~ Accmail techniques ~
         Petit image    Accmail
Updated April 2008

[Introduction]    [A working example]
[Gerald E. Boyd's lores]
~ Accmail techniques ~
[accmail searching]    [filedownloads]    [URL retrievals]
[Other toys to play with]    [Usenet via accmail (Sonador)]    [Anagrams and definitions]


This is a very old (1998 vintage) and almost obsolete part of searchlores, seldom updated. Many of the email "toys" listed below do not work anymore. Yet some do. So this might still be useful, after all these years. Go figure.
You should visit and head Master Gerry Boyd's [site] and maillists, Gerry being (together with the now 'retired' Bob Appleton of the '4u series') the foremost authority on the web for all accmailing 'purposes'. I owe them a lot of knowledge.

A small "trick" you should be aware of, is that when you write a long url address (which happens pretty off when you accmail), you may have some problems to keep it on the same line without cutting it (the bot on the other end would not understand a cutted url). In case you wish to write a very long URL - especially useful when addressing CGI scripts with parameters, remember that all lines that end with a backslash - (\) are considered to be continued on the next line - and be aware that the next character of the line is the first character of the next. This means that:
   is interpreted as

http://www.search lores.org
so don't put leading spaces on your continued lines unless you really want them there.
A working example

Try it right away

How to get RFCs

All the official standards in the internet community are published as a Request for Comment, or RFC. Additionally there are lots of RFCs that are not official standards, but are published for informational purposes. The RFCs range in size from 1 page to almost 200 pages. Each is identified by a number, such as RFC 1122, with higher numbers for newer RFCs. All the RFCs are available at no charge through electronic mail or using FTP across the Internet. Send an e-mail as shown here:
To: rfc-info@ISI.EDU 
    Subject: getting rfcs 
    help: ways_to_get_rfcs
Where help: ways_to_get_rfcs is the CONTENT (body) of your mail.
This will return a detailed listing of various ways to obtain the RFCs.

In fact the approch is very simple:
Address your request to
To: rfc-info@rfc-editor

Retrieve: RFC
Doc-ID: RFCnnnn
where you don't need a subject and the two lines Retrieve: RFC and Doc-ID: RFCnnnn will be the body (content) of your mail. Note that "nnnn" refers to the number of the RFC (always use 4 digits - the DOC-ID of RFC 822 is therefore "RFC0822").

Gerald E. Boyd's lores

  1. To get the ACCMAIL FAQ: Send an e-mail to "mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu" and enter only the following line in the BODY of your posting:
    send usenet/news.answers/internet-services/access-via-email
  2. To receive Boyd's tut on cracking search engines by email:
  3. To access directly Boyd's site go here: [http://www.expita.com/]
  4. [boyd1.htm]: Fravia's copy of G.E.Boyd's E-Mail Servers Listing
    by G.E.Boyd
    June 1998, updated July 1999
    unvaluable list, if you know or learn how to use these beasts. Boyd is a (the :-) famous master accmailer.
    Added in July 1999:
    The importance of Accmail, by fravia+

Accmail techniques: searching

Of course most accmail searching techniques applies to URL retrieving as well
You should by all means try Google by e-mail.
Send the following message:

TO: www4mail@unganisha.idrc.ca
SUBJECT: [whatever, useful for your own loggings]
BODY: get http://www.google.com/search?q=search+hints&num=100&sa=Google+Search

Replace search and hints with subjects of your own choice.

Another good (and usually faster) service is KFS:
TO: www@kfs.org
SUBJECT: [whatever, useful for your own loggings]
BODY: search search and hints

Replace search and hints with subjects of your own choice.

Gerry Boyd's own advices follow below (his example was for a yahoo search about spam, but I have modified it :-)
Gerry prefers to leave the Subject field blank (or write "request" into it), but I think that if you will use a meaningful subject line, you will better evaluate your results, especially if you perform multiple queries at the same time:

To: agora@dna.affrc.go.jp (OR other Agora server)
Subject: [whatever, useful for your own loggings]
Body of message: SEND http://ink.yahoo.com/bin/query?p=%22professional+searchers%22

To: page@grabpage.com
Subject: [whatever, useful for your own loggings]
Body of message: URL: http://search.yahoo.com/web/advanced/search?p=%22relevance+ranking%22

To: webgate@vancouver-webpages.com
Subject: [whatever, useful for your own loggings]
Body of message: DUMP http://ink.yahoo.com/bin/query?p=%22results+clustering%22&hc=0&hs=0
(very interesting findings!)

To: webmail@www.ucc.ie
Subject: [whatever, useful for your own loggings]
Body of message: SEND http://ink.yahoo.com/bin/query?p=%22topic+categorization%22

To: www4mail@ftp.uni-stuttgart.de (OR other www4mail server)
Subject:[whatever, useful for your own loggings]
Body of message: SEND http://ink.yahoo.com/bin/query?p=%22filtering+and+routing%22

A slightly more complicated procedure: healthnet (very quick):

To: getweb@usa.healthnet.org (OR other Getweb server)
Subject: [whatever, useful for your own loggings]
Body of message: GET http://www.yahoo.com/

Wait for returned healthnet form, fill out form and return to same Getweb server. You can also do the same thing at a www4mail server by using the same commands shown for the Getweb servers.
Note: getweb@usa.healthnet.org doesn't reply to .net or .com addresses.

Accmail techniques: filedownloads

Email data@downloadslave.com with the word help both in your subject and in your body fields. Subscribe. Use it once suscribed (with your own password). Max 10 Megabytes downloads.

Email www4mail@wm.ictp.trieste.it with the word help both in your subject and in your body fields. Subscribe. Use it.
Classical commands:

Accmail techniques: URL retrievals

see [above] the section about accmail searching techniques, since they can be used for URL retrievals as well, here I'll delve a little into grabpage specifics


Web2Mail makes it easy to access the web by email. To request instant delivery of a web page, send an email to www@web2mail.com putting the address of the web page you want in the subject of your email message. You should receive a reply within 5 minutes.

Web2Mail even enables you to search the web by email. To search for "peanuts" for example, send an email to www@web2mail.com with the subject "search peanuts" in your email message. We will use a popular search engine to perform your search then reply to you with your search results, usually within 5 minutes.


Make sure you address requests for web pages to: page@grabpage.com other addresses at GrabPage will not return a web page to you. This is tricky: the "Reply-To" address that gets sent when you retrieve a web page is not 'page@grabpage.com', but the info address - which wont work when replaying.
To retrieve a web page, put the url of the page you want, after the four characters URL: either on the subject line or in the body of your e-mail. So, if you want to retrieve this very page your Subject: line should look something like this:
Subject: URL: http://www.searchlores.org/accmail.htm
or the body of your e-mail would look like this:
URL: http://www.searchlores.org/accmail.htm

You can format the webpage that gets sent back to you, putting the following two commands in the body of the e-mail message:
Length: 3500
Width: 40
this will cause the page to be formatted as best we can at 40 characters wide, and sent back in multiple messages of no more than 3500 characters (this would leave room for any header that your mail service may add to the message, yet would still keep you under a 4K "limit").

Note that you can also FINGER per email :-)

To find out someone else's e-mail address - if their site supports remote fingering, put WHOIS: followed by the name of the person in the Subject: line, so it'll look something like this:
Subject: WHOIS: person@xyz.com
To have the page sent back to an HTML- enabled mail reader, like Netscape Messenger, include the directive HTML: in the body of the e-mail message. This will allow you to view the page as a web page within your mail reader instead of a text message. This request would look something like this:
URL: http://www.searchlores.org/accmail.htm
Note that this will ONLY work if your mailer is HTML-enabled.
To minimize congestion, GrabPage will not process requests for potentially huge downloads such such a zipped, or pdf files.

Other toys to play with

Other toys to play with, email them with the word help both in your subject and in your body fields, and play accordingly:

Usenet via accmail (Sonador)

Visit the [usenet] section of this site if you need more info about usenet searching techniques.
To use the "Sonador" system, simply send an email to autonews_info@sonador.com with "help" both in the subject and in the text fields. The Sonador Automated Usenet Service allows you to read and post to Usenet newsgroups through email. This service is perfect for people who are limited to email usage, such as Juno customers and corporate slaves, or for people who just don't have time to sift through Usenet with a news reader. The concept is simple: Your favorite groups are searched for keywords, and any matching articles are emailed to you. Keyword searches are accomplished using Perl regular expression pattern matching. Keywords are ORed against message bodies and headers. The news server is polled once each day, at around 02:00 Eastern Standard time. More than 22000 newsgroups are supported.

Skip and go directly to Anagrams

Dictionary Acronym and Thesaurus Server

This is an email-only service: send a null (blank) mail message to wsmith@wordsmith.org with a subject line saying info wordserver

Help File

To save you the trouble, here is the help file:

This is an auto reply to your message to the wordserver at wsmith@wordsmith.org which provides following services:

You can use any of these services by sending the commands mentioned below. Note that the commands should be in the subject line and not in the body of the message. The body of the message is ignored. If you encounter any problems, do not hesitate to contact me.

Send messages to: wsmith@wordsmith.org and use any of the following commands in the subject of the message (one command only per message)

Commands for A.Word.A.Day

To subscribe to A.Word.A.Day, the subject line should read:

subscribe yourfirstname yourlastname

To unsubscribe from A.Word.A.Day, the subject line should read:


To know more about A.Word.A.Day, the subject line should read:

info A.Word.A.Day

Commands for Dictionary/by/Mail

To use the Dictionary/by/Mail, make the subject line as:

define myword

where myword is the word whose definition you want to find out. Please note that the word should be in lower case.

To know more about Dictionary/by/mail, make the subject line as:

info Dictionary/by/mail

Commands for Thesaurus/by/Mail

To use the Thesaurus/by/Mail, make the subject line as:

synonym myword

where myword is the word whose synonyms you want to find out. Please note that the word should be in lower case.

To know more about Thesaurus/by/mail, make the subject line as:

info Thesaurus/by/mail

Anagrams (per email and on the web)

(see above how to email the Dictionary Acronym and Thesaurus Server)

Commands for Anagram/by/Mail

To find out anagrams of a word, make the subject line as:

anagram myword

where myword is the word whose anagrams you want to find out.

To know more about Anagram/by/mail, make the subject line as:

info Anagram/by/mail

Of course you can find on the web more advanced anagram servers, for instance at http://wordsmith.org/anagram/advanced.html

Moreover I found this email in my boxes...

Hi Fravia!
I have an interesting search engine for you, which I developed on my own:
It´s called *Quick, and is available on
You can use it online and offline (Linux and Windows) to search for acronyms, translation of words, ...
And it has a very low noise rate ;-)
Just try it, download it, and include it in searchlores if you want.
Many greetings, Philipp Gühring   (p.guehring(at)futureware(dot)at)

Ein netter Kerl, and he also gives you his (good) sourcecode!

Indeed, anagrams are not confined to english...
ITALIAN: http://www.nightgaunt.org/anagrams/anagrams.htm
FRENCH & DUTCH: http://www.ssynth.co.uk/~gay/anagram.html
NORWEGIAN & SPANISH http://www.mi.uib.no/~ingeke/anagram/index_eng.html

Petit image

(c) III Millennium: [fravia+], all rights reserved