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AAPM Reports - E-Mail and Academic Computer Networks
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Report No. 030 - E-Mail and Academic Computer Networks (1990)

Category: Reports

The purpose of this report is to provide readers with information regarding electronic mail and the facilities available on the computer networks that span the globe. The information ranges from an introduction for the beginner (Chapter 1) to more detailed information regarding the tools of communication that are normally available (Chapter 2) and an explanation of the various e-mail domains (Chapter 3). In order to facilitate the exchange of data or files they may be stored in some central location that allows users from anywhere in the network to request copies of the file or files they need. The file(s) are then dispatched automatically to the enquirer. Such systems are known as file servers and usually have the ability to send copies of files in response to mail requests (Section 2.4.2). In some cases it is possible to obtain files from remote systems using a method known as anonymous File Transfer Protocol (FTP). An introduction to the FTP protocol and a sample session are included in Chapter 4. Electronic data communication is an area abundant in acronyms as well as other terms that are sometimes difficult to comprehend. To assist the reader to overcome some of these problems a glossary of terms (Appendix G) has been included. We are particularly indebted to Christopher Condon of BitNIC at Yale and to Bob Hanisch of the American Astronomical Society who have generously allowed us to use portions of documents they prepared and to edit them to our own needs. Both Christopher Condon and Bob Hanisch should receive full credit for Chapters 2 and 3. If you detect errors the present editor must accept responsibility and errors or omissions should be brought to his attention. Apart from Chris Condon and Bob Hanisch, I would also like to express my appreciation to the members of the AAPM Computer Committee, Task Group #l, Marty Weinhous and Neal Tobochnik, who have assisted in the preparation of this document. In particular, Marty Weinhous has been very supportive during the editing phase. Writing a report on this subject is a little like trying to hit a moving target with a water pistol - the technology is moving so rapidly that additions and modifications to the copy have been required continuously in order for the text to remain current. For those persons who already have access to email we hope that the material contained here will not be too out of date but will assist you in making better use of those facilities at your disposal. You may wish to enrol in one or other of the mail bursters or list servers serving the medical physics community (See Appendix A). For those readers who do not have access to e-mail and the networks we hope that this document will both encourage you and help you to seek ways in which you may become a “user”. E-mail is a medium which is particularly valuable in maintaining communication with individuals in outlying areas and offers a means of providing software support to such places.

ISBN: 978-0-883188-06-4

Keywords: Email, Computer Networks, Servers, File Transfer Protocol, Bitnet
Computer Committee Task Group #1

Trevor D. Cradduck, Martin S. Weinhous, Neal Tobochnik

Committee Responsible: Imaging Informatics Subcommittee

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