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Re: Email client programs

Well, now thatcha mention it, I am somewhat bemused by the loss of email
functionality since I quit using QWKMAIL and the BBS nets, and went on
the internet.

The BBS posts were 8 bit. You had the entire 256 IBM CMOS bitmaps. 
The BBS posts offered ANSI color. It's not just mono like this. HTML
gives you 64k of colors using <font=#"ABCDEF"> and ANSI only offered 16,
but with ANSI, you can highlite text by changing the background color,
whereas if you try that with HTML, it changes the background of the
whole page.

HTML also gives you more fonts, whereas ANSI only used the 256 char
default VGA ROM set. But I hate HTML posts; sometimes the font is so
small I cant read it, and sometimes a twit uses one so large it looks
like an obnoxious billboard. However, the 256 char IBM set includes the
greek alphabet and lots of other foreign letters. It aint hard to
replace those foreign letters for italics bitmaps for english email.
Font editors also allow us to alter the original IBM box characters.
They were designed to produce invoice or ledger sheet double and single
lines. And while they have been charmingly used for artistic purposes,
replacing them with a set of geometric shapes would make email doodles
more adaptable.

I see where people in email now continually complain of being misquoted,
how attribution with the system of single, double, triple,.. angle
brackets is often misleading. But my QWKMAIL put my words up here in
amber, and before citing yours, not only is there the std angle bracket,
but also your initials at the start of the line, like below, and that
furthermore, yours were in green. A third party blue, a 4th red. But
clearly, you dont need 64k colors for this. Which is the point. That
HTML offers that many colors, not because it was designed for email and
the clearest presentation of text possible, but that it was designed to
mimic commercial messages, flyers, and other forms of what we all now
know as spam.

QWKMAIL offered me enough colors to keep track of who said what in a
thread, but no more than were useful for that purpose. HTML, and much of
the software we see today, has a lot more options, but its like finding
50 different brands of toothpaste. If there were only 6, I'd find one I
could use sooner. QWKMAIL ran in whatever font I had, but whereas this
browser takes up about 30-40% of the screen, whereas the text mode ANSI
email screen commonly had only the 1 stat bar and 49 lines of your
message. The constriction is seen on how often people respond without
having read past the 25th or 30th line. And of that, the top 6-12 lines
are taken up by the internet address header, whereas the BBS mail
commonly used a single line with the name of the author and the host

Has anyone noticed among all the multimedia eye candy that there's been
a decrease in the content and functionality of email? Does that not say
interesting things about the way people fail to think?

I hear some guy on c-span this morning discussing anti-spam legislation.
Why- is it up to them? With the BBS nets, it was impossible to post
anonymously. The sysop of every BBS was responsible to see that none of
his users over grazed the commons with commercial messages. The email
lists like this didnt have a spam problem, and neither did the user
base. If you found obscene language offensive, you could find a net that
didnt permit it. If you tolerated that in your search for divergent
opinion, you could find it. The BBS nets were not token ring. email did
not circulate on the backbone, but came from a particular user, at a
particular BBS and went to designated addresses and email lists. If
someone tried to send a copy of a post to 1000 addresses, the software
picked up on it and stuffed in an error box. When you subbed to a BBS,
you could designate who you would accept mail from. You didnt need
legislation to stop spam. You could provide a list of the usergroups you
wanted like this, and the interesting posters you knew. We dont need
them to pass more phucking law, all we need to do is decide on how we
want to run our own network.

With QWKMAIL, I could deal with 300 list posts a day. Whereas the
browser gives me 6-10 messages and then the displayed message below,
OFFLINE.EXE gave me a list of 49 messages, and when I clicked on one, it
displayed 49 lines of the message. Since it ran in ANSI color, the
flicks were faster than you can drag a mouse to the next icon. The gui
kept screens in the background, layering the windows, where you could
kind of see them, but the ANSI text mode screen had video pages as well,
only you had to be able to see them with your mind's eye. (If you cant
do that, dont bother responding to this post. You are too stupid.)
Anyway, the BBS mail tools let me tag each message without opening any,
and then delete or move them all to be dealt with later. I could sort a
newsgroup by author, and tag delete the twits. If someone had a graphic
image they wanted me to see, they could attach a .GIF; I used my own
GIFVIEW.EXE to look at it, and it didnt matter what kind of virus might
be in it, the viewer is just a viewer, puts a picture on the screen, and
is too stupid to do anything else with it, much less mess up my system.
Is there a problem with this?

Perhaps I have not expressed myself well, but the point is, that it is
more difficult to use email now than it used to be; given the reputation
of the computer business for 'progress', that's odd.

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