March 2005
Vol. 22, No. 1



A Technology Newsletter for Extension Specialists

 
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E-mail Revealed
by John Myers

E-mail is our number one user application, but we don't always know enough about it. It's time we review a few facts about our e-mail system and understand the new changes that will be implemented March 21st.

The first thing to understand about our e-mail system is that there are limits. We have limits on the amount of space, the size of messages, and the number of people we can address in a single message.

We have two places for storing e-mail; our mailbox and our personal folders. Since personal folders reside on our own computers or file servers, limits are 2GB per personal folder and the size of your hard drive. The mailbox, on the other hand, has disk quotas that we all need to understand. The first quota starts when your entire mailbox exceeds 50MB. At this point, the e-mail system nags you with messages that you are exceeding your first quota. The second quota starts when your entire mailbox exceeds 100MB. At this point, the e-mail system prevents you from sending any e-mail until you get below 100MB. The third and final quota starts when your entire mailbox exceeds 150MB. At this point, all incoming e-mail to your mailbox is bounced back to the sender until you get below 150MB.

How do you know how much space you are using? To find out, right click on your name in the "All Mail Folders" box on the left side of your Outlook program and choose Properties. An "Outlook Today" window appears with a "Folder Size" button on the bottom left side. Left click the "Folder Size" button. A "Folder Size" window appears showing your total mailbox size as well as the size of each folder in your mailbox. You can decrease your mailbox size by either moving messages to your personal folder or deleting them. Remember, if you delete messages, you must empty your deleted items folder or they will still count against your quota.

The size of messages also has limits. The simplest thing to say is never make your messages bigger than 10MB. The internet connector to our e-mail system (the part that sends and receives messages outside of our e-mail system) has a limit of 15MB. Our e-mail system will allow 50MB messages to be sent internally, but this is a bad idea for two reasons. First, when you send a message, a copy is put in your sent items folder and that counts against your quota. When the user receives their copy then that is counted against their quota. Second, if the person receiving the message is on a slow link, it would take too long to receive and they would think something is wrong with their computer. Remember, when you have large files to send, use the S drive to distribute the file and then send an e-mail telling where you put the files.

There is even a limit on the number of people you can address in a single message. That limit is 500. That means that if you address a message to 501 people, then only the first 500 addresses would get the message. So, who would ever address a message to 500 people? Anyone who uses distribution lists. The e-mail system does not count a distribution list as one user. It counts all the names in a distribution list. So if you select multiple distribution lists in a single message, you will probably hit the 500 limit.

Now that we've talked about some of the limits to our e-mail system, you need to know about some mailbox management policies that are being put in place. The first policy went into effect at the start of the year and runs every evening and deletes any messages in the Junk E-mail folder that are more than 30 days old. The second and more important policy is the one that will be implemented on March 21. This policy will automatically remove any item in the Deleted Items folder that is older than 60 days. "Remove" means that the messages are gone and can not be retrieved by the Recover Deleted Items option. So do not use the Deleted Items folder as storage. Any messages you wish to save should be moved to another folder in your mailbox or your personal folders.

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Last Revised: 08/04/08

 

 

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