Life without postman - e-mail

One of the most comfortable services which was introduced by the Internet is an e-mail. People can not wait for important messages. Since an ordinary mail began to function it became hopelessly salvation. The e-mail is a web-based service in the legal nomenclature referred to refund provision of electronic services used to send text messages, so-called e-mails - hence the common name of the service. E-mail was invented in 1965, authors of the idea were: Louis Pouzin, Glenda Schroeder, and Pat Crisman. However, then the service was used only for sending messages between users of the same computer and e-mail addresses did not exist. Service that sends text messages between computers was invented in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. He also chose the @ sign to separate the user name from the computer name, then the domain name. At the beginning the sending of e-mails was served by CPYNET protocol. Later many other protocols were used (amount others FTP and UUCP). In 1982 Jon Postel developed for this purpose SMTP protocol which is used today. Another important communication protocol used when we are retrieving e-mails are POP3 and IMAP its improved version. Standard Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) was developed specifically for the transmission of electronic mail. It also enables to attach to the mail files from any computer in the form of so-called annex. In order to encode text message the Quoted-Printable transport encodings are used, attachments are encoded by uuencode and its improved version of Base64. E-mails are handled  by specialized software run on servers running constantly. Known and popular this type programs include: Sendmail, Postfix, Exim, Mdaemon and Qmail.

Software for writing, sending and receiving e-mails is called e-mail client. You have a lot of these types of programs to choose:

  • Text: Elmo, Gnus, Mutt, Pine,
  • Graphic: Eudora, Evolution, KMail, Mail, Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Opera, Pegasus Mail, SeaMonkey, Sylpheed, The Bat!

Currently, ISPs generally offer access through a web browser – this solution is called Webmail.


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