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AOL Mail Forwarding

Posted on 1997-08-01
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Last Modified: 2008-03-04
I need to pick up mail from an AOL account and redirect it to another mail system (what system is not too important).  The process must run automatically but I can dedicate a PC to the task to sit in a corner somewhere if need be.
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Question by:Budge
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by:cymbolic
ID: 1011859
Interesting applicaton.  An indirect apporach would be to externally drive your AOL session (via keyboard stuffing), and save emails to  a file, then transmit from there, possibly by remote driving your other mail system.  This would allow you to have a record of the mail sent, and to share a single dial line with periodic switching between email apps.  This approach is not 100% reliable each time, but you can reset the process and repeat forever, which would eventually get everything.  Good use for that old 286!

 Another possibility for direct control is to put a line trace on your I/F between modem and pc (Hardware datascope or software trace) and record and replay the actual data sequences, simulating an AOL/other email session.  I'd go the direct, datascope approach as first try, because you may learn just how simple the actual command sequence is for driving AOL.  Also, you can invoke individual commands on AOL and record/correlate them with required line activity.

It won't be a trivial task, but it's doable.
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by:cymbolic
ID: 1011860
P.S. I think we all ought to push AOL to allow remote login and email access for account holders through the internet, as well as through their dial up network.  It would simplify AOL network structure, and relieve much of the "Busy Signal" problem they have right now.
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by:Budge
ID: 1011861
I'd thought about both stuffing and scoping, alas if I felt able to get them to work I would not have needed to ask. Maybe it's just lack of ability on my part but then that's what I'm here for.  :-)
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by:Budge
ID: 1011862
I've read about a Beta of an AOL client for Outlook (MAPIguy@aol.com as I recall) - now THAT (or something similar) would make things really easy.
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by:CountZero
ID: 1011863
You CAN access AOL through the internet and get your MAIL.  They alreay support it.  I have a few friends who do that.  They charge $10 a month to access AOL via Internet, and you use your own local ISP.  ***NOTE  I don't belive you can have dial-up acces and interent access.  You might have to choose one or the other.  I'm not for sure, so ask AOL to find out details.

Also My ISP allows me to automaticlly foward my EMAIL to any address,  AOL might have a similer feature.
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by:Budge
ID: 1011864
Many thanks for the suggestion but I already know about IP access to AOL, the problem is how to forward the mail once I've got it (by whatever means).  AOL have not been particularly helpful when I requested forwarding.  The reason for the problem is a particular user can only run one (non-AOL) mail package.  If I can set up an auto-forwarder then they can still get their AOL mail.  I was intending on using the IP route so that the AOL side of the forwarding process was always up (via our Internet pipe into the office.)   Thanks anyway.
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by:Budge
ID: 1011865
Adjusted points to 200
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by:mosfet
ID: 1011866
It is possible for a progammer in something like Visual Basic to make a program that will moniter your mail, and send it to another email address. How do I know? Because I've done it before.

You also might try calling AOL and asking them if they can forward your mail to another email address. I would try this first before asking a programmer to make you a program.

These are the only two realistic ideas I have.
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by:Budge
ID: 1011867
Many thanks Mosfet but AOL won't forward (see my earlier comment) and the VisBas answer is, I'm afraid, a bit too general to be helpful.
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by:cymbolic
ID: 1011868
Geez...I'd like to figure this out too, 'cause I'd like to get my AOL mail at my Internet business address, so I can delete all the SPAM that's showing up.  It's true that there is a way of automating mail using a VB app, but that is via a MAPI compliant mail system, using MAPI control.  I don't think the AOL browser complies with this.  

However, for your one user that can't get on usng the AOL front end, would setting up their account through the internet suffice, or do you still have to use the AOL bowwow browser?


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by:manand062397
ID: 1011869
Hi,

I am not sure if AOL has support to POP3 and SMTP servers.  If AOL supports then I have good solution.

Thanks
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by:nebworth
ID: 1011870
  Ok...  I know that keyboard stuffing has been suggested before, but here goes as AOL doesn't offer mail forwarding.   Create a windows macro to log on to AOL, open the mailbox, select all messages, forward, enter the new E-Mail address, send, and log off.  I haven't tried this in practice, so I don't actually know if the group forward will take a single address entry.  The other possibility is to open an AOL flash session, download the mail, forward all the messages, and then flash it back using the same macro method.  Otherwise, solution unknown, and I'll have to keep thinking about it.
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by:Budge
ID: 1011871
Thanks Nebworth I'm afraid I lump the macro route in with stuffing.  I tried the group forwarding without success.

Thanks anyway.
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by:theTerabyte
ID: 1011872
Get a mail program like Eudora or Pegasas mail from www.tucows.com and under mail rules(I know this works with pegasas) tell it to automatically forward to [your address here].

alternativly, you can go to netaddress.usa.net and get a free lifetime account that will automatically forward to whatever ISP you have at the time, and you can get the mail either through a broser or via pop3.  This way, you don't need the aol account.  otherwise, if that's not the problem and you NEED to use aol, just try pegasas.

if you have any questions, comment them to me or mail me at chm@inlink.com


HOPE THIS HELPS, (the)Terabyte
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by:Budge
ID: 1011873
Sorry Terabyte but none of those mail clients will pick up AOL mail (to the best of my knowledge) so using rules with them would not really help.   Thanks  anyway.
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by:theTerabyte
ID: 1011874
Sure, it was a long shot anyway  :-)>
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by:nebworth
ID: 1011875
   Hey, I've got it everyone!  Just call Internic and somehow convice them that your new address is really and truly AOL.COM!
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by:Budge
ID: 1011876
Hmmmm, I think nebworth has it...it might upset a couple of AOL users but what the heck  :-)
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cymbolic earned 200 total points
ID: 1011877
You know, I had forgotten about the flash sessions, but they would seem to solve part of your problem.  Since downloaded mail is saved to disk, and mail to go up in the email session is also saved to disk, then if it's a problem of readdressing via an internet accessible adress, you might be able to do the following:
1) set up your flashsession to upload and download pending mail.
2) set up a repeating procedure (batch file) that invokes AOL for a flash session, then examines and modifies the addresses on recieved mail, moves them to upload directory, deletes them from download, then reruns the process.

You wouldn't have to do this continuously, just often enough to keep your addresses up to date (once/twice day?)

It's still going to involve programming, but it's not as complex as any other option suggested.  You don't need any esoteric knoledge, just the ability to read, modify and write email files.
 
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by:cymbolic
ID: 1011878
In fact, it sounds doable enough I just might fiddle around with it myself, to forward my AOL email to the office address.
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