About Overcome Email Overload with Eudora 5
Other email material by Kaitlin Duck Sherwood:
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Overcome Email Overload with Eudora 5|
Copyright © 2001 Kaitlin Duck Sherwood
This glossary cannot be an ultimate authority. Electronic mail is still relatively new, and the language has not completely settled down yet. For example, newsgroups, discussion groups, and ele ctronic forums are all the same thing--many-to-many textual conversations that can happen over long periods of time--but they have different names depending upon who is talking about them. Words also take on multiple meanings because there aren't other good terms. For example, a client can be a piece of hardware, a piece of software, or the combination of the two. You can sometimes figure it out from context, but not always. Use this glossary as a guide only.
For those of you who are too young to remember, carbon paper used to be one of the only ways to duplicate a document. To make a copy, one had to place a sheet of carbon paper between two pieces of regular paper. Pressure from writing or typing on the top paper would transfer through the carbon paper and leave marks on the bottom paper. While people now rarely use carbon paper for duplicating documents, you can still occasionally see carbon paper in credit card signature slips.
A program that depends upon a program that is running on a different computer. There are now many services available where one program runs on one computer, another runs on a different computer, and they communicate over a network. The program that provides the service is called the server and the program that uses the service is called the client. (The language is a bit imprecise; the respective computers are also frequently called servers and clients.)
One good example of a client-server application is the Web. A Web client or browser runs on an individual's personal computer. The browser connects to a Web server, which gives the client the Web page for display. Email is also a client-server application. Messages come to a mailbox on a mail server, where they stay until a mail client retrieves them.
Note that email filters are different from web filters . Web filters are a form of censorship, designed to prevent people from viewing certain web pages. Web filters might have many different conditions but have only one action: disallow viewing the page. Email filters usually have many possible conditions but also several possible actions. And while web filtering software is designed so that the person browsing the Web can't modify the filters, email filters usually are under the control of the person reading the messages.
A piece of information about an email message. Headers typically show who sent the message, who it was addressed to, the date and time that it was sent, and some information about the path that the message took. Header can refer to either the entire set of information or to just one piece (such as the subject or the date). Also called envelope information .
A set of computers that communicate with each other with TCP/IP, can access machines on the Internet, but that can only be accessed by computers that are on the same local network. Machines on an intranet are not supposed to be publicly accessible.
When capitalized, it refers to a specific extremely large network of computers that communicate with each other using the TCP/IP specifications and that are publicly accessible. When not capitalized, refers to a network of computers connected by a TCP/IP network that are not attached to the public network.
A type of server-based email system. Messages are kept on a server and only temporarily stored on the client. (This is different from Post Office Protocol (POP), where messages are stored on the client and only temporarily stored on the server.)
In practical terms, IMAP lets you access your email from two or more computers and it will always look the same. The disadvantage of IMAP is that you need to stay connected to the Internet for the whole time you are working with your email.
With POP, the messages are stored on the computer you used to read them. If you go to another computer, you won't see all the messages because some or all are on the first computer. See also Post Office Protocol .
A program that automatically administers a mailing list. "If you don't want to get any more messages, don't tell the list, send an unsubscribe message to the list server." Also called a listserv or listbot .
A free-flowing, many-to-many email conversation with shifting membership. A piece of software (called a list server, listbot , or listserv ) will take any messages to a particular email address and re-send them to everybody who has subscribed to that list. Also called distribution list.
A forum where many people can read and write (post) messages. Once this word only referred to Usenet discussions, but now the word is drifting to include Web-based discussions. "One of the basketball newsgroups had a posting that someone is going to start a second women's professional league."
A shortcut for either a single email address or a group of email addresses. For example, you might have a group nickname roses that contains the email addresses of seven people in your rose gardening club. Then if you addressed a message to roses , your email software would send the message to those seven club members. Also called alias, group, or card .
One specification for how computers must talk to each other to transfer a message from an email server to an email client. Post Office Protocol (commonly abbreviated POP) systems are designed for the user to download, store, and manipulate mail on the user's desktop machine. This is different from IMAP, where the mail is stored and manipulated on a server.
To write a message for a large group. One implication of post instead of write is that the message will be public and not private. "Somebody posted to the Stanford alumni mailing list that they had a job vacancy to fill in floss recycling."
A scheme where later participants (B) pay money to earlier participants (A) in the hope that even later participants (C) will give them (B) even larger sums of money than they (B) gave to earlier participants (A). This is almost always illegal (except when investing in stock market bubbles).
Abbreviation for Request For Comments, but almost nobody uses the long form. Originally, RFCs were requests for comments. In practice, now RFCs are the rules for how computers talk to each other over the Internet.
RFC822 is the name of the original specification for email--before rich text, attachments, and many of the other features of modern email. To say that a message is "RFC822", then, is to say that its formatting is very simple.
Abbreviation for Real Soon Now . This is usually used jokingly when something has been promised (and delayed) for a long time. If you read RSN, you should probably not believe that the item under discussion is going to be ready any time soon.
Techno-slang for Unsolicited Commercial Email . It apparently comes from an episode of the Monty Python television show, and is not usually capitalized except at the beginning of sentences. (The words Spam and SPAM are brand names for a particular brand of canned meat.)
An application that lets many people write (or post) and read messages (or articles). Articles are distributed by copying them from computer to computer. Usenet is the original Internet discussion forum, but there are now many types.
Viral marketing is a term for any product that encourages (or forces) its customers to advertise the product. For example, many free email services include a mini-ad for their service at the bottom of each message that is sent via the service. This book is another example: if you want to get more readable email, you should convince your correspondents to also read this book.
What happens with text where the width of the screen is smaller than the number of characters until a carriage return. If the text is broken into lines at word boundaries, it is word-wrapped. If the text is not broken into lines or is broken in the middle of words, it is not word-wrapped.
Abbreviation for Your Mileage May Vary, a standard disclaimer in automobile advertisements in the United States. It means, basically, that the author believes his or her statement to be true but recognizes that it might not be a universal truth. "I've never had trouble buying a ticket right before the show starts, but YMMV."
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