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see electronic mailelectronic mail
or e-mail,
the electronic transmission of messages, letters, and documents. In its broadest sense electronic mail includes point-to-point services such as telegraph and facsimile (fax) systems.
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(Electronic-MAIL) The transmission of text messages from sender to recipient. E-mail messages can also be formatted with graphics like a brochure or Web page, an enhancement that many users like, but that creates more spam and a security risk (see HTML e-mail).

Users can send a mail message to a single recipient or to multiple users. In addition, JPEG photos as well as any other type of computer file may be attached to the message (see e-mail attachment). Mail is sent to a simulated mailbox in the organization's mail server until it is downloaded to the "in" mailbox in the user's computer.

The Messaging System and the Client
An e-mail system requires a messaging system, which is primarily a store and forward capability based on the Internet's Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). A mail program (e-mail client), such as Windows Mail, Mac Mail, Outlook and Eudora, provides the user interface for mailboxes and send and receive functions. Popular e-mail services such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail are Web based, in which case the Web browser is used as the mail program (see e-mail interfaces).

The Internet Changed It All
The Internet revolutionized e-mail by turning countless incompatible islands into one global system. Initially serving its own users, in the mid-1990s, the Internet began to act as a mail gateway between the major online services such as CompuServe and America Online (AOL). It then became "the" messaging system for the planet. In the U.S., Internet mail is measured in the trillions of messages each year. See e-mail vs. fax, messaging system, instant messaging, read receipt and self-destructing e-mail.

Could They Have Imagined Spam?
When they sent this first message in 1971, could they have imagined the trillions of e-mail messages that would follow in years to come? (Image courtesy of Dan Murphy, www.opost.com/dlm)

The First E-mail on the Internet

In 1971, the first e-mail message was typed into the Teletype terminal connected to the Digital Equipment PDP-10 toward the back of the room in the following picture. The message was transmitted via ARPAnet, the progenitor of the Internet, to the PDP-10 in front. Dan Murphy, a Digital engineer, took this photo in the Bolt, Beranek and Newman datacenter. See ARPAnet.

Could They Have Imagined Spam?
When they sent this first message in 1971, could they have imagined the trillions of e-mail messages that would follow in years to come? (Image courtesy of Dan Murphy, www.opost.com/dlm)
References in periodicals archive ?
Many e-mail security vendors have already implemented some form of e-mail authentication, and many others are looking at doing so.
Furneaux also provided The Newsletter on Newsletters with a long list of facts and tips regarding e-mail marketing (with only a minimum of plugs for an outside service agency such as his).
Spam, also known as unsolicited e-mail and junk mail, has caused extraordinary damage to people and businesses.
Identified a service department e-mail where the e-mails were unopened for the most recent three weeks.
If e-mail costs a little money to send, then legitimate companies have an incentive to send less of it, which means less mail in your inbox.
So you have finally set up a camper e-mail system for your camp parents, and they love it.
Phase Two of our engagement has begun, where we are helping to build their permission e-mail database," Emory said.
Small enough to fit in a pocket and weighing just over seven ounces, the portable design provides easy to use, one-touch access to e-mail from any RJ-11 jack via vtechworld.
The E-responder service makes it possible for The Email Channel to deliver an integrated, outsourced solution that: a) responds to inbound e-mails in a personal and specific manner; b) captures and analyzes inbound e-mails to detect patterns of customer inquiries; and c) synchronizes outbound e-mail with inbound requests into a fuller, more responsive database marketing program.