Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
E-Remove: A pre-processor
for incoming e-mail
I believe that it was at the first Orphan’s
SIG meeting where Brigitte Lord, OPCUG’s Web Master, mentioned that she
used E-Remove as a pre-processor for electronic mail. The essence of this
utility is that it provides an opportunity to review messages on your ISP’s
mail server, and the ability to delete specific messages from the server
without actually downloading them.
Since many SPAM messages feature rich text,
which generally increases the size of individual messages, and viruses
normally come in the form of large attached files, the ability to
erase such messages “at source” appears to be rather attractive. As the
recipient of lots of junk E-mail, which usually comes in duplicate (but
that’s another story), the prospect certainly caught my attention. While
E-Remove functions exactly as advertised, the program may not be the ideal
solution for everyone. In fact, my experience indicates that the utility
of this utility will depend strongly on the nature of the E-mail which
a given individual receives.
The potential problem is the relatively
long time taken by E-Remove to download extracts of the messages from the
ISP’s mail server. Over a three-week period, for my own incoming mail,
I made a check on the time taken by E-Remove to download its partial versions
of the messages, and the time required by Eudora to retrieve the same messages
in their entirety. I also noted the number of bytes of messages which I
would have deleted from the server using E-Remove, and the total number
of bytes of the complete messages downloaded by Eudora. On average, E-Remove
needed about half of the connect time taken by Eudora to pre-process the
same batch of messages, while offering savings of about one third of the
download traffic. Since, after deleting messages with E-Remove, the remaining
two-thirds of the message traffic still need to be downloaded by Eudora,
clearly this is not a time-effective solution. Overall, in my specific
case, it proved to be more efficient to download all of the messages and
then delete unwanted mail in Eudora.
There were some exceptions to this general
rule. E-Remove identified a 1.6 MB attachment to a message and, by screening
the message header, I could identify that I didn’t wish to receive either
the message or the file. This provided a considerable time saving on my
dial-up connection for this particular session. In another mail session,
the program allowed me to delete 11 separate instances of 204 KB files
infected with the SirCam virus [I send you this file to get your advice
So, whether or not E-Remove will be a useful
utility program for you will depend on the nature of the E-mail which you
normally receive, and if you value the ability to pre-screen your mail
prior to down- loading it from the mail server. I suspect that one shouldn’t
get too hung up on download times. My average mail session was just a little
over a minute, so even if using E-Remove were to double the time taken
to download the mail, it isn’t a great hardship in the grand scheme of
things. And, using this program can give great satisfaction in directly
thwarting the best efforts of the SPAM and virus merchants!
Installing the program is simplicity itself,
one just has to unzip the distribution file into a sub-directory and run
the resulting executable file, eremove.exe. There is a variety of items
to configure on the change-existing-settings screen. You can enter the
user ID and password needed to log on to your ISP’s mail server, and have
the option to save the password for use by future E-Remove sessions. You
must enter the address for your ISP’s mail server and the port which it
uses. Advanced settings include letting you specify additional mail accounts,
an E-mail client to be launched once the E-Remove session is complete (e.g.,
Eudora or Outlook Express), and the number of lines of each message which
is to be downloaded for previewing.
Running the program, with an active Internet
connection, accesses the specified POP server and provides a summary screen
of information relating to the messages available for down- loading. For
each message, the information given is the priority of the message, an
indication if a file is attached, the size of the message in KB, the date
on which the message was sent, the sender’s E-mail address, and the subject
A single click on any message in the list
marks the message for deletion. Multiple messages may be selected by clicking
on multiple entries in the list. Continuing the program’s operation, deletes
the selected mail items, and moves on to the final screen where the option
to run an E-mail client on exit is presented. Normally, one would continue
in this manner so as to download the remaining — wanted — messages from
the mail server.
Double clicking on a particular message
in the list provides two information tabs. The “General” tab displays
the initial lines of text in the message which E-Remove has obtained from
the mail server. The “Source” tab displays the complete E-mail header information.
A sort feature is also provided, whereby clicking on any column in the
list of messages sorts the list on that specific category. Thus, one can
sort messages by size, date sent, priority, etc.
E-Remove is a freeware program which the
author, Victor Javier of the Philippines, has tested under Windows 95 and
NT. The current release appears to be Version 2.4, dated July 4,
1988. However, at the time of writing, the web site specified for user
registration, http://home.pacific.net.sg/~thantom/eremove.htm, was
giving an error message (Homepage Error: The userid that you have specified
does not exist).
A search on Google (http://www.google.com)
identified an alternative web site at http://eremover.bizhosting.com/ which
provides information about E-Remove, and is a source for downloading the
software distribution. However, this site does not appear to have been
updated for some time, and a number of the links are broken.
All this to say that it would appear further
updates to this software may not be available. Nevertheless, Version
2.4 can be obtained from the bizhosting web site, and is quite serviceable.
OPCUG members can also download the E-Remove distribution package, eremov24.zip
(200 KB), from The PUB.
E-Mail Remover, Version 2.4
from Victor Javier
Web site: http://eremover.bizhosting.com/
Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer
Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa,
ON K2G 1S6
The opinions expressed in
these reviews may not necessarily
represent the views of the
OPCUG or its members.