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(Electronic-MAIL) The transmission of text messages from sender to recipient. Email 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 email).

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 email 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 email 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 (email client), such as Windows Mail, Mac Mail, Outlook and Eudora, provides the user interface for mailboxes and send and receive functions. Popular email services such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail are Web based, in which case the Web browser is used as the mail program (see email interfaces).

The Internet Changed It All
The Internet revolutionized email 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 email vs. fax, messaging system, instant messaging, read receipt and self-destructing email.

Could They Have Imagined Spam?
When they sent this first message in 1971, could they have imagined the trillions of email messages that would follow in years to come? (Image courtesy of Dan Murphy,

The First Email on the Internet

In 1971, the first email 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 email messages that would follow in years to come? (Image courtesy of Dan Murphy,
References in periodicals archive ?
He e-mailed me again and asked to have sex with me, saying if I didn't he would show the photos to my father.
It is hoped the next edition will be e-mailed in March.
We have e-mailed them all in advance that they have to pay another pounds 5 because of Gordon Brown's introduction of this tax on February 1," he said yesterday.
We have lived here for the last 19 years and when I e-mailed Bernie I did put it to her that ourselves plus other residents would welcome the opportunity to purchase some of this land to enable us to have gardens at the rear of our houses, rather than just a small back yard.
Dershowitz e-mailed Publishers Weekly's editor in chief Nora Rawlinson to complain that a review of his book, 'America on Trial: Inside the Legal Battles that Transformed Our Nation', "smacked of personal antagonism by the reviewer".
Questions about PIPES may be e-mailed to pipesquestions @buildings.
RehabWorks DataLink produces a data file upon completion of invoicing each month that can be e-mailed and imported directly into a facility's accounts-receivable software.
POINTLess counters this problem by compressing riles by up to 94 percent so that they can be e-mailed and downloaded faster, while taking up less disk space.
The Senate bill adds a raft of consumer protections, including free, e-mailed credit reports; truncated account numbers on receipts to make identity theft harder; and single-point-of-contact fraud reporting in case an identity theft happens.
During that time, we've e-mailed and written letters.
Follow-up digital photos e-mailed to consumers whose photos were taken at the Expo.
In addition, the resume is also e-mailed to potential employers on a weekly basis.