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Classical mailboxes are normally displayed in the form of a simple, 80 x 20 character text-mode screen. The colors and graphics are rendered using ANSI codes. Software known as a "terminal program" is required to make this operate properly. This is, if you will, a kind of text-mode web browser with dialer. :-) A dialup through the Internet is simple, since nearly every operating system includes the necessary software. This is termed a telnet client. In principle, this need only be set to ANSI emulation, and off you go.

However, there are two problems: firstly, you cannot download anything with a telnet client, and secondly, most of these clients are incapable of displaying IBM-PC characters correctly. Thus, the display may not look so good, and the client also doesn't offer complete functionality. But it's easy to overcome such difficulties if you use a regular terminal emulator with telnet capabilities. Or a telnet client that can use the IBM-PC character set and offers a download protocol such as z-modem. You'll find both of these available for download on this page.