Eudora Welty and Eudora, the email client

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Eudora Welty and Eudora, the email client - v JOHN 4. WEBB Arts Columnist I '"' 1 6...
v JOHN 4. WEBB Arts Columnist I '"' 1 6 ,ar'on"'-ecl9er Eudora Welty is an e-mail laureate in cyberspace I was getting on fine with Boss-Man till deadline come around again, and me not finished my column and him hollering and looking at me like the man in the moon. So I says Boss-Man better stop it with his conniption fits (what he'd really done, he'd drunk another bottle of that prescription). Besides, I have my pride so I up and says, '. "I'm leaving and as to where I intend to go, you 'seem to forget that I've always got the P.O... " That is, my treasured e-mail system, Eudora 3.0.1!... Indeed, the high-tech terrain of computer i software seems a world apart from the evocative landscape peopled by Eudora Welty's quirky characters. Yet the noted Jackson scribe has been celebrated on the Internet since 1990 by those prob-: ably more familiar with Doom than Delta Wedding. ' When software entrepreneur Steve Domer decided to name his new e-mail system, he cast a wide 'Net. He ultimately named the program after Welty, whose short story Why I Live at the P.O. inspired his program's original slogan, "Bringing the P.O. to Where You Live." ; What does Welty think? "I find it all very mysterious, but I was certainly flattered to be a part of it," says the renowned writer, who is known to prefer typewriters to computers. "A documentary about the Internet was ;made by a Canadian company," says Dorner, "and in the process of doing one of the segments about e-mail, they talked to me. They said Wel- ty was pleased that it was named after her." Petrified man ; Has Dorner, of Urbana-Champaign, 111., ever met the writer? "I've never talked to her," he ' says. "I'm too embarrassed." Dorner, a software engineer for PROCOMM ; Inc., developed the program at the University of Illinois to improve on the arcane UNIX service. He says he thought it would be "cute" to name the program after Welty. Eudora the program an Internet hit that has 18 million users is as gray and functional as Eudora the writer is colorful and idiosyncratic. Yet the We,,y versal, with Welty's sto ries reaching as much of the world as Dorner's ' e-mail program. I Dorner says Eudora 3.0.1 which eschews memory-devouring graphics in favor of efficien cy is based on standard protocols that make ' it easier to switch from one Internet service to another, and to communicate with other sys-"t terns connecting the global village. And Dorner says he believes the name Eu-r dora clicks with users like a mouse on an icon. "In addition to being embarrassed that I ap-" propriated the great writer's name, I'm glad I brought her to the awareness of a larger audi-T ence people who've never heard of her," says Dorner. - For instance, he says, a Japanese man came 'to the United States to help translate the Eu-.'dora program into his native language. "He t went out and bought a Welty book and read it in English, although he did find the dialect to be a little challenging." Computer illiterates 1' Dorner says few people guess the origins of I the name. "Generally speaking, people in cy-; berspace aren't terribly literate they didn't have a clue," says Dorner, adding that while 'some thought it had "something to do with a I 'door,' " others went back to the Greek etymolo-; gy. "A lot of people had never heard of her." Then again, Welty may never have heard of Myst t And if Boss-Man come tome like the man in ', the moon attempting to explain his hollerin', I I'll put my fingers in my ears and refuse to lis- ten. That's why I live at Eudora's online P.O. ' (For information on Eudora e-mail software, t call 1-800-2EUDORA or visit the Web site at John Webb's arts column appears on Sun-- To contact him, call 961-7280. J s

Clipped from
  1. Clarion-Ledger,
  2. 29 Dec 1996, Sun,
  3. Page 55

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  • Eudora Welty and Eudora, the email client

    smithern – 28 Sep 2017

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