FAQ_Mail.Vax in the Indys

University of Baltimore
Merrick School of Business

Using VaxMail in the Indys

Version 1.5 - May 28,1995 - Created by Al Bento.

This FAQ assumes basic familiarity with VaxMail. See Many Happy <Return>s!, A brief guide to UBMail for an introduction to VaxMail. To save this guide in your account use Netscape, select file, and save as plain text.This version is for the Indys. There is another version for Windows.

Table of contents:

1. How to compose messages using Jot (Indy)
2. How to compose messages using WP 6.0 (Indy)
3. How to cut and paste between Vax Mail and Jot, WP 6.0 and print in the Indy
4. How to convert messages to files and how to mail files in the Vax
5. How to upload/download files from/to the Indy to/from the Vax and print in the Indy
6. How to compose and/or reply to messages using the EVE editor (Vax).
7. How to setup your Vax account to use the EVE editor.
8. How to use the FILE command to manage your messages in the Vax.

1. How to compose messages using Jot (Indy)

Jot is a text editor available in the Indys. You can start it from the Icon menu, or from the toolbox (rectangular menu at the left of the screen). It has word-wrapping, allows cut and paste, etc.

You can prepare messages, cut and paste or upload to Mail using it. It is equivalent to the DOS Edit program, but it is graphical and much easier to use. You can save text files in your Indy and use it to print. It does NOT require SoftWindows to print or run- it is a native application.

It is my preferred way to create short messages for VaxMail, using cut and paste (see item 3). Also to print short messages from VaxMail (see item 3).

2. How to compose messages using WP 6.0 (Indy)

Start WP 6.0 from the toolbox (rectangular menu at the left of the screen) under native applications, editors. Set font for Courier 12, left and right margins to .25 inches. Do not use bold, italic, indent, etc.

Type your message/document as usual, except for these previous restrictions. Use spell checker, and all other features, to develop your document. You can prepare messages to cut and paste or upload to Mail using it. Save your document as text not WP6.0 format.

It is my preferred way to create long messages and documents for VaxMail, using uploading and downloading (see item 5). Also my favorite to prepare text home in a PC, copy it to the Indy, do last minute modifications, and upload to the Vax.

NOTE: If you intend to copy from and to a diskette you should select floppy from the toolbox in the Indy and mount a diskette (be sure you have a diskette in the drive) before starting WP6.0.

3. How to cut and paste between Vax Mail and Jot, or other Unix applications.

This works between any UNIX, X-Windows applications in the Indy and your Vax account.

Open your Vax account window and a Jot, WP 6.0, WebMagic, etc. To cut and paste, just highlight with the mouse (pressing the left button) the text in the Vax window (UBMail, UBE, UBA), let go of the left button and move the mouse to the Jot (or other) window and press the middle button to paste the text in the Indy.

You can also highlight the text in Jot and move the mouse to the Vax window and press the middle button to paste in the Vax. To highlight, again, press the left button and move the mouse over the text, short message, releasing the left button when you no longer want to select text.

This is a quick way to get something from your mail account, paste it in Jot and send it to the printer, without using XFTP to download the file. This only works well for small files. For larger files you should use XFTP (see item 5). This is also a quick way to transfer text you create in Jot to a file or message, without using XFTP to upload the file.

4. How to convert messages to files and how to mail files in the Vax.

This works in UBMail, UBE and UBA.

When you are reading a message that you would like to save as a file, either to download to the Indy, or to edit later in the Vax, use the command EXTRACT Fname at the MAIL> prompt. Fname is the name you are giving to the file that will contain the original message. You can now either delete or file (see item 8) the original message.

Once you extracted the message into a file, you can mail this file to another e-mail user at the MAIL> prompt using the command SEND Fname (where Fname is the file name). To mail the file (message) TEST.TXT you would do:

TO: name@address
SUBJECT: your topic

You can also download the file you extracted to the Indy, using XFTP, a simple and graphical file transfer utility (see item 5), and print and/or edit this file in the Indy. Conversely, you can also upload a file created in the Indy, and mail it to another e-mail user.

5. How to upload/download files from/to the Indy and to/from the Vax and print in the Indy.

Use a utility you find in the toolbox (the rectangular menu in the left-side of your screen) under Net applications, called XFTP. It works similar to File Manager under Windows (it is graphical and you do not need to know how to use FTP or Unix commands).

How to transfer files to/from UBmail?

You can use this command for three main purposes:

  1. downloading a file you EXTRACTed from a message (see item 4) and printing in the Indy,
  2. uploading a file you created in Jot (see item 1) or WP6.0 (see item 2) and sending it as a message (see item 4), and
  3. uploading a file you created in Jot (see item 1) or WP6.0 (see item 2) and submitting it as a batch job for applications like SPSS, COBOL, SAS, etc, in the Vax (UBE).

6. How to compose and/or reply to messages using the EVE editor (Vax).

6.1 Why use EVE? Because with EVE you can do the following in Vax:

6.2. How to start EVE to edit a file at the $ prompt?

Many times it is more convenient to create a file directly in Vax to send as a message in Mail (see item 4) or to submit as a batch for SPSS, SAS, COBOL, etc. This is specially true when you are modifying a file many times before and after you use it, as in the case of program prodeveloment. Uploading and downloading becomes cumbersome is this case. You can use EVE to create and edit such files at the $ prompt (outside of Mail).

Start the EVE editor by typing EDIT/TPU at the $ prompt. If you want to create or modify the file TEST.TXT, enter the file name along with the EDIT command, and press the Return key (<return>) as shown below:

$ EDIT/TPU TEST.TXT <return>

The EDIT/TPU command will take you right into the EVE editor. You will be in a blank document which will look like this:

As you start typing the [End of File] marker will be moving down automatically, and the text will be accessible for you to edit. See an example here. You can use the arrow up or down to move up or down in the text.

A status line appears at the bottom of the EVE window in reverse video and provides information about the buffer (file) you are viewing in the window. The status line shows the buffer name, editing status (write or read-only), current mode (insert or overstrike), and current direction (forward or reverse). A message window, containing informational messages appears beneath the status line.

EVE is a full screen, wordprocessor-like editor. If you set it up to run in your account as described in item 7 below, it will do word-wrapping automatically every time you use it. Simple editing functions can be performed using keystrokes only (see item 6.3). Spelling, centering, reformatting paragraphs, including files, etc, require the use of a keystroke (Ctrl-B) to call the EVE command and specific keywords to perform each one of these functions (see item 6.4).

Eve can also be set up as the default editor for VaxMail (see item 6.5). This is an important feature specially for REPLYing to messages, and to avoid typos and other errors sending mail in a hurry.

6.3. Using the keyboard and keypad in EVE at the Indys

The following keystrokes are available to enter commands and edit in the Indy (to see it formatted as a table you need Netscape 1.1):

What you can do (in Eve) Key or combination of keys
Save text message Ctrl-Z
Quit without saving Ctrl-Y
Delete character left Del
Delete line Ctrl-U
Tab Tab
Move to begin of line Ctrl-H (or Backspace)
Move to end of line Ctrl-E
Move up, down, left, right Arrows up, down, left, right
Move up 15 lines PgUp (in the numeric keypad)
Move down 15 lines PgDn (in the numeric keypad)
Access interesting Eve features (spell, reformat paragraph, center, etc). Ctrl-B

6.4. How you can use spelling, reformatting, center, include files, etc.

As discussed before, EVE can perform most word processing functions using first a keystroke (Ctrl-B) to start command mode, and then issuing a keyword/command to obtain the function.

This is not exactly the way it should be, but a problem with keyboard mapping in the Indys forces us to proceed as follows to issue commands (use keywords) to obtain EVE special editing features:

The following table (again Netscape 1.1 is needed to see the table format) shows the keywords (commands) you can use:

Feature/functionWhat to typeWhere should the cursor be before you enter a keyword
reformat a paragraph (after cut and paste, otherwise is automatic) Fill at any line in the paragraph
Include a file saved previously in document you are editing Include file fname (where 'fname' is a name of a Vax file you want to include in the present document) where you want the file inserted
checking spelling of your document spell not relevant
on-line help on Eve commands (ignore references to keypad keys in the Indys) help not relevant
open another process in the Vax (useful to find file names you forgot and want to include; finish the process by typing logout and you will be back editing) spawn not relevant
center text in one line centerat the line

NOTE: There are more commands in EVE than I showed above. Use help at the command prompt to learn more about them.

6.5. How to start VaxMail to use EVE as the editor

The use of EVE as the VaxMail editor is important to compose messages and specially to REPLY to messages. You can reformat paragraphs, do spelling, etc. To make EVE your editor in VaxMail you need to:
  1. Type Mail/Edit at the $ prompt (every time you start) instead of Mail:

    $ Mail/Edit <return>

  2. Type: SET EDITOR TPU just once at the MAIL> prompt.

    MAIL> SET EDITOR TPU <return>

  3. Set up your Vax account to use EVE (see item 7).

7. How to set up your Vax account to use the EVE editor.

You need to create two files: LOGIN.COM and EVE$INIT.EVE

How to create these files?

  1. at the Vax $ prompt type: CREATE LOGIN.COM

    $ CREATE LOGIN.COM <return>

  2. type the following 3 lines :
    EVE = = "EDIT/TPU" <return>

  3. to check if the file was created type:

    $ TYPE LOGIN.COM <return>

  4. at the $ prompt type: CREATE EVE$INIT.EVE

    $ CREATE EVE$INIT.EVE <return>

  5. type the following 3 lines:
    SET CURSOR BOUND <return>
    SET KEYPAD EDT <return>
    SET TABS EVERY 5 <Ctrl-Z>

  6. to check if the second file was created type:

    $ TYPE EVE$INIT.EVE <return>

After you logout and login again all features will be working, including word-wrapping, the use of EVE to start the editor, and EMAIL to start VAX Mail using EVE.

8. How to use the FILE command to manage your messages in the Vax.

The volume of e-mail today is astounding. The Internet is processing 20 million e-mail transactions a week!!!! I receive an average of 20 messages a day, not counting the ones I receive because I am the CIS-L Editor.

The question is: what to do? The real solution is coming I don't know when, through Mediamail or ECSmail, which allow automatic filtering of messages to folders you can create to organize the e-mail chaos, like junkmail, announcements, unreasonable requests, unrealistic deadlines, serious stuff, students, etc.

In VaxMail the mail comes to us through Newmail (a folder for new messages) and after we read and do not delete it goes to Mail (old messages). If you do not delete your messages, you will quickly loose them among another hundred messages you have not deleted either, to see later. Then when you need a particular message, it is a pain to find it in Mail (old messages). If you subscribe to lists using digests or not, you can reach crisis status in a week.

People respond to this problem basically in three ways (with multiple variations):

I suggest using mail file folders, if you are not good, like me, in handling paper folders. How to do it? The Vax commands that manage folders are simple:

FILE and SET FOLDER. Yes, there are others like SELECT/FROM_SUBSTRING="text", SELECT/SUBJECT_SUBSTRING="text", etc, but I use them very rarely.

As you read your mail, you decide what to delete, or to file in one of the folders. You do not need to create folders beforehand, just create them as you feel the need (many messages on the same subject or same source). From time to time scan your folders, and delete old messages to keep your storage use low. You can always extract these messages (see item 4) and download ( see item 5) and save to the hard-drive or diskettes.


I thank Regina Bento, Irene Liou, Rajesh Mirani and Fred Niederman for comments and reviews of various versions of this FAQ. George Weitzel for implementing the Spell function in EVE (and putting up with my constant requests regarding EVE). Joe Puleo and Rick from SGI for installing Xftp in the Indys.

This page is maintained by Al Bento who can be reached at abento@ubmail.ubalt.edu. This page was last updated on May 28, 1995. Although we will attempt to keep this information accurate, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.