Here is a quick and dirty guide to directy accessing your POP3 server.

1. Go to any telnet program.
2. Connect to your mail server, on port 110.
3. You should see a welcome message.
4. Type "user xyz" (xyz = username, no quotes, you may need to turn on local echo to see what you are typing.)
5. It should respond "+OK". Type "pass foobar" (foobar = password).
6. Again it should say "+OK". In fact from now on assume it should always say "+OK". If you type something wrong, it will say "-ERR".
7. Type "list" to see a list of the message numbers and their sizes.
8. Type "retr x" (x = message number) to read a message. *
9. Type "dele x" to mark a message for deletion when you quit.
10. Type "rset" to unmark all messages so they will not be deleted.
11. Type "quit" to quit and delete all marked messages.

* If it is a long message it may scroll off the screen. You could turn on logging and look at it later.

This is not the whole POP3 protocol, just what you will probably use.

What is this good for? You can quickly read your mail from just about any computer on the internet. And if your mail program breaks, you can use this as a emergency backup. You can also impress people.