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PM-DOS  April 2003, Week 4

PM-DOS April 2003, Week 4

Subject:

Re: Mail Options Menu and Disk Drive Access

From:

"Fred C. Macall" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 28 Apr 2003 17:42:32 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (65 lines)

Dear list members:

I don't want to set myself up as an authority on this question.
But since no one else has written . . .

I use Pegasus Mail v3.3 (r1) (for DOS), together with
PMPOP v1.10, for receiving mail, and PMSMTP v0.12b, for
transmitting mail.  I have these configured to find and deliver
my new received mail in .CNM files in my D:\DOSINET\MAIL
directory (on Sailboard, the PC I am writing from just now).

My observation is that PMAIL's last acts, before filling in its
Mail Options menu, are to:
Issue a DOS INT 021h Function 04Eh, Find First File, call
specifying D:\DOSINET\MAIL\*.CNM .
And then issue a series of DOS INT 021h Function 04Fh,
Find Next File, calls.  The number of Find Next File calls is
equal to the number of *.CNM files present.

It appears that PMAIL is using these calls to learn how many
new received mail items I have waiting.  That is, I suppose
it is issuing Find Next File calls until it receives an error
response, from DOS, indicating that it has been informed of all
of the *.CNM file(s) present.

Now the stage is set for the question at hand:
I observe that PMAIL seems to be further repeating the above
listed sequence of DOS calls, over and over, while it is
awaiting a selection from the Mail Options menu.

One's first reaction to this might be:  why does it bother?
Well, if one has an MTA TSR running or has provided network
access to their mail directory or has configured a network
provided mail directory on another machine, it might be
possible to receive new mail items while PMAIL is awaiting a
selection from its Mail Options menu.  I suppose PMAIL wants to
be aware of that if it happens.  If it did happen, I suppose
PMAIL would update the number at the bottom of the screen.

Whether DOS has to keep reading your mail directory from disk
to serve those Find ????t File calls depends on how smart it
is, how big your mail directory is, and the buffers= value(s)
configured in CONFIG.SYS.  My experience has been that more
recent versions of DOS seem to be smarter about this kind of
thing.  Of course, it would probably be too much to expect DOS
to serve those repeated Find File calls without doing disk I/O
if it couldn't hold all of your mail directory's directory
sectors in its buffers.

You may be interested to know that PMSMTP v0.12b supports SMTP
servers that require or offer the AUTH LOGIN SMTP extension.
As PDPMPOP (the Packet Driver based version of PMPOP) doesn't
seem to support AUTH LOGIN, PMSMTP widens the set of SMTP
servers that can be used by PMAIL.  PMSMTP v0.12b is available
from my Web site at:
http://members.nccw.net/fmacall/

Sincerely,

Fred Macall  K8GIV
1019 Pennfield Road
Cleveland Heights, Ohio, 44121, U.S.A.
(216) 382-3415
[log in to unmask]
fcm

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