You can use your favorite social network to register or link an existing account:
Or use your email address to register without a social network:
Sign in with these social networks:
Or enter your username and password
Forgot your password?
Yes, please link my existing account with for quick, secure access.
No, I would like to create a new account with my profile information.
Welcome to the first post in a series I'm hereby referring to as "The Demystifying Chain." If you read Friday's post, you know that my goal, for you, is to uncover, illuminate, and simply explain some of the language of Office software and computing in general. Why? Because I know that feeling of YAY!—you've found the help article or training that you're pretty sure will explain what you need! But then, from the very first paragraph, you suddenly find yourself lost (maybe even bereft) because the writer assumed that you were already familiar with one or two words or phrases that are now stymying you as you attempt to cross that highway of do-it-yourself knowledge.
So! Shall we begin the beguine with e-mail terms? Oh yes; let's shall. Got those thinking caps on I suggested Friday? Good. (Off topic: In my mind, I see thinking caps and dunce caps as the same—you know, those pointy triangular hats. Does anyone know or have an idea what a thinking cap should look like? Talk to me in comments.)
Attachment An image, a video or audio file, or any other sort of data file that is sent along with an e-mail message as an "attachment."
Bcc line I already talked to you about how to use the Bcc line in a post from this summer, but let me just quickly tell you what it actually is...and then you can go learn how and why to use it.
Bounces Messages that can't reach their destination, and are returned to you, the sender. There are hard bounces (due to invalid e-mail addresses) and soft bounces (due to temporary conditions, such as full inboxes.)
Domain name This is the part of an e-mail address that comes after the @ sign. My e-mail address is msftCrabby@hotmail.com, so my domain name is hotmail.com. Yours may be live.com, comcast.net, gmail.com, microsoft.com (all my coworkers) or, if you've purchased your own domain name, your-own-funky-name.com.
Message header Message headers provide a list of technical details, such as who the message came from, the software used to compose it, and the e-mail servers it passed through on the way to you, the recipient. These details can be useful for identifying problems with e-mail or identifying sources of spam.
Subject line Not adding one before sending an email is Crabby's eighth biggest e-mail etiquette pet peeve (the first being the infernal Reply All button). The Subject line is where you put the, um, subject of your e-mail message. Sending messages without anything in the subject line is like writing a book without a title: Just don't do it.
Flame mail An e-mail message that is mean, hot-tempered, curt, or not-so-polite. It raises your hackles and gets under your skin. And unfortunately, it's contagious. Flame mail can rear its ugly, fiery head in regular e-mail, as well an on e-bulletin boards, online discussions, blogs, and so on. (I've already blogged about some other nasty things in email so you may want to take a look at that post to stay current with what are the latest, obnoxious things people with too much time on their hands are thinking up.)
POP3, SMTP, IMAP, & MAPI These are called "protocols" (a protocol being rules that describe how to move data to and from you) and there's too much info to put here. Good thing I already wrote a post about protocols, anyway.
I felt compelled to include this because it seems that people don't seem to be able to grasp the difference between the thing they're using to write and read email (the client) and how it gets to them or to the people to whom they're sending their email (via the servers).
Server A computer or program that responds to commands from the client in a minute(!). The server is like the generous-but-judicious, big ole granddaddy of the computer family. All wisdom flows from him to various children, grandchildren, and bocce ball buddies.
Client The grandchild of the granddaddy server: a computer that accesses files, software downloads, dusty old records, birthday checks, and other shared items provided by another computer (the server). This enables you to send, receive, and forward inappropriate emails at work and ancient, vapid rumors to everyone on your contacts list. Examples of e-mail clients are Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Windows 7 Mail, iPhone, Entourage, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, etc.
Disclaimer (NOW the disclaimer???): I know that there are a zillion more head-scratching email terms you want/need to know (MIME and Bayesian filter, for example), but the ones included in today's grab bag glossary of goodness were hand-picked by someone—me—who's had years of experience reading and taking to heart, customer comments and suggestions (and yes, okay, lots of dinner parties and family get-togethers where I often find myself cornered and peppered with questions—almost before I get my coat off and grab a drink, for heaven's sake). Well, this is my attempt to get a handle on that and put it to rest.
That being said, is there something YOU want explained? Put it in a comment and if a different YOU (someone who can explain what the first YOU needed), I beseech thee—YOU #2—to provide that wisdom.
Next up: Outlook jargon demystified. (While yes, it has to do with e-mail, it will be about OUTLOOK specifically.)
Crabby's Find of the Day: Quote from the inimitable and fabulous Lily Tomlin: "I personally think we developed language because of our deep need to complain."
Thinking cap = mortarboard with a light-bulb attached. Light-bulb lights up when thinker understands a concept or makes next correct logical step in thought process. Similar to Professor in Old Betty Boop cartoons.
ha! LOVE that swvtman!!!
Just for clarity's sake, MAPI is not a protocol - it's protocol-independent, but historically has used RPC as the underlying transport.
Brendan: Thanks for your comment and yes, of course you're correct. BUT "for clarity's sake" the people that need the this sort of basic info and the explanations I offered won't know what the heck you're talking about...
I started reading the Wikipedia article on Begin the Beguine, then found a streaming online audio clip and gave it a listen. It's great! Thanks! (Clearly, I'm easily distracted)
Casper: you and me both, buddy...
Sorry in advance if this is the wrong place to ask this question but I am being forced to use outlook for my e-mail at work and It Insists on downloading all my e-mail to that machine and deleting it on the server so when I get home and check the e-mail again the only e-mails that are there are the ones that have been sent since the last check at work. How do I tell outlook to leave the e-mail on the server?
TheMaDHaCkER: Depends on what email server you're using and the settings you've placed on it. Email me @ MSFTCrabby@hotmail.com & we'll so it out together...
Trying to find out how to reply