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Subject: Electronic Mail: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
This article was archived around: 4 May 2008 09:30:01 GMT
Version: $Id: email.n,v 1.15 2005/06/03 12:59:08 dalamb Exp $
Maintainer: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Alex Lamb)
Copyright: 1997-2005 David Alex Lamb
I maintain a couple of Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) postings about how to
find e-mail addresses, and, as a consequence, get lots of questions about
other aspects of electronic mail. This is a collection of links to answers to
those questions, mostly maintained by other people.
We'll start with a non-question: before you send e-mail, take the time to
learn about etiquette in cyberspace at
1. How does e-mail work?
2. How do I find someone's E-Mail address?
3. How do I find a celebrity's e-mail address? Celebrities have as much, or
more, reason than most people to keep their e-mail addresses private.
However, you can find out more about various celebrities as follows:
a. Several of the Web-based address books at
<URL:http://www.cs.queensu.ca/FAQs/email/websrch.html> can search for
b. CelebSite at <URL:http://www.celebsite.com> has biographies of
celebrities from the entertainment industry, sports, models, and
c. The Internet Movie Database at <URL:http://www.imdb.com>
d. A&E Television lists this as one of their most frequently asked
questions at <URL:http://www.aetv.com/feedback/mailinginfo.html>, and
maintains a large database of bibliographies at
<URL:http://www.biography.com/find> of famous people, past and present.
4. How can I find someone's name from their e-mail address? (if, of course,
there is some reason why you don't want to send them e-mail to ask them):
a. Use the Internet Address Finder at <URL:http://www.iaf.net/>.
b. Some sites support a protocol called 'finger' that translates local
mailbox names to full names (plus other information). See Andrew
Starr's Finger FAQ at <URL:http://www.emailman.com/finger/>.
c. Some other Internet directory services support lookup by e-mail address;
see the list in the finding e-mail addresses FAQ at
5. How can I stop receiving junk e-mail?
a. See the FAQ on stopping junk mail, e-mail, and phone calls at
<URL:http://www.obviously.COM/recycle/guides/junkmail.html>, or the
CPSR's (Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility) junkmail FAQ
b. You might try spamblocking at
<URL:http://members.aol.com/emailfaq/mungfaq.html> your e-mail address,
but this will also inconvenience people you'd actually like to
c. Filter your incoming e-mail; see
d. If you had a lot of energy, you could try tracking down where the e-mail
came from; see <URL:http://www.faqs.org/faqs/net-abuse-faq/spam-faq/>
e. See the e-mail abuse FAQ at
<URL:http://members.aol.com/emailfaq/emailfaq.html> for a better
understanding of what's going with unsolicited e-mail.
6. How can I find an e-mail pen-pal?
a. There are penpal clubs, but I haven't researched them yet.
b. You could post to newsgroup soc.penpals at <URL:news:soc.penpals>.
Unfortunately that will probably also get you on a lot of junk-email
lists (as would posting to any newsgroup).
c. You could find a newsgroup about a subject in which you're interested,
read it for a few weeks, then see if someone who posts there might be
interested in correspondence.
7. How can I customize my outgoing e-mail?
8. How can I protect the privacy of my e-mail?
a. Get PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), a very popular public key encryption
program, at <URL:http://www.sni.net/~mpj/getpgp.htm>
9. How can I find out about mailing lists I could join?
a. Check out the very large list of publicly-accessible mailing lists at
b. or the guide to social newsgroups and mailing lists at
c. or the list of gateways at <URL:http://www.faqs.org/faqs/mail/news-
gateways/part1/> between mailing lists and newsgroups. This list hasn't
been updated since 1996, so is likely out of date.
10. How can I set up a mailing list that other people can use?
a. Use a Mailing List Service Provider; see
b. Get your site to install mailing list administration software; see
11. How can I find lots of addresses to create a mailing list?
Don't, unless you want to become known as a spammer. Many directory
services are *intentionally* set up to make it hard to create mailing
12. Can I send e-mail to <*insert name of far-away country here*>?
See the International E-Mail Accessibility FAQ at
13. How can I play games via e-mail?
14. How can I access Internet services via e-mail?
15. Where can I get more information?
a. MS-Windows, MS-Dos, and OS/2 mail and news overview at
<URL:http://www.faqs.org/faqs/msdos-mail-news/intro> and software at
b. Reading mail and news offline: overview at
software at <URL:http://www.faqs.org/faqs/off-line-
c. Yahoo's index on electronic mail at
d. Inter-Links' guide to E-Mail at <URL:http://alabanza.com/kabacoff/Inter-
e. FAQs about MIME at <URL:http://www.faqs.org/faqs/mail/mime-faq/>
(Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
f. Setting up E-Mail on UNIX; see
Loosely related topics:
1. How can I track down a host name if I only have an IP address?
2. How can I send a FAX via the Internet?
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"Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)