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[README.DOC] AmerCom, Incorporated P.O. Box 19868, Portland, OR 97280-0868 FAX/P-E: 503-452-8190 Voice: 503-452-8196 Copyright (C) 1992, AmerCom, Inc., All rights reserved COMPLETE ON-DISK USER MANUAL PERSONAL-E MAILBOX (TM) Shareware V1.0 Voice answering machine-compatible PC-to-PC direct, background resident electronic mail over ordinary phone lines FOR PROPER OPERATION UNDER MICROSOFT (R) WINDOWS (TM) or TSR UNDER DOS ...read this manual, place your distribution disk in a floppy drive, log to it, then just type: install c: (or other drive letter) INSTALL makes a PEM directory on your hard disk, copies all program files to it and runs a plain English setup program that lets you configure your modem, phones, and answering machine for automatic response. INSTALL DOES NOT alter any of your computer's operating files such as autoexec.bat or config.sys. FOR QUICK REVIEW of the interface without installation, and whether or not you have a modem connected at this time type: mailbox com2 from the directory containing mailbox.exe IF you received the program files electronically from a BBS, instead of running install from the distribution floppy: MAKE a directory on your hard disk called: PEM for Personal-E Mailbox COPY all files to the PEM Directory install.bat mailbkg.com mailbox.exe readme.1st readme.doc setup.exe RUN setup.exe to configure your modem phones, and answering machine if any SETUP.EXE can be rerun at any time you want to change a program or answering machine setting. Personal Connectivity Software (C) and Customer Connectivity Software (C) are copyrights of AmerCom, Inc., Personal-E Mailbox (TM) and Public-E Mailbox (TM) are trademarks of AmerCom, Inc. CATALOG DESCRIPTION: For people who wish electronic mail went everywhere and ...cost almost nothing to send your wish comes true with Personal-E Mailbox, the software that turns your PC into a private e-mail answering and delivery machine. Personal-E Mailbox is the FIRST and ONLY background resident software program that delivers the PC user automatic person-to-person send and receive electronic mail capability over ordinary phone lines using a 2400 modem, while correctly "soft switching" voice callers to your common voice answering machine on the same line. With Shareware V1.0, home and office desktop can have an automatic voice and e-mail answering system for the one-time program cost of only $29.00. FREE SERVICE AND "STAMPS" No additional phone lines, hardware, service charges, or fees are required. Everyone who runs Personal-E on his PC is "ON YOUR NETWORK" because Personal-E uses your standard phone line for total connectivity -- person -to-person, point-to-point. The same message it costs $2.00 to say or 67 cents to FAX, can be put in writing and sent in less than a minute with Personal-E for about 17 cents long distance while local messaging is free in many phone regions of the country. If you have a direct dial extension or line service in your office, you have FREE messaging and a no cost LAN. Home owners and offices in phone areas with unlimited local calling phone service, get fast "FREE" first class e-mail without the 29 cent stamp. Personal-E saves hundreds of dollars per year in voice and e-mail service fees, surface mail postage, FAX, and long distance charges. NO MANUAL REQUIRED The simple main menu features on-screen directions so even children or first-time users can send e-mail without ever looking at a manual. The WRITE and MAIL buttons make using Personal-E about as complicated as making a phone call. For many people, Personal-E will be the most useful application on their Personal Computer as it provides the speed, friendliness, and connectivity of phone conversation with the power, detail, and accuracy of the written word along with printed copy on demand--but only when you need it. Personal-E eliminates FAX cover sheet and double paper waste at each end of the FAX connection. In many homes and offices, Personal-E will save the cost of a new PC in six months of operation. Just add up your long distance, mail service, and FAX bills to prove it to yourself. Then give the gift of Personal Connectivity Software to friends and business associates so you can share the moment, the message, and the savings. SPECIAL NOTICE FOR DISABLED: To help businesses meet the accommodations clauses of the 1990/93 Americans with Disabilities Act, while mainstreaming the speech/hearing disabled, Personal-E also implements AutoCHAT for "electronic conversations" with simultaneous e-mail detect mode. AmerCom has a corporate copy matching program for proactive organizations that provides the software for free to a speech/hearing disabled person. See GOOD CONNECTIONS PROGRAM DETAIL in table of contents. PRODUCT OVERVIEW, V1.0 FEATURE SET, SHAREWARE DISTRIBUTION AUTHORIZATION AND INDIVIDUAL REGISTRATION NOTICES ARE FOLLOWED BY THE USER MANUAL TEXT If you haven't used electronic mail before, you'll be surprised at how many useful applications there are for Personal-E. APPLICATIONS OVERVIEW OR: ...when you mean it, you put it in writing: "I love you," "Meeting's at 10:00," "Buy the stock when it hits 35," "Happy Birthday," "Soccer team practice at North Field, Sat. 9:00." "Your money market account 1250672210 141 0506 617 3510 has a balance of $6,789.00 as of September 24, 1991." "PLEASE BRING THE PIZZA to 2407 S. Plaza at the corner of Main Street by the bank." "Renew prescription once only Ibuprofen 800 milligrams, 3x a day with food, for 3 days." "Contract line should read: We will provide all lumber and materials required by the 12th." "I urge you to vote YES on Congressional Resolution 3014." "Change of plans and planes. Will arrive International Airport, Flt. No. 3472, Wed., the 14th, at 3:57 pm and I'll need a ride. Can't wait to see you and the kids....hugs and kisses!" "Customer needs our part AB 10894D7-3. He has a model 7289 with the overdrive unit and the master fuse for electronic sixth gear. I said we could help him out fast!" "Our Storewide Super Sale on TVs, stereos, and white goods begins February 25th at 10:00 am." "To make my grandmother's German chocolate cake you'll need: 2 eggs, 4 cups of flour, 1 cup coconut......" "To get there, here's all you do. Take highway 57 East for four and a quarter miles. Go past the second gas station on the right and look for a side street called Dover. Go up six blocks to the entrance of what looks like an industrial development and start looking for the number 1047..." WHEN WRITING IS BETTER: Whether you are a traveling executive with constantly changing plans, an auto parts dealer fulfilling an order, a lawyer advising your client, a pharmacist getting a prescription update, a restaurant getting an order to go, a store announcing a sale or, a mom getting a great recipe from a friend...there are a lot of times when you would rather get the message in writing. And a lot of times when you would rather send it that way. If only electronic mail went to all of us. Well now it can go just about anywhere there is one of the 80 million PCs around the US in homes and offices. Just put Personal-E on your PC set to autoanswer in the background. Or pop up the Personal-E note window to dash off a message anywhere, next door or across the country. BACKGROUND OPERATION FREES YOUR PC: Personal-E works in the background under Windows or DOS and doesn't tie up your PC. Mail is received automatically even while you are working in another program or gone for the day. Just check your mailbox at your convenience. Get 24 hour a day instant mail delivery--without 29 cent stamps, paper or envelopes, FAX, toner or maintenance costs. From love note to sales and service report, you can put it in writing--right now with Personal-E, point-to-point, home-to-office, person-to-person and never miss a voice call or have to copy detailed information with one hand while you hold the phone with the other. No network, no switcher, no special com cards, no new phone lines are required--just a plain vanilla (Hayes compatible) 2400 modem and your PC running Personal-E Mailbox. TSR operation and voice answering machine compatibility let you receive incoming voice calls or e-mail while you are just out to lunch or off on vacation. REMOTE MAIL PICKUP AND BROADCAST Password protection allows remote mail pick up for traveling executives. Mini-bulletin board function lets clubs, teams, and businesses leave messages, newsletters, and commercial announcements such as menus or sale notices for "broadcast pickup" by others. Senators, Congressmen, editors and TV producers can get instant feedback on issues and programs from constitutents and audiences. Personal-E makes the Electronic Town Hall really possible. Hard or floppy disk operation let's you take your "mailbox" with you and plug it into any PC with a modem to check for your mail at home or office. No installation is required. Just say, "May I borrow your PC to pick up my mail?" FREE GIFT COPY: REGISTER ONE...GET ONE FREE Give a copy to a friend and they're on your Personal-E network. But don't pay for that friend's copy, let AmerCom send them one with your personal greeting. For a limited time, AmerCom will send a complimentary gift copy of Personal-E to the communications partner of your choice when you register. REGISTER NOW while the FREE GIFT COPY program lasts. The registration form can be printed when you exit the program or by using the print screen key where the form appears on the second of the next two pages: INDIVIDUAL HOME OR COMMERCIAL USER REGISTRATION For Shareware Distributed V1.0 with FREE GIFT COPY Please register my copy of Personal-E Mailbox 1.0 at the shareware price of $29.00.and ship a FREE Complimentary gift copy--fully registered and sent in my name--to the individual Personal-E Communication Partner I have named below. SEND THE GIFT COPY IN A: Precision Hard Plastic electronic "jewel case" for carrying the floppy along with a printed manual. I know that registration also entitles me to one year of access to the AmerCom support hotline and major discounts on upgrade modules that enhance Personal-E's power and feature capabilities: [Next page for form] [USE PRINT SCREEN KEY NOW TO GET FORM] Name of Recipient of Gift Copy __________________________________________________________ Company name ifany _______________________________________ Street____________________________________________________ City___________________________ST_______ZIP_______________ Phone(s) Voice/P-E________________P-E or DATA_____________ Greeting card text: ______________________________________ __________________________________________________________ Your name_________________________________________________ Company name if any_______________________________________ Street____________________________________________________ City____________________________ST______ZIP_______________ Phone(s) Voice___________________P-E or DATA______________ Source where you acquired this copy: __________________________________________________________ Date____________Mail with your check for $29.00 to: Personal-E Registration SV1.0/3/93 AmerCom, Inc., P.O. Box 19868 Portland, OR 97280-0868 ______________________CUT HERE _________________________ The preceding complimentary gift coupon may be printed out repeatedly or photocopied for others wishing to encourage users of Personal-E to connect to friends, family, and associates. Each individual user who registers V1.0 at $29.00 is entitled to have one FREE COMPLIMENTARY COPY sent in their name to the gift recipient of their choice. To obtain multiple master copies and additional gift copies print additional forms and provide the registration information for each. Under its GOOD CONNECTIONS PROGRAM AmerCom matches corporate users copy for copy with a donation of the software to a speech or hearing impaired person as our contribution to supporting the mainstreaming intentions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. [PERSONAL CONNECTIVITY SOFTWARE COMPLIMENTS OF YOUR COMPANY NAME] will appear on the opening Personal-E title screen customized by AmerCom for you at your request. FOR CORPORATE SITE LICENSE OR VOLUME PURCHASE INFORMATION CONTACT AMERCOM: by FAX at 503-452-8190 by Personal-E at 503-452-8190 or by VOICE at 503-452-8196. Please include the number of CPUs or users for whom you request pricing. _________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ UNIQUE FACTS ABOUT PERSONAL-E MAILBOX MEASURABLY LOWER COSTS FOR BUSINESS Business users can save up to 80% of monthly FAX costs. Statistics show 93% of all FAXes are short typed messages for which Personal-E is the perfect use. Why spend on average 67 cents to send a FAX , wait in line, waste paper at both ends, and wear out a machine when you can send it for FREE if its local and for a fraction of the cost long distance. Not to mention the number of times you call ahead to say, "The FAX is coming," or call back to ask, "Did it get there?" FAX plus Long Distance "PHONE TAG" can turn that short message into a $10.00 calling and unproductivity cycle during normal business hours! Personal-E turns it into a self-verifying received message in under a minute, every time. TOTAL CONNECTIVITY LAN AT LOWER COST Personal-E Mailbox provides a virtually "free" startup and zero maintenance LAN for businesses with direct dial extension numbers or direct phone line connections to their other offices. And because it does not require any private network cards, cables or lines...but connects to the general telephone network, virtually any customer, friend, family member, associate or staff member can be "on" the user's Personal-E network without incremental cost to individual or business. The program is a boon to sales forces, traveling executives, professional consultants, physicians, and all who need to keep in touch with both commercial and family contacts who frequently are "NOT ON....the Corporate E-Mail Network." VOICE COMPATIBILITY CRITICAL FOR HOME USERS AND HUB APPLICATION OF YOUR PC AS PERSONAL STORE AND FORWARD CENTER Almost all PC owners also have a voice answering machine on the same line at home. Only Personal-E lets your voice phone, house or office extensions, modem and answering machine work on the same line and behave normally for both you and your voice callers, to make personal electronic mail practical, affordable, trouble free and natural to use on a daily basis. Voice compatibility also makes it possible to use your home computer as your personal "HUB" where others can leave messages that you can pick up from your office or any remote PC. Users who can't be reached directly because their PCs are behind PBX systems, can dial in to your personal store and forward center to access their mail. In this way Personal-E delivers the power of services like those of Prodigy, Compuserve and MCI mail without the subscription fees, access charges, or per message costs. Like the revolution of the '70s that freed PCs from mainframes. Personal-E frees electronic mail from remote mainframe storage--delivering real power to the personal store and forward center to which only you have access. To AmerCom's knowledge ALL other telecom programs interfere with regular voice callers, standard voice answering machines and phone extensions connected on the same line by aborting or confusing a modem's operation in the one case or canceling the out going voice message in the other while sending modem squeal to an unsuspecting caller who thinks he has reached a wrong number. Personal-E, by contrast, requires no additional phone lines, switchers or equipment, but intelligently "soft switches," voice callers properly from the caller's point of view, allowing them to hear normal spaced ringing, your own pickup "hello" or your answering machine message, rather than modem squawk. "Lost" voice calls from friends and business associates are eliminated while e-mail messages are reliably transferred. Because Personal-E is compatible with even the lowest cost tape voice answering machines, the user can have a voice and e-mail answering system for as little as $58.00 just by loading the software and plugging in a standard answering machine (shareware registration of Personal-E Mailbox is $29.00 and entry level tape answering machines are similarly priced). As no additional hardware is needed and there are no subscription fees for remote store and forward services of either kind--voice or mail--Personal-E generally pays for itself in a few weeks of operation and saves the user hundreds of dollars in on-going long distance, FAX, local messaging, service fee, line fee, add-on hardware and surface mail costs. "SMART DISK" REMOTE MAIL PICKUP BY FLOPPY Personal-E also has a unique remote polling capability: Personal-E can be run from your floppy disk without ever being "installed" on another person's computer. When you take your floppy with Personal-E on it to any site where there is a PC with a modem; such as a hotel, trade show booth, airport hospitality suite, customer office or friend's home, you can check for your mail at any other Personal-E equipped PC with one call. Any mail at the remote site is delivered to the local floppy. Thus, your floppy disk is literally your Personal-E Mailbox and you take your mail with you when you remove your disk. AmerCom "Public-E Mailboxes"(TM) are also made possible by this floppy disk-based design that allows you to "open a mailbox" with your disk, just as you might use a plastic ID card to open a bank cash machine. PCMCIA card applications are also ideal for Personal-E Mailbox. MICROSOFT (R) WINDOWS (TM) PRODUCTIVITY TOOL The active dialog area of the Personal-E main screen was designed in a compact electronic "Post It Note" (R) size so that Microsoft Windows users can multi-task a small but fully functional real-time e-mail Window on screen while regular applications such as a word processor or spreadsheet run at 95% of full screen. A Chat conversation can be held or new mail read on the spot without even changing the size of the active window. Facts can be read off a spreadsheet or word processor application then passed on right out the Personal-E WINDOW. This is a great application when you don't want to be transferring whole files around, but just want to check on some facts or information in a complex file and pass on the needed commentary to someone in your work group or anywhere else in phone reach. 33MHz 386 and above machines are recommended for true multi-tasking while Personal-E will automatically receive mail in the background TSR on almost any DOS machine. MAINSTREAMING DISABLED AMERICANS Personal-E also features an AutoCHAT mode for Americans with speech or hearing disabilities that allows the PC to automatically detect and announce whether an incoming message is e-mail or a request to have an on line conversation. As a further aid to the hearing impaired, Personal-E was designed so that conventional TDDs, like voice answering machines, can also be co-resident on the same line while Personal-E Mailbox is enabled and each will correctly receive its own messages. In fact, all four devices--phone, voice answering machine, TDD and PC with modem can be on one line at the same time and work properly. With very low cost PCs now widely available, it may make sense for many disabled Americans to switch to the PC for the general connectivity provided to the whole PC world by Personal-E Mailbox. Even the oldest PCs without a hard disk will run Personal-E and used ones will commonly be available for much less than the cost of TDDs while offering all the power of a personal computer to the disabled person. Oversized display capability on PC monitors is setup program-selectable for the visually impaired. Many individuals who are partially sighted will find Personal-E's oversized display mode with larger typed characters much easier to use and read than handwritten messages--while, of course, providing the benefit of instant delivery and automatic reception. WIRELESS AND PORTABLE UNIT DISPLAY Unlike conventional telecom programs requiring hard disks, large amounts of RAM, and conventional full screen display, the Personal-E interface was specifically designed so that the complete program can run on small portable LCD units with 4 line x 40 character displays. Inquiries from wireless organizations and OEMs producing portable PCs and communicators are invited to adopt the Personal-E Mailbox interface that puts fully operational send, poll, and receive e-mail to work in a small display space. Memory and processor requirements are equally modest; no hard disk is required. Full e-mail functionality can be obtained with as little as 128K of ROM and 32K of RAM. PERSONAL-E OPEN MESSAGE ARCHITECTURE AND DBMS COMPATIBILITY Many commercial applications where users can respond directly to researchers polling public opinions on entertainment, product, or public policy issues are possible and Personal-E message files can be saved by standard PC database management programs such as dBASE (R), Paradox (R), Reflex (R) and others for automatic report generation. Thus thousands of messages from the public can be processed automatically in a few minutes of operator time. Organizations can also set up a PC as a toll free server to receive requests or comments from the public as standard Personal-E messages. For example, a market research organization or senator's office might want to hear regularly from customers or constituents and magazines or broadcast organizations can get instant "electronic letters to the editor" that provide timely written feedback on editorial or programming. The Personal-E Mailbox protocol can be licensed by other manufacturers of hardware and software or information service providers seeking to increase their general connectivity to home and office PCs as well as portable communicators and AmerCom Public-E Mailboxes. Although BBS and general telecommunication programs provide some of these functions, none of them do so with the standard setting automation, simplicity, general connectivity, voice call compatibility, and affordability of Personal-E. Even sophisticated computer users find that Personal-E is their preferred program for fast personal messaging and wide area connectivity that is both private and public while they use their "telecom software" for conventional BBS and network log ons or complex file transactions. By providing general person-to-person connectivity at many times the speed of voice and FAX, while freeing the individual user and business from remote network store and forward service charges, Personal-E dramatically lowers the cost of communicating for both the home and business user. THE ELECTRONIC TOWN HALL With AmerCom Public-E Mailboxes set up in schools and libraries just using any standard PC and modem, the general public can send a message to the President's office for about 17 cents from anywhere in the United States. Thus Personal-E makes the concept of an Electronic Town Hall widely publicized by Ross Perot and others a feasible tool for American democracy. Without the simple to use on-screen directions of Personal-E, its general phone connectivity, Public-E Mailbox design standards and next to free cost of operation, democratic usage of the town hall concept would not be possible due to cost or learning requirements that would put instant electronic communication out of reach for many Americans. AMERCOM DONATES PERSONAL-E TO SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN In support of the ideal of American participatory democracy, AmerCom will donate a free copy of Personal-E to any US Senator, Congressman or National Newspaper/Magazine Editor or columnist who writes us on their letterhead with determination to setup a PC in their offices to enable their constituents or readers to communicate directly to them on important issues. Under the ELECTRONIC DEMOCRACY PROGRAM AmerCom donates matching copies of Personal-E Mailbox to Public Schools and Libraries for every commercial registration. See Table of Contents for details on this program. __________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________ LEGAL NOTICES: Personal-E Mailbox (TM) is a trademark of AmerCom, Inc. and the software was designed and developed exclusively by AmerCom who retains all rights to it and authority to distribute or license its use and distribution. Personal Connectivity Software (C) is a copyright of AmerCom, Inc. AmerCom Personal-E mailbox is distributed as shareware for home users only. Businesses, educational institutions, government agencies and nonprofit organizations should obtain site licenses and be aware that special AmerCom matching and discount programs are available for organizations seeking to enable the speech or hearing impaired in general or comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Inquire about the GOOD CONNECTIONS PROGRAM in this context. AmerCom makes no warranties as to the contents of this document or the software herein nor does it imply any and reserves the right to alter the program, its specifications, and documentation as it sees fit. Shareware distributors must receive their master source disk from AmerCom with accompanying written authorization to duplicate. BBS sysops running no-charge, open public access systems may use the software without charge and make it available for downloading by invididual users provided only the following conditions are met: a) No alterations or deletions of any kind are made to any portion of the program, its files, or documentation. b) No charges for the software or its documentation can be made by any distributor without the written permission of AmerCom, Inc., excepting those for postage, handling, and disk materials as commonly understood and allowed by the professional shareware industry. c) Receivers of the software must be made aware that the software is "not free" nor public domain and that legal usage of the software after a nominal test period, 30 days or less, requires the user(s) to complete the AmerCom registration form and forward it to AmerCom with the license fee indicated on the form. __________________________________________________________ END OF APPLICATIONS OVERVIEW MATERIAL AND SHAREWARE LEGAL NOTICES __________________________________________________________ PERSONAL-E MAILBOX VERSION 1.0 OPERATIONS MANUAL CONTENTS: I. Introduction: What is Personal-E Mailbox II. How Does Personal-E Work III. Automatic Software Installation IV. Basic Hardware Connections: Personal-E on the same line with Voice Phones, Answering Machines, and FAX machines V. Quick Start Summary of Basic Operations: Write, Read, Mail, Print, Erase and DONE Background Operation VI. Special Functions and Applications: Chat, Remote Mail Pickup, Password and Broadcast VII. Double Security for Public and Private Messages in One Mailbox VIII. Tips for Successful Personal-E mailing IX. Great Applications for Personal-E Mailbox X. GOOD CONNECTIONS and ELECTRONIC DEMOCRACY PROGRAM Corporate Matching Plan Descriptions for Human Resources Personnel XI. TROUBLE SHOOTING APPENDICES A) modem compatibility B) working with Microsoft (R) Windows (TM) and other software with Personal-E TSR C) use with Telephone Devices for the Deaf or TDDs D) modifying your autoexec.bat to always start Personal-E in background mode whenever you turn on your PC using high memory area and loadhigh command E) running in QUICK or high speed mode F) mail file management and data base applications INTRODUCTION I. WHAT IS PERSONAL-E MAILBOX AmerCom's Personal-E Mailbox(TM) is a unique software program that allows any two PCs (IBM or compatibles) with 2400 baud modems to send and receive electronic mail (messages typed on the PC) person-to-person, point-to-point anywhere in the United States over ordinary household or office phone lines. No computer network software, cards, cables, or devices are needed. With Personal-E you have the same "universal connectivity" offered by the national telephone network. The only requirement for extending the connectivity of your Personal-E Postal System is that each person on your "network" must run a copy of the software on his or her computer, in background or foreground mode, and have a standard 2400 baud modem connected to his computer. You do not have to be present at your computer for automatic mail reception. As you will see in a few minutes of reading, Personal-E makes the whole process of sending and receiving fast, low cost electronic mail as simple and natural as turning on the household voice answering machine. You don't need to add another phone or data line to use Personal-E. The software uses the same line you use for regular voice callers and works fine with an answering machine on the same line if you have one. Personal-E automatically detects voice callers and sends them on to your answering machine if you are not there to take your calls. And it automatically stores incoming electronic mail on your PC for you to read at your convenience. Your messages are completely private and secure. They are not saved on some intermediate computer such as is common with "subscription electronic mail services" or private company e-mail networks. Your "mail" cannot be read by anyone but you. Personal-E turns your computer into a private sending and receiving electronic postal delivery and reception machine--as easy to use as the common voice answering machine, yet able to both send and receive written messages and print them out at your desk. Every friend, family member or business associate that runs Personal-E on his PC becomes part of your "Personal-E Network" without regard to where they work or live. The network of communicating partners you form is your own personal one. You may want to communicate with customers, a sales force, the soccer team, a church group, club members, professional association members, grandparents, a student off at college, a good friend or a US Senator--Personal-E goes just about anywhere, anyone has a PC with a modem. And Personal-E connectivity makes a great gift for someone you care about because of either your personal, commercial or group relationship. Give some thought to all the folks you would like to have on your instant message network...and then tell them about Personal-E or have AmerCom send them a gift copy in your name using the discount registration form above or the registration form that you may print when you exit the program. II. HOW DOES PERSONAL-E MAILBOX WORK Basically, just like the ordinary voice answering machine. Once you've loaded Personal-E on your PC and started it in HOME, BACK, or AWAY mode, your messages are received automatically by your computer unattended and stored in a file on your disk called MAILBOX.DAT. Because the program can run at your choice "in the background," any of your other standard programs can be up and running when a Personal-E call comes in, or your computer can be just sitting idle at the "DOS prompt" or in a "friendly operating environment or user shell" of some type. You don't have to stop working with your computer or be home for Personal-E to receive your mail. To receive mail at anytime, just leave your computer on--just as you do with your voice answering machine. You can turn your monitor off if you will not be using your computer for some other task. IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT LEAVING YOUR PC ON It is not expensive or harmful to leave your PC on during general working hours or waking hours at home. In fact, some experts believe it puts less wear and tear on electronic components than switching your machine on and off several times a day! You can even "set and forget" turning on your PC by plugging your computer into a low-cost plug timer that sets it to go on in the morning and off in the evening or at some specific time of your choice. Then simply load Personal-E into background mode automatically by placing it's startup command in your auotexec.bat file. (Details for starting Personal-E from your autoexec.bat file are in the Appendix section of the manual...we suggest you just read on for now.) Setup this way, Personal-E will always be ready to receive incoming mail or properly switch a voice caller to your answering machine when you are not at your home or office. And you won't even have to remember to turn it on. In most parts of the US, a personal computer can be used 12 hours per day, every day for about $3.00 per month in electricity costs. Personal-E can save you that charge in one long distance message! You'll also save a great deal in surface mail envelopes, paper, and stamps. And, of course, your Personal-E mail never gets wet and gets delivered at just about the speed of light. Business users should know that Personal-E is many times faster than FAX and costs a fraction as much to use: There are no paper, toner, or maintenance costs and long distance transmission costs are reduced dramatically. Over the course of a year, Personal-E will save many people the cost of their complete computer system in communications service and postal charges. Especially important for the traveling executive is the fact that Personal-E can run from your floppy disk copy. The program need not be installed on a hard disk to work properly, That means you can "carry your mailbox with you" and check your home or office for messages--even when no one is there--from any place such as the airport, a hotel, or another company office where you can plug into any PC with a 2400 modem. And, of course, you can put Personal-E on your own laptop if you have one. The automatic installation section that follows was designed to get you up and sending electronic mail in about 1 minute. For information on custom installations with other programs such as Windows and detailed advice on how best to connect your phones, answering machine, FAX machine or a telephone device for a hearing impaired person, read the appropriate section of the manual listed in the table of contents. Personal-E is so simple to use, many people never really look at the manual, but you might find some special applications you like--or have some great ideas of your own for new ones--if you skim through the manual and that is what we recommend. And, of course, you can print out a copy at any time using your own printer should you like to keep a hard copy reference handy. To just page through the manual, from the PEM directory in DOS use the command: type readme.doc. | more This command will let you page through the manual by hitting the enter key for each new page. Alternately the file readme.doc (a standard ASCII text file) can be called into most standard word processors from which you can also print it or search for keywords of interest to you. III. AUTOMATIC SOFTWARE INSTALLATION If you are familiar with "installing software on a PC" just put the floppy in your 3.5 drive, log to that drive's letter name, type install c:, follow the screen instructions and skip down to QUICK START BASICS. For those of you unfamiliar with "software installation," the word "install" for PC users generally means to copy the distribution disk you purchased to your PC's hard disk drive. Installation protects your distribution or source copy of Personal-E Mailbox from the wear and tear of daily use. Because Personal-E was also designed to let you run from the floppy only without hard disk installation if you choose, later you will want to make a working copy on a floppy disk that you use as your "portable" Personal-E Mailbox. But first here are the standard hard disk installation procedures. Floppy drives are usually named with the letters a: or b: and the hard disk drive is usually called drive c:. For automatic installation on the standard hard drive, just insert your distribution disk in any floppy drive. At the DOS prompt, change to that drive's assigned letter name (a: or b:) by pressing the letter name of the drive (including the colon). When the new prompt says a: or b:, type install c: Then press enter or return. Personal-E has a special little program on your distribution disk called install that will automatically: 1. Make a directory on your hard disk named: PEM, short for Personal-E Mailbox 2. Copy all program files to the PEM directory 3. Automatically start another small program called "setup.exe" that will let you custom tailor Personal-E for your modem and answering machine settings 4. Make five "batch" files based on your setup choices that will let you type one word to start the program in the best mode for your household or office. The setup.exe program will ask you to enter three choices: 1.What COM PORT is your modem on (1,2,3, or 4)? If you don't know the answer to this question , you may want to read a little in your computer or modem manual about "communications ports" or just for now enter 2 as a guess. Most modems are connected to COM PORT 1 or COM PORT 2 with 2 being most common for internal modems. When you are running the program itself, Personal-E's main menu shows a small "mail slot" at the bottom which states "Modem ready" when you are properly connected. If the slot reports "Resetting" over and over again that probably means you guessed the COM PORT number wrong. To fix the problem all you do is rerun setup.exe from the PEM directory and choose another port. Number 1 is your next best guess. 2. On what number of rings is your answering machine set for automatically answering the phone when you are away? Enter 2, 3 or 4. 4 Is the best choice if your answering machine allows you to set that number, but 3 will work fine too. You should enter 3 if you have no answering machine on the line at this time. 3. Do you want to run in wide screen mode? Generally answer NO. Wide screen shows extra large type and was implemented to help the visually impaired see better although you should feel free to try wide screen mode at any time just by running setup.exe again from the PEM directory. When you have answered the setup questions, the program leaves you in the PEM directory where you can type any one of the five one-word choices the program just created to start Personal-E Mailbox: HOME, AWAY, BACK, QUICK, or TDD. It is not necessary to type the file extension ".BAT" that appears in directory listings of Personal-E files. 1. HOME means I am starting Personal-E at my "home" computer site, house or office, and I or another person will also be there to take voice calls while Personal-E automatically collects e-mail. 2. AWAY is for general use with an answering machine on the same line as your phone along with Personal-E. It means neither you nor anyone else will be around the house or office to take voice calls and you want both your answering machine and Personal-E to check all calls for voice messages and incoming e-mail. This is the best way to start Personal-E when you are generally gone for the work day. You can also use AWAY if no answering machine is connected with your phone and you won't be around for voice calls. 3. BACK means you want to load Personal-E in the background so you can run another application on screen in the foreground. In Background Mode Personal-E will automatically answer the phone, take mail, and save it for you to read at your convenience. Background mode can also be started from within the program by selecting it from the screen menu choices offered just before you exit. When you are not actively writing or reading your mail, you will probably want to leave Personal-E in the background so that you can use your computer for other tasks simultaneously. 4. QUICK is a special high speed mode of operation best used when you know you are calling a PC set up as an automated server or "mini-bulletin board" where many people are calling in to get messages left there for them by others. This is a very useful application for clubs, teams, groups, and offices and is described more fully in special applications. Generally, you won't use QUICK for your standard person-to-person use of Personal-E or when other devices, except a standard phone, are also connected to the same line as the computer running Personal-E Mailbox. 5. TDD stands for run with an autoanswer Telephone Device for the Deaf (TDD) attached to the same phone line as the computer with Personal-E running. This application allows hearing disabled individuals to use Personal-E's advanced autoCHAT with simultaneous e-mail feature while staying in touch with others who have either personal computers or the older style TDD devices. See the SPECIAL APPLICATIONS section of the manual for additional details. After you have completed the install operation you can run Personal-E from the PEM directory just by typing: home, away, back, quick or tdd. These ".bat" or batch files start the program just like .exe and .com files do. You can select them from DOS, a "user friendly shell or interface" that shows you directory trees, or from "operating environments" like Microsoft's Windows. Multi-tasking Personal-E in a Window is a great way to run the application. For details see APPENDIX B. If you don't have a hard disk you should still make a backup copy of Personal-E. To make a "working floppy disk" copy of Personal-E on a two floppy system, place the master in one of your floppy drives a: or b: and change to that drive's prompt by pressing the letter name where you just placed the disk. Insert a blank disk in the free floppy drive and type: install, followed by the letter name of the free drive. Example, place your master disk in drive a:. Change to the a: drive and type install b:. The program will automatically create a PEM directory on the b: floppy with all the files you need to run the program. If you have a hard disk and only one floppy drive first follow the steps above to install the software on your hard drive. Then place a blank disk in drive a: your single floppy drive and type a: to change to that drive. Type: mkdir pem and press Enter. This creates a directory named pem on the a: floppy. Change to this new directory by typing cd pem and pressing Enter. Then type copy c:\pem\*.* and press Enter again. These actions copy the files from the hard disk pem directory to the floppy pem directory in a: IV. BASIC HARDWARE CONNECTIONS: PUTTING PERSONAL-E ON THE SAME LINE WITH VOICE PHONES, ANSWERING MACHINES, FAX MACHINES AND "SWITCHERS" Up until Personal-E was designed there was no easy way to use ordinary phone lines as opposed to computer networks for e-mail, even though many people looked forward to having the benefits of electronic postal delivery, house-to-house, point-to-point, person-to-person. Historically, computer hardware and software presented three main problems that made person-to-person e-mail impractical if not impossible and way too expensive: 1. Telecom software was very complicated and hard to use even for regular computer users. Much of it is still considered way over complicated. 2. Modems were designed for "clean lines" that were never interrupted by voice callers, household phone extensions or answering machines-and so they weren't very practical for the real world of home use--where over 90% of PC owners also have an answering machine on their phone line and a lot of regular voice callers. 3. Network software was complex and only written for private companies--no one tried to figure out how to "connect" the rest of us--and all the separate places we might like to be: home, work, a friend's, on vacation, a customer site, etc. AmerCom solved these three basic problems by teaming hardware engineers, software designers, and telephone network oriented engineers to build a fast, and inexpensive personal electronic mail system for all of us with operation easy enough for use by children. Personal-E hardware connections are quite simple: First make sure your modem's telephone line connection jack on its back panel is connected to any free wall extension jack using the same ordinary phone cable you would use to plug in a telephone. Most modems have two sockets: one marked "Line" or "Wall" and the other marked "TEL." The line connection is the right one to use. Personal-E does not use the socket marked TEL on your modem as will be explained in the next few paragraphs. If you usually use a phone right next to your computer--and only have one free wall socket--buy a "duplex" phone connector at any hardware or general merchandise store for about $2.50. It will have two open sockets or RJ-11 jacks for ordinary phone connectors. Plug your duplex jack directly into the wall socket. Then plug your regular phone into one and your modem into the other of the two sockets provided by the jack. If your answering machine is close by your computer, you can plug your telephone into the back of your answering machine in the socket marked for telephone and your answering machine itself into the duplex jack along with the line from your modem. If you have a combination phone/answering machine, treat it just like a phone and plug it into one of the duplex socket's jacks--and again the modem line into the other socket provided by the jack. Even if your modem has an extra jack in the back marked for a telephone extension *** DON'T--use it. *** Nothing bad will happen if you do plug into it, but many modems "switch" out the other connector at different times of their operation and these switching operations can interfere with Personal-E's intelligent voice switching software that automatically feeds callers to the right line. If your answering machine is not in the same room as your computer, that's ok; it can be on any line in the house or office. Personal-E requires no extra hardware "switcher," but if you have one, because you also have a FAX machine connected in your house or office to that one line, plug your duplex connector into the back of the switcher in the socket marked TEL (for telephone), AUX (for auxiliary extension), Phone or TAD (for telephone answering device) and then connect your modem and phones just as above, one each into the duplex connector. The switcher itself will connect directly to the wall line in this case from a socket on its back usually marked LINE or TEL LINE and keep FAX calls for the FAX while passing on regular voice calls and e-mail to Personal-E and your answering machine. Some FAX machines have their own built-in switcher. Check your FAX machine's manual to see if it says your machine will automatically switch calls to a voice answering machine. If you have one of those, plug your duplex connector into the FAX's socket marked for TEL or TAD. Then connect your phone to your answering machine's socket for TEL and your modem and answering machine into the duplex socket itself. In this setup the FAX's built-in switcher decides if the incoming call is a FAX and takes it if so. If not, it passes the call on to your duplex connector where Personal-E and your answering machine then decide whether you have a voice call or e-mail. If you have a Telephone Device for the DEAF or TDD in your household, you may wish to buy a triplex connector with three sockets and plug your modem, phone, and TDD all into the same wall socket. Personal-E will send the incoming calls to the correct unit: Voice Phone, Computer Modem, TDD or Voice Answering Machine close by or on a remote extension. You don't have to plug all the devices into the same socket, but it may be more convenient to decide what type of call you received if TDD and computer are next to each other. For example, friends who also use TDDs will call in and request a CHAT on the typical "ticker tape" type display while an incoming Personal-E call could be either mail or a request for CHAT from another computer user. If your PC and TDD are close by, you can tell by a glance at the two displays what type of call you have. Personal-E allows a TDD on the same line to go ahead without interference when the call is for it. And, of course, if you also have a hearing person in your household, with the Personal-E system they can just pick up the phone and screen for voice callers as well. Setting the number of rings on your automatic answering machine or TDD is important. Automatic answering devices work best for most people if you set them to pick up the phone on the 3rd or 4th ring. To work properly you told Personal-E what ring number you selected 2, 3, or 4, when you ran setup.exe during installation of the software. Now check your answering machine to make sure it, too, is on 2, 3 or 4, whichever one you entered in setup. They must be the same. HOW WILL MY HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE ANSWER THE PHONE WHEN I AM AWAY Just as usual. The person who is calling you hears normal ringing at his end (and if you were home you would hear normal ringing also). After the number of rings you set for automatic answering 2, 3 or 4 go by, Personal-E and your answering machine both answer the phone together and Personal-E monitors the call while giving priority to your voice answering machine. The software waits and listens for a special Personal-E Mail tone while your voice answering machine proceeds through its normal cycle. When it is a person who has called you and not another Personal-E Mailbox, the mail tone is not there, of course, and Personal-E goes to silent stand-by mode while your voice caller hears your "OGM" or standard outgoing message that you put on your answering machine. After listening to your outgoing announcement, your caller, of course, can leave a voice message for you. If the call is for Personal-E, the software directs your computer to wait just a minute until your answering machine has completed its cycle--because it too has started--and then signals the sending computer to go ahead and transfer your mail. By patiently waiting for a "clean line" Personal-E makes sure your mail is transferred reliably. Because Personal-E works by careful timing, it is a good idea to keep your outgoing and incoming voice messages brief. We recommend not more than 8 seconds of outgoing message be followed by 14 to 16 seconds of incoming message. If your voice caller talks on and on into your answering machine, Personal-E will interrupt their message and cause answering machines featuring "interrupt protection" to hang up. You may consider this an intelligent action...but some callers might not like it so we recommend your outgoing message tell them to leave a brief message under 15 seconds at the sound of the beep. Actually, that's quite a lot of time to leave a message. Try seeing how much you can say in 15 seconds while you time yourself. WHAT IF I NEED TO RECEIVE LONG VOICE MESSAGES No problem. You can get the function you want while saving money. Oddly enough low cost answering machines, those without extension interrupt protection (generally $29-39 in the discount stores) will allow an incoming voice caller to leave indefinitely long messages. If you find it inconvenient to have your callers leave short messages, put an inexpensive machine on the Personal-E line and have a really low cost voice and e-mail system. Or better yet, have them use Personal-E to send you a note or a novel. HOW DO YOU ANSWER THE PHONE WHEN YOU ARE HOME Just as you normally do. When you are home, start Personal-E with the HOME command. Then you can answer your phone any time after it starts ringing--from any extension. Voice callers respond as usual, but an incoming Personal-E message will leave the line silent. Silence on the line means you should just casually hang up: E-mail coming down in about 20 seconds. The only answering requirement Personal-E places on you is that you try to answer your phone by the third ring when you are home. And you may wish to say "Hello" twice just to be sure the caller is not a person before hanging up. If your phone gets to a fourth ring, Personal-E will assume no one is available and answer the phone for you. If you are home but arrive late, you can still go ahead and answer and check for a voice caller who may still be holding on. If you are very late in answering--and if the call happens to contain incoming mail--you may occasionally interrupt a Personal-E message, but that's not a big problem for Personal-E. The software will report a transmission difficulty to the sender and save his message to be sent again. Most users will just resend the mail a moment later. The whole mailing process from ring to reset for another message takes about one minute typically. If you can see your computer screen from where you answered the phone, and Personal-E is in the foreground on your computer, the system will report to you that you have NEW mail in a parenthesis next to the IN TRAY number of letters--when the transfer is complete. You don't have to take any action when you have incoming mail if you don't want to. Your mailbox can be checked at any time. It resets automatically for the next call, voice or e-mail, whether the program is operating in the foreground or the background. You can leave for 10 minutes, two hours, or two weeks and the system will continue to take mail on your PC and voice calls on your answering machine. The number of messages you can receive is only limited by free hard disk space. If you are working at your PC and wish to use a nearby answering machine and Personal-E to screen your calls, you can listen while the answering machine and Personal-E pick up the phone. You can hear a person calling the voice answering machine if they start to leave a message and pick up at your discretion if it is an individual with whom you wish to talk. If the call is an e-mail message, you will hear your modem respond through its speaker with response tones to the sender. In this way, Personal-E let's you know in real time the appropriate response to a call--including the ability to just not answer if you don't want to. KEY FEATURE OF PERSONAL-E: Voice + Mail dial out Thanks to Personal-E's person-centered design which gives priority to your human voice callers, you never lose friends or customers. Your callers never hear modem squeal or squawk. Your phone rings and is answered naturally by you or your answering machine from their point of view. When you are the sender of a Personal-E message, you can actually pick up your phone after Personal-E has dialed out to see if a person or Personal-E picks up the phone at the other end. If a person says hello, you can say: "Hi, I'm sending some mail, please hang up and get back to me when you've read it." You can then both hang up and the mail will go through on the same call. If an answering machine picks up, you can leave a message like: "Hi, just sent you some e-mail on XXX topic, check it out." And then hang up. Personal-E waits for the answering machine to reset and then it sends your mail through. In one call, you've left both voice and data messages in a fail safe, reliable manner! V. QUICK START BASICS Go to the PEM directory and type: home The main menu will appear after the program title screen and copyright notice and show you the status of your mailbox with the line at the top of the white note window in the center of the mailbox: IN TRAY = 0 OUT TRAY = 0 A message at the center of the screen says: PLEASE MAKE SELECTION and invites you to choose one of the function keys immediately below: F1 Write F2 Read F3 Mail F4 Print F5 Erase F6 DONE The slot at the bottom of the mailbox says: Modem state ready... if you have a correctly installed modem connected to your computer. If for some reason, Personal-E can't get "READY" to communicate to your modem, it will say in the slot over and over again: "MODEM ATTENTION, WAITING FOR RESET, RESETTING " Reset means the software is trying to set up the modem to communicate properly. If resetting goes on for more than 15 seconds you may have selected the wrong COM PORT number when you were in SETUP mode. To remedy this problem, PRESS DONE twice to exit the program and run setup.exe again from the PEM directory. Change the com port you assigned to the modem. For example, if you had the modem set on COM PORT 2 before, enter 1 this time. Repeat your other setup answers, and restart the program with the HOME command. Personal-E will work properly with all modems that are 100% Hayes (R) compatible. If Personal-E continues to have trouble getting the modem's attention, you may have a unit that does not contain a full "command set" or you may have a modem that is implementing a special dialing string that does not reset to basic Hayes commands. In that case we would appreciate a call so that we can acquire that particular brand of modem and test it. The program always starts by showing you what number of letters you have in your IN TRAY and how many unsent letters are in the OUT TRAY. All actions you can take are based on the two trays. When you WRITE a new letter it goes into the OUT TRAY and waits for you to mail it. When you receive a letter, it comes into your IN TRAY. You can READ, PRINT, or ERASE letters while they are in either tray, but all letters you wish to MAIL are first selected by you from those you have put in your OUT TRAY. The DONE key let's you exit the program or cancel specific actions when you change your mind--such as deciding not to erase a message. The program always tells you when to: PRESS DONE in the lower right part of the note window. If you ever decide to "back out" of a letter or function, hitting ESC returns you to the main menu without saving any message or a part of one you may have started. If you PRESS DONE when at the main menu, you exit normally from the program after first seeing the reminder screen that asks you if you want to keep Personal-E operating in the background. You are asked if you want to: Exit with background ON Exit with background OFF Selecting background ON means Personal-E will stay loaded in your computer's memory and automatically continue to answer the phone and receive mail and save it for you even while you are running another program on your PC in the foreground. When Personal-E receives a message in the background your computer speaker will emit a short "beep-beep" to let you know mail has been delivered successfully and a longer "beep-beep-beep-beep" to let you know there was a problem with that particular transmission. Exiting with background OFF means you are either unloading Personal-E from memory if you have previously turned it on, or you have just decided not to run the program at that time. You may want to turn Personal-E OFF from the EXIT screen, for example, if you are going to run another telecom program that wants to take over your modem and phone line, or you have run out of memory and need to use even the small amount Personal-E saves for itself in background mode. Many users will want to put Personal-E's "back.bat" command (see appendix D) right in their autoexec.bat file so that their computer automatically turns Personal-E on in background mode at the start of their computer workday. If you use the program this way, you "unload" Personal-E when necessary simply by starting the foreground program from DOS or your user interface shell and immediately pressing DONE at the main menu. This action takes you to the EXIT choice screen and let's you unload Personal-E if necessary. Alternately, Personal-E can be unloaded at any time from the DOS prompt with the command: mailbkg u [this stands for mail background program unload]. To start Personal-E up again in the background without loading the foreground program, from the DOS prompt in the pem directory, just use the command: back. READ, PRINT AND ERASE: Read, Print and Erase explain themselves with on screen directions and all work the same way. After you have selected one of these functions, you are asked to pick a TRAY and then the MESSAGE with which you wish to work. When you have not yet read a letter(s) the number still unread is marked NEW in a parenthesis next to your IN TRAY's total content number on the main menu. FOR EXAMPLE: IN TRAY= 7 (2 NEW) Once you have read a letter, the "NEW" is removed from that particular message and the number of letters marked NEW on the main menu declines by one until the NEW disappears when all have been read at least once since they came in to the mailbox. Thus, every time you open your mailbox you can see at a glance if there have been any new messages since you last looked. You may read letters as often as you wish, and they will not be removed until you erase them. To use the PRINT function just be sure you have your printer hooked up and turned on first. Then select the tray and the letter you wish to Print. Erase works similarly; just select the tray and the letter you wish to erase. That's all there is to it. Just to be sure you want to ERASE a message, Personal-E asks you to confirm your choice every time you select ERASE. An erased message cannot be restored. If you have received a great many messages and you want to erase them all at once, you can do so by deleting the file "mailbox.dat" from the PEM directory using the DOS del command. The next time you start Personal-E, the program will create a new "empty" mailbox.dat file for you and ask you to restart the program with your standard command: home, away, etc. CAUTION: Remember to mail all your OUT TRAY letters before using this bulk erase method of deleting mailbox.dat because this file contains both your IN TRAY and OUT TRAY messages. WRITE AND MAIL: HOW EASY IS IT TO SEND AN ELECTRONIC LETTER Choose Write by pressing F1 and select: Start a new message by using the up/down arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight that choice. Fill in the blanks for the Name of the person to whom you are sending the letter and their Phone number and your own name and number. Enter a subject after About, if you wish. Entering a subject is a good idea as it will help you or the recipient of mail sort which letters he wants to read, print, erase, or save for later. Type your message and PRESS ENTER. When you are writing or editing a message your computer works just like a simple word processor. Use the backspace key to delete words to the left of the cursor. Place the cursor where you want to insert spaces or words and start typing. Use the arrow keys to move up and down in your message or left to right. Use the ENTER or RETURN KEY to create extra spaces between lines. Personal-E automatically breaks text at the end of a line and "wraps" it down to a new one. You don't have to press enter at the end of a line. But you do have to PRESS DONE when you ARE done typing your message. You will see an information screen notifying you that the letter you just wrote was saved to your OUT TRAY and you can mail it when ready. You will be returned to the main menu and you can see that there is now 1 letter in the OUT TRAY. The one you just wrote. To mail it, press F3, Mail. You will be asked to select Mail a letter from the OUT TRAY. You may have written several but not mailed them yet. You can scroll with the arrow keys to select the one you wish to mail...then PRESS ENTER. The program asks you to stand by and tells you when the mail has been delivered. HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO MAIL A LETTER Because an answering machine or FAX machine may also be on the line you are calling, don't be surprised if the line is silent for up to 30 seconds after Personal-E dials and you hear the other phone answer. Personal-E must first check for either persons who have answered the phone or devices and let them hang up. The note window will be paused with the message: Dialing. The program will determine when the line is free and clear for transfer and a little delay is common and normal in most cases. If the line you called is not busy your average message is generally mailed in under one minute from the time the other phone answers. If there is a lost connection or other problem, Personal-E can report the error condition or problem status in most cases. For example, you may see such messages as: "No mailbox at other end" or "Mailbox in use." The first would mean that Personal-E is not turned on at the other end, or you have reached a number that doesn't have a mailbox. The second can mean that the other mailbox is having a CHAT with someone else or carrying out a particular function during which it can't be contacted. All error messages are in self-explanatory plain English. When a letter has been successfully mailed to another mailbox, just as with ordinary paper mail, it is gone; and your OUT TRAY shows one less letter than you had before. If you want to save the letter you can take your choice of several actions: 1. Print a copy for yourself before you mail it 2. Type an * before the first character of the Name of the person to whom you are addressing the letter. This asterisk tells Personal-E to send a copy of the letter out to the addressee and to keep your original in the OUT TRAY until you erase it. 3. From DOS make a copy of the Mailbox.dat file to a directory of your own choosing where you may want to keep complete records of all mail you send or receive. Renaming each day's mailbox.dat file and sorting them by date is a method for keeping virtually unlimited record of mail transactions. For some commercial or research applications this function can be very useful. FOR EXAMPLE: A Personal-E Mailbox is set up in a market research or US Senator's office to collect hundreds, if not thousands, of short messages from the public to capture their opinions on issues. With Version 1.5 of Personal-E, saved mailbox.dat files can be imported directly to any standard PC data base program and processed automatically and almost instantly to provide accurate information reports about our wishes as an electorate or consumer group. In more common applications, storing mailbox.dat files provides a business with customer inquiry name, telephone, and message records that can prove invaluable for competitive selling and marketing of new services or products. For day to day communications, keeping a copy of a single letter in the OUT TRAY by using the * character in the address header, can be very useful when you want to send the same basic message to a number of people. By going to EDIT mode, you can simply go in and change the name, and telephone number to that of the next person to whom you wish to send the already prepared message. EDIT Your other WRITE mode choice: Edit a message in the Out Tray works just like Start a new message, and allows you to go back to a message you have already written and make changes to it before you send it. If you are not changing the address header, but just changing some of the text in your message, hit ENTER at each line of information requested (Name and From and To Phone numbers and About) to let Personal-E know you are making no changes and step on through to the body of your message. VI. SPECIAL FUNCTIONS: CHAT, REMOTE MAIL PICKUP, PASSWORD and BROADCAST When you first pushed F3 Mail, you had five possible choices you could make: Mail letter in Out Tray Wait for incoming Chat Start outgoing Chat Check for my mail at other mailbox Enter password for mail pickup You have already seen how standard mail works. The two "Chat" selections: Wait for an incoming Chat and Start an outgoing Chat, though generally useful for "on-line conversations" were implemented by AmerCom specifically to mainstream speech or hearing impaired individuals with the general universe of people using Personal-E and personal computers. Two users in chat mode can have an "on-line" split screen "electronic conversation" in which incoming and outgoing words appear simultaneously. Two lines of incoming characters appear at the top of the receiving screen, and two lines of the conversation you are sending back appear at the bottom of the screen. Importantly speech or hearing impaired individuals can leave their PC in Waiting for incoming Chat and still receive standard Personal-E messages automatically. The program detects when another person is on line and trying to initiate a Chat conversation or just dropping off a message. The person who initiates the conversation does so by selecting: Start an outgoing Chat and Pressing DONE. You are asked to enter your name and the number of the person with whom you wish to chat... the rest is automatic. The receiver of a Chat call sees: Hello: it's [Your Name] calling. If no one's home to Chat, you can try again later as you would with a regular phone call. REMOTE MAIL PICKUP AND PASSWORD If you are traveling away from your PC or are at work and would like to get mail from the PC at your home or another office, you can pick up your mail just by carrying a floppy disk with Personal-E Mailbox software along with you. As long as you have access to an IBM PC or compatible with a 2400 modem, and the other mailbox you wish to contact is left on, you can call the other PC and have your mail delivered to the computer from which you are calling. Mail picked up remotely will automatically be saved to the floppy disk you brought with you and you do not have to "install" your copy of Personal-E on the computer you are using. To start Personal-E from the floppy drive of a "borrowed" PC, enter the floppy's drive designation letter a: or b: and then change to the PEM directory on your disk and type: away. If the computer you are using has the modem set on a different com port than your own, run setup.exe from the floppy and enter the correct com port number. Setup does not affect the computer of the person you are using. It just tells your copy of Personal-E where to find that computer's modem. When you get home or to another computer run setup again if the com port changes at the next machine. you use. When the program comes up, go to Mail and select: Check for my mail at other mailbox You will be asked to enter the password of the mailbox you are calling, your name and the phone number to call. When you press ENTER, Personal-E will contact the other mailbox and bring back all the messages stored in that box and addressed to your name. Mail for others in the house or office mailbox you called remains there for them. If you have a "nickname" or several different ways to spell your name, after NAME you can enter a string of variations connected by the "+" sign, for example: Jim+James+Mr.J. The + sign also lets you pick up mail for more than one person. For example, you and your wife might be on vacation. You could enter: Jim+Anne, for example, and still leave mail for the children or others in the home mailbox. Similarly, executives travelling together can get mail for more than one person stored in an office server with one call, using the+sign between their names. BUT YOU MUST HAVE PREVIOUSLY ENTERED A PASSWORD BEFORE LEAVING THE "HOME" BOX. To check for mail at another Personal-E Mailbox from a remote point, you or the manager of that mailbox (it could be a friend's mailbox, business mailbox, or one used by a central secretary) must have entered a PASSWORD. When PASSWORD PROTECTION IS ON, the MAILBOX allows you or others who know the password to pickup mail from a remote point. Entering a Password is simple. Within the list of F3 Mail options, scroll down to: Enter password for mail pickup, PRESS ENTER and type in any "secret" word you want. When you Press ENTER the password will be saved and automatically protect your mail from anyone calling in remotely without the password. You always know if you've "locked" your Personal-E Mailbox in a mode allowing remote mail pickup because the main menu says Password Protection On when you have entered one. If you forget your Password or want to change your Password, just select Enter password for mail pickup again and repeat the process. If a PASSWORD is not entered, your mailbox "defaults" to a locked condition for normal privacy and remote pickup is not allowed. BROADCAST PICKUP AND PASSWORD One of the most useful and powerful applications for Personal-E is as an automatic MESSAGE BROADCASTING MACHINE where all the members of a group, club, team, or even the general public are allowed to call in to a PC with a PASSWORD-OPENED Personal-E Mailbox and pickup a message that you have left there for everyone. A restaurant might want to put their menu or prices there, while other businesses leave news about sales or new products, or general employee announcements. A sales manager in an office might want everyone on the team to call in for the latest product updates or management advice. Senators could leave position statements on issues. Teachers can leave homework, help, or ongoing assignments. Trucking firms could leave weather, pickup, or routing information. A software firm such as ours can leave user notes for example: ACCESS AmerCom's Personal-E, customer feedback no-charge mini-BBS at 503-452-8190 with the software by choosing: "Check for mail at other mailbox," under the F3 Mail selections. You will be asked for your password. Enter: Personal-E. You will be asked for your Name: Enter: User. You will be asked: Phone to call: Enter: 503-452-8190. [Use 1 or other dialing string prefix that you would normally use for a phone call to Portland, Oregon from your location where necessary] Personal-E will connect, get the message(s) for "User" and bring it back to you automatically in under one minute. More simply in a family mini-BBS application, a working mother might want to leave a message at home for pickup by a large number of family members or a traveling executive father who is difficult to reach while on the road. You get the idea: there are many ways to use: BROADCAST PICKUP. Commercial users generally set aside a low cost PC as a server connected to an outside phone line when they want to allow general public access to information they want to distribute to anyone who dials in. This let's your company separate INTER OFFICE OR INTRA OFFICE mail like a departamental broadcast from general public mail or employee group announcements. Similarly, individual departments can use any PC on a specific phone extension number as THE MAILBOX for certain types of messages or department news. HOW TO USE BROADCAST PICKUP AS A MINI-BULLETIN BOARD Broadcast pickup works by turning any PC with Personal-E on it into a mini-bulletin board. Messages sent to you are normally stored in your Personal-E Mailbox IN TRAY so that you can call in from the outside to remotely pick them up or review them at your "home" mailbox.. If you want to use "BROADCAST PICKUP" that means you want a group of people to have access to the IN TRAY, and so messages to be BROADCAST to a large number of people must be put there also. You can send a letter to the IN TRAY in one of two ways: 1. The office or sales manager, for example, who wants to store a message on a departmental PC, can enter the phone or extension number of the "server PC" that will hold the message and then mail the message to the IN TRAY of the receiving computer--where ever it is located, close by or in another branch of his company across the country. In a home application, a mom or dad or friend at work can send a message to the home mailbox IN TRAY where friends or family members can call in to pick it up from their own remote Personal-E Mailboxes. 2. If your own Personal-E Mailbox is on the same computer where you want to leave a letter for others, you can type a letter on your PC and mail it to your own IN TRAY and leave it there to be picked up by the person or persons to whom you addressed it. Mailing a letter to yourself for storage in the IN TRAY is very simple: just enter your own telephone number in both the TO and FROM number lines in the address header of the standard message. Now when someone calls in from the outside they can pick up that message. A typical application might be used in the following situation: a mother or father wants to leave messages in their home mailbox for pick up by a college student son or daughter who is not around the dorm or apartment very often, or who may need to use a library or classroom PC to call home because they don't have one in their room or apartment. Mailing a letter to your own IN TRAY addressed to a particular person, is a great application for families or offices where one or more people are frequently out or traveling. A secretary, for example, might type a message for her "boss" and leave it in her own PC where he can dial in from say, an airport hospitality suite, hotel or another office. This function let's the individual who is "out of contact" get in contact as his own time and whereabouts allow. Mailing to the IN TRAY is also especially useful when one person has a PC that works behind an office or company PBX where a receptionist is taking all the incoming calls rather than the PC with Personal-E on it. All the messages you wish that person behind the PBX to receive can be left in your own IN TRAY for that individual and he can pick them up by calling out to your Personal-E Mailbox. Expensive REMOTE STORE AND FORWARD subscription services work in exactly this way. But with Personal-E, by contrast, you have personal private storage, the storage is local on your own computer, and its free. Any family or office can set up a given PC on a direct line as its own private remote store and forward "hub." SPECIFICS OF USING BROADCAST PICK UP AS A CLUB OR GROUP BULLETIN BOARD If you want many people to pick up the same message follow these steps: 1) Address the message to the group name: e.g., Sales Team, Pilots, Sewing Club, Customers. 2) Type an * in front of the name: e.g., *Sales Team, *Pilots, or *Sewing Club, *Customers. The * tells Personal-E to leave the message in the box until you erase it, no matter how many people pick up a copy. Leaving the * off it means you want only the first person who asks for the message to receive it, and the message leaves your mailbox when that person calls in. 3) Mail it to your own mailbox or the server PC being used for Broadcast by using the standard Write and Mail procedures. If you are using your own PC as the broadcast box, mail the letter to your own IN TRAY by entering your own phone number in both the TO and FROM number fields of the address header. When Personal-E sees a letter sent to the sender's number it puts that letter in the IN TRAY. If the letter is going to a server, it goes down the phone line just like any other message to the server's IN TRAY. The server PC could be in the next room in an office on a direct dial extension or across the country. 4) Be sure that you have Password Protection on the mailbox being used for broadcast and that the members of the group know the PASSWORD and the NAME to use when calling in: Sales Team, Pilots, Sewing Club, Customer, etc., because when they call in, they will be asked for both the Password to that particular Personal-E Mailbox and a Name in order to gain access to the information you have left. 5) In commercial applications where the general public is calling in to a server, you can publish any appropriate Password and Name you wish. For example, a pizza shop might use a Password like "HOT STUFF" or simply "MENU" and advise its customers to use a creative NAME like : "Pizza Lover" or plain "Customer" and a magazine might use its own name as a "PASSWORD" and tell callers to type "Subscriber" or "Reader" when checking for update information. SPECIAL SECURITY FEATURES OF PERSONAL-E: Though BROADCAST PICKUP can be very useful for the immediate family--especially when some members are behind PBXs and you can't send mail directly to their PC, keep in mind that anyone to whom you give your password can call in and ask for mail under any name. Like your home answering machine messages, e-mail messages left in the IN TRAY are usually meant for just "you and yours." Your Personal-E Mailbox is always private and locked unless YOU TAKE THE ACTION OF PUTTING PASSWORD PROTECTION ON and telling others your PASSWORD. If you ever feel an unauthorized person has had access to your mailbox, just change the PASSWORD. For ongoing CLUB, GROUP, OFFICE or GENERAL COMMERCIAL applications, it's best to use Personal-E on a "server" PC set aside for BROADCAST purposes. This setup prevents public mail from ever getting mixed with your individual mail and, of course, frees up the phone line from the high traffic of public access. In homes or home offices with two phone lines and more than one PC you might want to run Personal-E on both computers and make one your "BROADCAST" mailbox and keep the other for your private use. After all, the neat thing about Personal-E is that it is personal and individual PASSWORD protection makes it so. But Personal-E also features a double protection mode that let's you use one mailbox for both public broadcasting and private messaging. VII. DOUBLE SECURITY FOR PUBLIC AND PRIVATE MESSAGES IN ONE MAILBOX Because Personal-E allows remote pickup only after a password and a specific name have been entered, you really have two passwords. Instead of using your real name for the second password, you and your family or team members can make up any code name you want comprised of either numbers or letters. For example, suppose the three people in your family or home sales office are named : Bill, Bob, and Alice and you would like to leave mixed messages in your mailbox for pickup. Some private messages to them as individuals and some for them or outsiders as a team: say soccer team, or national sales team. You simply agree privately with the individual person(s) that you will leave mail for them that's private not under their real name, but under a code name you have decided on in advance together. FOR EXAMPLE: Bob = X007 or Smoky or Ranger5. Only Bob knows to enter his NAME as X007 when he dials in. If some general distribution messages were left there for him under his real name, he could have entered: X007+Bob and received both the private and general letters. A family or office that wants to have both private and public messages in the same Personal-E Mailbox can then tell all the members in its general user group the main password and tell them to use: Soccer Team, or Sales Team for example when dialing in for the general public messages, but to use their Private Message Name or Code Name to pickup mail meant only for the individual. Code names, like passwords, can be changed at any time to protect messages, and in this way one Personal-E Mailbox can be used both publicly and privately at the same time while retaining message security. Managers can also assign the second name or code name to special groups of individuals and in this way one Personal-E Mailbox is just about infinitely flexible in terms of being able to hold mixed batches of public and private messages for one person or many. From love note to pharmaceutical prescription, security is high with Personal-E. Individual code names can be as many as 30 characters of mixed numbers or letters. VIII. TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL-E MAILING In our QUICK START example of mailing a Personal-E message, your letter could not have been received unless you sent it to another PC where you knew the user had his AmerCom Personal-E Mailbox software installed and operating in either background or foreground mode. Establishing good mail delivery is easy, because you can compose messages at any time and save them in your OUT TRAY for mailing at an agreed upon time, to a server PC or a location where a user automatically loads his Personal-E Mailbox at the start of the workday. A little cooperation between you and your AmerCom user group will go a long way toward establishing regular mail transfer. While most PCs at work are generally left on all day--and servers for 24 hour operation--you may have friends or family who prefer to keep their PCs off if they are not at home. A good idea is for everyone on your Personal-E family network for example to agree to leave their PC's on say from 6-9 at night. That time becomes your Personal-E Mailbox delivery window and something to look forward to. As was explained in the introduction, however, it is not expensive to leave your PC on like an answering machine, and Personal-E rapidly recovers the electricity cost in saved long distance messaging. 24-hour instant mail delivery is yours almost for free if you leave your PC on. Another alternative is to use a work place PC as a message hub and simply copy your mailbox.dat file to your floppy Personal-E and take it with you when you go home for reading after work. When you realize that a 1,200 word letter sent across the country by Personal-E typically costs as little as 17 cents, while it would cost you $2.00 to talk long enough to say 1,200 words, Personal-E long distance messaging becomes especially attractive. Families with college students at a distance can find themselves trading in $50 monthly long distance bills for $2.00 of Personal-E messages--with good ideas in them that deserve printing out and saving perhaps--or with trip and homecoming schedules written down. Although human conversation isn't replaced by e-mail, there are many times when both parties who need to talk aren't at phones at the same time. That's when dropping off a Personal-E letter for parents or friends to pickup whenever they can, makes great sense. While the warmth of a voice conversation is important, the power of the written word should never be underestimated...there's a lot of truth in the notion that when people really mean something, they put it in writing. And writing a message at your own pace allows you to think through your ideas and choose your words carefully, while phone conversations force us to speak frequently without time for consideration. Business executives will find they save hours of "chit chat" time and compose a more succinct message by using Personal-E instead of the phone, and collectively a company can save a great deal in phone charges and lost productivity time. Take a laptop on a business flight and compose numerous messages for your firm or customers, then send them home, to a customer, or to the office when you get to another company office or hotel. The more you use Personal-E, the more ways you'll find to use it and the more money you will save over conventional mail, FAX, or long distance calls. And that's when you will want to share it with your friends and business associates. Remember, every time you exit the program you can print out a registration form for a new friend or associate you would like to have on your Personal-E Network. If you register them or they register themselves at the standard v1.0 $29.00 price, AmerCom will send one free gift copy to the communications partner indicated on the form. Effectively, every time you buy a copy of Personal-E, you get one free for a communications partner of your choice. Commercial users can elect to have their complimentary matching copies donated to either the GOOD CONNECTIONS PROGRAM or the ELECTRONIC DEMOCRACY PROGRAM, which aid respectively the deaf or public schools and libraries. Every registered user also receives technical support, application notes, and major discounts on software upgrades. So let us know who you are and how you're using Personal-E. We love to hear from our customers: Send us a Personal-E Mailbox message at 503-452-8190 and tell us how you like the program and any special applications you have for it. For information on corporate site licenses Voice call AmerCom at 503-452-8196. Now find your own check list of great reasons to own Personal-E below. IX. GREAT APPLICATIONS FOR BUSINESS Businesses cut monthly FAX costs up to 80% Businesses cut long distance phone charges by wide margin--1,200 word conversation costs $2.00--a 1,200 word PE message costs 17 cents. Businesses get automatic customer inquiry records with name and phone numbers for follow up; Personal-E creates self-building customer data bases. As inquiry is almost always the first step to purchase, Personal-E generates quality sales prospects as a by product of customer connectivity. Businesses have no cost quick note LAN with zero maintenance for workgroup connectivity. Businesses connect to customers not on the private company network and build communications link to sales prospects. Personal-E is low cost enough to be given to every customer of interest as a sales calling card--chances are it's less than a N.Y. lunch. Accountants, lawyers, consultants, advertising and sales executives providing professional services requiring regular client contact give Personal-E to their clients to increase practical connectivity and proactively demonstrate commitment to client service. These professions frequently require written confirmation of orders or requests for action, and Personal-E provides it. Retailers leave sale announcements for regular customer pick up and encourage store and shelf traffic with a "SALE OF THE WEEK" Personal-E announcement posted new every Friday. Restaurants leave menus for pick up and take orders automatically, then print out the meal order (the customer's message) with the customer's name and phone attached for office workers to pick up or have delivered. Mailbox records allow follow up direct mail selling for repeat business. Airlines, public transportation, theaters, ticket offices and all organizations having schedule information for the general public can leave performance time, ticket price part lists or other information usually called for--user gets print out including your promotional message at his end. Banks leave interest rate and loan availability information for customer pick up along with their own promotional messages for a variety of their services. Personal-E can be given out to customers when new accounts or services are started. Software firms leave update and help information for customers to pick up automatically. Pharmacies get secure prescriptions from physicians. Pharmaceutical companies can present physicians with Personal-E as a gift accompanying sales call, demonstrate support for disabled, or provide them with automatic prescription filing application. Stock brokerage firms leave short recommendations or summary newsletters for investor pick-up and promotion of the firm's services. Editors, researchers, and public servants get widespread instant polling capability and can leave questions for reply in bulletin board mode. Personal-E records are dbms compatible and can be imported into popular programs for automatic report generation that speeds accuracy and timeliness of polling results while dramatically lowering handling costs. Industrial sales forces can encourage regular contact from customers by freely distributing Personal-E with their products as both a promotional item and practical gift that continues to work for their company during the sales process and long afterwards. Healthcare organizations can leave emergency help directions or schedules. Police and fire departments can leave safety announcements. Professional and trade associations can leave announcements of major positions or events. Retailers get a customer feed back tool: Drop us a note "on how we can improve." Small businesses get extremely low cost voice and e-mail on the same line for just the cost of Personal-E one time--no monthly service charges ever. Personal-E's low cost makes it a great premium or gift to a customer base signing up for a credit card or major purchase and can be customized with your company's name: PERSONAL CONNECTIVITY SOFTWARE COMPLIMENTS OF ... YOUR COMPANY NAME Businesses can be responsive to mainstreaming disabled Americans while getting all of the above commercial benefits. SOME THOUGHTS FOR MIS MANAGERS WHY CAN'T ORDINARY BBS SOFTWARE DO ALL THE ABOVE: Ask the PC user in the street or PC Magazine: too expensive, too complicated, non-standard files, log ons, scripts, etc,; not line compatible with other devices, don't connect with many places other than to other sophisticated sites--frequently requiring monthly payments. Thus they are not practical for the general public user unsophisticated about telecom. Nor would you want to "GIVE" your customer group a monthly access payment to talk to your sales force. Using Personal-E by contrast is as simple as making a phone call--and is virtually free for both parties. Technically, most BBS packages are large programs and they can't autoanswer stand alone in background. Consequently, they tie up the user's PC for everything but waiting for that one call. Few of the above applications would be feasible the way most individuals actually use their PCs. Keep in mind, too, that Personal-E requires virtually no training or experience to use while even simple BBSs do have administrative requirements that intimidate the computer novice and in some cases, even the experts. WHY CAN'T FAX DO IT ALL There are 10 PCs with modems for every FAX machine installed. FAXES require separate preparation of the message, toner, paper and maintenance. They are slow and expensive compared to P-E, frequently costing up to 10x as much for a message--even when being sent locally. FAX machines don't create databases; they create waiting lines and paper--and certainly aren't cheap enough to give to all your customers who might want one. But most importantly, you can't poll with the typical FAX machine. FAX doesn't provide half the customer interactivity benefits of e-mail and nothing like Personal-E's point-to-point, customer-to-store, person-to-person e-mail capability. Personal-E on discount is $29.00, while a FAX machine on discount is $290.00. WHY CAN'T CORPORATE E-MAIL SYSTEMS DO IT ALL They're all relatively complex and require system administration. They are expensive to maintain, usually private (poorly connected compared to the general phone net) computer networks that require intensive user training. Furthermore, you can't freely put all your customers or the general public on the net for reasons of cost, security, complexity or all of them in combination. Frequently, customers have their own system and have little motivation to use yours. WHY WILL PERSONAL-E BECOME A STANDARD Its low cost, simple to use interface is extremely powerful and universally well connected by ordinary phone line. It is the most functional tool of its kind for both businesses and families. In fact, you can't buy a product that will do everything Personal-E can do and run on every platform it will run on from hand-held calculator-sized mailbox, to laptop, to 486 and beyond--regardless of what you pay for it. It works with all standard modems, PC's, and environments of importance like Windows. Hardware requirements are minimalist: 128K of RAM, an 8088 processor and optionally, 1 floppy drive. A PC doesn't live that can't run Personal-E. The street price of 2400 modems is now $35.00. Personal-E is the most useful application since the word processor and really a natural extension of word processing technology on the PC. It doesn't compete with corporate e-mail systems while it extends the utility of a company's existing PC investment by dramatically increasing customer connectivity. At AmerCom we believe good business is all about personal communications and personal connectivity with the customer is the most important kind of communication you can have. Lastly: AmerCom is a community and customer service oriented company that donates its software widely to the disabled and public schools and libraries for the common communication good. In this context, it is one of the most "standard" and accessible software packages in the country and provides a practical means to actually make real the Electronic Democracy or Town Hall concept through the AmerCom Public-E Mailbox (TM) program. X. GOOD CONNECTIONS PROGRAM AND ELECTRONIC DEMOCRACY PROGRAM DETAIL FOR HUMAN RESOURCES PERSONNEL From 17 to 34 million Americans have a speech or hearing impairment. While 2 million are totally deaf, around 13 million generally require special equipment in order to communicate. Over the last 50 years outdated TDDs, telephone devices for the deaf, have become a standard by default, even while personal computer and communications technology have surpassed them from every point of view: utility, connectivity, simplicity, and cost. Most unfortunate of all, these often expensive machines that cost as much as today's complete color PC systems, normally do nothing but send one line of type like a ticker tape at a very low speed. Besides their lack of usefulness for other tasks, TDDs are used almost always only by the deaf and their immediate family--unlike personal computers which are in over 60 million American offices and 20 million American homes. In the interests of mainstreaming hearing and speech impaired Americans and connecting them to the huge base of personal computers now available, AmerCom implemented it's autoCHAT feature in Personal-E. AutoCHAT provides the disabled person with the ability to have a split screen conversation if he is home or have his PC store electronic mail when he is away while delivering all the functionality and general connectivity of a PC. Personal-E lowers the cost of helping the disabled in state and federal government offices, in commercial offices, and in individual homes. And best of all under AmerCom's GOOD CONNECTIONS PROGRAM the software is free for the deaf on the following basis: Under its copy matching plan, every license purchased by a commercial or government customer is matched by AmerCom one for one through nationally recognized educational institutions, associations, or state and federal public services organized to support the deaf with hearing resources. We hope this manual has pointed out the usefulness of Personal-E for all of us. When you add in how it can help 10%+ of the United States population--your friends, family, customers, and fellow citizens to be part of mainstream life--exercising your GOOD CONNECTIONS PROGRAM option is a must. THE ELECTRONIC DEMOCRACY PLAN AND YOUR CORPORATION A system for allowing Americans to communicate electronically with their representatives has been talked about in computer circles for over 20 years. With Personal-E AmerCom actually makes such a system possible because we: a) donate copies to legislators, government officials, and the general news media who write us on their office stationery stating their intention to setup at least one PC with Personal-E for public contact b) donate copies to public schools and libraries By providing public access at no charge almost everyone is enfranchised. In addition AmerCom makes 1.0 available on public access bulletin boards for the modest price of $29.00, so almost anyone who owns a PC can also afford their own legally registered copy. Lastly, we match any copy registered by a commercial organization with a copy for a public shool or library. So if you wish to encourage your employees to write their representatives on issues important to them and your company, we urge to join us in the public distribution of Personal-E Mailboxes throughout the country. Because almost all Personal-E messages can be sent in under 1 minute, the cost to contact your representative is about 17 cents. This is much cheaper than FAX and importantly, at the representative's end, Personal-E messages can be imported automatically into a data base manager for automatic counting and reporting of the people's comments, votes, or wishes on a given issue or topic. The database capability dramatically speeds and lowers the labor costs of the government office by comparison with the hand tabulation of thousands of paper FAXes. And the number of phone lines busy also declines while paper is saved at both ends of the communication. Quantitative results and accuracy are also benefits to the legislator. XI. TROUBLE SHOOTING Most problems with telecom connectivity are hardware based: noisy telephone lines and inconsistent modem performance. If you are having trouble sending or receiving mail with Personal-E follow these steps: 1. Make sure you have a correctly installed 2400 modem connected to your PC and that power is on to the modem if it is external. 2. Double check the port on which you have installed your modem 1-2-3 or 4 and run setup.exe in the PEM directory, making sure you tell Personal-E to use the same port number to which your modem is connected. 3. Load Personal-E in the foreground and wait for the "READY" message to appear in the mail slot. If the READY message comes on, you should be set for trouble-free communication if the person you are calling also has a PC with Personal-E running properly in the foreground. It's better to test with both PC's running the program in the foreground to eliminate the possibility of any interference due to a particular PC's background handling of memory. If you can't get to the ready message, Personal-E cannot talk to your modem for some reason and it is possible the unit is not really Hayes compatible. Follow this guess up by turning your computer off and trying again. If you have just used another telecom program it may have left your modem with its own setup string and not released it fully to Personal-E. 4. If both you and a target recipient do get the ready message; try a short test message. If you still can't communicate, make sure you and the recipient both have your program started with home.bat and try again. If this first retry doesn't succeed, have the recipient turn off any other devices such as an answering machine or FAX or TDD that they have on the same phone line and try to send the message again. If your message gets through without those other devices on the line, you know they were the source of the problem. 5. If an answering machine is causing a problem it is almost always because the user has set in a very long outgoing message. Have the recipient check his outgoing message for length and leave just a very brief test message; for example, "Sorry, I can't take your call right now. Please leave a short message at the beep." If short messages don't correct the problem you may have a very rare type of machine that just can't work with a modem on the line for some reason. Personal-E has been tested on a great variety of answering machines from $29.00 to $200+--models over 10 years old to newer ones-- and works fine across that range; but answering machines are not all standard and yours may have a unique circuit or built-in feature that causes a problem. When you call your communication partner, have him watch the mail slot window and report what he sees. Personal-E should say: "seeing a ring, answering the phone, Personal-E on line" in that order if all is well. If you do not receive this string of messages, the chances are Personal-E and your modem are incompatible. See if you can test Personal-E on a new low cost modem at a computer dealer near you or a friend's house. New 2400s are available today for as little as $35.00 in the discount stores, and almost all of them work properly with Personal-E. If after all these attempts, you still can't connect, contact AmerCom for technical support, and we will try to troubleshoot your problem over the phone. APPENDIX A) Modem compatibility B) Working with Microsoft Windows (R) or running Personal-E as a DOS program TSR C) Use with Telephone Devices for the Deaf or TDDs D) Modifying your autoexec.bat so it will always start Personal-E in background mode whenever you turn on your PC Using high memory for Personal-E in the background and the loadhigh command E) Running in QUICK or high speed mode A) MODEM COMPATIBILITY Personal-E will work with almost any 2400 baud modem sold as Hayes compatible from low-cost internal cards to expensive external units. Very high speed or special purpose modems that don't readily "step down" to 2400 baud and generally costing over $200, may or may not work. Frequently the latest generation of high speed devices can communicate only with their own type at the other end of a connection and many have special compression and transfer protocols that are only usable with specific software. If you have a very fast, usually expensive modem, that you use with large downloads or complex telecom procedures, consider putting a low cost internal card in your PC for day to day messaging as speed is not an issue with Personal-E. Almost always, simpler lower speed modems are more standard in their connection procedures and more reliable as they are generally more immune to noise on telephone lines. FAX MODEMS Personal-E will work fine with most FAX/MODEMS but you must take some care with automatic software settings that come with your product. If your device automatically configures itself for FAX only receipt, for example, you may have to reset it with your device's software to be able to receive data also or data only. Some FAX software may not pass control to Personal-E when the modem answers the phone. In this case you may have to disable the FAX software before running Personal-E. It is not likely that you can auto-receive, unattended, both Personal-E mail and FAXes. You will have to choose one or the other to set your computer to auto-receive. Of course you can switch easily from one to the other when you want to send mail or send a FAX. When you switch to FAX from Personal-E choose exit with background off upon exiting Personal-E. This way Personal-E is completely unloaded from your computer and cannot conflict with normal FAX operation. Upon returning to Personal-E you must have disabled your FAX software so it does not conflict with Personal-E. You will have to read your FAX documentation to see how that is done. Also some programs are loaded from the autoexec.bat program when you start your computer. If one of these is the FAX program then you may need to alter the autoexec.bat program so that it doesn't load automatically but still allows you to load it manually. IN GENERAL If you find that Personal-E is not indicating Ready in the mail slot at the bottom of the main menu within 15 seconds after you start the program, chances are your modem is not truly Hayes or Personal-E compatible and you might want to try Personal-E with a friend's modem or upgrade your current modem. Most computer dealers will let you try your software first since it does not have to be installed. Just take your floppy copy of Personal-E with you, find out what com port the test modem is connected to and type mailbox com2 (or 1,3, or 4) as appropriate. If your modem is on com3 or com4, the less frequently used communication ports, you might try connecting it to com2 first before abandoning it. For a variety of technical reasons, some PC's and software will treat a modem more kindly if it is on com2 where it is less likely to experience "interrupt conflicts." If you have other devices in your computer such as sound cards, midi cards, cd-rom cards, optical scanner cards, voice recognition cards, bus mouse cards or other devices that produce serial port input and output, your modem may be conflicting with these other devices for interrupt attention--regardless of what telecom software you use. If you have another communications program, try to run it and see if you can properly dial out through your modem before deciding that you have a problem between Personal-E and your modem. It is beyond the scope of this manual to resolve all the IRQ conflicts that may stem from hardware competition when many different devices are installed in your PC and compete for communications port attention. A little reading in the manuals for your add-in devices can usually clear up the conflict by offering you a method for changing port assignments or IRQ settings on either your modem or the other device. You can usually find out for sure if a particular card is causing a problem for the device you are trying to work with by temporarily removing the competitor from your PC. B) WORKING WITH MICROSOFT WINDOWS OR RUNNING PERSONAL-E AS A DOS PROGRAM TSR Running Personal-E as a background task under Microsoft Windows 3.0 or 3.1 is an excellent way to use the product if you have a fast 386 or 486 machine. Windows users should keep in mind that real multitasking (actually running more than one application at the same time--not just task switching) requires 386 Enhanced Mode Operation and usually a true 386 processor (not an SX unit) and 4 megabytes of memory for adequate performance. If you do have a fast PC, follow the instructions in the Windows manual for setting up a "non-Windows" or DOS application by using the PIF editor to create a Program Information File. In the PIF file enter the correct program startup name, usually HOME.BAT, and directory PEM, so Windows knows where to find the program. Then modify the following key settings: . Check the background operation box . Clear the check from "detect idle time" box (default is checked) . Give Personal-E a background priority of 100 and a foreground priority of 100 . Lock application memory The other PIF default settings are fine. If you should have trouble receiving mail in the background, have a friend place test calls to you while you increase Personal-E's background priority in increments of 500 units at a time until Personal-E performs normally--the slower your machine, the higher you will have to set background priority. Communications programs in general when "downloading in the background" demand a lot of attention from your cpu. If you are running multiple tasks, Personal-E may not be getting enough attention to housekeep the communications port properly. In general, give communications programs the highest background priority you can without slowing down your foreground work to the point where foreground speed is unacceptable. Once you have set up a satisfactory PIF, click on the PEM Icon for Personal-E Mailbox to send mail or have a chat and just minimize the application to an Icon when you want it in the background receiving mail automatically, or staying ready to be polled or announce a CHAT on line. If you are going to use Personal-E in "Waiting for incoming Chat" mode, select it from the foreground F3 Mail choices before minmizing the program. In this mode Personal-E will receive mail or announce a Chat caller on screen. But you will have to expand the mailbox to check for a Chat conversation or alternately, shrink the P-E note window down to a small area you can leave visible in the corner of your display--rather than minimizing it as an Icon. Then when a call comes in, Chat as usual can announce to you who is on line. If no announcement is made immediately following your phone pick up, then the call was e-mail. If you are not using Chat, but would still like to be visually alerted to new mail, shrink P-E to a tiny window around the IN TRAY= 0 field. Then you can "run it" as a background task while keeping the counter visible like a clock that notifies you of NEW mail as this number is updated automatically. If you have been away from your desk for lunch or a meeting, you can see at a glance if you have any new mail or be updated while you work on another program--and you let a voice answering machine screen voice calls or take messages. ***********IMPORTANT NOTE************** When running P-E as a task under Windows, DON'T select "Background mode ON" from the EXIT menu as that choice attempts to load the background program TSR for DOS users. ALWAYS exit Personal-E with background OFF when in WINDOWS, and in that environment Windows itself will manage the program as a background task. *********************************************** If you accidentally EXIT with background ON, on some machines, the EXIT will take place normally and the request for background operation will be ignored while you are still under WINDOWS. On others you may get a Windows POP-UP support message right away and then a device conflict or error message when you restart the program. This is because Windows now believes that you want the Background TSR to have the communications port connected to your modem. This confusion will prevent Personal-E from working properly the next time you launch it as your foreground application. If you attempt to restart the program in the foreground and receive a device conflict message, the program may then lock up and force you to do a warm reboot. If you can exit Personal-E normally from the program, do so. If you cannot exit normally, use the Windows SETTINGS SELECTION to terminate the application. In order to be sure that Personal-E and your modem and Windows are all back to normal, it is also a good idea to exit from Windows and restart it to clear out any conflicting commands. The Background ON exit selection is only for users who run P-E as a TSR under DOS. Similarly, you cannot load P-E in background mode from your autoexec.bat or leave it TSR from DOS and then switch to using Personal-E under Windows, unless you unload it first. Windows will report Device Conflict when you try to launch the program, believing the TSR wants control of the com port. In sum, use Personal-E in the background from DOS or use it as a background task fully managed under Windows. But don't try to manage it from both environments at the same time. HOW TO USE PERSONAL-E ON SLOWER 386SX OR NON-MULTITASKING (Real and Standard Mode) WINDOWS MACHINES BY SWITCHING TO IT FROM WITHIN WINDOWS AFTER THE PHONE RINGS Personal-E will operate reliably in the background on high performance machines, but communication programs place an especially large demand for attention on the cpu. If you are multitasking many programs and setting a high priority for Personal-E in the background slows down your other apps too much, create a PIF that gives Personal-E normal priority, runs it in the foreground only (clear the background box), and uses the Quick.bat start up command. Machines that don't have 386 Enhanced Mode capability can also use the following task switching technique to run Personal-E in a convenient, effective way. When you begin your workday, start Personal-E, minimize it to an Icon and then switch away from it to any of your other applications. When your phone rings, Press Control/ESC to raise the Task Manager and select Personal-E or click on it's minimized Icon with your mouse. It is now the active application and will answer the phone on the next ring it sees because you have set it to Quick Mode, an autoanswer mode that normally acts on the first ring your modem sees. After Personal-E picks up the phone, you can go ahead and pickup your phone, too, and say hello as usual and then hang up if you hear silence that indicates mail is coming down. Personal-E will take over after your hangup and receive the mail, polling or CHAT request. When your new mail has come in--about 10 seconds later. You can read it on the spot or switch back to your other task. If you do use Personal-E this way, it's also a good idea to make a second PIF with home.bat as the starting command FOR WHEN YOU WANT TO SEND MAIL and click on that PIF when you start the program for writing and sending. When you finish sending, exit normally, click on the Quick Icon to start the program again and then tuck it away behind the scenes. WHY? When you call out using home.bat, Personal-E checks for the presence of a voice answering machine or other device at the receiver's end. When you answer in Quick mode, however, you tell the computer to pick up the line on the first ring after you task switch to Personal-E. If you are there to take a voice call, obviously no pause for an answering machine is necessary and your voice conversation or mail transfer can proceed immediately. This system of switching to Personal-E after you have already answered also lets you determine if the call is voice or mail. If you are going to be away from your computer for some time and want to leave Windows up and running, while you also leave your voice answering machine on, create a PIF that uses the AWAY command and use it to start Personal-E as the foreground task while you are gone. RUNNING PERSONAL-E AS A DOS TSR BEFORE YOU START WINDOWS If you experience problems receiving mail in the background when Windows is running on any class of machine--slow or fast--and the task switching system seems cumbersome to you, Personal-E offers you a solid alternative trouble free method for getting mail while you optimize WINDOWS Performance. USE the following special command to load the program from the PEM directory: mailbkg com2 +r1 (use correct com port number) In this case DOS will manage the program and it will not slow down your Windows environment with communications multi-tasking. The only requirements for you to remember are the following: a) Exit Windows to run the foreground program; do not call it from within the environment b) Exit Personal-E with Background OFF after checking your mail and restart it in the background with the special command above. c) Restart Personal-E with a normal AWAY command when you are gone and wish an answering machine to work with Personal-E. d) NOTE that the parameter +r1 tells your modem to pick up on the first ring and wait for a Personal-E message. This is fine when you are working in Windows and your phone is right by your computer. If you usually need a couple of rings to get to the phone, set the "+r" parameter to +r2 or +r3 and let your phone ring that number of times before you pick up. With the above settings you can have very reliable background answering behind WINDOWS without owning a high performance cpu machine. RUNNING PERSONAL-E AS A STANDARD TSR UNDER DOS If you have an older machine that is not fast enough or does not have enough memory to run Windows at all, or you just don't use the Windows environment, you can start Personal-E in background mode at any time from the PEM directory and the DOS prompt just by typing: back. "Back" is a batch command you created in SETUP that selects your answering machine and com port settings but then loads Personal-E in the background as a TSR or temporarily system resident program. Personal-E will stay in the background and collect mail automatically while you work on other programs until you UNLOAD it or reboot your system. REMEMBER: the BACK command assumes you are "home" to answer your phone after two or three rings--because you are either in the vicinity of your computer or working on some other program in the foreground. Always use AWAY to start the program when a person is not going to try and answer the office or home phone. There are two ways to UNLOAD the background program. Start the foreground program and go directly to the EXIT screen by pressing DONE. Then select EXIT with background OFF (you can perform any regular mailing tasks before you exit if you wish). There is also a separate unload command you can use from the DOS prompt. Go to the PEM directory and type: "mailbkg u" which stands for mail background unload. If you wish to carry out a mail task and then leave the program resident in the background, select Exit with background ON and the TSR will be automatically restarted. Although it is rare that Personal-E and another program will interfere with each other, when Personal-E is in the background, it can happen that a particular foreground program and the background program interrupt each other. If you find a foreground program "stalling" or that Personal-E doesn't answer the phone properly when another program is active, try to avoid using them at the same time. The types of programs where you might have conflicts are usually only of two kinds: 1. other TSRs--multiple memory resident programs can sometimes interfere with each other 2. games or graphics programs that push your computer's available memory to the limit. One special category of program that can't run simultaneously with Personal-E is another telecommunications program that tries to talk to your modem at the same time. You must use one or the other. We suggest that if you are a regular user of telecom, you just start Personal-E and select Background OFF when you need to go to your other program; then restart Personal-E in the background after a conventional telecom up or download. If you forget that Personal-E is on or another telecom program is on and you try to launch one communications program on top of the other--your computer and modem won't be harmed, but with some programs you might find that you have to reboot to clear completely the lock up of your modem. With others a device conflict error message will report to the screen and you will be allowed to exit and clear one program or the other. If you have a communication problem right after a device conflict situation or Personal-E cannot reset to READY in the mail slot window, the chances are your modem may not have cleared the command conflict completely. In that case, exiting your current application and restarting your computer cold is the best solution. BACKGROUND OPERATION REMINDER: If you are going to be away from your computer for an extended period of time, it is better to leave Personal-E in the foreground for maximum reliability. Furthermore POLLING can only operate when the program has been left in the foreground or being run under Windows on a true multi-tasking machine. When using Personal-E on a server, therefore, it always makes sense just to leave the "program up" in the foreground for maximum functionality. C) USE WITH TELEPHONE DEVICES FOR THE DEAF OR TDDS A TDD can be hooked into the same phone line as a PC running Personal-E and the two devices will not interfere with one another when a call comes in. If you have a Windows class machine, you can leave Personal-E in waiting for Chat mode, minimize the application and go about your work. When a call comes in as indicated by your home light or vibration signaling device, click on the ICON for PEM and you will see immediately if you have received a request for a CHAT. On screen you will see: "Hello, it's Name of Calling Party". If your Personal-E call was not a request for CHAT, you have new mail. Press DONE to go to the main menu and read your mail. If you are a hearing impaired person and are running Personal-E to receive both mail and Chat, we recommend you leave your machine in Chat mode when you are not using your computer for another program. In Chat mode, running as a standard DOS foreground program, Personal-E will take either mail or a request to CHAT. When you are using your computer for a regular application in the foreground, we suggest you put Personal-E in the background and take E-mail messages only. CHAT mode itself cannot run in the BACKGROUND of a machine running plain DOS; but it can under Windows as mentioned above. If someone does call in and try to Chat with you while you have Personal-E in the background, they will receive a message that your mailbox is not available to Chat--a type of busy signal. In offices where there are hearing impaired staff, a server PC can be left in CHAT mode and also act as the office E-mail station since the PC running Personal-E can accept either application automatically. In General, Personal-E should help many commercial organizations be proactive about connecting their speech or hearing disabled employees to customers or families. Because Personal-E connects the speech or hearing impaired person to all the people who have PC's and not just TDD's, the disabled person has a greater access to mainstream work and play by gradually extending his communications group over to PCs. PCs are so low cost today that many full color models actually cost less than a TDD device and offer the disabled person a whole new world of connectivity, entertainment, and practical application programs besides. At the same time, many organizations still only support the older TDD/TTY devices. Having both is the best of both possible worlds until almost all TDDs become computer compatible as the newest ones usually are. Today a number of TDD's have built in "ASCII 300 baud" modems. Those that do can communicate directly with PC's running Personal-E in CHAT mode. The software and modem team up to automatically detect high speed e-mail when it is coming in, CHAT from another Personal-E unit, or CHAT from a TDD with an ASCII modem. We believe that many disabled persons will save time and money and have more enjoyable conversations if they choose to run Personal-E in CHAT mode and have the convenience of a two-color split screen simultaneous dialogue that always lets each person "talk and hear" at the same time. D) MODIFYING YOUR AUTOEXEC.BAT FILE SO IT WILL ALWAYS START PERSONAL-E IN THE BACKGROUND Personal-E is so practical and so easy to use just like an answering machine--set it and forget it--that many users will want to have it "always on" without having to think about starting it each day or when they turn their computer on. DOS makes it possible for you to tell your computer which programs to start automatically by adding commands to a file called the autoexec.bat which stands for automatically execute on start up the batch of commands this file contains. This file is in the root directory of your hard drive. CAUTION: Generally, it is not a good idea to modify your autoexec.bat file if you haven't had some fairly experienced person teach you how. It's not very complicated, but the commands in that file affect the basic way your computer behaves and you can make a mistake pretty easily if you don't know what you are doing. If you are an experienced user, open the file and add these commands to the bottom of your file: c: cd\pem back.bat If you regularly boot your system to WINDOWS upon startup and want to use the special background command above: mailbkg com2 +r1 (use correct com port number) you can use it instead of back.bat. Remember, however, that after you have checked your mail with the foreground program and exited to the PEM directory with Background OFF, you will want to restart the program with the special background command again. Assuming you have Personal-E installed on drive c: and have run setup.exe as indicated in the install procedures at the beginning of the manual, these commands will automatically start Personal-E in background mode when you turn your computer on. If your "boot up" screen doesn't scroll by too quickly, you will see the message: Personal-E Background Program installing in background. If you have a complex shell or environment running on your computer, read the manual for that product on autoexec.bat files and/or TSR programs. If you are an inexperienced user, make a backup system disk on a floppy with your current autoexec.bat file copied onto it. Then edit your file on the hard drive and try rebooting your computer. If everything starts up fine, Personal-E should be there behind the scenes waiting to answer automatically on the number of rings you set. Test the theory by having someone call you on the line connecting to your PC's modem. Count the number of rings until the phone stops. It should be one ring less than you set for your answering machine when you installed Personal-E and ran setup.exe. Better still register and have the friend with the gift copy of Personal-E send you your first message. USING THE HIGH MEMORY AREA FOR PERSONAL-E IN THE BACKGROUND AND THE LOADHIGH COMMAND UNDER DOS 5.0 For most applications there is no need to load the Personal-E background com program high. In some cases, however, your foreground program will want absolutely all the conventional memory available. Large games, desktop publishing and some spreadsheets can demand all your memory. You will know when this happens if you have loaded Personal-E in the background and then get an out of memory message when you try to load another program in the foreground. When in the background, Personal-E requires from 20-21K depending on the size of message buffers it creates. DOS 5.0's memory manager and others such as those from Quemm and Quarterdeck can help you free up RAM under 640K by letting you load TSRs and device drivers into the high memory area where they generally don't compete with other programs. To use a specific memory management program, see the appropriate company's manual but identify Personal-E's background command startup call and parameter settings first by using the following step: 1. From within the PEM directory use the DOS TYPE COMMAND: type back.bat DOS will then print on your screen the complete command you need to enter in a memory manager or as your startup command following LOADHIGH. It should look like the following: mailbkg com2 +a14 +,7 (use correct com port number) You can't use back.bat itself because loadhigh doesn't accept bat or batch file commands. IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember, if you load the foreground program and exit with Background OFF, you will unload the program from high memory. To put it back there answering in the same mode, you must enter the complete command from the DOS prompt in the PEM directory: For example: loadhigh c:\pem\mailbkg com2 +a14 +,7 If you just want to leave Personal-E in the background, but not in high memory per se, then Exit with Background ON as usual. E) RUNNING IN QUICK OR HIGH SPEED MODE In general operation Personal-E is so powerful just because it can work on the same line with other devices like answering machines or TDDs and in some cases, even with FAX machines without your having to buy additional hardware. However, if you have a clean line--one dedicated to Personal-E communications--say between two or more offices, you can start Personal-E in QUICK mode and tell people using that line that they can call in QUICK mode. In simplest terms, QUICK mode says, send this message as fast as you can--don't worry about any other devices on the line. Cases where you might want to use QUICK are typically special applications where a server is getting many hundreds of calls or requests for information from the general public and you literally want to shave 15-30 seconds off every possible transmission and connect period--so that more people can get through on the same line. A senator's office, for example, receiving Personal-E messages on a hot issue. A magazine editor receiving Personal-E letters to the editor. A market research firm collecting a wide body of consumer responses. An airline with a posting of arrival and departure lines in a message for pickup, and so forth. In short, where many are trying to get information from or to one point. If you have set your computer to CALL in QUICK mode and try to reach the majority of machines set up in normal home or away answering machine mode, you will not connect. For this reason we recommend only using QUICK in commercial applications where both the calling party and the receiving server know that this is a "QUICK CONNECT SITUATION." Keep in mind that Personal-E is always fast, regardless of mode, and almost all messages are sent in under one minute all the time whatever mode you are in. And while you shouldn't call out in QUICK mode unless you know you are going to another PC set up in QUICK, your computer can receive in QUICK mode from any other Personal-E regardless of how the user started it. In this mode a server will always answer on the first or second ring and speed the whole message transaction. F) MAIL FILE MANAGEMENT AND DATA BASE APPLICATIONS It is not likely, but occasionally, a mailbox.dat file will receive a corrupted message--one that has a transmission error in it. If this should happen, you will get an error message on the screen and not be able to load that particular mailbox.dat file or start the foreground program. You can recover from this situation by loading the mailbox.dat file into most editors or standard word processors that import ASCII text files where you will be able to read all of the messages (and the corrupt characters usually) that did come through. If they are important you can, of course, print your messages out from the other program and then delete the corrupted mailbox.dat file. The next time you start Personal-E it will create a new mailbox.dat file and ask you to restart the program again. As a housekeeping policy, it is a good idea to erase old letters frequently, simply because this makes your mailbox easier and faster to use and minimizes the possiblity for errors caused by a damaged file affecting a large number of messages. At any one time, the largest mailbox.dat file that can be loaded into your computer and reviewed in the foreground program is approximately 400k in size. This size can vary depending on your available RAM; but as a rule of thumb keeping your mailbox.dat down to less than 300k max, is a good idea. When Personal-E is in the foreground it periodically stores newly received messages to hard disk to save them in case of a power loss or an unexpected reboot of your system. When Personal-E is in background mode, incoming messages are saved to disk in a file called: mailbkg.rcv. This file is temporary, disappears when empty and then is created again as needed. When Personal-E is used as a commercial server operating in background mode over a long period of time, mailbkg.rcv can receive as many bytes of messages as are freely available on your hard disk. It is possible thus to create a mailbkg.rcv file larger than can be loaded into RAM when you start the foreground program. When this case occurs, Personal-E takes the largest chunk of messages it can from mailbkg.rcv when you start the foreground program and moves them in to the current mailbox.dat file that you are reading. To look at additional messages you must then erase some of the messages you just reviewed in the foreground to make room in the mailbox.dat for more new ones. The next time you start Personal-E, it will again take the next largest chunk of messages it can, until you have finally reduced the mailbkg.rcv file to zero. In general applications it is not likely you would encounter the above situation as many hundreds of short messages would be required to fill up a mailbox.dat. Version 1.5, however, has been designed for political polling and market research applications so that a mailbox.dat or mailbkg.rcv file can be called directly into a standard PC dbms program such as dBASE(R) or Paradox(R) for automatic analysis of customer, constituent, or general public responses on a large scale. If you have a data base management application please inquire about Version 1.5 and its ability to automatically convert large message files to all the standard data base, spreadsheet, or word processor formats for many types of automated reporting, polling analysis, and customer mailings. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON APPLICATIONS OR HELP WITH TECHNICAL PROBLEMS CONTACT AMERCOM BY: Personal-E Mailbox Number: 503-452-8190 FAX 503-452-8190 VOICE 503-452-8196 Or write us at PO Box 19868, Portland, OR 97280-0868 Hayes is a registered trademark of Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. Microsoft is a registered trademark and Windows is a trademark of Microsoft, Inc. Personal-E Mailbox (TM) v 1.0 User Manual. Last update 3-23-93/10:11. Copyright (c) 1992, AmerCom, Inc.
Volume in drive A has no label Directory of A:\ GO BAT 36 6-18-93 8:40a MAILBOX EXE 67736 3-25-93 11:50a SETUP EXE 13424 3-11-93 7:18a README 1ST 8869 3-24-93 11:33a README DOC 143304 3-24-93 2:42p INSTALL BAT 1039 3-29-93 10:27a MAILBOX DAT 1161 3-26-93 10:44a MAILBKG COM 16256 3-25-93 12:01p SHOW EXE 2040 9-12-88 10:48a 9 file(s) 253865 bytes 63488 bytes free