Hi all, I have been playing with the idea of trying to write another angle on a quick introdution to pskmail. I started out trying to put my finger on what I liked about the system and I tried to match the vocabulary and feel used to sell major commercial systems. Someone said the number one reason that perfectly good open source solutions fail, even though they may be technical wonders, is that they spend too much time coding and very little on spreading the word and documenting. As I'm not a native english speaker I would apprciate it if someone could help me correct errors in this little attempt. As always I appreciate any input on this. 73 de Per, sm0rwo ------------------------------- What is PSKmail PSKmail is a system that allows infrastructure independent access to internet services such as email and web. A sailboat on an ocean can read and send email, fetch weather reports, send direct messages and update the ships position through the APRS system. Friends and family can stay in touch and can also follow the ships movements seconds after position updates are sent from the ship. PSKmail can provide access to internet services in rural and otherwise isolated areas. Perhaps you'd like internet access on the North pole? No problem, pskmail provides that. Wait, did I mention its free and open source? Infrastructure independent ? PSkmail clients access servers using hf. A mobile station can be battery operated, solar powered, and can be located somewhere off the beaten track (in a jungle or on the high seas for example). Naturally the servers need to be connected to the internet to fetch internet email. But, the servers can even be used without internet connection (where that is not allowed or for special purposes such as emergency systems). The servers are independent and do not fail if a central system should be unreachable. Should one server be off the air then feel free to use another. E-mail E-mail is an essential communications medium. PSKmail allows mobile clients access to their e-mail whenever and wherever necessary. With PSKmail you access your email providers pop server, meaning that your normal email account can be used. Support is also in place for popular services like gmail. The pskmail client application features a settings dialogue where your service providers email settings can be entered, these settings can be sent on the air during a connection with a pskmail server. The system will store your settings in a centralized database and use that if available. Surfing the web PSKmail provides text based web surfing. Clients can access their favourite web sites and, in order to save bandwidth, pskmail delivers these in text form (with images removed). This is a very useful feature. The sailor can, for instance, access weather reports, navigational warnings etc. Newssites can be browsed and I can fetch the match report from my hockey teams latest game. APRS The Automatic Position Reporting System was designed to support rapid, reliable exchange of information for local, tactical real-time information, events or nets. PSKmail is able to send position reports and exchange station to station aprs messages. One nice way to use this is for instance to send the current position every ten minutes from a mobile station. Friends and family can follow the stations movements on a graphical display (see the wiki for more on this). Emergency support PSKmail is an outstanding tool in emergency situations. The server network is loosely tied together and that means that if a server, or even large parts of the network, should be out of service then the remaining servers carry on business as usual. Of course one weak link is your email provider, should that server be out of service then fetching mail from it will be difficult. But, you may have another account? Just point the server in that direction then and carry on. What if the entire internet shuld go down then? Well, all servers have local mailboxes that can be used to store and forward your messages to other pskmail clients. So, how can I try this then? There is a live cd available for download. A live distro is a Linux distribution that is executed upon boot. Execution is done entirely from the boot media (cd) and the harddrive is not affected (and not even needed). A live cd is a great way to try out new things and get started quickly. You download the iso, burn it and boot your pc from the cd (just restart and have the cd in the reader). Getting started The pskmail wiki is a huge source of information, available here: http://pskmail.wikispaces.com Welcome!