Besides showing up at the Help Desk in person or calling x7777, the
users can communicate their questions to the Help Desk staff by sending
email to firstname.lastname@example.org. While some of the consultants have
dedicated slots to answer those questions, all of the consultants are
expected and full time employees encouraged to participate in responding
to consult mail. Incoming questions and responses will be logged to
a usenet discussion called its.logs.consult. This and other "its"
news groups can only be read on designated servers/machines.
Specifically, its.logs.consult is currently only available from
Accessing Consult Mail
Regardless of the mail reader that you use to read consulting questions
you will need to be a member of either its:consultants or its:consult-mailbox.
Once added (Pat Valiquette has the authority to do that) to a group you
need execute the following shell:
Once you have set up this link you should be able to access the mail
space setup for the email@example.com questions.
Answering by MH Mail
MH (mail handler) is the name of the mail program that consists of a
set of routines that are used to view, claim, reply, delete, etc. incoming
mail messages. The best place to get additional information on using mh is
the mh man page.
- scan +consult-new - This will list all the mail
- show # - This command will show you the message that
corresponds with the # given. The show command is linked to most recent
- repl # - Using the reply command starts up the
emacs editor. The current question is displayed. To send a carbon copy add
the line: Bcc:firstname.lastname@example.org - this will send a blind
carbon copy to consult-watcher which is dumped into the
its.logs.consult usenet discussion. Once you have completed your
response and exited from emacs you will receive the "What Now?"
prompt. For a list of options press enter.
- refile # +consult-mine - This removes the message from
the incoming mailbox and puts/sends the question to your mh mailbox called
- refile # +consult-closed - This moves the message
to the closed mailbox called +consult-closed.
- rmm # - This is the remove message command. You
will most often use this to get rid of mail that is not a question or is a
duplicate or only has a header, etc. As a general rule messages will be
`refiled' in consult-closed.
In order to send responses to the its.logs.consult newsgroup,
the mail alias consult-watcher needs to be used.
Sending a blind carbon copy of the email message to consult-watcher
will automatically post it to the usenet group
its.logs.consult. Blind carbon copy (bcc) is used because a
carbon copy (cc) is seen by the user and this may confuse them. This
confusion could lead to questions such as who is consult-watcher
and why did my question go there, etc.
Typical mh session follows:
where the "#" stands for the message number, as it shows on the list of
messages. In some cases it is necessary to remove a message because
it is a duplicate or makes no sense or the user is simply sending some
information and does not require a reply. One needs to remember that
all the incoming consult questions are logged to its.logs.consult
at the same time they are dumped into the email@example.com mailbox.
In general, only incoming mail that requires answers should be Bcc'd to
refile # +consult-mine
refile # +consult-closed
Answering by Zmail
Zmail can be used to read and respond to consulting questions.
Zmail users will need to use some of the mh routines to participate.
The procedure follows:
When the window opens you can read any/all of the mail messages. If after
reading the messages you decide to respond to one, you will need to open
a unix window and refile (move) the message to your own mailbox space.
To do this use the MH scan and refile commands.
Click on Folder, then click on Open... under the Folder
menu and select consult-new. A list of messages will appear.
Back in Zmail
scan +consult-new (this shows listing of messages)
refile # +consult-mine (this moves message # to your space)
Click on Folder, then open consult-mine. You can now respond
to the message through Zmail.
Send a blind carbon copy of the response to consult-watcher.
When you're finished replying to the question(s), select File ->
Close Folder from the Zmail menu. You will get an error message:
"Directory update not supported: convert to Zmail format?"
Do NOT accept this option. If you've been claiming and responding
to several messages, you may also get a warning about backup folders (don't
bother saving it) and corrupted folder/new mail (safely ignore).