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how to identify mail server availabitlity for a PC on cable?

I want to build an simple email smtp client app similar to outlook except
with some custom features for a personal computer that uses comcast cable.
The owner of the computer said she doesn't have a comcast email and uses
gmail instead, but the internet service provider is comcast. This computer
also does not have MS Office loaded - otherwise I would open Outlook and see
what mail server it is using.

On my development machine at my home, I use dsl and can access the mail
server from my dsl provider which is the same mail server that my Outlook is
using (actually, I got the mail server from Outlook). And on my workstation
at the workplace (which uses comcast), I can also reach the mail server from
my dsl. But on my friend's personal computer, I could not reach the mail
server from my dsl provider or from her comcast provider. Bottom line - I
don't really know how mail servers and email work - too well. I found a
sample email smtp client app on the net (in C#) which I was able to apply to
my personal computer at my home, and also at my workplace. But same code not
working on my friend's computer - it either can't resolve the mail server or
access denied.

Is there a way I could find what mail server is available for this computer
the way Outlook would find it without having to load Outlook on this
computer?

Thanks,
Rich
Jun 27 '08 #1
4 1745
On Apr 14, 2:28 pm, Rich <R...@discussio ns.microsoft.co mwrote:
I want to build an simple email smtp client app similar to outlook except
with some custom features for a personal computer that uses comcast cable.
The owner of the computer said she doesn't have a comcast email and uses
gmail instead, but the internet service provider is comcast. This computer
also does not have MS Office loaded - otherwise I would open Outlook and see
what mail server it is using.

On my development machine at my home, I use dsl and can access the mail
server from my dsl provider which is the same mail server that my Outlook is
using (actually, I got the mail server from Outlook). And on my workstation
at the workplace (which uses comcast), I can also reach the mail server from
my dsl. But on my friend's personal computer, I could not reach the mail
server from my dsl provider or from her comcast provider. Bottom line - I
don't really know how mail servers and email work - too well. I found a
sample email smtp client app on the net (in C#) which I was able to apply to
my personal computer at my home, and also at my workplace. But same code not
working on my friend's computer - it either can't resolve the mail server or
access denied.

Is there a way I could find what mail server is available for this computer
the way Outlook would find it without having to load Outlook on this
computer?

Thanks,
Rich
I am pretty sure outlook cannot find the mail server by itself. you
will have to enter it yourself.
There is one way you could find it.that is by port scanning the the
netwrok. but i think comcast is not going to like it.
About your connectivity problem... i am not sure if got it right.. but
if you are trying to say that you cannot send email from you comcast
network using ur dsl mail server, it might make sense. I had a similar
problem where comcast would not let me send email using outlook(work
email server). I had to use their(comcast) mail server
Also if your client is using gmail then you could use gmails servers.I
believe comcast only blocks port 25 for sending mail and gmail uses
some higher port number.
Jun 27 '08 #2

"Rich" <Ri**@discussio ns.microsoft.co mwrote in message
news:17******** *************** ***********@mic rosoft.com...
>I want to build an simple email smtp client app similar to outlook except
with some custom features for a personal computer that uses comcast cable.
The owner of the computer said she doesn't have a comcast email and uses
gmail instead, but the internet service provider is comcast. This
computer
also does not have MS Office loaded - otherwise I would open Outlook and
see
what mail server it is using.

On my development machine at my home, I use dsl and can access the mail
server from my dsl provider which is the same mail server that my Outlook
is
using (actually, I got the mail server from Outlook). And on my
workstation
at the workplace (which uses comcast), I can also reach the mail server
from
my dsl. But on my friend's personal computer, I could not reach the mail
server from my dsl provider or from her comcast provider. Bottom line - I
don't really know how mail servers and email work - too well. I found a
sample email smtp client app on the net (in C#) which I was able to apply
to
my personal computer at my home, and also at my workplace. But same code
not
working on my friend's computer - it either can't resolve the mail server
or
access denied.

Is there a way I could find what mail server is available for this
computer
the way Outlook would find it without having to load Outlook on this
computer?

Thanks,
Rich
Outlook finds the mail server ( and other details it needs - account name,
password, and some others) by presenting a wizard to the user when it is
first run, and asking them to enter the information, which should have been
provided to them by their ISP. Your application will need to provide
something similar to the user. (Your friend will have to contact their ISP
if they don't have the details.)

Rob

Jun 27 '08 #3
Thanks all for your replies. It sounds like my easiest solution would be to
load Outlook and run the wizard (which is what I meant by Outlook finding the
mail server). One thing where I am a little bit confused is this:

I have dsl at my house. My email works fine at my house. We have comcast
at my workplace. I can enter my dsl mail server and the app sends emails
from my dsl sever fine at the workplace. But my friend also has comcast - is
comcast different for home use than business use? Or is the comcast at the
workplace just using my windows login information to authenticate me?

And I have read something about port 587 is it? for sending email other
than port 25? Do I modify the app config file for this?
"Rich" wrote:
I want to build an simple email smtp client app similar to outlook except
with some custom features for a personal computer that uses comcast cable.
The owner of the computer said she doesn't have a comcast email and uses
gmail instead, but the internet service provider is comcast. This computer
also does not have MS Office loaded - otherwise I would open Outlook and see
what mail server it is using.

On my development machine at my home, I use dsl and can access the mail
server from my dsl provider which is the same mail server that my Outlook is
using (actually, I got the mail server from Outlook). And on my workstation
at the workplace (which uses comcast), I can also reach the mail server from
my dsl. But on my friend's personal computer, I could not reach the mail
server from my dsl provider or from her comcast provider. Bottom line - I
don't really know how mail servers and email work - too well. I found a
sample email smtp client app on the net (in C#) which I was able to apply to
my personal computer at my home, and also at my workplace. But same code not
working on my friend's computer - it either can't resolve the mail server or
access denied.

Is there a way I could find what mail server is available for this computer
the way Outlook would find it without having to load Outlook on this
computer?

Thanks,
Rich
Jun 27 '08 #4
I have dsl at my house. My email works fine at my house. We have comcast
at my workplace. I can enter my dsl mail server and the app sends emails
from my dsl sever fine at the workplace. But my friend also has comcast -
is
comcast different for home use than business use? Or is the comcast at
the
Comcast is an american isp yes?
I would have thought it shouldn't matter who the ISP is as to whether or not
u can connect to an email server, especially on a home account. But if
you're getting through from certain clients then it's more likely there's a
configuration problem on your friend's pc or network gateway. Have you
checked firewalls/router configuration etc?
Port 25 is the most common port that a SMTP email server would listen on for
connections, but that's configurable by the people owning that server and it
could be any "number" especially if there's a mad professor mentality to the
person in charge of installing the server software.
When your software wants to talk to an email server it needs to know the
settings needed to connect to that server eg
IP address, port, requires authentication, user ID, password and whether it
requires SSL. You can store those as fixed values in the app config file, or
you can use configurable user values via settings.settin gs. Personally I
prefer using values I can change at runtime.
Contact the email service provider to find out which settings you need to
connect to their particular server. There's usually an info page on their
web site.

Regarding Outlook. On home machine each simple email account will have their
own settings and you should be able to view these. At the office Outlook
links to our company email server in some devilishly clever way to give me
my email . I assume logging on with my domain account also logs me on to the
correct outlook mail boxes without needing to configure anything.
Jun 27 '08 #5

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