If you would like to create a file on your own microcomputer, and then use MM to mail it to someone, you need to copy it somehow from your computer to the one MM is running on: a procedure known as uploading. How you will upload a file depends on your microcomputer, its operating system, and the communications software you use to connect to the host where you run MM.
Since MS-Kermit, Kermit for MS-DOS, is widely used, the following example shows how to upload with Kermit.
In preparation, the file to be sent has to be in ASCII format, also known as text or plain text. Many word processors save files in their own special format, so they can include instructions about page layout and typefaces. Most have a utility that converts a document to an ASCII file. With some database or spreadsheet programs the conversion is called printing to disk. One way to check format on an MS-DOS computer is to try to read the file with the MS-DOS type command: if you can read it, it's an ASCII file, and if not, you need to do the conversion first, before you can upload it.
The basic procedure, as shown in the example below, is to run Kermit on the remote computer, shown by the prompt C-Kermit, and give it the command receive with an optional filename, given as mailstuff in the example. Then escape to the local Kermit, using alt-x, and give it a send command with the MS-DOS file specification (what drive, directory, filename), shown here as a:mydata.txt. When it's done, give the command c to reopen the terminal session and quit from the remote Kermit.
$ kermit C-Kermit, 4F(095) 31 Aug 89, 4.2 BSD Type ? for help C-Kermit>receive mailstuff Escape back to your local Kermit and give a SEND command... [alt-x] MS-Kermit>send a:mydata.txt
MS-Kermit: 3.11 7 Sep 1991 File name: MYDATA.TXT KBytes transferred: 0 Percent transferred: 100% Sending: Completed Number of packets: 86 Packet length: 4 Number of retries: 0 Last error: Last message: mailstuff MS-Kermit>c
... C-Kermit>receive mailstuff Escape back to your local Kermit and give a SEND command... [return] C-Kermit>q $
Copy the file into an MM message using the control-b command.
Message (End with CTRL/D or ESC Use CTRL/B to insert a file, CTRL/E to enter editor, CTRL/F to run text through a filter, CTRL/K to redisplay message, CTRL/L to clear screen and redisplay, CTRL/N to abort, CTRL/P to run a program and insert output.): Here's my data: [control-b] Insert file: mailstuff [OK] [escape] S>
Clean up afterwards by removing the file mailstuff, when you no longer need it on the mail host.
$ rm mailstuff $
You can use a similar procedure with Mac Kermit (for Macintosh) and with other communications software that uses the Kermit protocol. See the documentation that came with your software for more information.
If your communications software and your MM host both support another file transfer protocol, like Xmodem, you can use that as an alternative to Kermit.
Your communications software may have a command that sends an ASCII file from the PC as if it were being typed in. When this works, it is easier than uploading the file. Just get to the Message prompt in MM, and send the file. Since no error correction is being done, the file may get corrupted during the transfer, or the transfer may abort before it is complete. Kermit or other protocols are more recommended since they check for transmission errors.