Columbia MM
MM Manual


When sending mail, you can simply type in any valid address on the To or cc lines. Common examples are shown here. You can send to more than one address by putting commas between the addresses, as shown on the last line here.

 jb51, jpbus@cuvmb,, xyz@matrix.bitnet

You can type a question mark at the To or cc prompts to see a list of possible forms of address.

 To: ? confirm with carriage return
  or "*" to send to a file
  or "@" to obtain addresses from a file
  or mail alias
  or "." to send to yourself
  or quoted string
  or <mailbox>
  or network address

The following describes each of the options:

"*" to send to a file

. Type an asterisk and a filename, and the message is written to a file in your directory. That lets you keep copies of mail you send. In this example, the mail is to be kept in a file named mymail.

MM will create an fcc field and put the filename in it. It is slightly preferable to create the field yourself; one way is with the fcc command at the S> prompt, as shown in the second example.

 To: jb51, *mymail

S>fcc mymail

"@" to obtain addresses from a file

. Type an @ sign and a filename to have MM copy the address from a file. This is a way to keep a mailing list in a file. The file must consist of one or more valid addresses, separated by commas, usually one line per address. In this example, the file of addresses is named friends:

 To: @friends

mail alias

. A mail alias is any address you can use that substitutes for a real address. You can use the define command to create your own mail aliases; the mail alias functions as a nickname or as a reference to a mailing list. There are also systemwide mail aliases (like postmaster) that anyone can use. Just type the mail alias as the address.

"." to send to yourself

. To send a copy to yourself, you can use a dot (period) instead of typing out your own userid. You will receive the message as incoming mail.

 To: jb51, .

quoted string

. A string in quotes is just passed along and not interpreted by MM. You may sometimes need to quote a strange address on another network. As an example, to send to /pn=s.cobol/o=fishnet/admd=telemail/c=us/ on the SprintMail network, you need to quote the SprintMail part of the address to hide the / and = marks from MM. It looks like this:

 To: "/pn=s.cobol/o=fishnet/admd=telemail/c=us/"


. You can put a valid address in angle brackets < >, and then add additional text that the mail system will just pass along. For example, MM writes the From line as Name <address> so that your real name appears in addition to your mailing address. You may find that format useful to keep track of names on a mailing list. You should use < > only when you have additional text; the address by itself can stand without < > marks.


MM tries to detect invalid formats in addresses, to save you trouble. As soon as you finish typing each address (meaning, usually, typing a comma or the return key), MM parses the address, and if it fails the test MM puts up a message like ?invalid mail recipient. If you simply typed it wrong, retype it; or send mail to postmaster to ask about the address format. To force the address to be used, put it in " quotes and MM will not check it.

Errors that come from files (your mailing lists) and from messages being replied to are reported by the message Invalid address and a prompt asking Use anyway?. By choosing y, you can force the address to be used. The prompt is caused by the variable use-invalid-address at its normal setting of ask, which is recommended, so that you know when there is a problem. The variable does not affect what happens when you type the address yourself.

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