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Campus Computing News

By Dr. Philip Baczewski, Associate Director of Academic Computing

EagleMail Takes Flight

You may have noticed EagleMail posters, banners, and advertisements appearing around campus. If you are wondering what EagleMail is, the simple answer is that is the continuation of a service that Academic Computing has offered for a number of years. ACS first provided students access to Internet E-mail when the first Jove UNIX system was brought on line in 1993. The next development in student E-mail came with the use of IMAP and IMSP protocols for client/server E-mail access and the adoption of the Simeon E-mail client for student use.

This spring, E-mail may become a particularly strategic tool for advancing the missions of this University. A policy is being presented to the Board of Regents which designates E-mail as an official means of communication between the University and students. The policy requires students to activate their UNT E-mail accounts and to read their mail regularly. Part of the concept of EagleMail is to make activating and accessing E-mail as easy and convenient as possible for students.

A variety of ways to read and send mail

E-mail accounts can now be activated via a Web page, without a requirement to come in person to the UNT Computing Center. Security is maintained by requiring that students provide specific demographic information to verify their identity EagleMail includes a number of possible ways to read and send mail. These include the first type of E-mail service we offered, the pine E-mail program running in a UNIX shell. Previously supported IMAP clients, like Simeon, Netscape, and Outlook Express are also still options. A new option provided concurrently with the announcement of EagelMail is a Web IMAP client that runs in any current browser program. The Web client, provides students easy access similar to that which they are used to from Web-based services like Hotmail or Yahoo. Another option for students is to forward their e-mail to an existing commercial E-mail account. All of their UNT messages, including any official communication, can be received at an account that they may have already established before coming to UNT.

A philosophy of E-mail

EagelMail is as much a philosophy as it is a service. The philosophy is to make E-mail as accessible and useful to students as possible. At last count, 53% of active students already have active UNT Internet E-mail accounts. To reach the other 47%, we will need to have a service that is recognizable, meaningful, memorable, and accessible. The name EagleMail and the associated logos you will see with it are just a start. An ongoing process of further developing and improving this service follows. So, tell any students you know about EagleMail and don't forget to visit the EagleMail Website at http://eaglemail.unt.edu/ .