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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year


Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 10 - October 27, 1994

By far the most used network application is the Campuswide Mail Service. Unlike VM Mail or PROFS where all mail messages are handled on the mainframe, Campuswide Mail users write and manage mail on their own personal computers using "client" software, like Eudora or NUPop. The client in turn transfers mail across the network to and from a university mail "server" machine in the Computing Center which, in turn, sends and receives mail world-wide via the Internet.

Both the mail system itself and the campus communications links to it, like a boom-town post office at the end of a narrow road, are at times heavily loaded to the point where server performance is impaired. Likewise, problems on the client machine (e.g. slower processors, low memory, or poor phone lines) can negatively affect overall performance.

But you can help:

1. PLEASE REMOVE YOUR MAIL FROM THE SERVER (mail.vt.edu). The mail server must check the headers on all your messages before taking any other action, and the more messages you leave on the server, the longer this processing takes and the less efficient will be the mail service. Therefore, be sure your mail client (Eudora, NUPop, etc.) is configured to remove the mail from the server once copies are downloaded to your system.

In Eudora, from the SPECIAL menu, select SWITCHES. The "Leave Mail On Server" box should NOT have a `X' in it.

In NUPop, from the OPTIONS menu, select PREFERENCES, then MESSAGES. The "Leave incoming mail on server" option should NOT have an `X' next to it.

Of course, if you are checking mail from somewhere other than your primary system, you may need to leave the mail on the server until you can get back to your primary system to download the mail for permanent storage. Just make sure that your primary mail system is not set to leave mail on the server.

2. PLEASE DISABLE THE AUTOMATIC MAIL CHECK FEATURE IN YOUR CLIENT SOFTWARE. Automatic mail checks, particularly those performed at frequent intervals, generally acquire little or no mail, and can dramatically degrade overall system performance when widely used. You are being considerate of others when you check your mail manually and only when you are actually ready to work with it.

3. KEEP YOUR IN-BOX EMPTY. The more messages you have in your in-box, the more processing is required before more mail can be transferred in.

4. REMOVE YOURSELF FROM (OR DISABLE THE `SEND' FEATURE ON) AUTOMATIC MAILING LISTS when you do not plan to receive mail for any extended period of time.

LISTSERV lists allow you to disable/enable mail (without removing yourself from the list) by sending a mail message with a blank subject line to:


To stop mail from a listserv list, the first and only line of the message should be:


where LISTNAME is the name of the list.

To restart mail, the first and only line should be:


To disable mail from non-LISTSERV sources, you should contact the person or organization in charge of the mailing list.