Department of Engineering

Using hermes webmail, for engineering users

The vast majority of people in the Engineering Department now have their email on hermes, instead of the engineering mail servers. Amongst other things this gives acceess to the hermes webmail service, which lets you read and send email from anywhere with web access, by visiting the address https://webmail.hermes.cam.ac.uk.

While the Computing Service have lots of documentation about using webmail for email there are often details which are slightly different for people with engineering email addresses. This document attempts to address some of those differences.

Logging on

Some engineering users have two different userids. One of them is their engineering id and is used to log onto the Teaching System, and may have been used to send email before converting to hermes: eg xyz. The other is their CRSid which is valid throughout the university and used for their hermes.cam.ac.uk address and cam.ac.uk address: eg xyz21. You should use your CRSid to log onto hermes webmail.

If you are at a computer which is only used by yourself it is safe to let your webbrowser save your id and password details, which will let you log on more quickly in future. You should not do this on a general access computer such as in an internet café.

Setting your email address

Just because you are sending email from hermes does not mean you have to use your hermes address. In fact you may have quite a choice of addresses. Consider our fictitious user above, who has all the following addresses:

  • xyz@eng.cam.ac.uk
  • xyz21@eng.cam.ac.uk
  • x.zhang@eng.cam.ac.uk
  • xyz21@hermes.cam.ac.uk
  • xyz21@cam.ac.uk

We would usually recommend that engineering users use (one of) their engineering addresses for sending out email. This allows recipients to easily tell that the mail comes from someone in the Engineering Department, and allows better continuity if the address has been used in the past. It also means that if/when you leave and your hermes account is closed it is possible for the department to provide a forwarding service for a short while to wherever your new address is without having to ask the computing service to keep your hermes account open.

To set up hermes webmail to use your chosen address click the "Manage" icon at the top of the screen, choose the "Preferences" button and then the "Compose" button. You can then fill in your preferred name and email address, and a reply-to address if you wish to have replies come to a different address. For the above example we would normally recommend xyz@eng.cam.ac.uk or x.zhang@eng.cam.ac.uk.

Vacation Messages

You can set up a vacation message for when you are away using hermes webmail. Click the "Manage" icon at the top of the screen and then click on the "Vacation" button in the "Mail Processing" section. For Engineering users the most important box is the "Aliases" box. In here you should fill in any address which forwards mail to your hermes account. Otherwise the vacation message will only go to people who send mail direct to your hermes address. For example our user above should fill in "xyz@eng.cam.ac.uk, xyz21@eng.cam.ac.uk, xyz21@hermes.cam.ac.uk, xyz21cam.ac.uk, x.zhang@eng.cam.ac.uk".

Then there are the main vacation options. There is a tick box to "Enable Vacation Message", which you should tick. The "Days" box sets the number of days hermes should wait before sending the message again to someone it has already sent it to. The default is usually OK. Finally there is the main box to fill in your message, remember to include returns at the ends of lines, or your message may look odd in some mailers.

When you are finished click "Apply". When you return remember to come back and untick the "enable" box and press "Apply" again to turn the message back off. You can leave the other settings for next time you are away.

Role Addresses

You might also have a role address, which you sometimes wish to use as the From address on email to ensure that the replies come back to the right address. For example The Conference on Shopping 2005 might have the address eng-shop-2005@eng.cam.ac.uk.

To add a role address to hermes webmail click "Manage" from the top of the page, then the "Roles" button from the Miscellaneous section. Click the "Add Role" button and fill in the details. eg

  Alias:              shopping
  From personal name: Shopping 2005 Conference Administrator	
  From address:       eng-shop-2005@eng.cam.ac.uk
  Reply to address:   eng-shop-2005@eng.cam.ac.uk	
  Fcc:                conference-sent-mail

The alias is your nickname for the role, the names and addresses should be self-explanatory and the Fcc is the name of the folder to save copies of sent mail into. You can make this be your main sent-mail folder or a special one for the role, as shown in the example above. You can also add a signature which will be added at the end of every message. Once you are done click the "Add/Update Role" button. You will then see a list of defined roles, and you can add more if you have more such addresses.

From now on when you press the "Compose" button to write a new message it will ask you which role you wish to use. The Default role will continue to send mail with your own details.