View Full Version : Finding email addresses on your own

H.j. Woltring, Fax/tel +31.40.413 744
08-06-1992, 09:25 PM
Dear Biomch-L readers,

Finding the electronic mail address of a person can be a difficult problem,
for lack of standardized White Page Directories on EARN/BITNET, the Internet,
etc. A number of utilities currently exist that facilitate the search process,
especially if you do not wish to bother the relevant postmasters with your

One of these was mentioned in the Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Digest
Vol. 4, nr. 4 received today (ai-medicine-request@med.stanford.edu). It is
the "White Pages Directory Tool" developped at the University of Boulder in
Colorado, USA. Below is a sample session in which merely the HELP information
was asked for. Various papers in addition to the ones mentioned below are
available to Internet users via anonymous ftp at ftp.cs.colorado.edu -- if you
are not on the Internet, you can use the BITFTP utility at PUCC.BITNET: just
send a HELP request to BITFTP@PUCC.BITNET for further details.

Other, similar tools are the WHOIS service that can be reached via rlogin/
telnet at nic.ddn.mil on the Internet, and the NetInfo facility at the
University of Berkeley (telnet netinfo.berkeley.edu 117 or 117).

If you have a Unix/Ultrix system on the Internet, the use of the finger and
nslookup utilities can be a great help, too: see the man pages for further
details. If you suspect that your party may be subscribing to a ListServ
list under LISTEARN (such as Biomch-L), you can also try sending the command
SHOW USER keyword to the ListServ address (*not* to the list's address!),
where the keyword may be part of that person's email address or name; if
(s)he is a subscriber to any of the lists hosted on that ListServer, his/her
name and email address will be returned to you.

Hopefully, this information may be useful to some of you.
Regards -- hjw

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$ telnet bruneo.cs.colorado.edu
Escape character is '^]'.

SunOS UNIX (bruno)

login: netfind

Note: the rlogin interface to Netfind will go away in mid-August.
However, you will still be able to use the telnet interface.

================================================== ===
Welcome to the University of Colorado Netfind server.
================================================== ===

I think that your terminal can display 24 lines.
If this is wrong, please enter the "Options" menu and
set the correct number of lines.

Help/Search/SeedDB lookup/Options/Quit [h/s/d/o/q]: h
Given the name of a person on the Internet and a rough description of where
the person works, Netfind attempts to locate information about the person.
When prompted, enter a name followed by a set of keywords, such as
schwartz boulder colorado university
The name can be a first, last, or login name. The keys describe where the
person works, by the name of the institution and/or the city/state/country.
If you know the institution's domain name (e.g., "cs.colorado.edu", where there
are host names like "brazil.cs.colorado.edu") you can specify it as keys
without the dots (e.g., "cs colorado edu"). Keys are case insensitive and may
be specified in any order. Using more than one key implies the logical AND of
the keys. Specifying too many keys may cause searches to fail. If this
happens, try specifying fewer keys, e.g.,
schwartz boulder
If you specify keys that match many domains, Netfind will list some of
the matching domains/organizations and ask you to form a more specific
search. Note that you can use any of the words in the organization
strings (in addition to the domain components) as keys in future

Organizational descriptions are gathered from imperfect sources.
However, it is usually easy to tell when they are incorrect or not fully
descriptive. Even if the organization line is incorrect/vague, the
domain name listed will still work properly for searches. Often you can
"guess" the proper domain. For example, "cs..edu" is usually
the computer science department at a university, even if the
organizational description doesn't make this clear. NOTE: please help
me improve the seed database. See the help section under the "seed DB
lookup" command in the "Other" menu.

When Netfind runs, it displays a trace of the parallel search progress,
along with the results of the searches. Since output can scroll by
quickly, you might want to run it in a window system, or pipe the output
through tee(1):
telnet |& tee log
You can also disable trace output from the "Other" menu.

You can get the Netfind software by anonymous FTP from
ftp.cs.colorado.edu, in pub/cs/distribs/netfind. More complete
documentation is also available in that package.

Netfind was developed as a research prototype by Mike Schwartz and Panos
Tsirigotis, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. A paper describing
the methodology is available by anonymous FTP from ftp.cs.colorado.edu,
in pub/cs/techreports/schwartz/PostScript/White.Pages.ps.Z (compressed
PostScript) or pub/cs/techreports/schwartz/ASCII/White.Pages.txt.Z
(compressed ASCII).

If you have comments or suggestions, please send them to Mike Schwartz
(schwartz@cs.colorado.edu). I regret that I cannot help users with
particular searches - I simply do not have the staffing resources to do

If you would like to be added to the netfind-users list (for software
updates and other discussions, etc.), send mail to

Help/Search/SeedDB lookup/Options/Quit [h/s/d/o/q]: