CE’s popular electronic mail package will see some significant enhancements when version 2.5 ships this summer. Perhaps the most important change, at least for those of us who must deal with non-AppleTalk networks, is support for AppleTalk Filing Protocol (AFP) compatible networks, such as Novell Netware, 3Com’s 3+ Open, Microsoft’s LAN Manager, DEC’s PCSA, and Banyan VINES. With the QuickMail PC for PC LANs, any PC on the network can send and receive mail from its own file servers, though mail to or from a machine on an AppleTalk network must go through the QuickMail server on the AppleTalk network. The only two minor inconveniences are the fact that you can’t use the QuickConference feature to send interactive messages, and you have to administrate the PC LAN clients with QM Administrator on a Macintosh. Gotta keep those Macs around for something :-).
There are plenty of other new features that will make everyone and their brothers want to upgrade to 2.5, not the least of which is the fact that it’s a free upgrade for users of 2.2.3. Even though the current release of QuickMail works under System 7.0, version 2.5 will be 32-bit clean for System 7.0 and A/UX. We haven’t heard if QuickMail will support System 7.0’s cool IAC features, though such enhancements are likely to take a while as everyone gets used to the possibilities of IAC. A new feature I personally am going to love is 2.5’s ability to send only a single copy of messages that have multiple recipients on the same server. A corollary to this is that only a single message will be stored on the local server, thus saving lots of disk space. When I send out TidBITS each week to the people who redistribute it, I send out about 10 copies, which bogs down my poor 2400 baud modem. Luckily QuickMail is good about scheduling such tedious work for 2:00 AM. Finally, the remote parts of QuickMail (on which I rely heavily) now support Apple’s Communications Toolbox, so QM-QM Bridge can now dial callers back to increase security. Additions to CE’s remote QuickMail products include QM-Direct, QM-Script, and QM-Link, all of which help communications within large, complex telephone systems and international systems – and no, I don’t know exactly what each one will do yet, but CE’s press release muttered something about ISDN, X.25, and ADSP, for those in the acronym know. QM-Remote (which lets you read and write mail remotely) now looks like the QuickMail client, supports the Comm Toolbox, and lets you work off-line to minimize on-line time and connect charges.
For those of you who don’t mess with administration, CE added to the QuickMail client as well. All incoming mail now goes into a single folder until you file it somewhere else (I assume that this single folder differs from the current scheme in that you can close it, so you don’t have to stare at all that mail you haven’t read or answered yet.). There are also a number of new features related to sending and replying to mail, so you can now reply to the "sender," the "originator," or "everyone," a feature which will make QuickMail even better at conferencing. Forwarded mail can be "as-is" or "with changes" (these quoted terms are CE’s, not mine), and pop-up address books, which will be a welcome change from the current clumsy method of changing address books. Finally, incoming mail can trigger a QuicKeys2 macro. Although I can’t think of a good example now, (other than "Delete all mail from So-and So") I’m sure people will think of excellent uses for this feature.
Information Electronics, one of the most innovative firms to produce add-ons for QuickMail, will soon have something for those of you searching to consolidate all of your email. The $129 QMSight allows users of a Second Sight BBS (previously known as Red Ryder Host) to send mail through other QuickMail gateways to numerous other electronic services, including CompuServe, AppleLink, GEnie, Usenet, but not America Online. (If you wish, hassle the AOL folks to provide Information Electronics with the necessary specifications and you’re likely to see a QM-AOL bridge shortly thereafter. QMSight also allows people on a network containing the Mac running the Second Sight BBS to respond directly via QuickMail over the network without having to dial in. I personally feel that QMSight’s first ability is the most important, since a Second Sight BBS sysop can now provide local access to important electronic services. For many people not affiliated with a large business or educational institution, electronic access has previously been a daunting and expensive task.
Another QuickMail developer, StarNine Technologies, will release two more QuickMail gateways this spring. The first one, MailLink QM-MS will allow QuickMail users and Microsoft Mail users to transfer messages and enclosures, though not forms or address books. Since QuickMail has about 55% of the market and Microsoft Mail has another 20% or so, linking the two packages should be a popular option. MailLink QM-MS will cost $295 for 50 users, $495 for 100 users, and $4950 for a site license. The second gateway, Mail*Link MHS, will replace a CE product that provided the same ability to transfer messages to email systems using the MHS (Message Handling Service) engine from Action Technologies and Novell. MHS is used by programs like WordPerfect Office, cc:Mail, and DaVinci Mail, all popular DOS mail systems. StarNine has a free 50-user upgrade for users of CE’s MHS gateway, and prices for new users are based on number of users. Now if only everyone was on a network…
CE Software — 515/224-1995
Information Electronics — 607/267-5840
StarNine Technologies — 415/548-0391
MacWEEK — 12-Feb-91, Vol. 5, #6, pg. 15
MacWEEK — 29-Jan-91, Vol. 5, #4, pg. 15, 16
InfoWorld — 11-Feb-91, Vol. 13, #6, pg. 33
PC WEEK — 11-Feb-91, Vol. 8, #6, pg. 41