you are sure that a certain person can read HTML formatted e-mail, and that they prefer messages in this format, then make and "address card" for that person and check the box "prefers to receive HTML mail."

Avoid using long signatures. Signatures are a tag line that is automatically attached to the end of every e-mail message you send. To see if you have a signature file specified and what it looks like, send a test message to yourself. To create one, use the notepad (MS Windows) or teachtext (Apple Macintosh) utility and create a text file containing four lines or less with your name, organization, and favorite quote. Remember where you saved the file, then edit the mail program's preferences to point to this text file. Again, be sure that it is small and appropriate for everyone.

Avoid automatically attaching your "personal card" or "address card" to outgoing e-mail messages. In Netscape, this setting is near the signature setting. While sending your card isn't a bad idea, its not very useful for most people. Placing it on every e-mail, means that the people you frequently e-mail will get tired of seeing and certainly don't need it.

When replying, most e-mail messages will automatically quote the entire contents of the previous message (using the "greater than/less than" brackets. You should delete the unnecessary content, leaving only a few of the important lines in order to refresh the sender's memory.

Don't type in ALL CAPS! Using all capital letters is reserved for YELLING.

Use brackets to indicate and action <grin> or "emotions" to indicate your mood(turn your head to the left to see the emoticons):

    :-)   happy
    :-( sad
    8-0 shocked
    %-P confused, with tongue out

Anonymous E-Mail Messages

As with the US Postal System, sending anonymous or forged e-mail messages is very easy to do. Its also a violation of most, if not all, end user Internet agreements. If the e-mail message is threatening in any way, do not delete the message, rather, contact your parents, school official and/or the EdZone Director immediately. Just because a message says that its from president@whitehouse.gov doesn't make it so. E-mail messages can be tracked and logged--and the sources of origin can be located.

Troubleshooting E-mail

E-mail Limitations

A common problem with e-mail is that some message in your mailbox is either too large or corrupted. This means that someone has sent you a very large attachment (a digital movie or game maybe?) or a poorly formatted attachment. You might suspect this has happened if the web base interface responds with some form of time-out error message or if you POP client pauses at some point while retrieving messages. If you are using a POP client, like Netscape Communicator, and the indicator pauses while receiving messages, try waiting for a very long time (1 - 2 hours). Contact the EdZone help desk--with your permission, our account manager can remove the corrupted message or delete all of your messages if necessary to restore your mailbox.

Using A Different ISP

If you pay another organization for your dial-in access, then you will likely experience this problem. The fix is simple, but requires a bit of work on your part. You will need to change your "SMTP" server setting in your e-mail client. This is also sometimes called your "outgoing e-mail server". This will not effect your e-mail address, how you receive e-mail, or how your e-mail looks to the person receiving it. It is only a technical setting. You should contact your dial-in service provider and ask what their "SMTP server" is. Next, check your e-mail programs settings to make the change to the "SMTP server" or "outgoing e-mail server". For example, if you are using Netscape 4.x, you would start the Netscape Communicator program, choose the Edit menu, and select "Preferences." In the preferences panel, select the "Mail & Newsgroups" option and then select the "Mail Servers" settings. Fill in the address next to "Outgoing mail (SMTP) server"

You will NOT experience these problems if...

You use your EdZone account for dial-in access
You are using the EdZone web-based e-mail programs (http://www.edzone.net/email)

Mailer-Daemon Messages

If your e-mail messages aren't reaching their destination, you will, within a few days, receive a message from the "MAILER-DAEMON." The message will contain your returned e-mail message and a (maybe technical) explanation as to why it was returned. If this happens to you, there are some things to try:

Double, even triple check the address you are sending to. Contact the person in some other way to see if their address has changed. Many times, this is the problem, simple as it sounds.
If you are trying to resend the message, use the Edit menu's copy and paste options to avoid retyping the entire message.

The person's mail server may be down temporarily, or their account may be locked or expired. Its possible they aren't even aware of the problem yet. Check with them to see if they are receiving any new e-mail.

If your e-mail is being rejected by our e-mail server, you'll receive a message like this:

It is very likely that the address you typed is wrong. Watch for typos, especially commas instead of periods. Try re-typing the person's entire address, even if you're sure its correct.

Problems Receiving E-Mail

If you are having problems recieving e-mail, double check the settings in your POP client. Your "incoming" or "POP3" server must be set to "edzone.net" and your "POP3" username needs to be your EdZone username. Even if you haven't changed these settings recently, someone else using your computer and may have left their personal settings in place.

If you are using two mail programs to read your e-mail (like the web based mail program and Netscape), you may find that messages you've read in one of the programs won't show up in the other.

When e-mail is sent to you, it is stored in its default location on EdZone. This default location is a file called "mbox" in your private EdZone directory - you can't see this file, but it's there. Both mail programs will do the same thing when you read your mail: they will *move* the contents of mbox into their own special location, leaving mbox empty. The menu keeps your messages on EdZone, just in a different file - a file that is inaccessible to Netscape or any other program.

Netscape keeps your e-mail on your local computer's hard drive which,obviously, will be inaccessible to EdZone's web based interface. Again, each program will delete the mail from its default location and move it to its own special location. Bottom line is: once you read your e-mail with one program, you can't read it with the other.

A good suggestion is to only check your e-mail using one method: Netscape or the web based interface. Not both. If you do want to or have to check it with both, just remember that any mail you see *won't* be available to the other program.

If, in Netscape, you turn off "remove mail from server", then Netscape *won't* delete your messages from the server and they *will* be available through the text interface. That program will still move the messages from the default location though. There are two problems with this method. One, it is more confusing and two, you are leaving messages on EdZone and using up hard drive space.

Solving POP Client Issues

Usually, POP e-mail problems are solved in one of the following ways. You should try them in the order presented.

Check your "Outgoing mail (SMTP) server" and your "Incoming mail (POP3) server" - they should both be set to "edzone.net"
Check your "POP3 mail server username" - it should be set to your EdZone account name. (e.g. ejetson)
Review your e-mail program's preferences for questionable settings. Especially things like "leave old messages on server" or "only retreive new messages" or "don't download messages over 10k." If you aren't absolutely sure what these settings do, then you should not have them set.
Reinstall your e-mail program.
If none of these steps works, contact EdZone for additional help.


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