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Pegasus Mail

There are many good email programs available for Internet users to chose from. I've tried several, but find that Pegasus Mail for Windows 3.1 or Windows95/NT is the best by far. It is simple to set up, is intuitive to use both by home and professional users, has a rich set of features for advanced users and is free.

Here are some of Pegasus Mail's features:-

  1. - Spelling checker
  2. - Mail filtering through user-defined rules
  3. - Address books: a single button press pastes an address entry into the "To:" field in a New Message composing window
  4. - Clickable links. If an incoming message contains a URL in the form: http://www.somenet.com/XYZ.html, then a single mouse click starts up your browser with the URL ready loaded
  5. - Message folders - messages can be transferred between them with "drag and drop"
  6. - Encryption facilities - Pegasus's own system or 3rd party systems like PGP
  7. - User-defined text fonts and colours: proportional or monospaced at the touch of a button
  8. - Internal support for Internet mail (TCP/IP) and for mail transport systems such as Novell Netware
  9. - Extensive facilities for searching text both in individual messages and amongst several messages in a folder
  10. - 3rd party Extensions enable Pegasus to cater for almost any email-based requirement

(If you are in Europe) or (If you are in N. America)

The file to be downloaded has a name like winpmxxx.exe. This is self-extracting; for example, the current version of Pegasus Mail for Windows 3.1 (version 2.42a) is contained in wimpm242.exe.

Pegasus Mail Extensions

The self-extracting file contains files supporting several extensions for Pegasus Mail, for example Finger and Ph directory clients, a telephone message application and other extensions providing mailmerge and a "business card". In addition to these, 3rd party developers have provided other extensions (often as Freeware). A prime example is one developed by John Navas for using PGP to encrypt/decrypt outgoing/incoming messages. All of these are implemented as Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs) and operate within Pegasus Mail's framework, using its internal features.

It is also possible to develop stand-alone software which is independent of Pegasus Mail, but which uses its facilities. An example is a small program (Ns_PM - formerly Mail2Peg.Exe) I have developed for use with Netscape. It takes over Netscape's email sending function and transfers it to Pegasus with its richer features. In addition, it can be used to get Netscape to search for a http://.../...htm page or download a ftp://.../....zip file given as a URL reference in email being viewed in Pegasus Mail's Reader window - or even in some other document.

Most Extensions are developed using the C/C++ language system, but any system which can create Dynamic Link Library files (DLLs) is suitable. I prefer to use Delphi and, if you are interested you might like to visit

Developing Extensions in Delphi . This describes how to do it with an example.

Ns-PM

(author: Michael Glover)

Ns_PM is designed for use with Netscape 1.2/1.22/2.0/3.0 and PMAIL2.3x and higher. (It has only been tested with Windows 3.1.) The program shows a small window with 3 buttons, "Go URL", "OnTop" and "Setup". After selecting (see later) a mailto: URL on a web page (eg mailto:fred@tennis.net) and clicking the Go URL button, Pegasus Mail's New Mail dialog appears with "fred@tennis.net" showing in the To: field ready to go.

Alternatively, if a web page URL is selected (eg http://domain.com/jack.htm) from, eg, Pegasus Mail's Reader window, and the Go URL button is clicked, then control is transferred to Netscape. This is primed with the URL and proceeds to fetch the referenced web page. If a ftp:// URL had been selected, Netscape proceeds to download the file.

The procedure for Ns-PM's use, is explained in the following paragraphs. (When the program is first used, press the "Setup" button and follow the dialog to specify the full path names of Netscape.EXE and WINPMAIL.EXE in your system.)

Starting Pegasus Mail's New Message window from Netscape

1. Start up Netscape. Start up Ns_PM.exe and position its small floating window in relation to Netscape's window so that both Ns_PM's buttons and Netscape's window are within reach of the mouse;

2. Use Netscape to select web pages etc in the usual manner. When a mailto: URL is encountered to which you wish to respond, then:-

(a) move the mouse over the URL and RIGHT click. This brings up a floating menu;

(b) LEFT click on the "Save Location" or "Copy this link location" item. This saves the URL in the clipboard in the form: "mailto:fred@tennis.net";

(c) LEFT click the mouse on the "Go URL" button in Ns_PM. This starts up Winpmail.exe if necessary and brings up its New Mail edit window with the To: field showing "fred@tennis.net";

3. From here onwards, the procedure is exactly as for Netscape's own mail composing window. But, you get the added advantage of access to Pegasus Mail's superior features;

Priming Netscape to search for a URL shown in Pegasus' Reader Window

1. Highlight the text in Pegasus Mail's Reader window which shows the URL (eg, http://domain.com/jack.htm or ftp://domain.com/jack.gif). Arrange it so that the URL appears somewhere in the first 250 characters of the highlighted text;

2. Hit Ctrl-C which grabs the selected text into the clipboard and click on Ns_PM's Go URL button. Netscape will then be loaded if necessary, primed with the URL and proceed to find the sought-for web page or file.

3. If several URLs are contained in the selected (Clipboard) text then the URL chosen on clicking the Go URL button is the first in the scan order: http://, ftp://, telnet:, gopher: and mailto:. Thus if the selected text were:-

"(some stuff) mailto:fred@tennis.net ftp://domain/jack.zip..(other stuff)"

then clicking Go URL would transfer control to Netscape to fetch jack.zip since "ftp://" preceeds "mailto:" in the scan order. The mailto: URL is ignored unless it is the ONLY URL in the selected text. If, however you have enabled Clickable Links and you Double-click on the mailto: URL, Pegasus Mail takes over and brings up the New Message window in the manner in which recent versions of Pegasus have been designed. When using Ns_PM, it is therefore important not to accidentally Double-click any text to highlight it.

(These procedures are much quicker and easier to do than describe and I find they save a lot of drag-dropping or cut-pasting.)

How Ns_PM works

Ns_PM is, in effect, an "external Extension" of Pegasus Mail. When its Go URL button is clicked, it searches for a http://, ftp://, telnet:, gopher or mailto: URL tag in the Windows Clipboard - in that order. If none are found, a message box indicates the fact. If a URL is found, then either Netscape (if it is a http, ftp, telnet or gopher URL) is primed or, if it is a mailto: tag, Pegasus Mail's message composing window is presented with the To: field filled in ready to go.

Using Ns_PM in practice

The notes above describe the use of Ns_PM whilst perusing received mail or web pages viewed in Netscape. Since hitting Go URL digs out a URL reference from the contents of the clipboard, it is useful to keep Ns_PM handy when viewing other documents which might contain URLs. I usually like to keep a note of interesting URLs (http://, ftp:// and mailto:'s) in a text file - built-up by copy/paste from all sorts of sources. It is then simple to open this file in Windows Notebook or Windows Write, select a URL by dragging the mouse down a line, hitting Ctrl-C and clicking Ns_PM's "Go URL" button. Et voila'!, either Pegasus or Netscape - whichever is appropriate - springs to life with no more ado. In these situations it is handy to have Ns-PM's small window "On Top". This is accomplished by the On Top button, but be careful to move it out of the way of Pegasus Mail's Reader window or this won't scroll properly.

Note:-

- (a) since Ns_PM's Go URL button operates on the Clipboard's contents, it doesn't matter how the URL reference had gotten into the clipboard.

- (b) Ns_PM may not work when Pegasus is minimised - it works when ver. 2.42's tell-tale window is showing, but for previous versions it is best either to have WINPMAIL's main window showing or for WINPMAIL to be absent from the desktop.

- (c) Ns_PM will not work with 32 bit versions of Pegasus Mail, but may be OK with 16 bit versions running on Windows 95 - I have not tested it and would appreciate feedback.

You can download Ns_PM by clicking on this link: Ns_PM.exe. (Note that this is an ordinary (http) link and you may have to hold down the Shift key whilst clicking on it in order to bring up the familiar file save dialog box.) Ns_PM.EXE should be copied into the same directory as WINPMAIL.EXE.

Please understand that the use of this program is entirely at your own risk but you are free to use it as you wish. If you do use it however, I shall appreciate a short message from you. If you have difficulty in using the program then I shall endeavour to provide assistance - Within Limits,

Digest Readers

These are useful programs for perusing email messages which contain a package of messages compiled into a Digest, each message being separated from its neighbours by a fixed sequence of characters, which can be recognised by a Digest Reader program. A decent Digest Reader makes it much easier for a (human) reader to navigate amongst the Digest's components - often numbering hundreds. Unfortunately there are several different conventions defining the Separators between components. In the days of Arpanet, a popular separator was a line of 30 dashes, but nowadays, the MIME standard is employed in most digests such as those compiled by LISTSERV. This standard defines the separator in the Content-Type: header line of the digest message.

The PMAIL digest compiled by the University of Alabama, managed by James Ford and Andrew Morrow, follows the MIME standard. Pegasus Mail recognises MIME Digests and displays the components in a sub-folder. In addition, various other Digest Readers are available on the Net - notably a Reader made by David Bergart (bodafu@redactor.com) for Windows 3.1. This is an elegant program and is both faster and easier to use than Pegasus Mail's built-in facility. Unfortunately, it does not work with Windws NT4. Nevertheless, David's program inspired me to write something similar for Win95/Win98/NT4/Win2000 and it comprises his 3 interlinked window pane scheme (Subject, Author and body), which is similar in appearance, but not function, to that used in Forte's Agent News Reader. It takes the form of a Pegasus Reader Extension and is available by downloading:-

DigRdr: A Pegasus Mail Extension for reading MIME Digests.
This file, dr32.zip, is a ZIP archive containing 3 files: DigRdr.WRI, DigRdr.FFF and DigRdr.DLL
. These files can be extracted using Winzip or similar utilities. DigRdr.WRI, a Windows Write file, contains full instructions.

Other Links

POPULIST is an Extension to Pegasus Mail, which can interrupt the usual process of downloading all waiting emails from a POP3 host. The waiting mail items on the host can be inspected, deleted from the host or selectively downloaded from the host. Click here to obtain POPULIST.