Columbia MM
MM Manual


There are several ways to keep a copy of your messages, from just typing in your own address on the cc field to setting up files and automatic routines. MM does not keep copies of the messages you write unless you tell it to do so.


Addressing to yourself

If you only occasionally want copies of your own messages, it is easiest simply to enter your own userid (address) into one of the address fields (To, cc or bcc). You don't even have to type your userid; a dot (period) indicates yourself. A copy of your own message will arrive as mail, usually seconds after you mail it.

Addressing to a mail file

Rather than have the copy to yourself come in as mail, you can tell MM to write the copy directly to a mail file in your own directory. MM will add the message to the end of the file, or, if the file does not exist yet, MM will create it.

One method is to type the filename, preceded by an asterisk, into any address field; MM will put the filename into an fcc header field. You can specify the fcc field more directly, using the command fcc at the S> prompt to put the filename into an fcc field. In the following example, a display command is used to see the result:

S>fcc mymail
S>display headers
From: Joseph Brennan <>
To: fb2
Cc: mm33, hk12
Fcc: mymail
Subject: Meeting on Sept 21

You can remove an fcc field with the command erase fcc.

If you would like MM to prompt for an fcc field regularly, reset the variable prompt-for-fcc by typing set prompt-for-fcc yes and then save-init. The field is always optional.

The fcc field is removed during mailing, so people who receive your message will not see it (like the bcc field for addresses).


You can have all your outgoing messages saved to a file by either of two methods. Both involve setting a variable.

Using a saved-messages-file

The variable saved-messages-file defines a mail file for copies of all your messages. The filename does not appear in a header field. To use it, type set saved-messages-file and a filename; the directory is assumed to be your home directory (generally the one specified by mail-directory). The variable must be set to some value, so if you want to unset it later, set it to /dev/null, the standard empty file. Use the save-init command to save any change.

MM>set saved-messages-file mymail

MM>set saved-messages-file /dev/null

Using a default-fcc-list

The variable default-fcc-list places an fcc field in every message automatically. You can then use the commands fcc and erase fcc to adjust the fcc field in any particular message. To set it, type set default-fcc-list and a filename; you should always specify a directory in the definition to avoid problems. To unset it, omit the filename. After any change, use the save-init command to save it.

MM>set default-fcc-list ~/mymail

MM>set default-fcc-list


When you have directed mail into a file, MM appends the message to the file, or creates the file if it does not exist yet.

When you use the methods involving an fcc header field or a filename preceded by an asterisk, and you do not specify any directory, MM uses the current directory, and appends or creates the file there. There is no problem if you have only one directory. However, if you have created subdirectories and start MM from one of them, that directory is the current one, and MM may surprise you by appending or creating the mail file there. You could end up with mail saved into files of the same name in various directories. Using default-fcc-list without naming a directory is especially likely to cause unexpected results.

The method using saved-messages-file is different, because the directory used is the one set by the variable mail-directory, which is generally your home directory.

[ Columbia MM Manual ]