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Old 02-10-2008, 02:35 PM
Dawn Light
 
Default Bad E-mail setup in office. I need advice

An inefficient E-mail setup in a small office needs to be replaced with a better solution. I ask for your wise advice.

In a landscape architecture office, there are several Windows XP workstations for the architects to do their design work with. One of those workstations has a common E-mail client installed which works with one E-mail account provided by the ISP. It receives from it using POP3 and sends to it using SMTP, as commonly done.

Some incoming messages are "adressed" to the office and some are "addressed" to the various architects ( There is only one E-mail address). Thus anyone who wishes to read his incoming messages and send messages needs to physically go and use the workstation with the mail client. This, if you haven't guessed already, it somewhat uncomfortable for daily work in the office.

The requirements are that all messages, inbox and sent, would be available to access from all of the workstations and that it would be possible to send messages from all workstations, also. This is still using the single account provided by the ISP.

I would appreciate it if I was described of a setup that should answer these requirements effieciently, including the protocols and software involved. I am willing to learn whatever skills required for this.

Any suggestions and comments about anything, including the phrasing of this message, are welcome and your help will be accepted with gratitude.

--
Dawn Light | שחר אור
E-mail: dawnlight@lavabit.com
Phone number: +972 09 774 0646
ICQ UIN: 50866262
Windows Live ID (Formerly MSN): dawnlight@lavabit.com
 
Old 02-10-2008, 03:25 PM
Andrew Sackville-West
 
Default Bad E-mail setup in office. I need advice

On Sun, Feb 10, 2008 at 05:35:21PM +0200, Dawn Light wrote:
...
>

> In a landscape architecture office, there are several Windows XP
> workstations for the architects to do their design work with. One of
> those workstations has a common E-mail client installed which works
> with one E-mail account provided by the ISP. It receives from it
> using POP3 and sends to it using SMTP, as commonly done.

do you have a debian machine that you want to use for this purpose? Or
are you asking debian people for a solution to implement on a windows
platform?


>
> Some incoming messages are "adressed" to the office and some are
>"addressed" to the various architects ( There is only one E-mail
>address). Thus anyone who wishes to read his incoming messages and
>send messages needs to physically go and use the workstation with the
>mail client. This, if you haven't guessed already, it somewhat
>uncomfortable for daily work in the office.

do you need to discriminate between the "office" mail and the
"architect" mail? If so, what factors identify the difference?

> The requirements are that all messages, inbox and sent, would be
> available to access from all of the workstations and that it would
> be possible to send messages from all workstations, also. This is
> still using the single account provided by the ISP.

well this is really fairly simple. Use fetchmail or an equivalent to
get the mail from the ISP. It will feed mail to an MTA, likely exim4
using a smarthost setup (one of the main configuration methods
available through debconf) and allowing relay from the LAN, and then it can feed mail to various
mailboxes**. Finally a run an imap server to provide that mail to any
client on the LAN. Install IMAP-capable clients on all the XP
workstations and set them all to use that server as their outgoing
mail hosts and you should be done.

Looks something like this for inbound mail:

ISP servers -> fetchmail -> exim4 -> mailboxes** -> IMAP server (I
like dovecaot).

outbound:

workstation -> exim4 -> ISP smtp servers

** if there is a way to discriminate between mail for different
people, then you could inject procmail or its equivalent between
exim4 and mailboxes step to sort that mail appropriately.

A
 
Old 02-10-2008, 05:40 PM
Jochen Schulz
 
Default Bad E-mail setup in office. I need advice

Dawn Light:
>
> Some incoming messages are "adressed" to the office and some are
> "addressed" to the various architects ( There is only one E-mail
> address). Thus anyone who wishes to read his incoming messages and
> send messages needs to physically go and use the workstation with the
> mail client. This, if you haven't guessed already, it somewhat
> uncomfortable for daily work in the office.

If I were you, I'd take an existing Debian machine and install Dovecot.
It could provide all clients with the mails fetched by fetchmail. You
just need an IMAP capable mail client (even Outlook Express should do,
although I wouldn't recommend it) and then the architects could access
their mail from their own workstations.

If there is a reliable way to recognize which mail is addresses to which
architect, you could even filter the mails using procmail or maildrop so
that each architect has his/her own mailbox.

Then set up your MTA (default: exim, I prefer Postfix) to relay mails
for all your clients and you're done. This is a very common setup,
postfix.org should provide you with some example configurations.

J.
--
It is not in my power to change anything.
[Agree] [Disagree]
<http://www.slowlydownward.com/NODATA/data_enter2.html>
 
Old 02-10-2008, 08:31 PM
Ron Johnson
 
Default Bad E-mail setup in office. I need advice

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 02/10/08 10:25, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:
[snip]
>
> Looks something like this for inbound mail:
>
> ISP servers -> fetchmail -> exim4 -> mailboxes** -> IMAP server (I
> like dovecaot).

Or...

ISP servers -> (on Debian mail server) fetchmail -> postfix ->
spamassassin -> maildrop -> individual Maildir folders accessed by
courier IMAP server.

Workstation MUA then use IMAP protocol to access email from the
Debian box.

This web page is pretty old, but mail server design doesn't change
much...

http://www.firstpr.com.au/web-mail/RH90-Postfix-Courier-Maildrop-IMAP/

> outbound:
>
> workstation -> exim4 -> ISP smtp servers

Or...

workstation (using smtp) -> (on the Debian mail server) postfix
(configured as satellite host) -> ISP smtp servers

- --
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA USA

PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:48 AM
Mihira Fernando
 
Default Bad E-mail setup in office. I need advice

Dawn Light wrote:

An inefficient E-mail setup in a small office needs to be replaced with a better solution. I ask for your wise advice.

In a landscape architecture office, there are several Windows XP workstations for the architects to do their design work with. One of those workstations has a common E-mail client installed which works with one E-mail account provided by the ISP. It receives from it using POP3 and sends to it using SMTP, as commonly done.

Some incoming messages are "adressed" to the office and some are "addressed" to the various architects ( There is only one E-mail address). Thus anyone who wishes to read his incoming messages and send messages needs to physically go and use the workstation with the mail client. This, if you haven't guessed already, it somewhat uncomfortable for daily work in the office.

The requirements are that all messages, inbox and sent, would be available to access from all of the workstations and that it would be possible to send messages from all workstations, also. This is still using the single account provided by the ISP.

I would appreciate it if I was described of a setup that should answer these requirements effieciently, including the protocols and software involved. I am willing to learn whatever skills required for this.

Any suggestions and comments about anything, including the phrasing of this message, are welcome and your help will be accepted with gratitude.



If ISP offers IMAP, configure mail clients all work stations to use IMAP
to access the email box at the ISP.
If no IMAP is offered, next easiest to do is to enable the "keep mail on
server" option in the POP3 settings and configure all work stations to
use POP3. In ALL works stations enable the "Keep mail on server" option.


Otherwise a local mail server is the solution but it is a bit more
complex than the above two methods.


Mihira.

--
"Not many people know when love really starts...
More than a friend, but not quite lovers.
A delicate relationship like this changes gradually once it is noticed,
and keeps on blossoming, Just like the changing seasons."
-- Kanzaki Kyoichi


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Old 02-11-2008, 12:54 PM
Ron Johnson
 
Default Bad E-mail setup in office. I need advice

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 02/11/08 06:48, Mihira Fernando wrote:
> Dawn Light wrote:
>> An inefficient E-mail setup in a small office needs to be replaced
>> with a better solution. I ask for your wise advice.
>>
[snip]
>>
>> Any suggestions and comments about anything, including the phrasing of
>> this message, are welcome and your help will be accepted with gratitude.
>>
>
> If ISP offers IMAP, configure mail clients all work stations to use IMAP
> to access the email box at the ISP.

An idea, but no business in it's right mind wants to leave email out
of it's control.

> If no IMAP is offered, next easiest to do is to enable the "keep mail on
> server" option in the POP3 settings and configure all work stations to
> use POP3. In ALL works stations enable the "Keep mail on server" option.

Oh puh-leeze.

There's a *reason* POP is the *Post Office* Protocol. Do people
with snail mail post office boxes leave their mail in their P.O.
box? No. They grab it and bring it home/to the office.

> Otherwise a local mail server is the solution but it is a bit more
> complex than the above two methods.
>
> Mihira.
>


- --
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA USA

PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:53 AM
"s. keeling"
 
Default Bad E-mail setup in office. I need advice

Mihira Fernando <mihiratheace@gmail.com>:
>
> If no IMAP is offered, next easiest to do is to enable the "keep mail on
> server" option in the POP3 settings and configure all work stations to
> use POP3. In ALL works stations enable the "Keep mail on server" option.

I'd like to live in Theory. In Theory, everything works.

On the other hand, keep mail on server means every invocation of
fetchmail grabs yet another copy of the mail box, and if you've set it
up to poll every five minutes, you may find you have six thousand
copies of whatever landed in your mailbox that day.

... Like I did last week. Let me tell you, determining how to
judiciously blow away the six thousand copies. leaving the originals,
can be an interesting problem in itself. There may be a fetch only
new mail setting, but I've never needed it before and certainly didn't
think I'd need it. Time to reread the manpage.


--
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
(*) http://blinkynet.net/comp/uip5.html Linux Counter #80292
- - http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1855.html Please, don't Cc: me.


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Old 02-12-2008, 07:53 AM
Tzafrir Cohen
 
Default Bad E-mail setup in office. I need advice

On Tue, Feb 12, 2008 at 02:53:53AM +0100, s. keeling wrote:

> On the other hand, keep mail on server means every invocation of
> fetchmail grabs yet another copy of the mail box, and if you've set it
> up to poll every five minutes, you may find you have six thousand
> copies of whatever landed in your mailbox that day.

Actually, practically all POP3 servers support listing the content of a
mailbox and also providing the UUID of each message, which allows the
client to decide which messages to fetch.

IIRC, that is.

--
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http://tzafrir.org.il | | a Mutt's
tzafrir@cohens.org.il | | best
ICQ# 16849754 | | friend


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Old 02-12-2008, 10:01 AM
Mihira Fernando
 
Default Bad E-mail setup in office. I need advice

Ron Johnson wrote:

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 02/11/08 06:48, Mihira Fernando wrote:

Dawn Light wrote:

An inefficient E-mail setup in a small office needs to be replaced
with a better solution. I ask for your wise advice.


[snip]

Any suggestions and comments about anything, including the phrasing of
this message, are welcome and your help will be accepted with gratitude.


If ISP offers IMAP, configure mail clients all work stations to use IMAP
to access the email box at the ISP.


An idea, but no business in it's right mind wants to leave email out
of it's control.


If no IMAP is offered, next easiest to do is to enable the "keep mail on
server" option in the POP3 settings and configure all work stations to
use POP3. In ALL works stations enable the "Keep mail on server" option.


Oh puh-leeze.

There's a *reason* POP is the *Post Office* Protocol. Do people
with snail mail post office boxes leave their mail in their P.O.
box? No. They grab it and bring it home/to the office.


Otherwise a local mail server is the solution but it is a bit more
complex than the above two methods.

Now where's your wise cracks for this option hmm ?


Mihira.



The OP asked for suggestions. I offer 2 which are extremely easy to
setup options that can and is being used with minimum hassle. How viable
it is for his office, is up to the OP to decide.


Using a local mail store is indeed the best solution but it is more
complex. once again its up to the OP to decide which method to use.
He may have adequate mailbox space at his ISP and he may not have a
problem with his mail sitting at the mailbox at his ISP either.

We dont know either case so why speculate on it ?
After all he asked for options, and my first 2 options are the easiest
to set up. It doesn't reek with geekness but maybe the OP doesn't need a
solution that has uber geek written all over it ?


My suggestions are valid. Even you have to agree on that (even though
they may not be sleek solutions).

Let the OP judge for himself which method he wants to use.

Mihira.
--
"Not many people know when love really starts...
More than a friend, but not quite lovers.
A delicate relationship like this changes gradually once it is noticed,
and keeps on blossoming, Just like the changing seasons."
-- Kanzaki Kyoichi


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Old 02-12-2008, 10:06 AM
Mihira Fernando
 
Default Bad E-mail setup in office. I need advice

s. keeling wrote:

Mihira Fernando <mihiratheace@gmail.com>:
If no IMAP is offered, next easiest to do is to enable the "keep mail on
server" option in the POP3 settings and configure all work stations to
use POP3. In ALL works stations enable the "Keep mail on server" option.


I'd like to live in Theory. In Theory, everything works.

On the other hand, keep mail on server means every invocation of
fetchmail grabs yet another copy of the mail box, and if you've set it
up to poll every five minutes, you may find you have six thousand
copies of whatever landed in your mailbox that day.

... Like I did last week. Let me tell you, determining how to
judiciously blow away the six thousand copies. leaving the originals,
can be an interesting problem in itself. There may be a fetch only
new mail setting, but I've never needed it before and certainly didn't
think I'd need it. Time to reread the manpage.


The suggestion of keeping mail on the server was not meant to be used
with fetchmail. Whatever gave you the idea to put fetchmail in to that ?


'keep mail on server' + fetchmail (mpop,etc) is a disaster waiting to
happen and I certainly didn't suggest that.


Mihira.

--
"Not many people know when love really starts...
More than a friend, but not quite lovers.
A delicate relationship like this changes gradually once it is noticed,
and keeps on blossoming, Just like the changing seasons."
-- Kanzaki Kyoichi


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