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comp.os.msdos.mail-news FAQ (01/02) intro

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Airports ]
Archive-name: msdos-mail-news/intro
Original-Archive-name: comma-intro
Comp-os-msdos-mail-news-archive-name: intro
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 2001-Apr-07
Posting-Via: (mail2news)
Not-Posting-Via: my connectivity provider who doesn't do news for uucp now
Not-Posting-Via-The-Cable-Modem-Because: I don't want to

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Comp.Os.Msdos.MAil-news == == comma
FAQ == Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ lists for comp.os.msdos.mail-news can be found on the Internet:



Part 1:

    1. Disclaimer
    2. Spam
    3. Where are the Questions?
    4. Charter
    5. QWK
    6. `offline'
    7. Related Groups/Mailing Lists
    8. Books and Online Resources
    9. ftp and how to get files from the Internet
      a. help is easy to obtain
      b. where to find software
      c. archie
      d. not on the Internet:  accessing ftp archives
      e. not on the Internet:  accessing archie
   10. RFCs
   11. announcements
   12. other FAQs
   13. What do the technical or jargon terms mean?
   14. How can I get mail/news on my PC at home?
      a. I have a UNIX login, but don't want to tie up the phone lines.
      b. I can get a `feed' -- but what do I do with it?
      c. I'm reading over someone's shoulder.
      d. I want better software than what I've got now.
   15. How can I use waffle newsreaders with other packages?
   16. How can I decode proprietary Microsoft TNEF attachments?
  998. spelling
  999. credits

Part 2:

 1000. notes and index
   1001. Disclaimer
   1002. I want mail and/or news on msdos!  what software is there?
   1003. summary only - no reviews
   1004. what the addresses mean
   1005. maintainer index
   1006. location index

 2000. uucp
   2001. discussion
   2002. waffle
   2003. uupc, uupc-msw [msw], uupc-os2 [os2]
   2004. fsuucp
   2005. mks-uucp
   2006. internetanyw [msw]
   2007. uuslave
   2008. pduucp/pcuucp
   2009. dcp
   2010. xp/crosspoint
   2011. fxuucico
   2012. mail-it-rem [msw]
   2013. minihost [msw]
   2014. winnetmail [msw]
   2015. uufree
   2016. ntnetnews [nsw]
   2017. uulink

 3000. mail/news transport agents, batchers, servers
   3001. discussion
   3002. filesystem
   4000. network

 5000. mail/news user agents
   5001. discussion
   5002. filesystem
   6000. network

 7000. other

 8000. source
   8001. discussion
   8002. dcp
   8003. uuslave
   8004. pduucp/pcuucp
   8005. uupc
   8006. uupc-msw
   8007. uupc-os2
   8008. snews
   8009. hackticnr
   8010. rnr
   8011. winelm
   8012. mit-red
   8013. pcrrn
   8014. smaildos
   8015. pmnews
   8016. snuz
   8017. barbnews
   8018. olsenews
   8019. slnr
   8020. rexxnews-os2
   8021. procc
   8022. wsmtpd
   8023. trn
   8024. trn-os2
   8025. tin-os2
   8026. winvn
   8027. nexp
   8028. mimelite
   8029. wrn
   8030. appsig
   8031. aser
   8032. solar
   8033. makenews
   8034. mailqueue
   8035. tmailpostnews
   8036. nnrnews
   8037. uufree
   8038. mpack
   8039. mime64
   8040. unpost
   8041. nntpd-dvx
   8042. nn-dvx
   8043. brn
   8044. paperboy
   8045. wafpegasus
   8046. edrhr
   8047. newsmerg
   8048. foldscan
   8049. multimail


1. Disclaimer

Read at your own risk.  The current, previous, or original authors
make no claim as to fitness for any purpose or absence of any errors,
and offer no warranty.  Do not eat.

2. Spam

you wouldn't believe how much spam I get to this address.

3. Where are the Questions?

most of them are implicit.  this is more of a `Frequently Wanted
Information' listing than a FAQ listing.

just pretend you're on `Jeopardy!', and everything will be fine.

4. Charter

Date: Wed, 19 May 1993 19:54:41 MDT
Message-ID: <>
Subject: CFV: comp.os.msdos.mail-news
Sender: tale@rodan.UU.NET


  [ use of `msdos' can be interpreted as `msdos and compatibles' ]

  [ traffic relating to ms-windows and os/2 would be welcome until such
    a time (if ever) that traffic warranted creation of groups under and/or comp.os.os2 ]

  on-charter topics include:

    - almost anything involving running uucp under msdos
    - almost anything involving usenet (RFC1036) under msdos
    - almost anything involving DNS mail (RFC822) under msdos
    - almost anything involving PCMAIL (RFC1056) under msdos
    - almost anything involving Post Office Protocol (RFC1225) under msdos

  similar RFCs will also be discussed, as they become available.

note:  see the section `RFCs' for updated numbers

Date: 21 Jun 1993 16:27:00 -0400
Message-ID: <2055ikINNpg0@rodan.UU.NET>
Subject: RESULT: comp.os.msdos.mail-news passes 140:21
Sender: tale@rodan.UU.NET

RESULT: comp.os.msdos.mail-news PASSES 140:21

5. QWK

as QWK has several built-in limitations in its headers, many (or
most) QWK-to-news programs produce articles which are not compliant
with RFC1036, thus these topics are off-charter.

however, there are notices of QWK packages that get around these
limitations, in much the same way normal news articles do -- by
including the full text of the headers in the text, separated by
a blank line.  in addition, there are hopes of QWK user agents
which recognize these headers and work with them as well as any
non-QWK user agent.  and finally, the reported official successor
to QWK will support `Internet' (sic) headers.

discussion of _these_ topics is, of course, directly on-charter.

6. `offline'

the word `offline' means different things to different people, and
it seems sometimes that neither group understands what the other
is talking about.  naturally, this leads to confusion.

for some, `offline' means:  using local processing power to
  compose messages locally, manage files, and do various other
  things, instead of using your PC as a $10 surplus terminal.
  this is often accomplished using such tools as uucp.

for others, `offline' goes further, and means:  using local
  processing power to do things, without having the PC set up
  as a distinct site.  very, very similar tasks are done in
  very, very similar (but occasionally weirdly incompatible)
  ways.  this is often accomplished using such tools as uqwk.
  there is a very good standards document available known as
  `' which outlines a way to eliminate some of the
  incompatibilities.  (see the section on `ftp' for how to
  find a location near you.)  soup (simple offline usenet
  packets) is based on hdpf/hpf (helldiver packet format)
  and an enhanced hdpf named slnp (simple little news packets).

I will attempt to avoid use of the word `offline' here.

==begin FAQ caption==
  From: Rahul Dhesi <>
  Newsgroups: comp.mail.pine,,comp.mail.misc
  Message-ID: <3k6bv8$>
  Date: 15 Mar 1995 09:28:08 GMT

Suppose I have a high-powered Sun machine that gets, oh, 6 incoming
newsfeeds totalling a couple of hundred megs a day.  If I read or
post news on it, am I reading or posting offline?  (Probably not, you
might say.)

What if I cut it down to, say 2 incoming news feeds and 50 megs a day?

One incoming newsfeed and 3 megs a day?  A sporadic incoming newsfeed
that's rather selective based on my tastes, a couple of hundred
kbytes a day?

Just what is meant by offline news reading?
==end FAQ caption==

7. Related Groups/Mailing Lists

(note:  these are suggestions for posting, not laws.  but people
do tend to be happier when everyone is on-charter, I would guess.)

comp.os.os2.mail-news   Mail and news apps/utils (on- & offline) under OS/2.
- OS/2-specific mail and news issues

comp.bbs.waffle         The Waffle BBS and USENET system on all platforms.
- anything to do with waffle probably should be at least crossposted here.

alt.usenet.offline-reader       Offline readers for usenet
- ``I have an account, but want to read news without tying up the
  phone line - how can I do it?''

                        Discussion of Forte, Inc.'s Agent offline readers
- Forte's Agent and Free Agent readers

- Net-Tamer   Discussion of software used to read network news.
- news-reading software

comp.mail.uucp          Mail in the uucp network environment.
- uucp software, and using mail with it

comp.mail.misc          General discussions about computer mail.
- mail in general \  for the use of winsock-compatible  > mail, news, and other applications /  (including SLIP/PPP access)

comp.protocols.tcp-ip.ibmpc     TCP/IP for IBM(-like) personal computers.
- ``how do I get SLIP working under msdos?  ftp?  telnet?''

comp.mail.pegasus-mail.misc  Pegasus Mail for DOS and Macs, and Mercury Mail.     Discussion of Pegasus Mail for Windows.
- anything to do with Pegasus or Mercury should at least be crossposted here.

bit.listserv.pmail	Pegasus Mail Discussions.
- Pegasus mail in general

  to get via mail, from `':  Send a message with text of
  `SUBSCRIBE PMAIL Firstname Lastname'	Eudora email software for MS Windows.
- Eudora (appears intended to replace the Eudora mailing list)      Eudora
- to subscribe, send mail to with
  `subscribe windows-eudora-forum' in the body
- Discussion of Crosspoint (XP)

<not-given>               Mercury
  to subscribe, mail LISTSERV@UA1VM.UA.EDU any Subject, with the message body
  containing only the line (no sig!)
  SUBSCRIBE MERCURY Firstname Lastname           Microsoft Mail
- anything to do with ms-mail           cc:Mail Interest Group
- anything to do with cc:mail
- send a message to LISTSERV@VM1.UCC.OKSTATE.EDU with
  "subscribe CCMAIL-L Full Name" to subscribe
- rumor has it that address is now                      uupc
- send mail to to subscribe/unsubscribe.                zipnews
- send mail to to subscribe/unsubscribe.                fsuucp
- send mail to to subscribe/unsubscribe.

# (old)
#             fsuucp
# - send mail to to subscribe/unsubscribe.            fxuucico
- send mail to to subscribe/unsubscribe.

<not-given>                 rnf
- send email to to subscribe/unsubscribe.     solar
- To subscribe, send mail to with
`subscribe solar' in the body of the message.    yarn
- To subscribe, send mail to with the
contents of the message being `subscribe yarn-list <your-full-name>'              V-MailServer
- To join the list, send the command `subscribe vmail-l' in the body of
the message, to Or, send the command `HELP'.          Waffle on OS/2
- send mail to `'.  In the body on the first two
lines enter:  `join WaffOS2-L' and `quit' (case is not important).                wsomr
- to subscribe, mail -- in the body put
  `subscribe wsomr-l'
- to get digest format, mail -- in the body put
  `subscribe wsomr-d'

<not-given>   uka_ppp
- to subscribe mail to
  with "subscribe uka_ppp" in subject or body

<not-given>     uuplan
- To join the list, email with the message
  subscribe uuplan-users     Deutsch waffle
- To register write to:
  First line of message text: GET WAFFLE

(these following ones seem to be permanently down -- no response)        snews
- send mail to to subscribe/unsubscribe.  seems
  oriented more towards developers/power users.          snews
- Send a message to with a body of
  "SUBSCRIBE PC-UUCP-L" for discussions on this software.
  (not sure how drastically this is intended to be different from
  snews-dev-l, and the name seems misleading)

8. Books and Online Resources

there are a large number of books on every shelf I've seen about how to
connect your PC to the Internet via SLIP, and a lot of them come with
sampler packs.  there are other FAQs that list them.  I want to concentrate
on books which cover uucp, or focus on mail/news, not on a run-of-the-mill
SLIP connection.

DOS User's Guide to the Internet
  ISBN 0-13-106783-3
  Includes disk with uucp, mail, and news software
    Mortice Kern Software

  is about uucp, not Internet

> From: (Bob Tiptrie)
> Newsgroups: comp.os.msdos.mail-news
> Message-ID: <>
> Date: Mon, 22 Jan 1996 20:45:03 PDT

> A note on [DOS User's Guide to the Internet]:  I purchased
> this a couple of years ago.  Overall it's fine, but the
> mailreader is terribly broken and is not likely to be made
> to work soon -- if ever.  The news-handler they promised was
> (if I remember right) sold to another outfit.

> Don't expect to get a full working UUCP with the software
> included with this book -- contact MKS first!

Low Cost E-Mail with UUCP
  ISBN 0-442-01849-5
  Includes disk with uucp, mail, and news shareware
  Copyright date 1995
    Van Nostrand Reinhold
    115 Fifth Ave.
    NY NY 10003
    Nelson Canada
    1120 Birchmount Road
    Scarborough, Ontario
    Canada M1K 5G4
    +1 416 752 9100 x 444



> EM_AI v1.11 is a monthly publication that is a menu driven executable
> manual for accessing the Internet by email with search and save and
> print features.  The manual contains Dr. Bob's and Gerald E. Boyd's
> offline access to the Internet, pix4u and email4u manuals, in easy to
> search and save and print format.  The manual also contains email
> letters from mailing list that provide useful information and troubled
> problems that others have had with workable solutions to accessing the
> Internet by email.

9. ftp and how to get files from the Internet

9a. help is easy to obtain

there are many good introductory materials on how to use ftp and
transfer files around the Internet (and beyond).  some are available
as books in your local library/bookstore (go ahead, ask the person
behind the counter), and some are available as other FAQ files.

if you're confused, your best first action is to ask someone locally.
ask the person or machine from whom/which you got this file you're
reading right now for help.  they're a lot more likely to know the
commands that will work for you than anyone across the planet.

or, if it's 4 a.m., you might try sending mail to the id
``''.  if prompted for a Subject: to
use, just use ``help''.  when entering text, just use one line,
and again, just use ``help''.

if you have a web browser, it will probably ftp files for you
automatically, and you can skip this section.

if you're on an Internet-connected machine, you might want to try
going through the following, to see if it works.  if not, your best
bet is again:  asking someone local who's in the know.

(we'll assume your email address is for this section)

you see something like... you type...
----------------------    --------

ftp: Command not found.
                 (well, it won't work.  talk to someone local.)

200 random-name FTP server ready.
Name (

331 Guest login ok, send e-mail address as password.

230 Guest login ok, access restrictions apply.
                 cd /pub/usenet

250 CWD successful
                 cd news.announce.newusers

250 CWD successful

200 PORT command successful.
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for file list.
[lots and lots of file names you can grab]
226 Transfer complete.
2048 bytes received in 2.00 seconds (1.0 Kbytes/s)

Hash mark printing on (1024 bytes/hash mark).

200 Type set to I.

Bell mode on.
                 get Answers_to_Frequently_Asked_Questions_about_Usenet faq

            old name ^^^                                       new name ^^^

200 PORT command successful.
150 Opening binary mode connection for Answers_to_Frequently_Asked_Qu
estions_about_Usenet (40960 bytes).
226 Transfer complete.
local: faq remote: Answers_to_Frequently_Asked_Questions_about_Usenet
40960 bytes received in 40.0 seconds (1.0 Kbytes/s)

221 Goodbye.

                 more faq

not all of those steps were absolutely necessary, but they work.

9b. where to find software

much of the software discussed in can be obtained via ftp
from these (and many other) places:
 (also waffle, offlinemail)

{following 3 are unknown -- simtel was, then}

{following 2 are unknown -- cica=>} (also offline)

9c. archie

for help with archie, which can locate files for you on ftp sites
world-wide, send mail to (for instance) [the original site]

for a Subject: line, use `help', and in the text of the message,
just use one line -- `help'.

there may an archie server nearer to you.  any of these will be
able to tell you.

you may already have an `archie' command installed on your
machine.  you will likely get quicker responses from the server
if you do, and you use that version instead.  but it's up to
your system administrator and network connection.

9d. not on the Internet:  accessing ftp archives

first, ask someone local -- they may already have the files you need!

(obviously, most of the following methods will cost you phone
charges of some sort, an access charge, or both.  know the
charges before transferring files)

for the (old) simtel collection:

- many BBSs carry the CD-ROM copy, and allow free X/Y/Zmodem downloads
- Detroit Download Central +1 313 885 3956 allows X/Y/Zmodem downloads
- 1-900-GOT-SRCS allows anonymous uucp (id uucp, no password)
  use `uucp uunet!~/help uunet-help' for the help file

waffle and offlinemail portions only:

- allowed anonymous uucp (id: nuucp, password: nuucp)
  use `uucp remote!~/00-index.txt .' for the master file list for anon uucp
  note that remote also carries the collection!
  [currently unavailable, hoped to return]

for other collections:

there is a common service known as `ftp-by-mail' -- it allows you to
transfer files through email.  keep in mind that most mail transfer
setups are designed for very short messages (most mail that I get here
is under 4k), and that ftp-by-mail systems will happily send a 2 meg
file all at once (usually, it will be in a lot of pieces, but it
still takes unexpected amounts of disk space to store them).  thus,
I (personally) recommend this be used only when clear permission has
been obtained from the place that would be most affected by doing this.

I repeat:

check with the person who runs your site, or if you run your own site,
check with the site(s) that you connect to that would also have to bear
the burden.

once you have everyone's ok, send mail to any of the many archive
servers to get started.  for instance, for
the subject=`help', text=one line, `help'.

9e. not on the Internet:  accessing archie

you can send mail to archie@<the archie server you want to use>, whether
you're on the Internet or not.

10. RFCs

RFC stands for ``Request For Comment''.  the RFCs are numbered
documents which lay out proposed standards for how machines
can communicate over the Internet (more or less).

if you are writing any news or mail software, you definitely want to
(actually, need to!) consult the relevant RFCs.  this is not only the
case if your machine is directly connected to the Internet, but also
if you intend to generate mail or news that may travel over the
Internet at some point.  they can be obtained via ftp from these
(and many other) places:
                    /inet/rfc/rfc1123.Z  (this is a draft of 1036's successor)

other RFCs of interest:
  rfc1939: POP (Post Office Protocol)
  rfc2060: IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

11. announcements

much of the software discussed in comma is available for ftp and
announced in the group `comp.archives.msdos.announce'.  when
sending in the announcement, please take a moment to indicate at
the top which groups you feel the announcement should be crossposted
to (eg. comp.os.msdos.mail-news, or alt.usenet.offline-reader, or
comp.bbs.waffle).  this makes the c.a.m.a moderator's job easier,
as well as allowing everyone who reads comma and c.a.m.a to see the
announcements only once.

a c.a.m.a moderator writes:

> If the uploader includes the Usenet "Newsgroups: " and "Folloup-To: "
> information either in the header or as the first two lines of the upload
> announcement that is mailed to me, it will be automatically used for the
> posting - unless it is inappropriate, in which case it will be edited to
> delete the inappropriate newsgroup(s).

12. other FAQs

many FAQs are found at -- abbreviated to
just `rtfm:' below:


The Good Netkeeping Seal of Approval

13. What do the technical or jargon terms mean?

  Unix-to-Unix cp (copy)



  Network News Transport Protocol

  Simple Mail Transport Protocol

  Post Office Protocol; Point of Presence

  Internet Message Access Protocol


  Request For Comment

  Multimedia Internet Mail Extensions

14. How can I get mail/news on my PC at home?

14a. I have a UNIX login, but don't want to tie up the phone lines.

[not only will you not tie up the phone lines, but you'll be able
to use your favorite editor, take your time formulating and
revising text, easily archive all your outoing messages, etc.]

check out alt.usenet.offline-reader -- this may be the easiest
solution for you.  it requires little or no effort on your admin's
part, if your system lets you compile and execute random C source,
but the tools currently available may not be what you're looking
for if you want more than `n' groups (where `n' ranges widely
for different people)

or, you could ask for a `mail feed' or `news feed' and see:

14b. I can get a `feed' -- but what do I do with it?

you'll need to know a little about it -- is the data transmitted
to you via the UUCP standard, or the NNTP standard?  UUCP is a
general-purpose file transfer protocol, and often comes with
programs to handle (also called `transfer', `unbatch', or `toss')
mail and news.  NNTP transfers news over an Internet Protocol
connection (and for info on how to get one of those, check out

14c. I'm reading over someone's shoulder.

will their site give you a feed?  will they give one the person
whose shoulder it is you're reading over, so they could feed you?

14d. I want better software than what I've got now.

what is it compatible with?  there's probably something out there

15. How can I use waffle newsreaders with other packages?

for reading only:

I've done this with two packages, myself (alpha3!commafaq).  rnr
is much easier, since you can just pass it all the stuff it needs
on the command-line, in environment variables, or in a config file.

of course, rnr now works with waffle and uupc natively.

(for software locations, see that part of the Comma FAQ)

for helldiver, you have to also fake a password file:

first:  get rnr and read the section in rnr.doc on how to
use rnr without waffle installed.

then, create a dummy password file for helldiver in waffle/admin/
that is of this format:

<256 bytes of random junk>username#10#10#10#10#10Your Full Name#10

`username' is your user id
`#10' is ascii 10 -- the LF
`Your Full Name' is your human-readable name

make sure the file size ends up a multiple of 256 bytes (not
necessary possibly, but sure can't hurt)

I think that's what I did to make it work, but it's been a while
now and I may have missed a step.

16. How can I decode proprietary Microsoft TNEF attachments?

(TNEF=Transport-Neutral Encapsulation Format)
see <>

998. spelling

it's == it is, it has.         "It's a nice day."  "It's been great."
its ~= his, her, their.        "The dog is chasing its rival."
you're == you are, you were.   "You're right."
your ~= his, her, their.       "You should watch your spelling."
lose == make not findable      "Don't lose your watch."        (pron. looz)
loose == not well-fastened     "The steering wheel is loose."  (pron. looss)
they're == they are            "They're crazy."
their ~= his, her, your        "The dogs are chasing their rivals."
there == a place or situation  "He is over there." "There is no food."
supersedes has no c.
definitely has no a.
compatible and compatibility each have an a, but only one.
don't use "'s" to make a plural -- "two car's" and "two RFC's" are both wrong

999. credits

many software entries were found in:
  Setting up SLIP clients under DOS / Windows by
  comp.protocols.tcp-ip.ibmpc FAQlet Posting by
  comp.mail.mime FAQ by
  comp.bbs.waffle FAQ by
  list of IMAP software by mrc@Tomobiki-Cho.CAC.Washington.EDU
  LAN Mail Protocols Summary by

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