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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition by David Pogue

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Chapter 20. Mail and Address Book

Email is a fast, cheap, convenient communication medium. These days, anyone who doesn't have an email address is considered some kind of freak. If you do have an email address or two, you'll be happy to discover that Mac OS X includes Mail, a program that lets you get and send email messages without having to wade through a lot of spam (junk mail). Mail is a surprisingly complete program, redesigned especially for Mac OS 10.4, and it's filled with shortcuts and surprises around every turn.

All that, and it's free.

Setting Up Mail

What you see the first time you open Mail (by clicking its icon in the Dock, for example) may vary. If you've signed up for a Mac.com account (and typed its name into System Preferences as described on Section 19.8.5), you're all ready to go; you see the message viewer window described on Section 20.2.1.

If you're using any other kind of account, though, you confront the dialog boxes shown in Figure 20-1, where you're supposed to input various settings to specify your email account. Some of this information may require a call to your Internet service provider (ISP). Here's the rundown:

  • Account Type is where you specify what flavor of email account you have. See the box on Section 20.1 for details; check with your ISP if you're not sure which type you have.

  • Account Description is for your reference only. If you're the type to have an affectionate nickname for your email account, for example, type it here.

  • Full Name will appear ...

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