ITS revamps NIU e-mail accounts

By Linda Luk

A new e-mail system will be implemented in fall 2002 to provide better features for NIU e-mail accounts.

Information Technology Services plans to replace Sendmail, the system NIU has been using since the early 90s, with a better system that will include features students have requested.

“The biggest complaint with Sendmail is there is no sent mail folders, vacation notices or forwards,” said Daniel Szkola, senior UNIX system programmer of ITS enterprise system support.

Currently, students use either their six-digit zID [email protected] or the first letter of their first name along with their last name.

“I use it because it is free,” said Richard Bernardo, a sophomore computer science major. “There are some parts that are not so good, but it is good enough for basic purposes.”

The new system, Novell Internet Messaging System (NIMS), will continue to use the zID number, but it will provide students with features including an address book and the option of forwarding their mail to preferred e-mail accounts.

NIMS also will be much easier for ITS to manage, said Szkola.

Sendmail is a free system, but NIMS will cost $18,000 for its license to use each year, and will be funded by business and ITS sales.

NIMS will be tested in spring 2002 and will be available in the fall, said Syliva Gorman, manager for systems programming of OS/390 and UNIX.

Currently, there is no definite policy on how long zID accounts remain in the system, but if an account remains inactive for a long time it is eliminated. With the new system, ITS is discussing creating lifetime e-mail accounts for NIU alumni and retirees.

“They [the university] want alumni and retirees to have an on-going relationship with the school,” said James Fatz, director of enterprise systems support of ITS.