MR/2 ICE Frequently Asked Questions


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You haven't answered my email. Did you get it or are you just ignoring me?

This really hasn't been as issue yet, but it may become one. As I expected, much of my time is now spent replying to email. This takes away from coding time and slows down the whole process. At the same time, you can't ignore your users. I try to respond to everyone in a timely fashion, but often this can't be done. Right now I'm swamped and may not have time to respond to everyone point-4-point, BUT I am listening. I hope to use this WEB page to address most points in a more general fashion using the "shotgun" method.

UPDATE: Things are a LITTLE better, despite constant increases in email volume. This, thanks to the MR/2 ICE Mailing List, where questions and answers are posed in more of a "group discussion" manner. How do you subscribe? Send a message to <mr2ice.list@mr2ice.com> with the subject of SUBSCRIBE. Keep in mind that there is alot of traffic passing through this list.

Additionally, the later versions of MR/2 ICE have web-based entries in the HELP menu. One of these is a link to the "Ask-The-Experts(tm)" list. You can quickly and easily pose support and general "How do I ..." type questions to a collection of veteran (volunteer) MR/2 ICE users!

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How does one install a new version of MR/2 ICE over previous "working" version without losing settings and information? I always unzip the recent version into its own subdirectory so as not to mix the files and then have to reset all the options and signature files.

The MR/2 ICE distribution zip file has been carefully designed so as NOT to overwrite your existing setup data when unzipping a new version. The risk for data loss if very low. To protect yourself from any unusaul circumstances, simply ZIP up the MR/2 ICE software directory before unzipping the new version. In most cases, this won't be necessary, but backups are always a good idea.

The distribution zip contains several files ending with an "org" extension. These are the original versions of things like the SIG file, the address book and templates. When MR/2 ICE starts up for the first time, it tries to copy these files to their "real" names. It will not overwrite existing files. So, if you've modified your templates and address book, they will not be overwritten my unzipping a new version of ICE.

The only exceptions to this rule are the printer template files (printer.tf and draft.tf). Since I haven't really "officially" documented these, I do not take precautions to save custom versions. I'll make a note to consider this.

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How do I register my copy of MR/2 ICE?

The distribution/installation has two files that are pertainent. The file "read.me" contains a brief explanation of policies, pricing, site licensing and lists ways of registering. The file "Register.Doc" can be filled out and snail-mailed with a check or money order (or even cash, if you wish). The mailing address is on the form.

Credit Cards are happily accepted via Paypal. This is the absolute fastest way to register MR/2 ICE. If you do not yet have a Paypal account, signup is simple and can all be done online. Use the Paypal Registration Form to pay for your registration this way. It's quick, easy and painless!

If you'd prefer to deal with a registration service:

BMT Micro provides toll-free voice, fax and email registration services. Call toll free at 1-800-414-4268, or visit their MR/2 Order Page at https://secure.bmtmicro.com/ECommerce-OnSite/15707.html or email to orders@bmtmicro.com. You can also fax an order to them TOLL FREE at 800-346-1672. BMT's "contact" page is at http://www.bmtmicro.com/BMTInfo_ContactBMT.html.

Scandinavian/European Registration Site: You can now register MR/2 ICE via Berggreen Service, Denmark with payment in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, German Currency and in EURO. Berggreen Service accepts checks or payment to Giro- and Bank- accounts in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and Flensburg. Write to info@berggreen.dk or order online at http://www.berggreen.dk

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Can my company purchase a site license for MR/2 ICE?

MR/2 ICE offers the best site license pricing in the business. Current pricing is as follows (text extracted from the distribution file "read.me"):

		
	These prices are for licenses of MR/2 ICE running at a single 
	location (usually a company or other organization).

			 5 User - $145
			10 User - $250
			25 User - $485
			50 User - $625 ($4 per additional user)
			
			For each user above 50 add $4
			  (e.g., 200 user = $625+(150*4) = $1225)
		
	All pricing is subject to change without notice.  We can
	interpolate for in-between counts (e.g., 30 users at $415).
	I'm basing these prices on a product I once purchased in this
	manner.  I want to be reasonable, but still make a profit.
	Email me for more detailed discussion.

	INCREMENTAL SITE LICENSES.	Those purchasing a site license may
	increase the license count at some later date in time by submitting
	the difference between the two licenses (based on what was 
	originally paid vs. what the current total site license would 
	cost), plus a flat modification fee of $10.
					
	For example, a company purchases a 50 user site license at $425 under
	old pricing.  A year later they wish to increase the license count to 
	100 users.	They would sumbit a check or purchase order for 50 
	incremental licenses at a cost of $235.  With the price increase to $500
	for 50 users (where 100 users would be $650), the amount due would
	be $235.  It's an easy calculation:
						
		What you'd have to pay today for the total licenses desired
	  - What you've already paid
	  + $10.

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Can I access more than one Service Provider/mailbox with MR/2 ICE?

Certainly. You can access as many unique ISP/mailbox combinations as you want. From the main notebook (inbox screen), use Options->Add User Profile to set up a name for a new "profile" (specific mailbox settings) and a password, if desired. NOTE that this account name and password can be anything you want; they do not have to match or relate in any way to your service provider's name nor to your POP3 user name/password. Once you have added a new profile, MR/2 will provide you with a completely new settings notebook. Fill these out and close the notebook. You are now logged into the new "account" or "profile".

To log back into the original "default" account, the user/password is simply Mail/Mail.

To subsequently log into one of your secondary accounts, use Options->Login. NOTE that you do not have to logoff first.

It is possible to have multiple copies of MR/2 ICE running, each monitoring a separate account/profile. The same technique can be used to set up different desktop icons for each unique mail account. You simply start MR/2 ICE and specify the profile to use. For example, assuming a profile has been setup for with a name of "work", you can start MR/2 ICE with that mailbox being active by using the command:


	MR2I /Mwork.cfg

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I sometimes get a message "Pop3 service unavailable" from MR/2 ICE, even though it worked the last time I was connected to my ISP. I have to exit MR/2 and go back in before more mail comes in. Why?

This was brilliantly summed up in a recent post by Brandon Allbery <bsa@kf8nh.apk.net>. He explains:

	OS/2 TCP/IP, in common with most other implementations, only 
	loads resolver information (the information used to convert 
	an Internet host name such as humans use to the x.y.z.w 
	numeric format that actually goes out over the wire) the 
	first time the program tries to convert a hostname to an 
	Internet address; subsequent attempts continue to use the 
	original information.  If you don't have a permanent 
	?:\MPTN\ETC\RESOLV2 (or ?:\MPTN\ETC\RESOLV) file then it will 
	find *no* resolver information when it starts up, and never 
	get it right until you exit and restart it while dialed out 
	(the dialer program creates a RESOLV file while you're 
	connected and removes it afterward, restoring any original 
	RESOLV file).

	Workarounds (choose one):

	(1) Use Internet addresses (x.y.z.w) instead of hostnames for 
		your POP3 and SMTP servers;

	(2) Add the line

		SET USE_HOSTS_FIRST=1
	
	to your CONFIG.SYS and then create a ?:\MPTN\ETC\HOSTS file 
	containing the addresses of your POP3 and SMTP servers, like 
	the following (fictitious) example:

		107.23.5.223	mail.foo.net
		107.23.5.226	pop.foo.net
		
	(You can also use the TCP/IP Configuration Notebook to do 
	this; select the Hostnames tab, then go to page 2.)

	(3) Create a permanent ?:\MPTN\ETC\RESOLV2 file containing 
	the same nameserver information you get when you dial up.  
	The easiest way to get this information is simply to copy the 
	file created by DOIP while you're connected.  You should then 
	copy it back to ?:\MPTN\ETC\RESOLV2 with a command in 
	?:\TCPIP\BIN\TCPEXIT.CMD (create this file if it doesn't 
	exist).  It is *not* sufficient to create this file once, as 
	Warp 4 (and possibly Warp Connect) wipe it out at boot time 
	when they call TOGGLE.EXE to make sure LAN Distance has 
	switched back to local mode.  (You could remove this call 
	from ?:\TCPIP\BIN\TCPSTART.CMD, but the TCP/IP Configuration 
	Notebook might not like it and/or might put it back.  You 
	might try renaming ?:\TCPIP\BIN\TOGGLE.EXE instead, since the 
	script checks for its existence.)

	All of these schemes have problems, although (3) is probably 
	the safest because moving nameservers requires coordinating 
	with InterNIC and they *can't* be specified by hostname, only 
	by IP address (chicken and egg problem); the problem with 
	using static addresses of any kind for your POP3 and SMTP 
	servers is that your ISP can change those addresses without 
	warning.

	I'm still trying to locate appropriate tools for an option 
	(4):  patch TCP32DLL.DLL and TCPIPDLL.DLL (16-bit version) to 
	always reread the resolver configuration.  I already know the 
	correct execution address to patch in TCP32DLL.DLL, but 
	figuring out which *byte* to patch has so far stumped me. (I 
	don't do much OS/2 programming, barring visual REXX.)

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How to I access these BinHex/MIME files someone just sent me?

Seamless UUEncoding, MIME and incoming BinHex support is built into MR/2 ICE. To detach an attachment, simply use the menu option Message->Detach. This will detach ALL attachments contained within the current message. You may also, optionally, click on one of the attachment marker-lines, then use the Right Mouse Button (RMB) and Detach to detach individual parts. Alternately, the RMB->View option often allows the attachment to be loaded in an associated viewer.

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Is MR/2 ICE Capable of Using Direct SMTP Delivery?

You bet. SMTP is built right into the default distribution ZIP file. A special "Local Delivery Agent" (LDA) to use with sendmail.exe if needed, but it has been proven that MR/2 ICE's SMTP delivery mode works great with the freeware DELIVER.EXE and also will "plug right in" to any existing LaMail setup.

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I open up a message but nothing displays. I try to create a new message, and I can't enter text in the window! What's wrong?

Same thing as below, there's some problem with ICE and the System Proportional font being depended upon as the "default". See the next note ... this temporary solution will also solve this problem.

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MR/2 ICE runs OK, but I get tiny no-text bubble hints, no text inside the calendar and the settings tabs are squashed. What's wrong?

This is actually a problem with certain Cirrus Logic (and a few other) video cards. On these systems, the system proportional font fails when used as the "default". I have a system in-house that exhibits this problem, so I'm in search of "the answer". The initial invocation of MR/2 ICE will ask you if your screen displays any of these symptoms and will set itself up accordingly. If this fails to work correctly, you can specify a "default font override" command line parameter:
Mr2i /F9
Where a zero is used to denote the System Proportional Font, and a number 1-30 can be used to override this setting (for the problematic windows ONLY). Using /F9 will cause the text to show up and make the application functional. For those that are more particular about their fonts, you can select one of these following numbers:

		0 - SystemProp					  16 - HelvOLB 
		1 - Courier8					  17 - HelvOLBI 
		2 - Courier10					  18 - TmsRmn8 
		3 - Courier12					  19 - TmsRmn10 
		4 - CourierOL					  20 - TmsRmn12 
		5 - CourierOLI					  21 - TmsRmn14 
		6 - CourierOLB					  22 - TmsRmn18 
		7 - CourierOLBI 				  23 - TmsRmn24 
		8 - Helv8						  24 - TmsRmnOL 
		9 - Helv10						  25 - TmsRmnOLI 
		10 - Helv12 					  26 - TmsRmnOLB 
		11 - Helv14 					  27 - TmsRmnOLBI 
		12 - Helv18 					  28 - SysMono10 
		13 - Helv24 					  29 - SysMono12 
		14 - HelvOL 					  30 - SymbolOL
		15 - HelvOLI 

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Text seems to get corrupted in message windows and strange video problems occur frequently. Is this normal?

Absolutely not. However, MR/2 ICE excercises PM quite extensively with alot of technically sophisticated code (from the support libraries, ObjectPM and the related Custom Control Pack). If there is a problem in the system, this application is bound to make it appear!

Most strange video problems reported to-date have been caused by FixPak #12. This was a very buggy kit, and should be replaced with FixPak #17. Run, don't walk!

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Hey!! [pick from list below] seems to be missing or doesn't work!

There are many items that are not yet included with MR/2 ICE, or that I have not yet hooked up. I'm working as fast as I can to remedy this, but it will take some time.
PGP Support - available via third party support, see the MR/2 ICE Home Page.
Drag and Drop
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MR/2 ICE just crashed on me. There's a screen full of info. Which part of this info do you need?

Many of you have been sending me all of the register values, and some are typing this in by hand. It's a very rare occasion when I even pay most of that stuff any attention at all. What is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT is the information outlined below:
SYS3175
A program generated an access violation at 00270721.
C2151MT.DLL
This is all I ever really use. I would also need as detailed a description as possible about what it was you were doing with ICE, and if possible, what the status boxes at the bottom of the main window say at the time of the crash. Thanks!

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Can MR/2 ICE be used as an "Offline" email reader?

Certainly! I do this all of the time when working at home. I do see where this capability isn't that obvious, though. MR/2 ICE will poll whether connected to your provider or not. The status bar indicates the status, and "POP3 service unavailable" is displayed when not connected. Once you dial in, you can wait for a poll, or force one via keystroke, menu or toolbar. Once all mail is read, simply disconnect from your provider. Reply to messages at your leisure. Press "SEND" to save them, and I understand this isn't intuitive at all. I'll try to clear this up. You will get an "SMTP service unavailable" status message, but the reply will be saved in the outbox. Once you've replied to all desired message and you want to actually post them, dial your provider again. Move to the MR/2 ICE outbox and select each new outgoing message. NOTE that unsent messages are tagged with a mailbox icon, while sent message get an envelope. Once all outgoing items are marked, use the RMB to popup the menu. Select Resend. You can watch as MR/2 ICE sends each one. Successful sends will turn the mailbox icon into a letter, as you watch.

Selecting message items can be performed by dragging the cursor over a group or CTRL+Clicking on individual items.

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There is a LONG delay opening the message viewer window after clicking to open a message. Much slower than I would expect.

MR/2 ICE has many GUI features that can tend to slow down on a heavily used system, or one with a slow video card. Fortunately, most of these GUI options are configurable. For example, you can run MR/2 ICE with the /T switch and have no toolbars available. I don't recommend this, but it does make the system much faster. Are hint bubbles turned on for the viewer screen? That's *very* slow (and I'm still trying to figure out why). Set them OFF for the viewer and try again. Play with the options with regards to video settings. Much improvement in performance can result. Still, on my systems and the systems used internally at Secant, there really is no problem with performance. I would expect this with the machines we pick to use, though.

UPDATE!!! The bubble hint speed problem has been fixed and will be included in version 0.99E. NOTE that adding hint bubbles is still slower than running with them off, but the difference is now undetectable in most cases.

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MR/2 is slow compared to [other mailer name here]

I've taken the "middle" path, where I've decided to go more fancy-GUI than some of the lighter-weight competition, but not as heavy-weight as Ultimail "Lite". You can, however, configure MR/2 to work "lite". Run it with /T for no toolbars. I bet it's faster now? Turn off all hint bubbles, that will help if you opt to keep the toolbar. Otherwise, on a relatively fast machine, the program performs nicely. I can only improve on this so much, and I will try when all work is complete.

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I resized my message window, but sometimes a window opens with a different size. Why isn't my chosen window size/position being preserved?

The size of each window is configurable by order and in/out state. For example, there is a window Inbox1, Inbox2, Inbox3 and so on, each remembers its own size. Outboxes work the same way, although a folder window *is* an outbox. So, you may have to set window #2's size, too, but only once. Same with #3.

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I'm a programmer new to OS/2 and am interested in knowing more about the development system and tools you use to create MR/2 ICE.

MR/2 ICE is compiled with Borland C++ v2.0. It benefits greatly from being based on Secant Technologies' ObjectPM Application Framework, a set of C++ class libraries designed specifically around OS/2's kernel and windowing API's. In addition to using ObjectPM, MR/2 ICE is supplemented by the ObjectPM Control Pack ... a set of custom controls for OS/2 (e.g., the progress indicator on sends, the RTF printing engine, calendar, etc.,.). The bubble hints and Win95-style tab folder used for Settings configuration are prototypes of coming Secant controls.

In addition to the commercially available tools, this product has inherited many features from its QWK-oriented cousins and utilites, MR/2 Classic, MR/2 PM and the ME/2 editor.

More information on Secant's product line can be obtained from their home page at http://www.secant.com.

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I'd like to import my address book and folders from [your mailer here]. Do you have anything available that will do this?

Absolutely! MR/2 ICE has an impressive set of conversion utilities. To see if a converter exists to fit your needs, see the list of conversions available via direct ftp.

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The spell checker and thesaurus don't seem to be functioning. Are these active yet?

These tools are indeed active and available from within the message editor. The supporting word databases are not distributed with the beta zip files, but are available as separate files. If the word bases are found by MR/2 ICE, the tools will function properly. You can ftp the appropriate files right here by clicking here for the large dictionary support files, or here for the thesaurus database.

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Is there any way to suppress the Copyright/Banner form that ICE displays when loading?

I could offer this as an option, but it really would be meaningless at this time. This form is not time delayed or anything of that nature, it is merely displayed as soon as MR/2 ICE starts to execute, and disappears the minute it is ready to run. So, if it wasn't displayed, there would still be some "dead time" where you would wonder what was happenning. I've tried to play tricks with program load and free up the system while this was processing, but I've had little luck to-date. I believe I now know how to do it correctly, and will attempt again during the v1.0 cleanup phase.

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Why does MR/2 ICE seem to get stuck on "Sending close..." (when sending mail via SMTP)?

This isn't really MR/2 ICE getting "stuck". Here's what happens. MR/2 ICE starts exchanging FROM/TO address information with sendmail. You see that flash by. Then the message itself. That's the progression meter stage. Then it tells sendmail "I'm done", which is the close. From here, ICE waits for a simple "OK" (For those that like to be technical, it's actually a line starting with a numeric status code) to be sent back from sendmail. During this time, you see the "Sending close ..." message.

Sendmail can be set up different ways, but default OS/2 setup calls for it to actually DELIVER the message on close. It must deliver the message before returning an "OK". There are ways to tell it to "deliver at your leisure", although I forget what flags to set, and I didn't like this mode.

So, your SMTP Host is probably timing out waiting to deliver the message. That can be for a number of reasons. You *could* try using your provider's SMTP server. Alternatively, try using the IBM Advantis SMTP host:


	smtp-gw01.ny.us.ibm.net
Why is it timing out? Well, usually mail goes through from here. Occassionally a remote site will have trouble and delivery will fail. If a site isn't running at the time of the send, you get an unsuccessful send (and often a mailer daemon message that "service is not available".

Another possibility, if ALL messages are failing, is that the DNS lookup for your mail service is broken, and/or you're not connected to your provider. Anything that would keep the message from being delivered, or slows it down considerably.

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How do I use the GROUP feature?

Groups are lists of email address used to mass-distribute email notices. When you send a note to a GROUP, each menber is sent the identical email message.

At this time, the group function does not work well with POP3 sends. It works perfectly with SMTP sends. To test, set Options->Settings to send via SMTP and set your SMTP host to be the generic:


	smtp-gw01.ny.us.ibm.net
Groups are meant to handle extremely large lists, and hence, MR/2 does NOT spell all target addresses out on the TO line . I will rework this soon and have an "option". In the meantime, I do have around 1000 addresses in an announcement list, and it works well. You just can't send via POP3.

On the other hand, the Address Book entries will hold medium size lists of people, WILL include all names on the TO line and hence are POP3 compatible.The limit is around 4K of addresses, which averages 100-150 people. Just separate each address with comma's.

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Much more to come!!!


Nick Knight <nick@mr2ice.com>