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A Brief Introduction to Pine
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Starting Pine
To start pine you must first log in to your account. At the prompt type: pine
and press the enter key. You will get the pine main menu:
PINE 3.96    MAIN MENU                                  Folder: INBOX 11 messages

           ?  HELP              -  Get help using pine

           C  COMPOSE MESSAGE   -  Compase and send/post a message

           I  FOLDER INDEX      -  View messgaes in current folder

           L  FOLDER LIST       -  Select a folder OR news group to view

           A  ADDRESS BOOK      -  Update the address book

           S  SETUP             -  Configure or update Pine

           Q  QUIT              -  Exit the pine program

   Copyright 1989-1997.  PINE is the trademark of the University of Washington.

? Help                       P PrevCmd                     R RelNotes
O OTHER CMDS  L [ListFldrs]  N NextCmd                     K KBLock

(the first time you use pine you will get some introductory text-this will only appear the first time you run the program).

You can select main menu options two different ways:

  • Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to highlight the option you want, then hit enter.
  • Type the letter next to the option you want (e.g., type ? to get help). You do not need to hit enter after selecting a menu option. Also, available commands (and their keys) are displayed at the bottom of the screen.
Note that you cannot use the mouse at all when using pine (or any other application on UNIX).

To quit pine, select quit from the main menu. You will be asked if you really want to quit; type Y. If you are done using UNIX, don't forget to enter exit at the prompt to log off.

Checking you Inbox
Incoming mail is stored in your inbox. To look at the contents of the inbox, thype the letter I from the Main Menu (or highlight the index option using the arrow keys and press enter). Your index will look something like this:

PINE 3.96    MESSAGE INDEX                             Folder: INBOX 11 messages

+     1 May 13 Thomas P. Boegel    (1,976) Re: Assignment 9 -- grade 20          
      2 Jun 18 gideon paul caplov  (2,642) CIS169-UW: LINUX World Expo II is comi
      3 Jun 29 Ulf Wostner         (4,821) CIS169-UW: EWORK 7:  Customizing the b
+     4 Jun 29 dsim57@earthlink.n (13,338) Computer Show Ticket Oakland 1340     
      5 Jul  8 Ulf Wostner         (5,827) CIS169-UW: EWORK 9: Primes, nohup,  tm
      6 Jul 19 Nhon Huynh          (2,954) Re: CIS169-UW: Last assignement.      
      7 Jul 20 Ulf Wostner         (7,361) Re: CIS169-UW: ework12                
      8 Jul 20 Hoyoung Bang        (2,652) CIS169-UW: ework ^__^                 
      9 Jul 20 Hoyoung Bang        (2,858) CIS169-UW: ework ^__^ (fwd)           
     10 Jul 20 miloh               (5,509) CIS169-UW: ftp on maggie and groupsear
+    11 Jul 20 Ulf Wostner         (1,413) Your Quiz Results                     
     12 Jul 20 ansel l. brown      (2,455) CIS169-UW: reply   

? Help       M Main Menu  P PrevMsg    - PrevPage   D Delete     R Reply         
O OTHER CMDS V [ViewMsg]  N NextMsg  Spc NextPage   U Undelete   F Forward 

(of course, you won't have my mail in your inbox)

The index describes information about your incoming mail. Towards the left of the index is the message number (in this case, messages range from 1 to 11). To the right of the message number are columns for:
    Date Sent     Person who sent the mail     Size of the message     Subject of the message

To the lseft of the message number is more information:

  • the letter A indicates that you have responded to that message,
  • the letter N indicates that you haven't read the message yet,
  • the letter D indicates that the messgae has been marked for deletion.
  • a plus (+) indicates that you were the only recipient of that message.
As before the commands available are listed on the bottom two lines of the screen. For example, you can hit M to go back to the main menu.
To view a meassage, use the leters P and N (or the arrow keys) to highlight the meassage you want, then choose V to view the message.
Also notice the top line of the screen - it indicates that there's a total of 11 messages in your inbox. if you've got more than 19 messages in your Inbox, you'll need to scroll down to see the rest of them.

Viewing Incoming Mail
After selecting the  message you want from the Inbox and selcting the View Message command, you'll get something that looks like this:

PINE 3.96   MESSAGE TEXT                Folder: INBOX  Message 2 of 13 ALL       

Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 18:13:30 -0700 (PDT)
From: gideon paul caplovitz <>
Subject: CIS169-UW: LINUX World Expo II is coming...

The second LinuxWolrd Conference and Expo is coming back to the San Jose
Convention Center Aug 9th-12th.  The conference features half and full day
tutorials on many advanced topics and Linus Torvalds is scheduled to give a keynote address on August 10th immediatly following a presentation by Jon "Maddog" Hall, Executive Director of Linux International.  The price for admission into the exhibition hall and speeches is $15, however, you can get in for free if you folow the instructions for registering at :

see you there!

                                [ALL of message]
? Help       M Main Menu  P PrevMsg    - PrevPage   D Delete     R Reply         
O OTHER CMDS V ViewAttch  N NextMsg  Spc NextPage   U Undelete   F Forward   

Again, the available commands are listed in the bottom two lines. Note on the left hand side of the lines of commands there's a selsction for "Other Cmds".
Some commands of note (some of which are seen only by choosing the Other Cmds option):

  • Hit I for Index View, to get you back to the previous view of your inbox
  • Choose Main Menu to get all the way back to the Main menu
  • Notice on the top line I'm seeing all of the message - if not it will show a percentage and you can use the arrow keys to scroll up and down to view thee rest of the message.
  • Use the Reply command to send mail back to the person who sent you the message you are looking at. When you choose the Reply command Pine will ask you two questions: 1. Include Original Message in Reply? Answer yes to insert the text of the current message into your reply.   2. Reply to all Recipients? If you are not the only recipient of a message, you can answer yes to this question and send mail back to everyone who got the message. Choose yes only if  what you're going to write back is something that eveyone needs to know about.
  • Choose the Delete option to mark the messsage for deletion. Messages are not immediately deleted (you can choose Undelete to remove the deletion mark), but rather are deleted when you exit Pine-Pine will ask if you want to "Expunge the messgaes from the Inbox".
Composing a Message
To compose an original message, choose the Compose Message option from the Main Menu. You'll get the following screen:
 PINE 3.96   COMPOSE MESSAGE                       Folder: INBOX  11 Messages   

To      : 
Cc      : 
Subject : 
----- Message Text -----

^G Get Help  ^X Send      ^R Rich Hdr  ^Y PrvPg/Top ^K Cut Line  ^O Postpone  
^C Cancel    ^D Del Char  ^J Attach    ^V NxtPg/End ^U UnDel Line^T To AddrBk 

In this screen fill in the following fields, using the arrow keys to select the different fields:

  • Enter the e-mail address of the person you're sending mail to in the To: field. If you're sending mail to someone else on the same machine you only need to enter their login ID, otherwise enter their full e-mail address.
  • Enter the address of anyone else you would like to recieve the message in the CC: feild.
  • Enter the name of the file you'd like to attach in the Attchmnt: field
  • Enter the subject of your mail in the Subject: field.
  • Enter the text of your message in the Message Text area.
Notice the commands listed on the bottom two lines look different. For example, the Send command has the letters ^X next to it. The ^ character stands for the control key - to choose the Send command hold down the control key on the keyboard, then tap the X key.
When you're done typing your message, choose the send command to send it. pine will ask if you are sure you want to send your message-enter y and the message is sent!

Some more notes on sending messages:

  • Choosing the Reply option when looking at the message will bring you to this screen. It will also fill in the To: and Subject: fields for you. if you answer yes when Pine asks if you want to "Include Original message in Reply", that original message will be listed in the Message Text are as well
  • Depending on the terminal emulation program you use, it may appear that the changes you make to your mesage are overwriting parts of your message. this is not the case! Use the ^L (that's control-L) option to refresh the screen, so what you see is what you get.

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