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The RDMAIL Program
The RDMAIL program prints messages that have been sent to you by other
users of the system through the MAIL program. Your MAIL.TXT file in
your logged-in directory on PS: contains these messages.
Note: If your MAIL.TXT file contains mail sent by Version 4 of the
MAIL program, you must use Version 4 of RDMAIL to read it.
There are various ways that the system notifies you whenever there is
mail that you have not read. If another user sends you mail while you
are not logged in, you receive the following message the next time you
@LOGIN (USER) DBELL (PASSWORD) (ACCOUNT) 341<RET>
Job 35 on TTY42 29-Aug-79 16:14:12
You have a message
Another user may send you a message while you are logged in. In this
case, the system types
[You have a message from SENDER]
on your terminal.
Messages-of-the-Day sent to you when you are not logged in are printed
on your terminal automatically after you log in. However, if your
directory is set to REPEAT LOGIN-MESSAGES, you receive all
Messages-of-the-Day every time you log in. For more information on
the REPEAT LOGIN-MESSAGES subcommand, see the BUILD command help file.
If a system message is sent while you are logged in and you are
receiving system messages, you are notified immediately:
[New Message-of-the-Day available]
You can give the SET MAIL-WATCH command to keep informed of any new
mail you receive, especially if you have given the REFUSE
SYSTEM-MESSAGES command. You can add the SET MAIL-WATCH command to
your COMND.CMD file, if you have one, or type it each time you log in.
When you give this command, it tells the system to notify you when you
have new mail. You receive this notification only when you are at
TOPS-20 command level. At intervals of approximately five minutes,
the TOPS-20 Command Processor informs you that you have new mail
whenever it prompts you for a new command. This message appears on
[You have new mail]
You may give the INFORMATION MAIL command, even if you are not logged
in, to check on the status of new mail for yourself or other users.
To do this, type the following:
@INFORMATION (ABOUT) MAIL (FOR USER) name<RET>
The system returns with one of the following responses:
New mail exists
No new mail exists
Running RDMAIL To start RDMAIL, type RDMAIL after the TOPS-20 prompt @
and press the RETURN key. The program responds with the date and time
prompt as follows:
Date and time (/HELP for help)
If you have enabled WHEEL or OPERATOR capabilities, RDMAIL first asks
you whether you want to read your own mail or that of another user.
Special user (y or n)?
If you type y, you are indicating that you wish to read another user's
mail. Type y and press RETURN. RDMAIL then prompts you to type the
name of the user whose mail you wish to read. Type the user name and
press RETURN. RDMAIL then prompts you for date and time input. For
Special user (y or n)? y<RET>
User name: DNeff<RET>
Date and time (/HELP for help)
If you type n, you are indicating that you wish to read your own mail.
Type n and press RETURN. RDMAIL then prompts you for date and time
input. For example:
Special user (y or n)? n<RET>
Date and time (/HELP for help)
RDMAIL allows you to read your messages several ways:
o By giving a date and/or time
o By giving a program switch or combination of switches
o By giving a date and/or time combined with one or more
To read any new messages, simply press RETURN.
You can define a time period of mail you wish to read. To do this,
type a date and/or a time. A common TOPS-20 format is:
MMM DD,YYYY HH:MM:SS
For example, a valid date and time is May 22,1979 17:00:00. If you
type only a date, RDMAIL assumes the time 00:01:00. If you type only
a time, the program assumes the present date. RDMAIL responds by
displaying all messages you received on and after the date and/or time
If you type an invalid date or time, you receive an error message.
Three of the most common ones are:
?Invalid date format
?Invalid time format
?Day of month too large
After the error message RDMAIL returns with the prompt for you to type
a valid date and/or time.
You can use the RDMAIL switches after the prompt, either alone or
combined with date/time input. The RDMAIL switches are:
/ALL Types all messages, regardless of date.
/HELP Types the program help text, outlining the
time/date format and program switches and
/LIST Outputs messages to the line printer,
rather than to your terminal.
/MESSAGE-OF-THE-DAY Types messages from the system
Message-of-the-Day file, rather than from
your own message file.
/PERUSE Allows you to peruse messages, and gives
only the following information for each
Date: From: To: CC: and Subject.
/STOP Instructs RDMAIL to stop after each message
it types. At the end of each message, the
system prompts you to type RETURN for more
output. Reading Mail Using RDMAIL Switches
You type RDMAIL switches immediately
following the prompt, and may or may not
combine them with a date and/or time. You
have the options of combining switches and
preceding each switch with a space. To use
RDMAIL switches, type a slash (/) followed
by the switch name.
/HELP - HELP Switch
Type /HELP to get information on running RDMAIL.
After the help text prints on your terminal, the system returns with
the prompt for you to type date/time information and/or another
Note: HELP overrides all other switches that you may combine with
it. The system ignores all other specified switches in the
combination, and prints the full RDMAIL help text.
/ALL - ALL Switch
Type /ALL when you wish to read all messages in the mail file,
regardless of date.
/ALL may be combined with all other program switches except
/LIST - LIST Switch
Type /LIST when you want messages output to the line printer
rather than to your terminal. /LIST can be combined with
date/time input, and/or with /ALL. If you type only /ALL /LIST
after the prompt, RDMAIL prints all messages in your file on
the line printer.
/MESSAGE-OF-THE-DAY - System Message Switch
Type /MESSAGE-OF-THE-DAY to print mail from the system
Message-of-the-Day file (PS:<SYSTEM>MAIL.TXT), rather than from
your own message file. Since new entries in the
Message-of-the-Day file are typed on your terminal when you log
in, you normally use this switch when a new Message-of-the-Day
becomes available while you are logged in. /MESSAGE-OF-THE-DAY
may be combined with date/time input. It may also be combined
with all other program switches except /HELP.
When you type /MESSAGE-OF-THE-DAY after the prompt, RDMAIL
outputs all new Messages-of-the-Day since you last logged in,
whether or not you have read them.
/PERUSE - PERUSE Switch
Type /PERUSE when you want to peruse messages in your file.
Only the following lines for each message are printed: Date:,
From:, To:, CC:, and Subject: /PERUSE can be combined with
date/time input and all other program switches except /HELP.
/STOP - STOP Switch
Type /STOP to cause RDMAIL to stop after each message that it
types. Following each message, the program prompts you to
press RETURN for more output. /STOP can be combined with
date/time input and all other program switches except /HELP and
If you type an invalid switch in RDMAIL, you receive the following
?Does not match switch or keyword
The system returns with the prompt for you to type a valid switch.
Fatal errors are preceded by a question mark (?). A warning message
is preceded by a percent sign (%).
See the TOPS-20 User Utility Manual for a description of the most
common RDMAIL messages, their descriptions, and suggested user