Using the computer on your desk, you can communicate
with people inside your office and around the world. Email,
short for electronic mail, is the transmission of messages over a
communications network. The messages can be anything from a quick
note to a business plan, complete with supporting files (graphics, docu-
ments, and so on). Correlated with email are newsgroups and Usenet, a world-
wide distributed discussion system similar to the Internet, in which discussion
groups (newsgroups) are classified hierarchically by subject. In this chapter, we
discuss KMail, the KDE email application, as well as how you can access Usenet
groups. In addition, a few faxing applications are discussed, offering you one
more way to communicate with the world from your desktop.
The KDE mail client, KMail, is a user-friendly, graphically oriented email pro-
gram. You can use it to send and receive messages, as well as sort and organize
them. KMail aims to present an intuitive interface, so the functions you will
need are easy to find and implement. To access the comprehensive documenta-
tion included with KMail, select Contents in the Help menu, and you will see a
hyperlinked document in Konqueror, open to the table of contents.
You can launch KMail from K menu Internet KMail.
C O M M U N I C A T I O N :
W O R K I N G W I T H E M A I L ,
U S E N E T N E W S , A N D F A X E S
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If KMail has an icon on your K panel, simply click it to start. (See Chapter 11 to learn
how to build icons.)

Your inbox may have been initialized already by the system administrator,
with the settings entered for your personal account and access information. If it
hasn't, you will need to set it up yourself (we'll get to that procedure in a sec-
ond). Until the inbox is initialized, the Mail Reader window (the main window of
KMail) will open, but it won't show any messages, and you will be asked to com-
plete the configuration.

Figure 9.1: Launching KMail
Figure 9.2: The KMail Window
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Configuring KMail
To configure your mailbox, select Configuration from the Settings menu.
Enter your personal information and mail settings by selecting them from
the menu panel on the left side of the KMail Configuration window:

Identity: who you are.

Network: Internet setup.

Appearance: fonts, colors, layouts, profiles, and address book.

Composer: defaults for creating messages.

Security: GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) encryption settings.

Miscellaneous: other message and mailbox preferences.
The Identity tab is where information about you is stored. You must fill in your
full name and your email address. Optionally, you can set the organization name
and a reply-to address, as well as a signature.
Figure 9.3: Configuring KMail
Figure 9.4: Configuring Identity
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A signature is appended to messages you send and may contain alternate contact
information or some other descriptive information.

If you want to access more than one email account with KMail, you will
need to set up multiple identities, one for each account. Fill in the default iden-
tity with information for the account you use most often; create additional iden-
tities by clicking the New button. You can also use the Rename and Remove tabs
for existing identities.

Next, select the Network tab, and specify the technical details of mail transfer
necessary to send and receive mail. Most likely, this will already be set for your
machine by the system administrator. If it's not, your system administrator will
provide you with this information and advise you which options to select.

On the Sending Mail tab, specify the protocol for sending mail that you
have been given. A protocol is the agreed-upon format for transmitting data
between two devices. In this case, it's the method the computer uses to send and
receive email. On the Sending tab, add an account for incoming mail. Click the
Add button to bring up a window where you can enter the type of account you
will have. Local Mailbox, POP3, Sendmail, SMTP, and IMAP are some possibili-
ties. These protocols are determined by your network administrators or your
ISP, so consult them to find out what to select. Click OK and fill in the account
details. With this completed, along with your account name and password, you
should be able to view your inbox and get started sending and receiving mail.

If your system administrator set a value for Enable Interval Mail Checking (on the Add
Account protocol screen) and filled in a value, don't reduce this value to get your mail
more quickly. If everyone does this, the entire network slows to a crawl.

Figure 9.5: Configuring Network Settings
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The Appearance configuration has several sections that allow you to customize
the way KMail presents the mail reader window, folders, headers, and messages.
On the Font tab, you can specify the font name, size, and style (regular,
bold, italic, or bold italic) that will be used for the folder list, message body,
message list, and three levels of quoted text. Select the type of text you want to
customize from the list, and then choose the font, size, and style.
On the Color tab, you can select custom colors for the background and all
the types of text for which you can configure the font, as well as the color of new
messages, unread messages, URLs, and followed URLs. Just double- click the item
you want to change, and a window pops up where you can select a new color. See
Chapter 11 for a full discussion of how to select colors on the desktop.
Make sure your background color differs from every other color choice you make. If blue
text is printed against a blue background, it is effectively invisible.
Figure 9.6: Configuring Appearance
Figure 9.7: Specifying KMail Layout
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On the Layout tab, you can check off options that configure additional pres-
entation possibilities. The folder list normally appears in two-thirds of the
Message browser window, but you can choose Show long folder list, so that it
displays from the top all the way to the bottom of the browser window. Other
options allow you to display message sizes in the message header frame or
enable threading in the list of message headers. Threads are visual cues to the
order in which messages were answered, clarifying the sequence of events.
The Profiles tab allows you to pick a style for the overall visual appearance
of KMail. The High Contrast option, for instance, is for the visually impaired.
The Composer configuration allows you to write your own default response
texts. When you reply to a message, the quoted message body is prefaced by a
short description, such as "On 12 January 2002, you wrote:." You can change
these phrases from the Phrases tab. Simply enter the correct code for the mes-
sage you want to use from a list that appears at the top of the Phrases section.
The general phrase will pick up the specific bits of information from each mes-
sage as you reply. For example, if you select as your message, "On %D, the ever-
charming %F told me:" this will become, "On Friday 24 May 2002 06:00, the
ever- charming Pete Doe told me:" in your actual reply to Pete.
Composer options also allow you to use smart quotes, append your signa-
ture to each message you send, sign your messages with GPG, and wordwrap
line ends.
Figure 9.8: Composer Options
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Smart quotes are not standard ASCII characters and may look funny on other people's
mail programs. Save them for desktop publishing.

From the MIME Headers tab, you can set up custom MIME message header
tags for your outgoing email. You can invent new headers with informational
content or overwrite the headers that KMail creates, a feature that may be use-
ful for advanced users.

In the Security configuration panel, you can select the appropriate settings for
encrypting your email, so that it cannot be read in transit from your system to
the recipient's, or by anyone else who has access to your email account. Email
sent through the Internet is either encrypted (encoded) or in clear text (as you
wrote it). If it's clear text and your message is intercepted, the content is avail-
able to any reader.

One type of encryption is called GNU Privacy Guard (GPG). KMail will
invoke GPG for you with one click on the Security options window; it's an
option under Select encryption tool to use. If you select GPG and receive a
GPG-encrypted message, you will be able to decrypt and view it right inside
KMail. Once you have set up GPG, you will find it a useful and easy-to-use tool.
If you want to encrypt an outgoing message, all you have to do is click the lock
button on the Composer window toolbar.

Figure 9.9: Security Settings
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Setting up GPG and encryption keys is beyond the scope of this chapter
and definitely a procedure recommended for advanced users. For a brief
description of how to set up GPG and encryption keys on your system--with sys-
tem administrator approval of course--see Appendix C.
The last configuration screen is for miscellaneous KMail configuration options.
Figure 9.10: Selecting GPG Encryption
Click the appropriate check box if you want to see a confirmation message
before folders are emptied, have the trash emptied when you exit the program,
and so on.
Figure 9.11: Other Settings
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After you set your network configuration, you should send a test message to
yourself (see the "Sending Email" section of this chapter to learn how). If you
do not receive your test message, check your configuration options or contact
your network administrator.
Using KMail
Now that KMail is set up, you'll be able to receive and send messages, begin an
address book, and perform lots of other useful tasks. Each time KMail launches,
it opens to the Mail Client window, in which you will see menu headings, a tool-
bar, and three frames (also called panes). The upper left frame lists your current
mailbox folders, and the upper right frame lists message headers. The lower
pane is for the message body or content.
Reading Email
Several options are available for viewing and organizing your email. By default,
the new message headers appear in blue, with unread message headers in red,
and all other messages in black. The message headers frame lists the subject,
sender, date, and size of each message. If you click a header, the message will
appear in the large message frame below. If you click the header with the right
mouse button, a pop-up menu with more options will appear.
With KMail, you can reply, reply to all (if the original message was sent to
more than one person), forward, or bounce (reject) messages, as well as move
them or save copies to one of your saved mailboxes. All of these options are
available in the Message drop- down menu. Some options have shortcuts, such as
pressing R for reply and F for forward. The shortcut keys are shown next to the
commands listed in the drop- down menu (see "Configuring K-Mail Shortcuts"
in this chapter).
Figure 9.12: A Configured KMail Mailbox
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You can also use the icons on the toolbar to do things like delete messages
(the red X icon) and reply (the blue backward-facing arrow). If you want to
change the order in which messages appear in the header frame, click the
Subject, Sender, or Date tab.
You can change the size of the tabs themselves or their order across the top
of the pane. To change positions, click a tab and drag to the left or right, then
drop it. Notice that as you move the mouse over the division line between tabs,
the icon changes from an arrow to two vertical lines. With this pointer, you can
drag the edge of the column to the left or right, increasing or decreasing the
tab width accordingly.
You can change the size of the frames in the same way as you can the tabs. Click the bar
between them and drag up or down, left or right.
Clicking the Subject tab changes the order in which the messages are listed
alphabetically by subject: ascending (A to Z) or descending (Z to A). You can
also group messages in ascending or descending order by message status: new,
unread, and read. Each click on the Date tab changes the sort order.
You may need to resize the KMail window to see the Date column in the message
header frame.
You can move among messages by clicking them in the message header
frame, using icons on the toolbar, or using shortcuts. If you want to select sev-
eral messages in a row, you can click the first message, and then hold down the
key and click the last message. All of the messages from the first to the
last will be selected. To select additional messages individually, hold down the
key while clicking each one, so you can skip over messages you do not
want to include. You might want to select multiple messages to move them all to
another folder or to delete them all at once. Once they've been selected, drag
and drop them into the chosen folder or choose an option, such as Forward or
Print, from the toolbar or menus. If you want to change the number of headers
that appear, go to the View menu.
Figure 9.13: Changing Header Display
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Of the available options, All Headers shows the most information about a
message and Brief Headers shows the least. All the headers remain attached to
your message, no matter which viewing option you choose; this option affects
only the display of your messages.
Folders are extremely useful for organizing your email, allowing you to
group together messages from the same person in one place, or to group
together messages on the same topic, and so on. Folders also help keep your
inbox from accumulating hundreds of email messages, making it hard to find
anything. Default folders include one called inbox and another called outbox.
You can create additional folders at any time by opening the Folder menu and
selecting Create.
A pop-up box asks you to enter a name for the folder and decide if it should
be at the top level of the folder hierarchy or a subfolder of an existing top-level
folder. If you are creating a folder to store messages, or posts, from a mailing list
or newsgroup, the Associated Mailing List tab in the pop-up box allows you to
enter the post address (the actual email address for sending posts to that mail-
ing list).
Here are some other hints for folders:

To move a message from the inbox to a folder, simply click it in the header
frame and drag it to the desired folder listed in the left frame.

To see a folder's contents, click it in the left frame, and it will open in the
header frame.

To view any email that you have sent, open the Sent- mail folder.
Figure 9.14: Creating a New Mail Folder
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Messages in KMail display URLs and email addresses as active links for
either composing a new email message to the linked email address or opening
the URL in the Konqueror web browser. Just click a link, and a new window will
open. If you click a link with the right mouse button, a pop-up window will
appear with several additional options.
You can send a message to, send a reply to, forward to, add to the address
book, or copy to the clipboard any email address links you receive. With a URL
link, you can choose to open the URL in a new Konqueror window, or you can
copy it to the clipboard for later use, either in a browser or in a new email.
Sending Email
When you write a new email message to send, you compose it in KMail's
Composer window. Start by opening a new message screen, as described earlier.
Figure 9.15: Email or URL Action Menu
Figure 9.16: KMail Composer Window
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As with KMail in general, the use of these features is intuitive. Specify your
intended recipient's email address in the To: field; you can CC (or carbon copy)
other addresses as well, in the CC: field. Next to each of these fields is a button
that will open your address book, which you can use to select a contact. (See the
upcoming section "Using the KMail Address Book.") Be sure to complete the
subject line, which describes the content of your email. In addition, if you have
set up several email accounts for different purposes, the submenu of the field
next to Identity lets you select the identity with which you want to reply. To
enter the text of your email message, click in the large space below the header
fields and begin typing.
If you want to include an additional file with your message, you can specify
it as an attachment by clicking the paper- clip icon.
Figure 9.17: Composing a Message
Figure 9.18: Sending an Attached File with Your Message
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The Attach File browser window will open to your home directory. From
there, you can select the file you want to send, changing directories as neces-
sary. You even can drag a file into your Composer window from your desktop or
another directory. The Automatic Preview option gives you a glimpse of the files
you are browsing, if the box is checked.
You can also manage your attachments with the Attach menu, which has
options for removing attachments you've already selected and for saving
Alternatively, if you want to include another file in the body of your mes-
sage, you can do so by selecting Insert File from the Message menu. A similar
file- browsing window appears.
Only text- based files can be included successfully within the body of an
email, so you should use Attach or the paper clip on the toolbar if you want to
send anything other than plain text.
It's almost always preferable to put large files on the Web rather than include them as
email attachments. Recipients who have a slow Internet connection can choose to view
the attachment later. And if you find a mistake right after sending the mail, you can
simply fix it on the Web instead of resending the whole attachment.
As you read your incoming messages, you'll sometimes see a file icon in the
message text; this indicates that someone has sent you an attachment. KMail lets
you specify how the attachments are shown in the message frame with three
options located in the View menu: Inlined, Iconic, or Smart views.
Figure 9.19: Including a File in Your Message Body
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Inlined attachments show up within the message, if the file is a type that
KMail can show you directly. Text files, HTML files, and image files suitable for
web pages should be viewable with this option. Iconic attachments appear first
as a document icon with a filename. You must then click the icon to open the
file. Smart attachments attempt to determine the file type and are displayed
inline if possible, and as an icon if not.
When you click an icon for an attached file, a warning message appears.
Figure 9.20: Attachment Viewing Options
This message warns that the attachment may compromise your system's
security. Attachments are often the vehicle for transmitting computer viruses
that can do great damage to both your computer and any computer to which
you are connected. A virus can even attack your address book and send replica-
tions of itself to everyone listed. You should not open an attachment from some-
body you do not know, and also be careful with unfamiliar file types (the file
type is part of the filename on the icon). The options Save to Disk, Open, and
Cancel accompany the warning message.
Right-click on the attachment icon for a quick list of options.
Figure 9.21: Warning Message
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KMail also includes a spell- check feature. To run it on the message you're
composing, click the Edit menu and select Spelling from the bottom of the list.
The KMail Spellcheck window will pop up, and you can choose to ignore or
accept the suggestions.
The Ignore button skips any action on the word it suggests is misspelled.
Replace implements the correction right away. Ignore All and Replace All do
the same thing every time that word is found in your message. The Add button
lets you add a word to the spell- checker dictionary. A status bar in the spell-
check window lets you know how far the spell checker has advanced through the
document. Help, Stop, and Cancel buttons are also available. If the spell checker
has no suggestions for a word, that word does not appear in its dictionary, and
the Replacement field shows the word as is. You can edit the Replacement field
yourself to specify any changes you want.
Explore the menus of the Message Composer windows for any option not
covered here. A few things to note: the View menu lets you add fields to the top
of your messages; on the Options menu, you can select notification of delivery;
and the Edit menu offers Find and Replace options for specific words or
phrases that appear throughout the message.
Clean Spaces in the Edit menu is a quick way to tidy up your paragraphs if the lines are
of widely varying lengths, but be aware that any whitespace formatting (such as
indenting with tabs) will be lost.
Figure 9.22: KMail Spellcheck Window
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When you have finished composing your message, you can send it immedi-
ately, queue it to send later, or save it in your Drafts folder to consider sending
later. The first option on the toolbar (an envelope with an arrow on it) will send
the message; the second (a stack of envelopes) will queue it to send later. When
you're ready to send drafts, click Send Queued from the File menu of the Mail
Reader window. You can delete a message you've composed by clicking Delete
on the Message menu or by clicking the little box with an X in the upper right
corner of the window. If you decide to cancel a message after text has been
entered, a warning window will open to confirm that you want to abandon the
message completely, as your work on it will be lost.
When you open a Composer window by clicking the Reply or Reply to All
button (or selecting those options from the Message menu), it comes complete
with the recipients and subject already specified in the headers, plus the quoted
text of their message. Enter your reply above or below the message, remove
parts of the original message that don't apply to your reply, and send the mes-
sage as you would a new message.
Using the KMail Address Book
The Address Book is a handy feature that stores a list of email addresses, among
other information, and it can save you the time and hassle of searching else-
where when you need to send a message. Launch the Address Book from the
KMail File menu.
To add people to your address book, select New Contact from the Address
Book File menu, and the Entry Editor window opens.
Figure 9.23: Launching the Address Book
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You can store a lot of information for each entry by using all three tabs:
General, for phone numbers, addresses, etc.; Details, for assistants' and spouses'
names, birthdays, etc.; and All Fields, which allows you to add custom fields and
to select a range of fields to view together.
To get rid of an old address, select it from the list in the top frame, and
click the Remove button. If you've made an error in an entry or a deletion, press
the Cancel button. Finally, when you are finished making changes, additions,
and deletions to the address book, click OK.
Once you've added contacts to the Address Book, you can use it in a couple
of ways. First, whenever you're starting a message, clicking on the button to the
right of the To:, CC:, and BCC: header fields will bring up a window with all of
your contact names and emails. Simply click on the name you want, and the
information is filled in automatically.
Figure 9.24: Adding an Entry to the Address Book
Figure 9.25: Selecting a Name from the Address Book for a New Message
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A second way to use the address book is for the creation of distribution
lists, which are groups of email addresses included under an umbrella name and
address, sometimes called an alias. Using distribution lists saves you from enter-
ing the same names and email addresses every time you send a message to the
same group of people. It's a particularly handy feature when working on proj-
ects or on committees.
To create one, select Distribution List from the Address Book File menu,
click the list, and enter a name. On the next screen, highlight the contact names
(in the lower window) that you want included on that specific list. Click the Add
Entry button, and the names will appear in the upper window, which is the
actual list. Buttons also are available for changing email addresses, removing
individual contacts, and deleting entire lists.
When you are finished, the distribution list name will appear in the main
address book window as another available contact name.
In addition to being available in KMail, your address book and the contacts
it contains are accessible in other KDE applications, such as the various faxing
applications and KOrganizer. You can add, change, and delete entries and lists
in the address book from any application that uses it, and the changes will be
made universally.
Other Features of KMail
KMail offers many ways for you to customize its use according to your prefer-
ences and habits. A few of the more useful features are the toolbar, shortcuts,
and search capabilities.
Figure 9.26: Creating a Distribution List
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Configuring the KMail Toolbar
If you frequently use a feature that is not included on the standard toolbar,
KMail has a handy feature that lets you add it. On the Settings menu, select
Configure Toolbars.
The list on the left shows all the available options; on the right are the tool
buttons currently selected to appear on the toolbar. In the center are arrows
pointing up, down, left, and right. For example, say you want to add Quit to your
toolbar. Start by selecting Quit from the list on the left, then click the right arrow
button, and Quit is automatically moved to the list on the right. If you want to
change the order of the buttons on the toolbar, select an action from the list at
the right, click the up or down arrow, and watch how the order changes.
Not all actions have a tool icon to the left of their description. You should
not add an action without an icon to your toolbar, as it will not have an actual
button with which you can activate the command.
Configuring KMail Shortcuts
Shortcuts, sometimes called key bindings, are sequences of keys that initiate
menu or toolbar actions without using the mouse to point and click. It is much
quicker to use a keyboard shortcut than a mouse- driven action if your hands are
already on the keyboard, so if you have the shortcuts for your most common
actions memorized, you can finish your tasks in less time.
Many actions have a default shortcut already set. Here's a list of KMail
actions that also shows what the tools look like.
Figure 9.27: Toolbar Configuration Window
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Default KMail Shortcuts
Keyboard Shortcut
Toolbar Icon
next unread message
+ (plus)
next message
previous unread message
- (minus)
previous message
compose new message
save message
print message
check inbox
select all messages
reply to all (group)
reply to list
forward F
copy text
search messages
find in message
apply filters
open address book
close window
help "what's this"
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Some actions, like Unread (which marks a message as unread again), do not
have a default shortcut, but you can configure your own. In the Settings menu,
select Configure Shortcuts.
At the top of the configuration window is a list of actions that you can
browse alphabetically. When you have selected an action, specify None, Default
(if one is not available, this item is unavailable and dimmed), or Custom. If you
select Custom, your mouse icon turns into the inserting text icon, also called the
I- bar. The button next to it will show the current shortcut (or none), and as you
type in your keyboard sequence, it will show the keys you've pressed.
If you want to exit without implementing your shortcut settings, click
Cancel. You can save your changes by clicking OK, or restore all the default
shortcuts by clicking Default.
Searching through Your Messages
If you have a large number of messages and want to find one in particular, you
can find it more easily with the Search functions of KMail. Start by selecting
Search Messages from the Edit menu.
Figure 9.28: Key Binding Configuration Window
Figure 9.29: KMail Search
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The Search in Folders pop-up menu lists all of your mail folders, so if you
know the message is in a specific folder, you can search only there. If you're not
sure where the message is, you can select the Search in All Folders option.
You can search by the Subject, From, To, CC, or Organization header or by
the complete message. Click the pop-up menu next to Where under the folder
choice. Then enter what you are searching for next to the Contains pop-up
menu, and KMail will look for messages that match your criteria.
Email with Netscape
Although KMail is the default email application in KDE, other options are avail-
able such as Netscape Messenger, which is included in the Netscape Internet
browser. If you choose to use Netscape for email, open the Netscape browser.
From there, click the Communicator menu and select Messenger.
Incidentally, if you are using the Mozilla web browser and the mail client is
installed, you can set up your email account or accounts here in the same way
you would with Netscape, which will be described shortly. Mozilla was the origi-
nal code name for the product that came to be known as Netscape Navigator,
and later, Netscape Communicator. Mozilla now refers to Netscape's open-
source Internet software.
The menus and toolbar are located at the top of the window, along with an
indicator bar that keeps track of your current action.
Figure 9.30: Opening Netscape Mail
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The layout of Netscape Messenger is similar to KMail, with the Mail/News
folder frame running down the left side, the message header frame at the upper
right, and the message content appearing at the lower right. Much of the screen
is activated by mouse clicking, as in KMail. If you click the toggle box next to
the Local Mail item in the folder frame, it will expand to show the subfolders or
collapse into a single line, conserving screen space.
Also, right- clicking will activate a pop-up menu of actions that you can
access directly, instead of having to click the toolbar or menus.
Figure 9.31: Netscape Messenger
Figure 9.32: Mouse-Activated Menus
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The New Message window allows you to specify your recipients, attach-
ments, and any other message information through the menu options and tool-
bar items.
To send and receive mail, you need to make sure that the right preferences
are set for Netscape Messenger. You can access these by choosing Preferences
from the Edit menu. In the Preferences dialog box, toggle the arrow (click it
with the mouse) next to Mail & Newsgroups to access those areas for review.
Then click the subsection to view or change your settings. The preferences for
Identity, Mail Servers, and Newsgroups Servers are the ones that control your
email and newsgroup access and are the same as those for KMail.
Figure 9.33: Netscape Mail Message
Figure 9.34: Netscape Preferences
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Other Email Agents
Pine, Mutt, and Elm are a few of the text- based email programs available. While
programs that take advantage of a graphical user interface have the advantage
of intuitive use, text- only programs are popular as well. Keep in mind, however,
that your mouse will not work to select or send messages. Instead, you will need
to become familiar with some keyboard commands and use the arrow keys to
Start these mail programs by typing the program name (all in lowercase) on
the command line in a terminal window. (See Chapter 13 for an explanation of
how to use the command line and terminal windows.) The most frequently used
keyboard commands are usually shown at the top or the bottom of the screen,
such as M for mail. The H or ? keys are often keyboard shortcuts to help for
these programs, and Q often will quit the program, taking you back to the ter-
minal window's command line.
As mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, Usenet newsgroups are used to
exchange news, information, data, and debate over the Internet. Ideally, news-
group names are organized in a hierarchical structure for easy access, but in
practice, a group may be created and thrive outside of that organizational struc-
ture. The group names in the formal structure are organized from general to
specific, separated by a period. For example, comp.os.linux.announce is for
announcements relevant to the Linux OS, part of the broader topic Computer.
These are a few of the other broad topics:

News: information about Usenet news.

Talk: current issues and debates.

Soc: social issues, culture.

Rec: games, hobbies, sports, arts.

Sci: scientific topics.

Alt: anything; originally an "alternate" hierarchy.
Articles and messages are posted to news servers (computers that do noth-
ing but handle newsgroup data) and transmitted to other news servers to be
read by anyone in the world. Posts that generate follow-up feedback are called
threads, as in a "thread" of conversation. Articles with harshly condemning con-
tent are known as flames.
Each newsgroup has its own character and its own code of conduct, which
may or may not be explicitly stated. Some are very formal, and others are infor-
mal and chatty. Some allow criticism and correction without censure, while oth-
ers do not. If a group is moderated, that means a person or group of people
approves incoming messages before they are posted, to keep a topic on track
and the tone civil. Otherwise, the direction, content, and tone of a newsgroup
are affected by anyone who participates.
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Communication: Working with Email, Usenet News, and Faxes
KDE's default news reader is called KNode. You can find it listed in the Internet
module of the K menu.
KNode and KMail are closely related, so you should recognize the toolbar
and organizational layout. The first time you open KNode, you may be prompted
with the KNode Preferences dialog box. If not, or when you want to configure
KNode for personal use, select Configure KNode from the Settings menu.
Figure 9.35: The KNode Window
Figure 9.36: KNode Configuration
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Here you can set up your identity, as well as state your newsgroup server
and mail server. Your network administrator should provide you with the news-
group and mail server names. For KNode you can configure rules for naviga-
tion, filtering, security, posting, and message appearance. The configuration
screens of KNode are very similar to the ones in KMail, so explore and cus-
tomize until you find a setup that works for you.
If you are not already subscribed to newsgroups, you can get started by
selecting Subscribe to Newsgroups from the Account menu.
If there are no groups available, a dialog box will open to ask you if you
want to fetch a current list. Click Yes, and KNode will access the list of available
newsgroups from your news server, which may take a little time. An indicator
bar at the lower left of the KNode window displays the status of any activity
requiring a download (such as downloading the list of available groups from the
server or downloading messages in a group).
The newsgroups carried by your news server are shown in a collapsible
alphabetic listing on the left side of the Subscribe to Newsgroups dialog box.
You can scroll through the list with the scrollbar, the
keys, and your keyboard's arrow keys.
You can toggle a hierarchy to expand or collapse by clicking the small box
with a + (plus) or - (minus) sign to the left of the group name. A complete news-
group name has a larger box to the left of it that you can check or uncheck to
subscribe and unsubscribe.
Figure 9.37: Subscribing in KNode
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Once you've subscribed to groups, the three frames that make up the
KNode screen become more accessible. You can collapse and expand the groups
under your news-server icon in the leftmost frame, select messages in the sub-
ject frame at the top right, and view the body of the articles in the message view
frame at the lower right.
The application switches focus through the three windows of KNode and KMail when
you press the
Figure 9.38: Selecting a Group
Figure 9.39: Using KNode
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The KNode toolbar contains options to check the server for new messages,
post an article or a follow up to an article, read the next message, filter mes-
sages, or search for articles.
As with KMail, you can configure the toolbar to show a custom selection of buttons with
the Configure Toolbar, on the Settings menu.
Once you've set up your news server and subscribed to some groups, when-
ever you want to read newsgroup messages, click the news listing and select the
group. Reading messages, replying to them, and following threads work the
same in KNode as they do in KMail.
The KNode manual accessed from Contents on the Help menu is quite
comprehensive and worth checking out if you plan to use newsgroups and
Usenet News with Netscape
While KMail and KNode are separate applications for KDE, Netscape (and
Mozilla) handle email and Usenet access to newsgroups in a single application.
You can set up news-server connections on the Preferences menu (under the
Edit menu). Again, if this information isn't already set up, contact your system
administrator for help.
To subscribe to newsgroups, select Subscribe from the File menu. This
brings up the Newsgroup dialog box, where you can find newsgroups in the
alphabetical list of groups.
Figure 9.40: News Preferences
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It may take a while for all of the available newsgroup names to download from
your news server. If you are already subscribed to some groups, a purple check
mark will appear to the right of the group name. Find additional newsgroups
from the alphabetical list, or click the Search tab to search for newsgroup names
that include your search text.
If you find a newsgroup you want to subscribe to, click the dot to the right
of the group name. It will change to a check mark, indicating that this is a
group you want to consult from time to time. To unsubscribe from a group,
click the check mark, and your subscription will be disabled.
Once you have subscribed to some groups, you can see them listed in the
folders pane, under the heading News. Simply scroll and toggle through the
groups to check for new posts, and reply, save, or print, in the same way you
would handle email messages in Netscape.
Several faxing options are available in KDE, and each has different requirements
and offers different capabilities. In general, faxing applications all have compati-
bility and feature set limitations. Because faxing is an important office task,
brief descriptions of the programs available under KDE are offered in this sec-
tion. Faxing from your computer is one area, however, where you definitely want
to seek guidance from a system administrator, because phone lines and, more
often than not, a fax server (back end) are involved.
K Send a Fax
K Send a Fax is a simple fax utility for use with the KDE printing system,
enabling fax support for virtually all KDE applications. K Send a Fax can be
found on the Utilities module of the K menu; in some versions it appears under
Figure 9.41: Selecting Newsgroups in Netscape
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the name Send a Fax or Kdeprintfax. This utility is intuitive and works quite
simply once it has been installed and set up by the network administrator.
To send a fax with K Send a Fax, you must provide the name and fax num-
ber of the recipient, as well as the message body and filename to be sent. The
pop-up screen where you enter this information looks similar to KMail's
Composer window. Clicking the Add File icon opens a second window to your
home directory, where you can select a file to send or move to other directories
to grab the desired file to attach. Once you've added a file, complete the Fax
Number, Name, Enterprise, and Comment fields. Finally, click the Send Fax
icon. If you make a mistake, click Abort. If error messages are returned, click
the View Log icon for a description of what went wrong.
Remember that the entries you've added to your address book are available in all KDE
functions, including K Send a Fax.
KFax is part of the KDE graphics package. It's a file viewer capable of displaying
and printing all common fax file formats (typically with the .g3 extension). It's a
viewing and printing application that does not send faxes. It can be accessed
from the Graphics module on the K menu in order to view and print faxes
stored on your computer from any other fax application. For instance, if some-
one emailed a fax file to you, you could open, view, and print it with KFax.
The application itself is fairly basic. Select the file you want to open, then
view the fax page or pages, magnify, or print as necessary.
Figure 9.42: K Send a Fax Main Window
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Faxing utilities is another area that KDE developers are continually working
on, adding to, and improving.
Figure 9.43: Viewing a Fax in KFax
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