*:48 and INT2 Electronic Mail and Computer Mediated Communication

Exam 1999-03-03

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.

Please write your e-mail address on the outside of the folder with your exam.

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 is available by phone, to answer questions about the exam, between 13 and 14 on phone 08-664 77 48.



Max. score


Which functions in multi-user calendar booking systems can be controversial, and why, and how can the problems be resolved?




  • Allowing others to look at your personal calendar can be regarded as an infringement of privacy.
  • Booking a person for a meeting without explicit permission can be regarded as unacceptable control.
  • Certain information, like the fact that John should not be booked for a meeting on Monday mornings, might be too sensitive to store in a computer.
  • Explicitly specifying which people are more or less important for a meeting can be controversial.

All these problems can be alleviated, if the computer does not book a time automatically, only collects data for final decisions by the people involved.



What is meant with "symbolic capital" and how can it be of importance in computer mediated communication?




By symbolic capital is meant the non-monetary capital which a person has in the form of knowledge, status, honor, participation in peer groups. It is important in all human communication. It can cause problems if CMC connects people with different culturar views and values. In general, the symbolic capital in CMC can be different than the symbolic capital which a person has in F2F communication.



What are the pros and cons of store-and-forward distribution of e-mail on the way from sender to recipient?




  • Can reduce multiple transport of the same document across large distances, since one copy can be sent and then split near the recipients.
  • User does not have to wait during the delivery handling.
  • Automatic resending if the recipient is not available can be done without trouble for the sender.
  • Recipient can download a selection of newly arrived messages.
  • Transmission time can be longer.
  • Reliability can be lower, there are more places where a message can disappear.
  • Cost can be larger, and there can be problems paying for the relaying servers.
  • Sender does not get immediate feedback of delivery results.


Discuss the handling of error messages, saying that an e-mail message could not be put into the mailbox of the recipient, in the case where the message was sent via a mailing list.



Non-delivery notifications, when a message cannot be delivered to a member of a mailing list, can be sent to the list administrator or to the original sender. It is usually best to send them to the list administrator, since he/she can correct errors in the list. But in some cases (usually small, closed lists), it might be better to send them to the original sender, or to both the list administrator and the original sender.

The original sender should, however, get a non-delivery notification if the message could not be delivered to the list expander.

When a list expander distributes a message to list members, it should set the envelope sender (MAIL FROM) to the list moderator, but keep the original sender in the heading of the message. Non-delivery notifications are then returned to the envelope sender, not to the sender specified in the heading of the message.