MAILBOOK Online User Guide: Keeping Track of People

Keeping Track of People

You'll use the NAMES command to build and update your electronic address book. Your address book is a file called userid NAMES (where userid is your userid) which NAMES will create and manage for you. We'll refer to it as your NAMES file. In it, you'll store your correspondents' electronic addresses (userids and domains) and other information of your choice such as full names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and personal characteristics.

All the information you provide to NAMES about a correspondent will make up an entry in your NAMES file. Wherever possible, MailBook will take the information it needs to identify your correspondent from his or her entry in your NAMES file. Each entry is identified by a nickname which you will assign when you create the entry. A nickname is any name you choose. For example, if you're corresponding with the author, who is, you can assign him the nickname RICHARD. After that you can refer to him simply as RICHARD.

When you issue the NAMES command, a special data entry screen will appear on your terminal. You type information into fields on this screen. You can press the tab key to move the cursor quickly to each field.

From CMS, enter the following command:

The screen below will appear. (Your userid will appear in the first line instead of userid.) Type information in the space provided next to each labeled field. (1)


 ====> NAMES (Mail panel)      File: SCHAFER  NAMES    A1                Screen 1 of 1 


Figure 1 – Blank NAMES file screen

The fields on the screen are explained below.


You must enter a Nickname, a Userid, and a Node. The nickname can be any name you like that will fit into 8 characters or less and may be the same as the userid. The nickname will identify this entry to all MailBook commands. The userid is the name with which this user logs onto his or her computer. The node is the domain name for this user's computer system. If you need to communicate with people who may be on a network, please contact your Help Desk for more instruction. You can type these fields using upper or lowercase letters. They will be upper cased automatically, unless your system has changed the NAMES command to allow mixed case userids and domains, as many have.


Name, Phone, and Address are optional. You can type these fields in upper or lowercase letters or a combination of the two. They will remain the way you type them. Phone and Address are not used for electronic mail.


Notebook is the filename of a file, referred to as a notebook, where MAIL will automatically store all incoming mail from and outgoing mail to this user. The file is called notebook NOTEBOOK where notebook is the name you choose. You may assign different notebooks to each of your correspondents or you may assign the same notebook to more than one correspondent. If you leave the field blank, MAIL will use ALL NOTEBOOK for this user. Notebooks, and their use with MAIL and MAILBOOK will be discussed later.


Tag and Value are not used in electronic mail, and can be ignored for now.(2)

Now, you are all set to add this entry to your NAMES file. Press F2 to ADD the entry. A message will appear near the bottom of the screen telling you that the entry has been added (to your NAMES file).

To add another entry, first clear all the fields by pressing F4. You are now ready to fill in the information for the next person.

When you are finished adding entries, press F3 to exit from the screen.

A Sample NAMES File

(With apologies to fairy-tale lovers everywhere.)

Once upon a time, there was a computer user named Snow White. Her userid was SNOWHITE.

She used her computer to communicate with Prince Charming (for love messages), the Bad Queen (for hate mail), and the Seven Dwarfs (for domestic files).

All these imaginary characters were users of a computer somewhere.

Let's look at Snow White's NAMES file. The first entry in her NAMES file should be for Snow White.(3) (She probably won't want to communicate with herself, but the information in her entry will be used when she sends mail.)


 ====> NAMES (Mail panel)      File: SNOWHITE NAMES    A1                Screen 1 of 1 
                                                            Macro-read 1 File


Figure 2 – A Sample NAMES file entry

In addition to her own entry, Snow White has some additional entries for other people she knows.


 ====> NAMES (Mail panel)      File: SNOWHITE NAMES    A1                Screen 1 of 1 
                                                            Macro-read 1 File


Figure 3 – Another NAMES file entry

 ====> NAMES (Mail panel)      File: SNOWHITE NAMES    A1                Screen 1 of 1 
                                                            Macro-read 1 File


Figure 4 – One more NAMES file entry

Creating an Entry for a List of Names

If you often send mail to the same group of people, you can create an entry for a list of names (which is like a distribution list).

The nickname you type in the Nickname field is the nickname of the list, not of a person in the list. You type the nickname of each person in the list in the List of Names field. Figure 5 shows a list being added.


 ====> NAMES (Mail panel)      File: SNOWHITE NAMES    A1                Screen 1 of 1 
                                                            Macro-read 1 File


Figure 5 - Adding a list

The nickname of this list is DWARFS. The nickname of each dwarf is entered in the List of Names field. You can type the nicknames in either upper or lowercase letters. Do not use commas to separate the names in the list. In this case, each dwarf of the seven dwarfs has an entry in the NAMES file.

What if a dwarf in the list is not in the NAMES file? Then you must specify a userid instead of a nickname. In Figure 5, JOHN, the unknown dwarf, has no NAMES file entry.

You can send mail to one user or to every user in a list, depending on which nickname you use. When Snow White sends mail to one dwarf, she uses that particular dwarf's nickname, such as HAPPY. When she communicates with all the dwarfs, she uses the nickname of the list of dwarfs, DWARFS, to send her mail to every dwarf on the list.

Of course, you can have many list entries, each with its own nickname. For example, you might have lists named ENEMIES and FRIENDS. Lists may also be made up of other lists, such as one which contained both ENEMIES and FRIENDS.

Keeping Your NAMES File Up to Date

So far, we've been discussing how to create new entries. But what if someone moves? Or gets a new phone number? Or even a new name? The information in your NAMES file must be updated to reflect these changes.

Finding an Entry

To delete or change an entry, you must first display it on the screen. If you know the entry's nickname, you can issue the NAMES command with nickname.

NAMES nickname 
to display the entry on the screen.

If you can't remember the nickname, you can just enter

to display a blank NAMES data entry screen just like Figure 1. Now fill in a field with a piece of information about the person whose entry you are trying to find and then press F5. The first entry that contains the specified information will appear on the screen.

Another way to find the entry is to use the Previous and Next function keys. To move backward in your NAMES file, press F7. To move forward in your NAMES file, press F8. These Function keys allow you to display each name in your NAMES file, one at a time.

Changing an Entry

When you have found the entry you want to change, retype the data you wish to modify, then press F6.

Remember that you are changing this information. If you accidentally press F2 you will add the information. As a result you'll have two entries -- the original and the one with the changes you just entered. You will see a message warning you about the creation of a duplicate entry.

Deleting an Entry

When you no longer need an entry that is in your Names file, you can remove it.

First, display the entry you wish to remove. (See Finding an Entry.) Then press F10. The entry will be deleted from your NAMES file.

Getting Out

Once you've finished making changes to your NAMES file, press F3. All the changes you have made will be saved to disk.

Summary of the NAMES Command

Use the NAMES command to create a NAMES file that will allow you to use nicknames to refer to individuals or groups of people when you are sending mail.

From CMS, type

and press Enter for a blank entry screen. Or type NAMES name and press Enter for the entry belonging to name.

To perform any of the following functions, just press the appropriate function key.

Key      Name     Description 
 F1      HELP     Display a detailed description of the NAMES command 
 F2      ADD      Add this entry to the NAMES file 
 F3      QUIT     Exit from the NAMES screen 
 F4      CLEAR    Blank the fields, so you can create a new entry 
 F5      FIND     Find and display an entry. Fill in one of the fields on a
                  cleared screen, and press F5. If a matching field is found, 
                  that entry is displayed 
 F6      CHANGE   Change an existing entry. For example, if someone's address
                  or phone number changes, type the new data on that person's
                  entry and press F6 
 F7      PREVIOUS Display the previous entry 
 F8      NEXT     Display the next entry 
 F10     DELETE   Remove this entry 


  1. If your NAMES screen looks different from the one shown in the figure, don't panic. Either your site or IBM has changed the NAMES command since this guide was written. The most likely change is that the fields have been rearranged. Go see your help desk if you can't figure the screen out.

  2. You can use them to save additional information about someone. Tag is a category you create, like color. Value holds a value appropriate to that category, like red.

  3. I'll bet you never realized that Snow White lived in Texas!