*:48 Electronic Mail and Computer Mediated Communication

Exam 1997-11-14

You can submit the exam in Swedish or English, but if you want the text of the exam questions in English, you should notify Jacob Palme at least two weeks in advance. Examen på svenska på andra sidan.

Allowed documents during the exam: Ordinary language dictionaries to and from Sweden and English.

To pass this exam, you will have to have a certain minimum number of points separately on question 1-2 and on question 3-4.

Carefully read the questions and check that your answer is really an answer to the question. As an example, in one exam a question was "Describe important characteristics with non-simultaneous computer conferencing systems, and which makes them different from electronic mail systems". One student gave a thorough description of the differences between computer conferencing and face-to-face meetings. Such an answer will regrettably give no points at all!

Jacob Palme will not be reachable during the exam, I will be in Budapest that day.

This exam is for 3.5 points. Those who have enrolled in thus course segment in 1996 or earlier, can choose to take the course as it was specified then, by only answering question 2-4 in the exam and only getting 2.5 points. If this is the case, write this very clearly as an answer to question 1 of the exam.

If you have earlier passed the course INT2, you shall only reply to question 3-4 and will only get 2 points in this exam. If this is the case, specify this clearly as your answer to question 3-4 in the present exam.



Max. score


Describe how computer systems for support during same-place face-to-face meetings usually work.



  • Support for collecting ideas and alternatives (brainstorming)
  • Support for sorting and organizing the ideas
  • Support for discussing the ideas
  • Support for selecting/evaluating/ranking/voting
  • Use of special-purpose program for numerical evaluations, cost computations, etc.
  • Reporting
  • Presentation, viewing, using common or different views
  • If several people can update the same piece of information simultaneously, special kind of handling is needed to ensure that some changes do not disappear
  • Joint big screen, separate keyboards, separate screens


Electronic mail does not only cause communication to be moved to e-mail from other media, it also often causes new communication to take place, which did not take place before. What kind of new communication is often added with electronic mail?



  • The same information is sent to more people than before.
  • More contacts at large organisational and geographical distances.
  • More contact opportunities for young people and non-bosses.
  • More exchange of experience, discussions, competence increasing communication.
  • Wider dissemination of new ideas.
  • Questions sent to a group of people.
  • Also new private communication.
  • Spamming, unnecessary and less valuable communication.


Describe different methods of forwarding or resending messages, which you have received, to additional recipients.



  • Copying the text of the message into the text of a new message.
  • Keeping the message as it is, but adding resent-headers and distributing it to new recipients.
  • Putting the entire message into a body part of Content-Type: message/rfc822. Comments can be added in other body parts.


Which restrictions in older standards for e-mail where the reasons for development of the MIME standard?



Older standards could only send 7-bit US-ASCII text and nothing more. There was no standard format for:

  • Sending national characters in non-English languages (like ÅÄÖ in Swedish or ¿ in Spanish).
  • Sending multimedia (pictures, sound, video).
  • Sending binary and application specific file attachments.