E-Mail - Electronic Mail Setup and Use
The most popular Internet feature is electronic mail or e-mail. Using e-mail, people can send messages to other people anywhere in the world. E-mail is just like traditional mail (called "snail mail" by Internet folks) only much quicker. This activity covers how to setup Netscape Navigator e-mail so you can send and receive messages from within Navigator and places on the Internet where you can download alternative e-mail programs.
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
People want to socially interact or connect in any medium and the Internet is no different. To this end, the most common form of communication used is electronic mail or e-mail. E-mail allows you to communicate with anyone in the world, if you know their e-mail address. E-mail addresses are places on a specified mail server where your mail is sent and received, similar to a postal address. E-mail is passed along by mail servers until it arrives at its' final destination. E-mail can be simple text messages, files attached to messages, and even multimedia messages that include sound or video. To use e-mail, you need an e-mail account on a mail server.
Visit the Beginners guide to effective e-mail and the etiquette for e-mail Websites (see Internet Resources) to learn more about the use of e-mail on the Internet. You can also visit the Netscape Website to learn more about using the Navigator e-mail function.
From within Netscape Navigator, as with all the other e-mail programs, you must define your designated mail server location or address before you can use the mail program. Do this by selecting the Mail and News Preferences option from the Options menu in Netscape Navigator 2.0 or later. This opens a dialog box where you select the Servers button which displays fields where you must specify your mail and news server, as well as the address for incoming and outgoing mail, your e-mail user ID, a place to store mail on your system, maximum message size, what Navigator should do when it retrieves mail from your server, and how long it should wait before it checks for new mail. Enter your mail server in the appropriate field, along with the other necessary information, and press the OK button to save the entry. (Note: If you have an e-mail address, you can guess the address for the mail server. For example, if your e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, then your mail server address might be zippo.com. Check with your mail provider to make sure you have entered the correct Internet addresses for your mail server and your e-mail address.
Once you have established your mail server information in Netscape Navigator, open it by selecting the Netscape Mail option from the Window menu. This will open a new window overlaying the Netscape Web window and display incoming and outgoing mail windows. Notice the Mail Reader window has three sections-one for reading mail people send to you, called the InBox (the upper-left-hand quadrant), one for outgoing mail (the upper-right-hand quadrant), and one for reading mail messages (bottom-half of screen).
To read mail in Netscape Navigator, select the Get New Mail option from the File menu or use the GetMail button. The first time you use the e-mail feature you will be prompted for your mail password which you must enter. Click on the OK button and Navigator will check your mail server for any new mail. If you have any new mail, it will be listed in your InBox. Clicking on the mail will open it and display the message in the bottom-half window.
If you want to send mail from within Netscape Navigator, select the New Mail Message option from the File menu or click on the To: Mail button. A message composition window will open and you can type in your mail message. Enter a subject, the e-mail address the message is going to be sent to, copies of the message to send to other folks (in the Cc: field), and then type the actual content of the message. After typing the message content, click on the SendNow button to submit it. You can also attach files to any message you send by clicking on the Attach button and create and maintain a list of your popular e-mail addresses using the Address button. See the Navigator on-line help for more on these options.
If you don't want to use the Netscape Navigator e-mail program, you can use any of the other available e-mail programs (see Internet Resources below). These programs work similarly to the Netscape Navigator, but are run outside of Netscape.
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