Electronic mail project

Lund University Computing Center, Box 783, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Project leaders: Christer Kjörning (christer_k@ldc.lu.se)
Roland Månsson (roland_m@ldc.lu.se)
Project staff: Joakim Bengtson (joakim_b@ldc.lu.se)
Lars Sigebo (lars_s@ldc.lu.se)

This project intends to integrate Macintosh personal computers with existing electronic mail systems at Lund University. In the near future all employees will have electronic mail addresses and in connection with this it is desirable that those with a Macintosh can read and write mail using their own computers.

The goal with the project is to implement a utility to interchange information such as messages or files between Macintoshes and other systems. The project consists of two parts, a mailserver and an user agent. The mailserver is the link between Macintoshes and the rest of the world. The user agent is used to send and receive mail.

The mailserver
The Macintosh mailserver (a Macintosh II with an EtherCard) is connected to Ethernet and manages mail from and to all Macs at the university. It also stores mail for Mac users not currently reachable.

To communicate with other systems (Unix, VAX/VMS, PC, ) the mailserver uses SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) which is a flexible and general solution. All mail not addressed to Macs at the university is simply forwarded to the general mail server, which kindly delivers it all around the globe. Ordinary AppleTalk protocols are used between the mailserver and the user Macs.

Internally in the mailserver there are several applications running as processes under MultiFinder and communicating via mailboxes.

The user agent
At power-on the user Macintosh runs a startup document which installs a listener as a background task and then notifies the Macintosh mailserver. The listener vill alert the user when a mail arrives to the mailserver.

The user agent is easy to use and implemented in ordinary Macintosh style to make the Macintosh user feel at ease.