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Prodigy Internet Rate Update

Prodigy released the Mail Manager DOS software to all its members last week. It costs $4.95 to download the software. There are no versions as yet for Mac or Windows. To send Prodigy messages or to send or RECEIVE Internet messages, the fee is 10 cents ($0.10) for each 6,000 character block, with a maximum length per message of 60,000 characters. (In the beta testing, fees were 15 cents per block of 3,000 characters, so prices were lowered considerably for the public release.) All Mail Manager fees apply per recipient, so a message distributed to a dozen people would be charged a dozen times.

Binary file transfer fees within Prodigy are charged at the same rate, with a maximum length of one megabyte per file. That’s much better than the 250K limit of the beta test. Prodigy says, "File transfer via the Internet is not available at this time." You can also send faxes ($1.25 per page of about 3,000 characters, maximum length 20 pages) or USPS letters ($1.50 each letter, with a maximum length of four pages [about 12,000 characters]).

What about Macs? The information Prodigy supplies about Macs is incorrect in a few ways. The online info says, for example, the following: "Mac users can receive files sent to them with Mail Manager. These files will be received as text files and may require some conversion." Not true – binary files are received fine at Macs; they just arrive without the resource fork; the MacBinary format was developed years ago to handle such foreign transfers. I told the software developers months ago that Mac files could be converted to files without resource forks (like text files or MacBinary files) and transferred fine with their software; apparently, only part of that message was understood.

I’m now talking to the developers and have had some success in getting things straightened out. They really seemed to like it when I recommended ZipIt 1.2 as a $10 shareware utility for handling Mac to MacBinary and vice versa manipulations. "It’s compatible with PKUNZIP 2.04G!" I said. They were suitably impressed.

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