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PC-SIG Diskette Library (Disk #3624)

[PCjs Machine "ibm5170"]

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                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


        PERSONAL-E  MAILBOX (TM) Shareware V1.0

            Voice answering machine-compatible
   PC-to-PC direct, background resident electronic mail
                over ordinary phone lines


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

     MAKE  a directory on your hard disk called:

            PEM for Personal-E Mailbox

        COPY  all files to the PEM Directory


        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.


   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

    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.


    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

    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.


    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

    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.


    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.



    If you haven't used electronic mail before, you'll be
surprised at how many useful applications there are for


          ...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..."


    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.


   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.


    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


    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:

     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

              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]


Name of Recipient of Gift Copy
Company name ifany _______________________________________
Phone(s) Voice/P-E________________P-E or DATA_____________
Greeting card text: ______________________________________
Your name_________________________________________________
Company name if any_______________________________________
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.


will appear on the opening Personal-E title screen
customized by AmerCom for you at your request.


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.



    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.


    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."


    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
    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.


    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.


    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

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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

    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


    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.


    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.


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.






                    OPERATIONS MANUAL


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

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

       Corporate Matching Plan Descriptions
       for Human Resources Personnel



    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



    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

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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

    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

   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

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

    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:


    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,

    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 

                 They must be the same.


    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.


    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.


    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

   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

    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!


    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:


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

    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:


    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

    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

                 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 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

    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.


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.


    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.


    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

    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.


    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.


    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

    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


    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.


    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
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

    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.


    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

       "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:

    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.


    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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."


    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


    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.

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.


    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


    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
which aid respectively the deaf or public schools and

    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

    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.


    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

    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

          ... YOUR COMPANY NAME

    Businesses can be responsive to mainstreaming disabled
Americans while getting all of the above commercial



    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

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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

    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

    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.


    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.


    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

    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.


    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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


   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

    The only requirements for you to remember are the

              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.


    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

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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:


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.


    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

    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

    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.


   Remember, if you load the foreground program and exit
with Background OFF, you will unload the program from high

   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.


    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

    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

    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.


    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

    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

    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


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

Copyright (c) 1992, AmerCom, Inc.

Directory of PC-SIG Library Disk #3624

 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