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#1: Mar-1999
#2: Mar-1999
#3: Oct-1999


#1: 03-Mar-1999
#2: 10-Mar-1999
#3: Unpublished
Post Database

PDB Helpdesk: Eudora Tips
By Thiravudh Khoman

Eudora Tip #1:

In the December 23, 1998 issue of the Post Database, reader Jelly asked how repeated downloads could be avoided with Eudora Pro 3.x in order not to waste logon time.

Reader Jelly's problem is caused by a setting which instructs Eudora Pro 3.x to leave mail on the server. To change this setting, go to "Tools", "Options", "Checking mail", look 6 lines down, and remove the check mark from "Leave mail on server" (figure 1). From this point on, whenever new mail is routed to Eudora, any new, original mail on the internet mail server will be deleted.

Unfortunately, this doesn't affect old mail previously saved on the server. Removing this and other already downloaded mail is easy however. The next time you check for mail (either from the icon bar or under "File", "Check Mail") hold down the shift key while you click to check mail. Doing so, you should be prompted with a "Mail Transfer Options" menu. (Depending on how many "Personalities" you've created, you should be shown either a single narrow window, or a wider double- paned windows. If the latter, click "Using options at left".) Next, click "Delete all messages that have been retrieved" (figure 2). Click "Okay" and Eudora will instruct the mail server to start deleting already retrieved mail starting with message #1.

By the way, the mail transfer option settings are not permanent. To repeat this process - e.g. in case you decide to keep "Leave mail on server" checked - you must shift-check mail and set the options again. Also, this option is only available with Eudora Pro 3.x and not Eudora Light 3.x. (I'm not sure if Eudora Pro 2.x or 4.x have this, although the latter probably does.)

There are some good reasons for not leaving messages on your mail server. Leave too many and your ISP may start charging you money for extra storage. Worse still, your ISP may prevent new mail from getting through and bounce them back to their senders.

Nonetheless, there are some good reasons for leaving mail on your server as well. I check my email from a number of computers: one at home, two at different offices, and sometimes on the road on a notebook. Each computer has either Eudora Light 3.x or Eudora Pro 3.x installed and each keeps track of the last message it downloaded. By leaving mail on the server, I'm assured of getting a complete set of messages (albeit duplicate messages) wherever I am. My home computer is where I keep my master copy of messages and there, I uncheck "Leave mail on server", which pulls mail off the server.

Another good reason for leaving messages on the mail server is in the event you delete and purge a message and later find you want to get it back. You can retrieve all your messages on the server simply by exiting Eudora, deleting a file named LMOS.DAT (i.e. where Eudora keeps track of your last downloaded message), and re-checking your mail. This is also what will happen if your LMOS.DAT gets corrupted or if you install a fresh copy of Eudora on another computer.

Bottom line: It's okay to leave messages on your mail server. Just don't leave too many, otherwise you'll have to sweat though a long download of old messages.

Eudora Tip #2:

In the December 23, 1998 issue of the Post Database, reader Jelly asked how repeated downloads could be avoided with a shared Eudora Pro 3.x in order not to waste logon time. The response was to switch to web-based email such as HotMail.

I beg to differ with this piece of advice. While using HotMail would certainly make separating users easier and eliminate the problem of duplicate message downloads, the cost could be prohibitive for someone who possibly accesses the internet via long distance calls (i.e. from Mae Sod). As a general rule, I recommend web email only to people who are unable to use a fixed computer on a repeated basis or who are unable to install a pop email client on a fixed computer. Another prerequisite: patience. Web email can be slow!

An alternative solution would be to use POP email accounts instead, although there are some costs involved in obtaining multiple POP accounts. Web email accounts tend to be free; POP email accounts tend not to be, although it's been a while since I last checked. A local POP email supplier quoted me Baht 2,000 per year or about Baht 167 per month. For 18-20 users, the cost could be reduced to about Baht 100-120 per user per month. For example, I rent a website for Baht 2100 per month. My website also provides unlimited POP email, as long as the web and the email files stay within 50 megabytes of disk space. Strange as it may seem, I use my site only for email.

Anyway, with POP email accounts, one can check multiple accounts in a fraction of the time required by web email, thus saving on costly long distance calls as well as ISP connect time. And unlike with web email, reading and answering messages can be done offline.

Since reader Jelly uses Eudora Pro 3.x, the next logical question would be how to set up multiple mailboxes with a single Eudora installation. It's pretty easy, although not very obvious. Assuming you're using Windows 9x/NT and you've already installed Eudora Pro or Light into C:\Eudora, create a directory called C:\Email, then create a separate directory for each user under this; e.g. C:\Email\Somchai.

Next, create Eudora shortcuts referencing these directories. On the desktop, right click your mouse, select "New", "Shortcut" and then browse to C:\Eudora\Eudora.Exe. Before you accept the shortcut, press the right arrow key to remove the highlighting, press the space bar once, and then add the following command line parameter: C:\Email\Somchai. The shortcut should now read: C:\Eudora\Eudora.Exe C:\Email\Somchai (figure 3). Finally, give the shortcut a name.

When you run the shortcut to Somchai's email the first time, you will need to set up Eudora's options from scratch. However, if you already have a configured Eudora installation, you can copy the Eudora.Ini file to Somchai's email directory and then edit it. It's faster this way. When Eudora is run, it will create any missing components, such as default mailbox and system files.

This procedure can be repeated for any number of users. Incidentally, this is exactly how my computer at home is set up. My wife, my two daughters and I each have separate Eudora email setups, all running from a single Eudora Pro v3.05 installation.

Eudora Tip #3:

If you use Eudora Pro, here's a way to limit your exposure to email borne virus file attachments. (Note: This has been tried with Eudora Pro v3.x, but I assume it should work with v4.x as well).

But first, an important message: there is no way to embed infectious viruses into the plain text of an email message and therefore, there is no way for you to catch a virus simply by reading a message. Nevertheless, files that are attached to emails can contain viruses and your PC may become infected if you load or execute these files. If you can avoid doing this, you won't get infected. Still, having attachments in easy clickable reach is an ever present danger.

One defense against infected file attachments is simply not to receive emails with file attachments. While there is no way to specifically set this in Eudora, one can approximate it by limiting the size of messages to be received. This is done by selecting "Tools", "Options", "Checking mail", and checking "Skip messages over --k in size" and specifying a maximum message size. I normally have this figure set to 15kb (figure 4). If this figure is set too low, regular emails without file attachments will get truncated; set it too high and actual file attachments may get through.

With the above setting, any email message greater than 15kb will be truncated whether it contains an attached file or not. Eudora notifies you when this happens with the following: "Warning: the remainder of this message has not been transferred. The estimated size of this message is ---- bytes. Click on the server retrieve icon above and check mail again to get the whole thing." If the message also contains a file attachment, Eudora will add several more lines including: "Content-type: application/octet-stream; name=myfile.exe".

Hopefully, now, over 90% of your email-only messages will get through unimpeded. Messages with attached files, however, should be truncated and left on the server with no icon for you to accidentally click, but with enough information on whom it came from, what the attached file name is, and a readable message body. Such truncated messages can still be retrieved in their entirety by clicking on a red down-arrow on the toolbar when you're reading the message. This will cause a re-download of that message, bypassing any message size limits.

Upon reading the truncated message, you may choose NOT to re-download the message, especially if it looks suspicious. The problem about not re-downloading is that the message (AND the file attachment) will be left on the server, even if you have "Leave mail on server" unchecked because the message is still considered "unread". The only way to remove such messages from the server is to press Shift-Ctrl-M (the shift-Check Mail command) and to check "Delete all messages on server" (figure 5). WARNING: Do a check mail immediately BEFORE you do this since "Delete all messages on server" will do exactly what it says regardless of whether the messages have been RETRIEVED or READ yet. Admittedly there is a small risk that new mail received in between the time you "Check Mail" and "Check and delete mail" will be lost, so be quick.

A few comments are in order. First, this technique doesn't entirely work with Eudora Light. While it is possible to limit message sizes with Eudora Light, there is no way to do a shift-Check Mail and therefore, no way to clear partially retrieved messages from the server. This may cause your mailbox to get clogged and your ISP to stop delivering new mail to your mailbox. Second, this technique is not a replacement for a real-time virus checker, which is still a desirable second line of defense.

Third, this technique is also useful for people who check their mail from several locales. Surprise! I didn't start using this procedure to protect myself against viruses (although it did save me from downloading several dozen Melissa virus emails I received from the U.S. during its heyday). Rather, I did it to avoid having to re-download larges files from the many places that I check my email. As I often send files from place A to place B to continue working on them, this technique allows me to download my needed files only at the intended destination, while avoiding lengthy downloads at other places.

Copyright © 1998-2000, Thiravudh Khoman