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        E-mail, since it first came into being, has been one of THE most useful and used internet utilities. While you may not have to deal with the the World Wide Web, or Usenet News at work, you will most likely have to deal with electronic mail of some sort.

        Unfortunately, E-mail is yet another area of the internet where they seem to love the oxymoronic battle cry "Let's make a NEW STANDARD!", so you will find that certain things only work if you and the person you are emailing to have the same email program. But, despite that, some concepts are, thankfully universal. I'll explain a few in brief, but Everything Email has a lot more. (A further note, many modern web browser/email packages are also integrating Usenet News into their email programs).

Mesa Community College Students should also check out my MCC Account Help pages.

Some terms roughly defined.

You have to have an email address to send the message to the right person. An email address is of the form username@someplace.com There should not be any of the protocols in it (ie, http:// is NOT an email address) and you should have none of the directories either (no ~ or / etc). There are many places where you can Search for Email Addresses.
Address Books
Address books are right up there with website bookmarks. Extremely useful. Nothing worse than having to make sure that each time you type a friends or business associates' email exactly. Instead, enter it once in the email software's address book, and you never have to type it again. (check out MCC Account Help)
Artwork made from keyboard characters, often used in Email Signatures. Check out the link for more specific info and examples.
To include something other than plain text, you must "attach" it to your email. Some of the newer email programs automatically display picture and sound attachments when they are received. This is one of the main places where compatibility problems creep up. Email can technically only send plain text. To send pictures, programs and files, they are encoded as plain text, and then must be converted back. And the methods for this vary from email program to email program. Some try and get around this with using MIME to let you know how it was done. URL's, or web addresses can be sent also, attaching the entire web page to their email, and displaying it when you open your mail. (check out MCC Account Help)
CC: or Carbon Copy
This is where you send a copy of your email to another person, and the main person is informed of this fact. Similar in use for business memos. You can also use Bcc: which stands for blind carbon copy, which doesn't inform the main sender of a copy being sent to someone else.
Clickable Links
As web browsers integrate more functions, including email, into them, you get some neat benefits. You can put web page locations (URLs) into them, and the recipient can just click on them to open it up in their web browser. So, if you type http://felitaur.com , when the person receives it, it will be blue, and underlined, and they can just click on it. Note, it won't be clickable till the person receives it, so you're not doing anything wrong. ;) (also check out MCC Email/News Help for MCC Students.
A very popular email program that works on many platforms. One site for help is Hank Zimmerman's [Unofficial] Eudora Site (For Mac's, PC's and Newtons.)
Email filters are built in screening programs that can help you eliminate junk (Spam) email by preventing emails from certain addresses, or certain subjects from reaching you. Of course, the spam morons are trying to find ways around filters. If you want to know more, you can check out either Everything Email or Fight Spam on the Internet.
Forwarding an Email Message sends a copy of a message sent to you to someone else entirely. The "subject" usually has "Fwd:..." put in front. This is useful if you'd like to send a copy of a message to someone else. Different from a "Reply".
"Free" Email Sites
Some places on the world wide web offer free email sites. Course, you need web access to use them, so usually, unless you use public libraries, you should already have an email account with your Internet Account. But, if you want another one, here are some places to get them.
Mailing Lists/Listservs
Mailing lists, list servers, etc, are basically email clubs, where you join a list of people who like a topic, and when you email to the mailing list, everyone on the list gets a copy. They can be a bit tricky, so click on the link above for more information.
MIME stands for "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension". If your email browser is MIME compliant, then you are usually set as far as attached graphics and files go. If not, then you may need to get separate programs to turn the gibberish you received back into a graphic or program.
PGP stands for pretty good privacy, a form of encryption, or way of turning your email into secret code. Check out the link for more information.
PINE is a UNIX and PC email program with a lot of utility. For more info, check out the PINE Information Center.
Where you respond to an email sent to you. Usually you highlight the message, and click on "reply" or "re:mail". This starts a message window, and it includes the content of the original message, AND the email of the person who sent it to you. The subject has an Re: put in front of it, indicating that it is in reply to another message. One important note, it is considered very rude to send back all of the original content, especially if it was long. Make sure to delete parts you don't intend to use.
Signatures are small (and SHOULD be short) bits of text that your email program automatically places at the bottom of email and Usenet news messages. It's a way of signing your email. For information on how to set one up in Netscape, check out the link above.
Smileys are a way of adding the human touch to your text based communication on the internet. Often called "emoticons", you usually have to view them by leaning to the left (I mean physically. No offense meant at conservatives. ;) See, there was one just now. Often, a sentence can be read more than one way, and if you don't put a smiley (or a frown etc) at the end, you may get someone upset. They are even used in business. Check out the sites below for more examples.
Spam is unwanted email etc sent to you without your request. An incredible amount of advertising, most of it for illegal SCAMS, is sent. A basic rule of thumb, if it says "this is a LEGAL method" then it ISN'T. Some people are trying to fight spam by making laws against it, and I hope they win. Others use SPAM BLOCKERS, which is a way of putting some obvious garbage text in your email address, that someone has to remove before they can use it. NOTE: NOSPAM etc no longer works well, the automated email address robbing programs are learning to remove that. If you'd like to know more, check out the Fight Spam on the Internet site (also has advice on how to block spam).