New Mediacom Mail Server allow for IMAP mail

If you are a subscriber to Mediacom, you may have gotten an email telling you that your mail account has been moved to their new server. Typically they send an email about a week before they’re going to do it and then again I’ll follow-up email telling you they’ve completed it. The email that you get for completion may look like this.
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One of the features provided in Mediacom’s new mail service is the ability to use IMAP mail.   These days most of us look at mail on more than one device. IMAP email allows you to leave your mailbox on the server rather than downloading all your mail to each device. This way if you delete one message from any device it gets removed from all devices.

You can set this up on your iPhone or iPad but it does require a little bit of trickery to get it to work. Setting it up on a Mac needs to be done in the same way.

The first step in the process is to go into settings: Mail contacts and calendars: and remove your existing Mediacom account from your device. Any mail you have left on the server Will come back down when you readd the IMAP account.  But if you have mail that’s fairly old it may have been deleted from the server so be sure you’re willing to do without that if you delete your account.

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With your account deleted you’ll need to go through the process of setting up a new mail account on your iOS device.

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Go to Settings: Mail Contacts and Calendars and select Add Account.

IMG_1717Select Other for the account type

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Select Add Mail Account

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Now here is where you need to trick the iOS mail setup application.  Apple’s auto mail setup goes out to look for the correct settings and unfortunately defaults to setting up the email as a POP account again.  So we will use a fictitious email address to trick it.

Enter your name and then enter an email address where the first part of the address is incorrect.  Be sure to use the correct portion of the address that comes after the @.  For instance, I entered gk@mchsi.com but you could also use something generic like xx@mchsi.com too.  Enter your password correctly and give the account a descriptive name.

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after a few seconds of looking out the server information, you will see the cannot get mail dialog popup.  This error is correct since you used an incorrect email address. Press OK.

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Next change the toggle at the top from POP to IMAP.

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Finally the last step is to correct the fictitious email address you used.  In each of the three locations, edit your email address to the correct one. Press Next in the upper right corner.

You should see blue checkmarks next to the user name and password fields to verify you got them correct.

IMG_1723You will see that the account is setup for mail and notes.  Notes will allow you to share notes using the mediacom server between all your devices.  You can choose to leave it on or turn it off but if left on the notes show up in the Notes application on your devices.  Press Done and you are finished.

I have also tested this process for adding the account to my Mac and it works basically the same.  I suspect Windows will work similarly also.

With an IMAP account now you only have to look at your mail in one place and delete it one time and it will be kept up to date on all your devices.

Outlook sends attachments as Winmail.dat

imageQ: Many of my colleagues tell me that when I send them a PDF file as it comes to them as a file called winmail.dat. They try to open it but are never successful in being able to see the PDF.  What are they doing wrong?

A:  it’s very likely they’re not doing anything wrong. It’s quite possible your email client is telling the PDF to be sant in a format they can read.  I suspect your using Microsoft Outlook to send the email.  Out of the box outlook wants to send email in the default Microsoft RTF exchange outlook format. If the person your sending to has Outlook, they don’t have an issue.  If the mail provider has software to convert this on the fly, they don’t have a problem either. But some mail providers, particularly local Internet service providers, don’t do this and send the email in whatever form it comes in.

Fortunately, the solution is extremely simple.  All you need to do is change your settings to send mail in a more common format that doesn’t require conversion.  Here are the steps:

  1. Open up your Outlook email client.
  2. Click on File located in the upper toolbar.
  3. Select the Options setting.
  4. From here, select the Mail category.
  5. Now, under Compose messages, you want to ensure the HTML or Plain Text option is selected for the Compose messages in this format.
  6. Next, underMessage format, set When sending messages in Rich text format to Internet recipients to Convert to HTML format or Plain Test format
  7. Click OK to finish.

If that doesn’t solve the problem,Microsoft has a technical note that might assist. Here’s a link to it.

Mac Mail: Removing people from the TO: Menu

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 10.59.20 AMHave you ever been sending an e-mail message on the Macintosh from mail and noticed that to: selection listed many e-mail addresses and people that you no longer send to? Mac mail remembers a list of people that you have received mail from or sent mail to and populates them in the to: List to assist you in sending Mail without having to type in the full e-mail address. But over time, this list gets very large and ends up showing more people to send to that you ever would want.  Removing names from that list is simple if you know how.

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With mail loaded, go to the window menu and select previous recipients. This will bring up a list of all the e-mail addresses that mail has automatically retained for you. From this list you will see the name, E-mail address, and the last time you’ve use that address. You can select any one of these and click remove from list button. Some of these names Will have a small index card icon in front of them. The significance of this icon is that this e-mail address and person is listed in your address book or contact list. If you choose to remove one of these from the list, keep in mind that address will still be retained in your address book unless you remove it there too.

Using the previous recipients dialog, you can easily clean up the list of addresses that mail uses to assist you in sending mail.

HELP! “Mailbox quota exceeded”

StacksThat’s the bounce back message your friends may see if you fill up your server based email box.  Just because you download your messages you cannot be sure that they are being removed from the server by default.

There are two types of email server systems in common use today.  These systems are referred to as: POP and IMAP.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

IMAP is a protocol by which you can read email. IMAP allows you to view your email from more than one place. E.g. from your desktop computer at work and from your laptop at home and from abroad and from your mobile device – multiple locations.

IMAP keeps the messages on the server until it is told to delete them.  In a typical IMAP implementation, all the messages you see on your mail program are located on the server.  With IMAP you have a service provider imposed storage limit called a  quota. If you run out of space on the server you will not be able to download new emails into your account!

POP (Post Office Protocol)

POP is better if you have no need to check your email in multiple locations. If you only ever check your email on one computer at, then POP is fine for this purpose.  In most cases, when you bring the email message down to your computer, it removes it from the server.  But this is a setting and some people, in a hope to save everything they ever get in email, just in case, set it to not remove messages.  In these cases you can also see the same message when you run out of space.

Which one is better?

One big problem here is that not all service providers provide both types of email access to choose from.  Most services that are intended for use on phones, tablets, or computers, may only offer IMAP.  Examples of IMAP providers are:  Gmail, iCloud, Outlook.com, Yahoo, and AOL.  In the over al scheme of things, IMAP is a much more modern protocol because it, having a centralized storage database for mail, allows you to delete a message from one place and have it deleted from all your computers or phones attached to this mailbox.

But not every provider provides IMAP.  Many Internet service providers will only give you access by POP.  These are typically companies more interested in providing internet service than mail.  An examples of this is Mediacom, a local internet service provider where I live. These companies don’t want to provide IMAP because while it is much better for the consumer, it requires more server infrastructure to store these messages on their end.

How do I deal with “Mailbox quota exceeded”?

This depends on the type of account you use.

For a POP account, you need to be sure your mail client is set to delete messages from the server. Most mail clients are very similar in setting this up.  You need to go to the account settings and look for a checkbox that says something like” Remove from server after:” and provides some choices such as one day and one month.  One Month is usually a reasonable setting.  With this turned on there is often a “Remove now” button that will remove all server mail older than the one month setting you chose.  But don’t worry, with a POP account, if the messages are on your computer, even though you delete it from the server, it will stay on your computer.

For an IMAP account, it’s not quite as straight forward.  Since the messages on the server match those on your computer, the only ways to clean this up are to either delete messages, move them to a local folder, or increase your quota.

Deleting messages is simple but requires quite a bit of time since you need to make decisions on what is good to keep and what is not.  Be sure to empty the trash in mail to clear them out after marking them as trash.  Moving them to a local folder requires you to create a folder within your mail client and select messages from your inbox to copy to this local folder.  This then stores this mail on your computer and removes it from the server.  If the domain is something that you host of have control of, you can often go into the service providers cpanel (control panel) and increase the mail quota.  This is a little different for all providers so you might want to read their instructions before trying to do it.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to not be a hoarder.  Clean up your email and don’t let many thousand messages accumulate just because you don’t have time to go through them.  Setup up a junk filter and have these messages deleted immediately.

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MacMailIn Mail, do the following:

Go to the Mail menu and select Preferences
Click on the Accounts icon and select the Advanced tab
Click the checkbox on for “Remove copy from server” and select “On Month” in the dropdown box below the setting
Now press Remove Now

Remove mailo dialog

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