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Can’t open the attachment? I often receive email from folks telling me they're unable to open the attachment, so they're unable to confirm what will be received by the sailor. Without exception (knock on wood), they're using Microsoft Outlook Express, and their mail system was configured to block access to attachments. Since most viruses do their damage through attachments, Microsoft decided that the easiest way to minimize the likelihood of damage was to set the default configuration so that it blocked access to attachments. If you're unable to open the attachment (and assuming you're using Outlook Express), it's a simple process to regain access to the attachment:

  • A.

    click "tools", then "options"

  • B.

    from there, click the "security" tab

On the tab you'll see a checkbox which either allows or blocks access to attachments. Select which option you'd prefer, then click "OK" to exit from the process.

Please keep in mind that by being able to view attachments, your system is a bit more vulnerable to the nasty elements out there, so you might want to switch it back after you've confirmed the contents of the attachment.

AOL users: AOL is unique in all the internet service providers (ISP's) in that they have their own unique way of packaging email. All other mail systems simply "deliver the mail", but AOL insists on attaching additional data onto each email sent via AOL. I personally dislike the concept but that's the way AOL does it. As a result, if you're an AOL user, despite any changes you try making in your system, you'll always receive the "modified" messages, because the automated process sees this "extra" stuff as an attachment and deletes it - making it a "standard" email. I apologize to AOL users, but that's the way it is.

INCREDIMAIL users: Anyone out there who's using the "fancy" backgrounds (and pictures) provided by the incredimail process might want to think of discontinuing use of that service if you send a lot of email to a submarine. The reason is that incredimail adds an extra (blank) "section" at the top of all email. This guarantees that every email you send to someone onboard a submarine will be modified. The sailormail software has been specifically modified to support incredimail users, but there may still be occasions where what gets transferred to the submarine isn't what you'd intended.

I've received several requests from users of Yahoo Email, asking how to configure their system so they're sending in plain text mode. Here's the process, but please note that you don't have to make the change on our account. Since all modifications are 100% automated, it's no inconvenience at this end if you do or do not send using plain text.

  • log into your Yahoo email account

  • click "Mail Options" in the upper right

  • click "general preferences"

  • roughly in the center of the page you'll see a section on "composing E-mails". Select the "plain text" option

I hope this hasn't totally confused everyone. I try to enlighten anyone who asks, and so far, everyone I've explained this to, has been able to understand what's going on - and the reason for the modifications. If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know - and I'll address any concerns or questions you may have. The thing to remember is that just because you receive a note announcing your email is getting modified doesn't mean it's not getting delivered. In fact your email IS being delivered - but with the contents slightly modified.

REJECTED Email: As with any mail system, the Sailor Mail system receives a large number of email containing viruses, and we do our best to ensure these are not forwarded to the sailors. The system automatically rejects these emails back to the originators, letting them know their system might be infected. There's a problem here though..... it's not unusual for the wrong person to get the notification - here's why.

When a virus attacks a computer, it's common for a virus to replicate itself by sending a copy of itself to everyone in the address book of the infected computer. When it creates these emails though, it's common for the virus to attempt to hide the location of the infected computer by using some other address in the address book as the originator of those emails.

October 9 – October 15, 2006



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