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FirstClass is a graphical bulletin board system primarily used in the educational market. Originally developed under SoftArc.
New FirstClass 2.5 Features
- Directory Synchronization - FirstClass 2.5 servers in large distributed mail systems can be instructed to automatically exchange user directory information. Users added or removed on individual servers are reflected in the directories of all servers in the system.
- Remote Users - Names can be created locally that are "aliases" to users on other systems. Writing to "Jim Smith" can route the mail correctly whether the user is on a local server or on the far side of the world through the Internet.
- Multi-hop Routing - Mail sent to other systems no longer needs a direct gateway. The server stores a list of all known systems automatically and can create the proper route for the mail to take.
- Autoreply - Users can configure their accounts to automatically send a reply to the sender of new mail.
- Autoforward - Users can configure their account to automatically forward all new mail to another user or mailing list. Useful when on vacation or away on business.
- Unsend - Removes a sent message from conferences or recipients' mailboxes and allows for further editing.
- Reply Special - Replies can now be directed to "all users", "conferences" or only the sender without manual editing.
- Delivery Receipts - Receipts can be generated when a message is routed to another server, has been received by a recipient or has been read by a recipient. Receipts travel over FirstClass gateways.
- Message Priorities - Priorities can influence when a gateway runs. Urgent messages are indicated in bold in message lists.
- Message Sensitivity - Allows messages to be tagged for private delivery and messages to be routed over specific gateways.
- Personal Mail Lists - Users can now create any number of their own mail lists.
- Better NDN Logic - FirstClass non-delivery-notification messages (similar to Internet bounced mail messages) are no longer sent to gatewayed systems.
New FirstClass Protocol Features
- Speed Increases - FirstClass 2.5 incorporates a number of speed increases that provide much faster throughput regardless of connection method. Transfers speeds when connected to FirstClass by modem are just as fast as the popular ZModem protocol, but are asynchronous and bidirectional in FirstClass.
- WAN Speed Increases - FirstClass has always been better on long distance (long turnaround) links than most protocols. It's now even better. Users on WAN systems will notice large boosts in performance.
- Faster Uploads - Uploads are now the same speed as downloads when using either the FirstClass Client for Macintosh or FirstClass Client for Windows.
- Scriptable Logins - Users can now write scripts to log into FirstClass Servers over WAN systems or X.25 (such as SprintNet) through a simple scripting language.
- New Modem Handling - All modem handling is now controlled from easy to edit text files. This allows users to create and "pass around" modem settings easier than before. The same modem settings files are used on both the Mac and PC.
- Encryption - All packets transmitted between client and server are now encrypted automatically.
Enhancements to FirstClass Clients for Macintosh and Windows
- Client Similarity - The new FirstClass clients look almost identical on both the Mac and PC and are built from the same code. Unlike most "new" software versions, the latest clients are smaller, run in less memory and are noticeably faster than their earlier counterparts.
- New System Setup - Unlike prior versions, the new setup system is non-modal and and simpler to use. It can automatically select the correct settings for a particular modem making it harder for a user to select incorrect settings.
- Multi-item Select - You can now select and open many items at once and select items out of the middle of a list.
- Smart Window Sizing - Users' message or directory window resizing is remembered for new windows in the same session.
- Sort by Status - Allows you to sort your mail and messages by their importance and read status.