BlitzMail available for free

by Amy Semet | 10/4/95 6:00am

Dartmouth recently stopped its efforts to market its electronic-mail program to corporations and universities because no one bought the program after it had been on the market for about two years.

Now, anyone who wants to use BlitzMail, which was developed at Dartmouth in 1987, can do it free of charge.

In April 1993, Dartmouth Computing Services offered BlitzMail up to prospective buyers for commercial and educational use.

At that time, officials said they would charge $500 for a university license. Commercial licenses would cost $3,000 for every 100 users, and companies with more than 500 users could purchase an unlimited site license for $15,000.

But Computing Services changed its plans after no one purchased a license.

"We changed our mind," said Richard Brown, Computing Services' special projects manager. "We weren't selling any."

Brown said despite the simplicity of BlitzMail, some companies and colleges did not want to spend money on a program they were not sure would work with their systems.

Now, prospective users can obtain the BlitzMail program through the World Wide Web, Brown said.

"A lot of people can get it up and running without telling us," Brown said. "We got a note from someone in Portugal who is now using BlitzMail."

Two years ago, Reed College in Portland, Ore., became the first university other than Dartmouth to have a functioning BlitzMail system.

Dartmouth did not charge Reed for the system because the program was "beta-tested" on Reed's campus to see if it could be used outside Dartmouth's campus, Brown told The Dartmouth in May 1993.

The College also received inquiries in 1993 from Mitsubishi, Motorola, and GCC Industries about the availability of BlitzMail, according to Jim Matthews, Computing Services' senior programmer.

Despite the fact that BlitzMail is free to prospective users, only a handful of universities and corporations use the BlitzMail system.

Brown said he knows of only two other universities -- Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and Maricopa Community College in Maricopa, Ariz. -- that use BlitzMail.

Brown said other college campuses often use a mainframe computer for students to connect to an electronic-mail system. Other colleges use a program called Eudora, which speaks to a post office protocol server, Brown said.

The most recent version of BlitzMail, version 2.0.5, makes it easier to use BlitzMail at multiple sites. With the new BlitzMail, Dartmouth users can sign onto accounts at ValleyNet, an InterNet provider for the Upper Valley, or at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

This term, the College will split the Dartmouth Name Directory, giving DHMC its own directory.

The latest version of BlitzMail also allows users to look up names at other BlitzMail sites, which will become more important once DHMC has its own site.

Dartmouth's BlitzMail system currently has about 12,000 active users.