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This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

Re: Mail systems on AOL

Article: 8412 of alt.hackers
From: (Daniel Garcia)
Newsgroups: alt.hackers
Subject: Re: Mail systems on AOL
Date: 8 Aug 1995 10:48:32 -0400
Organization: East Stroudsburg University
Lines: 96
Approved: Can you believe I forgot to add this the first time -- another
Pnews hack coming up :)
Message-ID: 407tg0$
Status: RO

Slaving away in a dark room, (Simon Joseph Dedeo) produced:
>Having read the RFC's for SMTP, I've been led
>to believe that sending mail is impossible unless
>one can telnet to the SMTP port of the destination

No - recieveing mail is impossible.  You can send mail
from anywhere as long as you can connect to port 25
of where you're sending mail to (for SMTP based mail
that is :).

>site (usu. 25). How, then, does mail from
>"escape"? Mail *seems* to be coming from something
>like "", but I'm unable to telnet
>to port 25 there. What's up with that? Isn't the
>ability to access that port necessary for two
>machines to exchange message texts?

If that machine handled incoming mail as well, yes it would
be necessary.  But - look at the name - emout - EMail OUT.
So, that machine's sole purpose is to shunt mail out of
aol onto the net.

>And now I'm *really* getting out of my league...
>When mail is addressed "", the mail
>program must access the DNS to locate the address
>to telnet to, right? So why does a telnet to
>return a "No address associated with name" error?

There is a special DNS entry called MX (for mail
eXchanger if i'm not mistaken which i very well
may be, as it's been known to happen before :).  If
you do an nslookup, setting the type to MX, on,
then it'll return with this list: preference = 15, mail exchanger = preference = 15, mail exchanger = preference = 15, mail exchanger = preference = 15, mail exchanger = preference = 15, mail exchanger =

Interesting side note, AOL uses HP machines for
their mail handling, at least, emin06 is an HP machine.

>apologies for the foolish statements in the paragraphs above.

Ditto here...

> [Sim Earth hack deleted ]

Hmmm - need a hack...


Went to a camera store with my fiance to price some lenses (she's
really into photography).  WHile I was there, I noticed a shelf
of video cameras garunteed not to work.  I asked one of the employees
there what was wrong with teh camera, and they said that it didn't
turn on.  They wanted $25 for it, so i figured what the hey, and picked
it up.

When I got home, I took it apart (always wanted to do that with
one of them :) and poked around inside.  The power switch button,
it seems, wasn't sitting right on the power switch, and the
battery contacts weren't coming out all the way to make contact
with the battery.  I had my roommate hold the batter to the contacts
(which were completely exposed with no case around them now), while
I hit the actual power button, and voila! I had a working camera.

Now, if only i can pull that off with the other cameras that they have
there ......


Wrote a small little program to generate sigs randomly (the sig
chosen for this message made me think of this :).  Getting the
mailer to use it was simple, just added a |~/bin/siggen to the
.mailrc file for my signature.  Posting was a little more difficult
though, it seems the versioun of Pnews that we have here doesn't
like taking sigs from a pipe.  So, I copied Pnews into my bin
directory, went through it (it's only a shell script :), and added
in a call to the sig generator jkust before it drops me into the
editor for posting.  After I had done that, I also wrote a simple vi
mapping to drop a sig on the botton of a message.  (Yeah, yeah,
it's vi, but hey - it works, and is much better than emacs when you're
either a) on a slow connection and/or b) on a machine with limited resources
such as disk space, etc...)

  /Daniel Garcia/Soon to be PhD Student/Virtual Environments / /
 /Linux  Hacker/C Programmer for Hire /#include <disclaimer>/The
 Answer's 42/|
,-------------+----------------------+---------------------+-------------- + /
|This sig was randomly generated for your viewing and reading pleasure.... |/


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