3 Alternative ways to Send an e-mail

E-mailMicrosoft Outlook Express, Mozilla Firebird and any other e-mail client are not the only applications that can send e-mails.
E-mailing was one of the first internet applications, and there are a lot of ways to use it; for example, (quite) experienced Linux users are able to send mails from a text-based console.

Let’s see three “different” ways to send an e-mail without using a traditional mail client:

Telnet1 – Telnet it
Linux users are used to access a lot of tools throught “command line”, but Windows people are not comfortable with terminal clients. Let’s see how to do it in Win XP:
a. click on “Start” button and choose “Run…”, then type “CMD” and press Enter.
b. type “telnet” in the command line window and press Enter, Microsoft Telnet Client will start;
c. type: o mail.myserver.com 25 <- of course you’ve to change “mail.myserver.com” with the one of your provider. Usually, the address is like “mail.nameOfYourProvider.ext” or “smtp.nameOfYourProvider.ext”; the port 25 is the standard for SMTP (sending mail) connections.
If the address is correct, you’ll see the welcome message of the SMTP server, something like:
220 ciaaol-d10.mx.aol.com ESMTP mail_cia_aol-d10.3; Mon, 04 Dec 2006 09:43:20 -0500
From this moment you’ve to type slowly, because the communication with server is in real-time, so if you make an error you can’t correct it with backspace 😉
d. We’ve to send a little greeting: just type HELO ricky <- change with your real name or nickname.
You’ll receive a gently answer like:

250 FBCMCL01B05.fbc.local Hello []

e. We want to send a message to Mr. Brown, his e-mail address is brown@example.com. Our address is jack@example.net. You’ve to type:
mail from:jack@example.net
and then:
rcpt to:brown@example.com
f. Now we pass to the body of the email. Type:
and then type what you want… when you’re ok just go to a new line, type “.” (without quotes) and then ENTER. If everything works correctly, t
he SMTP server gives a confirmation message like:

250 2.0.0 Message accepted for delivery

g. Now you’ve only to go to the mailbox where you sent your message and receive it 😉

Pickup2 – Carry it with a Pickup
Windows XP users can install, as optional component, the Microsoft IIS server (the same that are carried with Windows Server series, even if XP version has some limitation) that includes a Web, an FTP and an SMTP server.
Here I don’t want to present a complete explanation about how to install and configure IIS with Mail support (there are a lot of tutorials on the web)… anyway, if you’ve Microsoft SMTP server running on your system you can send e-mail directly throught it, without your provider’s SMTP.
In addiction, you should have this folder: C:\Inetpub\mailroot\Pickup
If so, you can send an e-mail in very funny way: create a text file with this text:

subject:This is a test.

This is the body part of a sample text email.

Of course you have to change e-mail addresses and, if you want, message subject and body. Drag and drop this text file into the “Pickup” folder: it should disappear in a second.. and after a little time the e-mail is delivered. This is a very alternative way to send a message, isn’t it? 😉

VBS3 – The Batch way
Windows systems have an internal batch language, similar to the shell scripting in Linux.
If you want to automate a list of simple “things to do”, you’ve to create a plain text file, write some VBscript commands and save it with .VBS extension; when you’ll double-click on it, your computer will execute the commands, in the same order you wrote in the text file (“old” users will remember the DOS version of .VBS files: they were .BAT!).

We can use a .VBS script also to send an e-mail, specifing the SMTP server to be used. Here’s what to paste in the VBS file:

Set objMail = CreateObject(“CDO.Message”)
with objMail
.From = “””Your Name“” <yourname@yourprovider.com>”
.To = “recipient@server.com
.Subject = “My Subject
.TextBody = “body of the message…
.Configuration.Fields.Item(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserver”) = “smtp.yourprovider.com
.Configuration.Fields.Item(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserverport”) = 25
.Configuration.Fields.Item(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpauthenticate”) = 0
.Configuration.Fields.Item(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpusessl”) = False
.Configuration.Fields.Item(“http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusing”) = 2
end with
MsgBox “You e-mail has been sent :)”

As usual, change accordingly with your data, with particular attention to the address of the SMTP server: probably it will be the SMTP of your provider, the same you’ve in Outlook Express (etc.) as “outbound mail server”, “SMTP server” or something like this.

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