Marijuana Mail

Thomas Wellicome reviews this freeware cannabis themed low spec e-mail package


Marijuana Mail is an e-mail package designed to work on the most basic of set-ups. It can run on a plain vanilla ST with a minimum memory of 1 MB and a floppy drive. Marijuana Mail is very compact, the whole program is under 300 KB in size, and this can be reduced still further by deleting non-essential files. This leaves plenty of room for the dialler of choice, with Marijuana Mail supporting the popular STiK/STinG protocol for connection. Despite the name Marijuana Mail is a well written program and in no way will have you running to the 24 hour garage at 3 o'clock in the morning to stock up on cornish pasties, Mars Bars and Pringles. Well at least I hope not...

The e-mailer comes with a set-up program to allow you to add and alter user details such as e-mail address, password and signature file. This allows a quick start up, and is a nice idea, but the program is horrendously bugged. Attempting to change any of your account details results in the set-up utility being unable to find your previous user specifications. In fairness the author states in the accompanying instructions that the set-up program is awful and should really only be used once just to get Marijuana Mail running. Having said that, it's not the best introduction to Marijuana Mail, and not having the option to adjust user settings from within the e-mailer itself is a bit of a pain.

The program itself is much better and features an attractive and functional if plain interface. A user friendly toolbar at the top of the main window allows you to control the program. The button icons are a tad small and are in black and white, even on a colour system, the exception being the marijuana leaf logo. A colour resource file for users with enhanced graphics would have been a nice addition and improved the look of the program no end. Marijuana Mail is well laid out however and the tool bar buttons do exactly what you'd expect (and want) them to do.

[Screen-shot: Marijuana Mail]

With such a compact e-mail client you're bound to have a limited number of features and you do get only the basics with Marijuana Mail. Notably though these include some features that you wouldn't expect. Marijuana features a simple contacts address book allowing you to add and manage commonly used e-mail addresses, and allows you to assign names to those addresses. This feature is welcome, but is slightly limited in that you have to hand edit the entries rather than being able to add them from the In-box.

[Screen-shot: Contacts list]

It also features a built-in editor, saving you from having to use your own. The editor is simple but works well enough and certainly saves disk space and memory. One oversight is the omission of cut and paste. Text can't be selected and attempts to use [Control]+[V] to paste a paragraph from Everest resulted in a "Clipboard is empty" message. Of course, many users prefer to use an external editor, and a feature to be able to call an external program would have been worthy addition.

[Screen-shot: Integrated text editor]

Critically, Marijuana Mail lacks the ability to add attachments to e-mails, which may be the clinching factor for deciding whether using it is worthwhile or not. It also lacks the ability to filter or junk mail, something that is becoming increasingly important in these days of the mass mailing.

[Screen-shot: Mail properties]

Incoming and outgoing mail can be quickly and easily be sorted by author, subject and date, which partially makes up for the lack of a find feature. Messages in the Out-box can also be altered so they are logged as draft mails. This means they can be altered and the program won't end up sending them off in a half-complete state. Speed-wise e-mails seem to be uploaded and downloaded from the server quite fast, certainly faster than MyMail, though with no feature for dealing with attachments it was difficult to determine quite how fast Marijuana Mail was. The program does seem to fall roughly in-between the speedy likes of NEWSie and the aforementioned MyMail in this category and manages to sport a progress bar at the same time.

[Screen-shot: Mail sending progress]

So what can it offer to an Atari user already spoilt for choice with MyMail, ASH E-Mailer, A-Mail and NEWSie? Well obviously the ability to run from floppy on an extremely limited set-up is a big bonus, though you can get NEWSie and the veteran Ant Mail to run from a floppy system at a push. The lack of any ability to send attachments, filter mail or run an external editor (or have a more fully featured built-in one) are disadvantages, as is having to adjust your user details and signature files through the ropey set-up program. The program itself is very stable and despite its gimmick that it runs on a basic set-up also runs flawlessly under any Atari system thrown at it, including the Falcon, TT and Milan 32-bit machines. There are more featured e-mailers out there though and if you have a hard drive, plenty of memory and a fast computer then one of the alternatives would be preferable. If you just want to download and send the odd message on your ST and find the less user friendly interfaces of NEWSie and Ant Mail intimidating, it's hard to fault Marijuana Mail. If you haven't got a hard drive then it's almost essential. Despite having a name that would have members of the Women's Institute choking on their Earl Grey, Marijuana Mail is worth a look!



Marijuana Mail 0.1.67


Grzegorz K. Pawlik




  • Compact, works on most ST compatibles
  • No editor required
  • User friendly


  • Lacks some essential features
  • Currently has buggy set-up program
  • Can't use external editor



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MyAtari magazine - Review #1, January 2003

Copyright 2003 MyAtari magazine