If you have a Demography Lab computing account, then you also have a firstname.lastname@example.org email address. This is both a good thing and an irrelevant thing. Because Berkeley supports a rebranded version of most of the google apps, it is quite compelling to play along. If you wish to be able to respond to invitations; have things added to your calendar in easy ways; and so on, then it behooves you to use your @berkeley.edu address as your main email address.
Your @demog.berkeley.edu address, however, still requires some attention. Important email from the department including not only messages warning you of system shutdowns but also notices of importance to you academic career are also sent to your @demog.berkeley.edu address.
So at a minimum, make sure that your @demog email gets forwarded to an email address that you actually monitor. See Section 2.
Email forwarding is configured via a file called /mail/CONFIG/forward. This file simply contains the address to which you would like your email forwarded. You can edit with any text editor (vi, emacs, nano,pico.. whatever). Alternatively, you use the locally written gizmo at [Applications][Demography][Email Forwarding].
For most people, that is all there is to it. As long as your read mail at your forwarding address, nothing bad will happen to you. When that changes, update your forward file.
If you are of a certain age, you have been doing your email with your @demog.berkeley.edu address and would probably prefer to continue doing so. We understand. Unfortunately, the world has moved on and unless you are very important, you will need to be able to do the google-y things that the campus now expects you to do. And that means migrating to @berkeley.edu.
Migrating involves the following steps:
Copying your email archive can take hours or even days, but it is not difficult-for you. All you need to do is send email to email@example.com and ask for help.
If for whatever reason, you prefer to read and write email using the tools of our ancestors, then see below. Be aware that as time goes on this way of doing email will eventually become untenable - but so will email itself - so follow your heart.
Instructions for doing email as we did during the first Clinton Administration are below:
The simplest way to use that distinctive email address is with the squirrelmail web interface. Just browse to http://www.demog.berkeley.edu/sqmail. The web interface works from any machine with a browser and Internet access. A more efficient (and nearly as simple) option which is available on all Demography Lab machines1 is to use alpine. At the Unix prompt, type:
alpine is entirely text based. This can be initially somewhat jarring, but once you learn a few key combinations your email efficiency will rise rapidly. Alpine is free and available for mac and windows, so it can run on your personal computer as well.
For the most part Demography Lab email servers are standard so the default settings often work. Here are the settings to use when configuring by hand:
Note that some email agents will complain that our security certificate is for a host named www.demog.berkeley.edu rather than imap.demog.berkeley.edu or smtp.demog.berkeley.edu. If so, just check the box and move on.
Unfortunately, simplicity is not what email is about anymore. The existence of evil in the world ensures a steady stream of SPAM, viruses and phishy messages which must be filtered out and then carefully ignored. At the same time our need for video, audio and files in proprietary formats have made individual email messages much more complicated.
As a consequence, you have a lot of email to deal with and much of it is unfriendly. We currently support the following features to help you cope with emails complexities:
For detailed instructions on how to do all sorts of specific things with email please read the ``Email'' section of the FAQ lab.demog.berkeley.edu/Faq/faq/fq.shtml. This page is only scratches the surface.
``Spam'' is unsolicited commercial email. While the vast majority of what we tend to think of as Spam - does fit this definition, a significant minority does not. Email lists that you joined but have since lost interest in, messages from vendors that you carelessly asked to keep you ``informed'' should be dealt with by following the directions for removing yourself from the list. Turning off unwanted email from reputable sources by following their directions is preferable. It makes it easier to detect real spam.
We use spamassassin to filter spam. Unless you have carelessly created a file in your mail/CONFIG directory called deliver-spam then spamassassin is diverting spam to a folder called DivertedSpam right now. If you are missing some mail that you know was sent check the DivertedSpam folder. It is perfectly fine to delete the DivertedSpam folder whenver you like - it will not stay gone for long, however.
``Baysean learning'' is easy and satisfying. It will probably halve the amount of spam that gets through spamassassin's pretty good filters.
All you need to do for this to happen is to begin saving your spam in ``folder'' called SPAM.6
Every night a program will digest your SPAM file (``folder'') and create a spam filter based on it. The documentation insists that it is equally important to save false positives - that is email messages which Spamassassin falsely categorized as spam - into a file (``folder'') called HAM. Experience seems to indicate that this is difficult to do because very few legitimate messages ever turn up in DivertedSpam and not necessary, for pretty much the same reason. However everyone's spam is a little different so this might work for you.
If you have a file in your tilda/mail/CONFIG directory called decodewordmail then the email server will run any .doc attachments through antiword (http://www.winfield.demon.nl). If the decoding is successful, then a plain text version of the attached fill is appended to the bottom of the text part of the email message. The .doc attachment is preserved.
The advantage of this is that you don't need to launch a word processing program to read that 4 line message that some dope sent you as a .doc file. On the other hand, if the .doc attachment is 200 pages long, you can still read read/print/edit it in a word processor. Since the text version is at the bottom of the message you don't risk missing anything if you don't scroll all the way to the end of it.
You can do very fancy things to your email with procmail. Filtering mail based on where it comes from, whether or not certain words are present in the message, how long the message is, and just about anything you can think of is possible. Further receipt of certain email messages can trigger other programs to launch. Much is possible. Some of it is useful. If this sort of thing appeals to you take a look at: http://www.perlcode.org/tutorials/procmail/proctut/.
Note that your procmailrc file goes in tilda/mail/CONFIG and does not have a leading ``.'' as is the convention.
Using procmail you can do much fancier things than simply replying to all non-virus/spam email with an ``I am vacationing on a planet where there is no email'' message. But this latter trick is quite useful so we have made it particularly simple to do. Just type your message in a file called tilda/mail/CONFIG /vacation_msg. Whatever you put in that file will be sent in response to any email that you receive while that file is present.
When you return from your travels, just delete the file to turn off the message.
See Section 2
The Demography Lab maintains several email lists. Generally, you are on these lists if you belong there, for example if you are a student then you are probably on the firstname.lastname@example.org list. You can send email to these lists only if you do so from an eamil address that ends in @demog.berkeley.edu.
For information about the email lists such as who is on it (useful if you are sending a party invitation) see https://lists.demog.berkeley.edu/cgi/mlist.pl
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