Chapter 4

USING e-mail (Electronic mail)

It is natural to communicate with your friends and business associates who are at distant locations, and this is the essence of networking. Human beings have always corresponded with each other in as rapid a fashion as possible for the era they lived in, when they could not meet personally, face to face. In our electronics or information technology age, electronic mail (e-mail or email) allows us to communicate quickly and easily with friends and colleagues at another location, and around the world. The use of email is rapidly increasing, changing the way that teaching, learning, research, health care, business, and administration are conducted. e-mail is the most widely used application of computer internetworking, today. The speed with which it reaches its destination, and its low cost allows people to keep in touch with the day to day happenings in their businesses, professions, and in each other's lives. As e-mail becomes a common part of our day to day routine, we should understand how it works and what may be expected of it.

4.1 Internet addressing conventions

Basically an Internet e-mail address is made up of three parts. The first part identifies the username of the person you wish to send mail to. The second part identifies what host computer (or server) the person receives mail on. Finally, the third part identifies what subdomain this host computer is located on. All three parts constitute a complete Internet e-mail address. Take a look at the example below:

The username is "surekha". The host computer name is giasbm01. The "" is the subdomain of the national domain "in". The sub-domain name "net" identifies VSNL as a network service provider. This naming system for computers connected to the Internet is explained in Section 1.4 of Chapter 1. However, if you are sending mail to someone on the same host computer as you, i.e. giasbm01, you need not supply any other information beyond the username, for example:


If you are using PINE on giasbm01, this message will get delivered to Vipul, who has an account on the host "giasbm01". If you have to write to someone in Delhi who has an account on giasdl01, you may address the mail as follows:


This will deliver the mail to "Ravi" who has an account with VSNL's GIAS service in Delhi. You do not need to complete his full Internet address, which is "". This is because the domain "" is common to all the servers or host computers under vsnl in India.

For all other addresses you need the full address as we discussed in the very first example.

a. CompuServe Addresses

A person having an account on the CompuServe on-line service usually has a user name which is a string of numbers separated by commas, for example:


If you have to send e-mail to the person with this user name, you must use the complete network address:

Note that the comma "," is replaced by a period "." in the username.

b. America On-Line Addresses

Some of your friends in the USA may have their account on one of most popular services there, America On-Line. Let us say that their username on that service is nancyl, in which case their e-mail address would be:

4.2 PINE -- The mailer at VSNL

The e-mail software employed by VSNL for Terminal accounts is named Pine. This is a sophisticated yet easy-to-use e-mail program (mailer) that was created at the University of Washington, in Seattle, with the specific goal of being responsive to new e-mail users.

Pine offers:

4.3 Entering and exiting PINE

To start Pine, log on to your Terminal account. In the First Menu screen displayed on your monitor , select the first item, "1. e-mail", and then press <Enter>. This opens the Main Menu screen of Pine.

All Pine screens have a similar layout. The top line tells you the screen name and additional useful information, below that is the work area, then the message/prompt line, and finally, the menu of commands. Note that on the Main Menu screen, the work area is a menu of options.

To quit Pine, type Q (Quit). For details, see Section 4.19 QUITTING PINE AND LOGGING OFF, at the end of this chapter.

The Main Menu lists Pine's main options, as shown in Figure 4-1. From the Main Menu, you can read online help, write and send a message, look at an index of your mail messages, open or maintain your mail folders, update your address book, configure or update Pine, and quit Pine. The letter you must type to enter your choice is given at the left of each option or command name. You can usually type either an uppercase or lowercase letter, which immediately executes the choice. Pressing <Enter> is not necessary.

Now that you know how to start Pine, you can explore on your own, or you can browse the rest of this document for a summary of Pine's main features.

While exploring, you may need to get help. To read the online help in Pine, use the Help command at the bottom of each screen. For example, at the Main Menu screen, type the question mark, ? (Help). Help is context sensitive, you never see all of it at once--only the part that relates to the Pine feature you are using will be displayed. To exit the online Help, type E (Exit Help).

Figure 4-1. Pine Main Menu Screen

PINE 3.90 MAIN MENU Folder:INBOX 2 Messages

? HELP - Get help using Pine

C COMPOSE MESSAGE - Compose and send a message

I FOLDER INDEX - View messages in current folder 0

L FOLDER LIST - Select a folder to view

A ADDRESS BOOK - Update address book

S SETUP - Configure or update Pine

Q QUIT - Exit the Pine program

Copyright 1989-1994. PINE is a trademark of the University of
Washington. [Folder "INBOX" opened with 2 messages]

Use the compose command to continue an interrupted message.

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

4.4 Composing and sending an e-mail message

a. Writing a message
To write a message, type C (Compose) to see the Compose Message screen, shown in Fig. 4-2 :

Figure 4-2. Pine Compose Message screen

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 the command menu above, the ^ character is used to indicate the <Ctrl> key on the keyboard of your computer. It means you must hold down this key while you press the letter for each command. Press ^G (Get Help) to see additional commands. To move around, use the arrow keys or ^N (Next line) and ^P (Previous line). To correct errors, use < <-- > (backspace arrow) or <Delete>. You might start experimenting in Pine by sending yourself a message. The following section shows you how.

b. Writing and Sending a Test Message to Yourself:

To write and send a test message to yourself,

1) Type C (Compose) to see the Compose Message screen.

2) In the To: field, type your own email address and press <Enter>.

3) In the Cc: field, press <Enter>.

4) In the Attachment: field, press <Enter>.

5) In the Subject: field, type Test and press <Enter>.

6) Below the "----- Message Text ------" line, type "This is a test.". If a user, for example Raj Mehta, with userid rajm at site, were to compose such a test message, the completed screen would look like Fig. 4-3, the example shown below :

Figure 4-3. Example of Filled-in Compose Message Screen

To : "Dr. Raj Mehta <>
Cc :
Subject : Test
----- Message Text -----
This is a test.

^G Get Help ^X Send ^R Read File ^Y Prev Pg ^K Cut Text ^O Postpone
^C Cancel ^J Justify ^W Where is ^V Next Pg ^U UnCut Text ^T To Spell

To send this message, press ^X (Send). You are asked to confirm whether or not you want to send it, by the prompt 'Send message?'. Type y (yes), or press <Enter>. Now the message is sent, and a copy is saved to your sent-mail folder. If you type n (no), the message is not sent, and you can continue to work on it.

This test message was very simple. There are, of course, other options you can use as you compose a message. A few are summarized in the next section, and complete information about options for the Compose Message screen is available in online help. As you compose a message, you can press ^G (Get Help) at any time to see details about your current task.

c. Hints for Writing Messages

The following are some hints for writing messages.

In the 'To:' field, type the email addresses of your recipients. Separate the multiple e-mail addresses with commas. When you are finished, press <Enter>. If you type in only the userid (login name) of your recipient, the Pine program first checks the nicknames file of your Address Book, discussed below. If what you typed in is not a nickname, Pine assumes that the right-hand part, immediately after the symbol @ of your intended recipient's address, is the same as yours (e.g.,, unless you explicitly type in the correct one. Always check the addresses in both the To: and the Cc: fields for accuracy and completeness before you send a message.

The best way to get a person's email address is to ask him or her for it. For more information on finding and formatting email addresses on local and remote computers, press ^G (Get Help) in the To: field.

In both the To: and the Cc: fields, you can enter a person's email address by typing it in full, or you can type a short nickname previously entered by you in your Pine Address Book, described below.

In the Cc: field, type the email addresses of the persons to whom you want to send copies. Separate their addresses with commas. When you are finished, or if you do not want to send any copies, press <Enter>.

'Attchmnt:' is an advanced Pine feature that allows you to attach files, including word-processing documents, spreadsheets, or bitmap images that are stored in your account on the VSNL computer where you are running Pine. If you do not want to attach a file to your message, press <Enter>. For information about how to use this feature, press ^G while your cursor is in the Attchmnt: field.

In the 'Subject:' field, enter a short, at most a one-line, description of your message. A one or two-word description is preferred as longer ones don't fit and are truncated in the typical email index, which is where the recipient first sees your message. I have found that people do not use this field to its full advantage. It is important to give relevant subject titles, suitably coded by some shorthand notation. This will help to make the task of keeping track of your correspondence easier. After a while you will have floppies full of email messages and you will need a database to organize and access them. Certainly something to think about.

Type your message below the ' ---Message Text--- ' line. To move around, use the arrow keys. To delete characters, press < <-- > (backspace arrow) or <Delete>. To delete a line, press ^K. To justify your text, press ^J. To check your spelling, press ^T. To see other editing commands, press ^G (Get Help).

d. Inserting a Plain Text File

If you want to send a "plain text" file with your message, you can insert the file in the body of your message using the ^R (Read File) command on the Compose Message screen. Refer to Section 4.5 below. Plain text files are files created by text editors such as Pico, the editor which comes into play below the --- Message Text --- line, when you compose a Pine message. For information about inserting files, place the cursor in the Message Text field and press ^G (Get Help). Pico is discussed in some detail Chapter 13.

e. Hints for Sending Messages

After your message is composed, press ^X, and then type y or press <Enter>. Your message is sent and a copy is saved to the sent-mail folder. If a message cannot be delivered, it is eventually returned to you. If you want to re-send a message, you can use the F (Forward) command.

f. Changing your Mind

If you change your mind after typing ^X, type "n" instead of "y", to continue to work on your message. While you are writing a message, you can type ^O (Postpone) to hold the message so you can work on it later, or you can type ^C (Cancel) to delete your message entirely. You will be asked to confirm whether or not you want to cancel a message.

4.5 Composing a message off line

You have been allotted 500 hours of connection time to your account, per year. It is a good idea to save this time, as much as possible, for those tasks that require online connection, for example searching and gathering information on the Web, or participating in chat sessions.

The tasks that can be done off line should be done so. Thus it is good practice to compose your e-mail message off line, upload it to your account at VSNL, and then send it. If it is a text file, then you can include it in your email message. If it is any other type of binary file, then you must attach it to, not include it in, your message.

How can one do this? First, compose the message on your computer, using any editor, for example Edit in DOS or WordPad in Windows, that produces ASCII text. Store it in a file when completed. Then connect to VSNL and transfer the file to your account. In datacom jargon, to transfer a file from your computer to a server is to 'upload' it, while the reverse process is to 'download' it. Several procedures for transferring files are discussed in detail in Chapters 9 (File Transfers Using Kermit Protocol), 11 (Zmodem download), 12 (Zmodem upload), and 13 (UNIX Prompt).

If you have not yet uploaded or transferred the file to your account, you can use the ASCII uploading method to include a text file you have composed off-line into your email message, while still in your Compose Message screen. Log on to your account as usual and enter the e-mail option on the First Menu by pressing '1' and <Enter>. This takes you to the Main Menu of Pine, described earlier. Press 'C', and 'n', which takes you to the Compose Message screen. After you have entered the desired information in the address section and pressed the last <Enter>, taking your cursor below the --- Message Text --- line, press the <Page Up> key. A menu will appear asking you to select the uploading protocol. Type 'a' (for ASCII). A prompt will appear asking you to give the name of the file. Type the name of the file with its full DOS path on your computer, which in this case is 'c:\test\upload.tst'. Note that this means the file named 'upload.tst' which we want to send, was earlier written by you and stored on drive c, in a directory called 'test'. Press <Enter> and the file will be transferred and entered in your message. It is displayed with a lot of extra characters and can not be read at this time, but a concluding sound notification will come, when the transfer is complete. At this point, to send your message, type '^X', and then 'y' for yes.

If you have already uploaded the text file using one of the methods described in Chapters 9, 12, and 13, then you can use the following procedure to include it into your message. For the purpose of learning how to include the file, let us assume you have uploaded it. Go to the Compose Message screen as described in the previous paragraph. Then note the commands menu at the bottom of the screen. Press ^R to read a file, and you will get the screen shown below, in Fig. 4-4. At this point, a prompt shows up, asking for the name of the file that is to be included. In the given space, type './upload.tst' which is the name of the file you want to include in the message, and press <Enter>. This is shown in the captured screen, Fig. 4-4.

Fig. 4-4. Entering the name of the file to be included

PINE 3.91 COMPOSE MESSAGE Folder: INBOX 83 Messages

To : "Dr. Raj Mehta" <>
Cc :
Subject : Inclusion of a message composed off line
----- Message Text -----

Insert file from the directory: ./upload.tst

^G Get Help ^T To Files ^C Cancel

There is another way to include a file, which you could try, however, we don't recommend this method. Type ^T, as suggested by the screen, which gives a list of all the userids of accounts at VSNL. Find your own userid, highlight it, and press <Enter>. This gives a listing of the files sitting in your account at VSNL. Select the file you want to be included, by moving the cursor to highlight it, and press <Enter>, putting that file in your message. This method is not recommended because it is an onerous task to find your userid from the all the others.

After the file is included in the email message, as shown Fig. 4-5, just press ^X , and then "Y" for yes, to send it off.

Fig. 4-5. Text File Composed Off Line, Included in Message

PINE 3.91 COMPOSE MESSAGE Folder: INBOX 83 Messages

To: "Dr. Raj Mehta)" <>
Cc :
Subject : Inclusion of a message composed off line.
----- Message Text -----

Hello this is a file which was uploaded to
VSNL for it to be included in the email message composition online.


^G GetHelp ^X Send ^R ReadFile ^Y PrevPg ^K CutTxt ^O Postpone
^C Cancel ^J Justify ^W Where is ^V NextPg ^U UnCutTxt ^T To Spell


We very strongly recommend the off-line composition method of sending messages. You will save connection time, and the resources of VSNL will be more effectively used.

4.6 Attaching a file to your message

Pine has the capability to send and receive files which are not text files, as attachments to a message. This gives a power to Email which has a very wide application and use. Suppose you have another office somewhere in a remote corner of the world, for example Timbctu, and you are working on costing of some items and want to share the spreadsheet with your colleague there. You could send it by regular mail-- but this takes too long; by fax-- fast, but your colleague will have to enter the data again and can possibly make a mistake. So how would you do it? By Internet, of course, with mailers (e-mail software) which support the above-mentioned capability. You can just attach your favorite spreadsheet from Lotus 123 or Excel and send it to Timbktu (assuming of course Timbuktu has an Internet connection which your coworker can use). In a few minutes, your colleague will be working on the spreadsheet and can mail it right back to you for further modification or finalization. Well, it can be simply handled by Pine and other mailers which support MIME.

MIME stands for "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions" and is a specification for including binary data in Internet mail messages, which until now have generally been limited to ASCII text. MIME-capable mailers, such as the Pine 3.x used by VSNL, allow word processing documents, spreadsheets, programs, images, audio, and other binary data to be attached to a message. MIME allows for alternative representations of the same data. For example, there can be an attachment in text form followed by one containing bitmap page images of the same information, if you want to do that for some reason.

MIME-capable mail software is not yet widely deployed, but MIME support is growing rapidly. If you need to send binary data to colleagues at institutions not yet supporting MIME, encourage them to talk to their system administrators about installing MIME tools. MIME software, compatible with many different mail programs, is available without cost (as is VSNL's Pine).

In using this feature, additional steps are involved such as uploading your binary file to your VSNL Terminal account. That is covered later, in Chapters 12 and 13 of this book.

For the purpose of learning how to attach a binary file to your e-mail message, let us assume that the binary file has already been uploaded to your Terminal account. Again go to the Main Menu in Pine. Type C to select the Compose Message option, which opens the Compose screen. Make the entries for To: and Cc: as shown earlier.

At the Attchmnt: field, there are two choices how to make your entry. The first choice is to enter ./filename, for example, ./sig . Here, the character pair ./ preceding the file name indicates the present directory, and sig is the name of the binary file or document you want to send, which must already be in your account at VSNL. This is one way to specify the file you want to attach.

The second choice is to enter /usr/users/userid/filename, which specifies the full path on the UNIX system. I would for example enter /usr/users/rajm/sig if I take the second choice, and press <Enter>.

At this point Pine acknowledges that a binary file is attached, by giving the size of the file in parenthesis on the Attchmnt line, as shown in Fig.4-6.

Fig.4-6. Acknowledgment of Binary File in Attchmnt Entry

PINE 3.91 COMPOSE MESSAGE Folder: INBOX 13 Messages

To : "Dr. Raj Mehta" <>
Cc :
Attchmnt:1. ./sig (504 B) ""
Subject : Test to show that a file is attached.
----- Message Text -----

This is a test to show that a file has been
attached to the message and Pine has acknowledged that there is an
attachment, by giving the size of the file.


^G Get Help ^X Send ^R Read File ^Y Prev Pg ^K Cut Text ^O Postpone
^C Cancel ^J Justify ^W Where is ^V Next Pg ^U UnCut Text ^T To Spell

In the example of Fig.4-6, the attached binary file was only 504 bytes long, but if you are sending a spreadsheet it will be much bigger. Next, make entries for the Subject field, and for the Message Text, which possibly includes some comments about the attached file.

The message with its attachment is now complete, and typing the commands ^X and "y", will send the file barreling down to your friend's account in Timbctu.

4.7 Viewing the messages received

Pine stores messages sent to you (including those you send to yourself) in your INBOX folder. Messages remain there until you delete them, or save them in other folders. You will learn more about the INBOX and other folders in the section titled "GETTING ORGANISED WITH FOLDERS".

To see a list of the messages you have received in your INBOX folder, go to the Main Menu of Pine, and type I (FOLDER INDEX). If you have any messages, they would be listed as shown in Fig.4-7.

Fig.4-7. Pine Folder Index Screen

PINE 3.90 FOLDER INDEX Folder:INBOX Message 3 of 3 NEW

D 1 Jan 10 Juri Vilms (486) Proposal +
A 2 Jan 10 Jim LaBrie (500) NSF
+ N 3 Jan 11 Dr. Raj Mehta (448) Test

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

The first column on the left shows the message status. It may be blank, or it may contain "N" if the message is new (unread), "+" if the message was sent directly to you (it is not a copy or from a list), "A" if you have answered the message (using the Reply command), or "D" if you have marked the message for deletion. The rest of the columns in the message line show you the message number, date sent, sender, size, and subject. For details, press ? (Help). Most of the commands you need to handle your messages are listed at the bottom of the screen. You can type O (Other Commands) to see the additional commands that are available, but you do not need to see these commands on the screen to use them. That is, you never need to type O as a prefix for any other command.

The selected message is highlighted; and you can type P or N, or use the arrow keys, to select a different message in the list.

If you want to see the list of messages in a folder other than your INBOX, refer to the section titled "Moving Between Folders" (see section 4.11.c).

4.8 Reading a message

In order to read a message, you may view it online, while logged on to your account, or you may transfer it to your computer first.

To view a message online, while in the FOLDER INDEX screen, select the desired message by pressing P or N or the arrow keys to highlight it. Then type V (ViewMsg) or press <Enter>, to see and read the selected message.

To see the next message, press N (NextMsg). To return to the Folder Index, press I (Index).

4.9 Saving an attached file when reading a message

Received messages in your INBOX may have attachments, which are text or binary files. In that case, while reading an INBOX message as described above, you will see a notification that there is a file attached to the message. You have the option of saving the file to your account, and later, downloading it to your computer.

In case you have a new, unread message with an attachment, and you want to save the attachment, first proceed as described above, in order to read the message. From the Main Menu of Pine, type I to select the FOLDER INDEX. Navigate with the arrow keys or P and N to select the unread message, which is marked by "N" and press <Enter>. You will now see the text of the message, plus a note at the beginning of the message saying that there is a file attached to the message, as shown in the following illustration, in Fig.4-8 :

Fig.4-8. Received Message with Attachment

PINE 3.91 MESSAGE TEXT Folder: INBOX Message 14 of 14 ALL

Date: Tue, 9 Apr 1996 19:42:10 +0530 (GMT+5:30)
From: "Dr. Raj Mehta" <>
To: "Dr. Raj Mehta" <>
Subject: Test to show that a file is attached.
Parts/attachments: 1 Shown 4 lines Text 2 OK 11 lines
Text, "" ----------------------------------------

This is a test to show that a file has been attached to the message and
Pine has acknowledged that there is an attachment, by giving the size of the file.


[Part 2, "" Text 11 lines] [Not Shown. Use the "V" command to view
or save this part]

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

If the attachment is a text file, the text will be shown along with the message you have received. In case it is a binary file, such as a Word 6 word processor file, an Excel spreadsheet, or an executable program file, it can not be displayed by Pine and thus can not be seen online.

To see what kind of a file it is, press "V" (ViewAttch) to view the attachment, which will display the name of the attached file or files. An example of an attached text file is shown in Fig.4-9.

Fig.4-9. View of Attachment

PINE 3.91 ATTACHED TEXT Folder: INBOX Message 14 of 14 ALL

Raj Mehta
Phone No. +91 22 202 9296



[ALL of message text]
? Help E Exit Viewer - PrevPage Y prYnt Spc NextPage S Save
W WhereIs

In order to save the file, type S as shown in the commands menu at the bottom of the screen in Figure 9. The attachment is now saved in your VSNL account home directory. How to download this file to your computer will be discussed in the section titled "Downloading".

4.10 Replying to a message

To reply to a message that you have selected at the Folder Index screen or that you are viewing, Type R (Reply). You are asked whether you want to include the original message in your reply, and, in case it had been sent also to other persons besides yourself, you are further asked if you want to reply to all recipients. In the latter case, think carefully before you answer, as you may not want to send your reply to more than just the author of the message. Finally, it is always a good idea to verify that the addresses in the To: and Cc: fields are correct before you send a message.

4.11 Getting organized with folders

Incoming messages may quickly accumulate in your INBOX folder. Imagine what it would be like to find one hundred messages there. If you use email often, this may happen sooner than you expect. How should you organize the messages you wish to save? The answer is, with folders. This is discussed here.

a. Folders Stored at Your VSNL Account

A Pine folder, like a folder in your file cabinet, is a storage place for messages. As you use email, you accumulate many messages and can organize them into different folders by topic, correspondent, date, or any other category that is meaningful to you. You can create your own folders, and Pine automatically provides three:

b. Keeping Folders Clean

Messages--whether they are in your INBOX or your other Pine folders occupy storage space, and your storage space is limited. In order to keep the system functioning efficiently for everyone's use, it is important that you strictly follow the maintenance measures detailed below:

c. Moving Between Folders

When you start Pine, the current folder is the INBOX. If you press I (FOLDER INDEX) at the Main Menu, you see the list of messages in your INBOX folder. If you want to see the messages in another folder, you need to go to that folder. There are two ways to do that, from nearly anywhere in Pine, which are described below.

1. By Folder List:

To access your folders and the messages that are stored in them, type L (Folder List), which gives the Folder List screen, as shown in Fig.4-10, with your current folder highlighted.

Fig.4-10. Folder List Screen

PINE 3.90 FOLDER LIST Folder:INBOX 3 Messages

INBOX sent-mail saved-messages 101class

? Help M Main Menu P PrevFldr - PrevPage D Delete R Rename
O OTHER CMDS V [ViewFldr] N NextFldr Spc NextPage A Add

Type N or P, or use the arrow keys, to highlight a folder. To see the list of messages in that folder, type V (ViewFldr) or press <Enter>. This takes you to the FOLDER INDEX screen, with the index or list of messages displayed for the folder which is identified in the top line for example, "Folder: SENT-MAIL".

Note that this method of moving between folders takes you to the Folder List screen, which has a menu of commands that enable you to do such things as add, delete, and rename folders.

2. By Goto Folder:

If you simply want to move to and list the messages in a folder other than the INBOX, try the method given here, as it takes you most quickly to the list (index) of another folder. Type G (Goto Fldr), and then type the name of the desired folder at the prompt. If you forget the name, press ^T (ToFldrs) and select a folder using the commands at the bottom of the screen. Then press <Enter>. The list of messages in the folder is now displayed on the screen.

d. Deleting a Folder

To delete a folder and all of the messages it contains, type L (Folder List). Use the arrow keys to highlight a folder. Type D (Delete). You are asked: Really delete "folder"? Type y (yes) if you want to do that. The folder and its contents are now gone from your VSNL account, and there is no way to undelete a deleted folder.

4.12 Saving a message in your account at VSNL

When you save a message, you are given a choice -- you can store it in the saved- messages folder, or you can specify another folder. Once you save a message, the copy in the INBOX folder is automatically marked for deletion so that you will only have one copy. When you quit Pine, you are asked to confirm whether or not you want to expunge the copy from the INBOX folder. To conserve space, you are strongly advised to do this.

a. Saving a Message to the Saved-Messages Folder

In Pine, the Saved-Messages Folder is the default folder when a Save command is given without specifying another folder. To save a message in it, do the following. If you are in the FOLDER INDEX or FOLDER LIST screen, select the message you want to save (for example message number 4) and type S (Save). If you are in the Message Text screen viewing that message, just type S (Save). The prompt

SAVE to folder [saved-messages]:"

appears on the screen, asking where you want to save the message. Press <Enter> to choose the default folder. Pine saves your message, and you see the following acknowledgment on the screen:

[Message 4. copied to folder "saved-messages" and marked deleted].

b. Saving a Message to a Folder You Specify

You will find it useful to create additional folders for storing messages on particular subjects. To save a message to one of these, do the following. At the FOLDER INDEX screen, use the arrow keys to highlight the message you want to save, or, at the Message Text screen as you view the message, type S (Save). The prompt "SAVE to folder [saved-messages]:" appears on the screen. Type a foldername and press <Enter>.

For example, to save a message to a folder named "papers," type papers and press <Enter>. If this is the first time you have named this folder, you see the prompt

[Folder "papers" doesn't exist. Create?]

Type y or press <Enter> to create the folder. After you have created the folder, or typed the name of an existing folder, and pressed <Enter>, you see a message as shown below, acknowledging that the message has been saved:

[Message "#" copied to folder "papers" and marked deleted].

c. Limited Connections and Storage at Your Account

The storage of messages in folders is not meant to be permanent or long term, owing to resource limitations. Regardless of the number of new telephone lines installed and made available for connecting to VSNL, these will quickly become saturated as e-mail and Internet popularity and the number of account holders grows. The same may be said for memory storage resources at the server. Currently, only 512 Kilobytes of memory space is permitted to an individual. If your messages are stored at your account, you will use more of both connection time and memory space at your account.

Therefore, in order to keep the system available for everyone's use without overloading, and to keep below your memory space limit, it is not advisable to keep many messages at your account, either in the Inbox or in other folders. You may save messages in folders as described above, temporarily. A better practice is to Export the messages to a UNIX file in your account and then download them to your computer. Downloading of files will be discussed later in the book, in Chapters 11 & 13.

4.13 Forwarding a message

To forward to a message that you have selected at the Folder Index screen or that you are viewing, Type F (Forward). The Forward Message screen opens, and the To: field is highlighted. This screen is similar to the Compose Message screen. The selected message to be forwarded, including its received address information block, is included in the Message Text field. Enter the address to which it is to be forwarded in the To: field and send the message as usual.

Note that you can modify the original message if you wish. For example, you may need to forward only a portion of it, or add a message or notes of your own. This is accomplished by cutting lines of text, deleting, and typing additional text in the Message Text field, in the same manner as you would edit a message you have composed, before sending the message.

4.14 Removing stale messages

Removing stale, old messages that are no longer needed from your VSNL account is an important maintenance task you are strongly advised to do routinely. This is done by deleting messages.

There are two steps to deleting a message: marking it for deletion, and expunging it.

To mark for deletion a message you do not want, first select and open the folder that contains the message. If you have not been using your Terminal account for long, this folder is probably your INBOX folder. If the message is in a folder other than your INBOX, see "Moving Between Folders" in Section 4.12 GETTING ORGANISED WITH FOLDERS. At the Folder Index screen, select the message by navigating to it by the arrow keys or P and N, or go on and type V to view the message. Then type D (Delete).

If you typed D from the Folder Index screen, the mark "D" appears in the left-hand column of the message line. If you typed D from the Message Text screen, the notation "DEL" appears in the upper right corner of your screen, and the next message, if there is one, appears.

You may repeat this process to mark additional messages for deletion.

a. Undeleting a Message

If you change your mind about a message you have marked for deletion, use the U (Undelete) command to remove the deletion mark any time before you expunge a message. After you expunge a message, Pine cannot get it back.

b. Expunging a Message

A message that is marked for deletion remains in your account until you expunge it. You can expunge message that are marked for deletion at any time, or you can wait until you quit Pine. Once you have a few messages marked for deletion, you may want to expunge them before you continue to work, because it is easier to look through a folder index having fewer messages. To expunge a message while at the Folder Index screen, type X (Expunge). You are then asked: Expunge "#" message(s) from "folder"? Type y (yes) or press <Enter>. The messages are now gone.

When you leave a folder (other than the INBOX) that contains messages marked for deletion, or when you quit your Pine session, you are asked similarly, whether you want to expunge a number of messages from a named folder. Type y (yes) to expunge them.

4.15 Using the address book

As you use email, you build a list of email correspondents. Some of their addresses may be difficult to type or remember. You can use the Pine Address Book to store email addresses for individuals or groups, to create easily remembered "nicknames" for these addresses, and to quickly retrieve an email address when you are composing a message. Fig.4-11 shows a sample page from an Address Book, which can be entered from the Pine Main Menu by typing A (ADDRESS BOOK) :

Fig.4-11. Address Book Screen

PINE 3.90 ADDRESS BOOK Folder:INBOX Message 1 of 3

mila Kovarcik, Jarmila
jiml LaBrie, Jim
ravi Agrawal, Ravindra

? Help M MainMenu P PrevEntry - PrevPage D Delete S CreateList
O OTHER CMDS E [Edit] N NextEntry Spc NextPage A Add Z AddToList

There are two ways to make an entry in your Address Book, either manually by typing the information, or copying from a received message. With either method, specify a nickname for your correspondent. You can also enter a group (list) address in your Address Book, but only manually.

a. Adding an Individual Address

To add an individual address manually, which you have noted down, type A (Address Book) while in the Pine Main Menu. Then at the Address Book screen, type A (Add). Follow the instructions given in the prompt message line at the bottom of the screen and type the requested items. Press ^G if you need help.

b. Taking an Individual Address From a Received Message

To copy an individual address from a message you are viewing in the Message screen or have selected in the Index screen, type T (Take Address). The T command is not visible on your screen unless you type O (Other Commands), but you need not see it to use it. Follow the instructions. Press ^G if you need help.

c. Adding a Group (List) Address

If you routinely send messages to a group, you can create a list address. That way you do not need to type each person's address every time you send a message to the group. To create a list address, type A (Address Book) at the Pine Main Menu, then type S (CreateList), and follow the instructions given in the prompt message line at the bottom of the screen. Press ^G if you need help.

e. Using the Address Book

At the Compose Message screen you can enter an email address in the To: and Cc: fields in the following three ways:

Type the entire email address.

To: "Jim LaBrie" <>


Chapter 3:Logging on to VSNL
Chapter 5:File Transfer Protocol
Table of Contents

4.16 Tailoring PINE for your needs

Pine offers other features. To use them, go to the Pine Main Menu, and type S (Setup). This gives a message asking you to choose from the options listed below, or to cancel:

The option allowing you to choose a printer is especially useful and is described in the following section.

a. Choosing Printer Variables

Pine provides three options for printing. When choosing the appropriate option, you should contact your departmental computer consultant for advice. To choose the printing method, go to the Main Menu of Pine, type S (Setup), and then type P (Printer). Follow the instructions given in the prompt message line at the bottom of the screen. Type ^G if you need help.

b. Printing a Message

After you have chosen the printer variables, select the message to be printed, while in the Folder Index screen, or go to the View Message screen. Then type Y (Print). You will be asked to confirm your choice. Note that you can use this command also to print Pine's online help text.

4.17 Additional features of PINE

Pine has other useful features that have not been covered in this introductory document. Although originally designed for novice email users, Pine has evolved to support many advanced features. It has become an easy-to-use program for sending, receiving, and filing Internet electronic mail messages and bulletin board (Netnews) messages including multimedia attachments. There is a PC version of Pine for use with IMAP mail servers. If you would like to learn more about Pine:

4.18 Suggestions about using e-mail

Electronic mail is a unique medium of communication. Messages can be replied to or forwarded with speed and ease, and email has the potential to reach a wide audience. These features can also be misused. There are a few basic guidelines for the responsible use of email that can help you avoid common mistakes while you enjoy the full benefits of this technology.

The privacy of an email message cannot be guaranteed. An email message may be forwarded, printed, or permanently stored by any recipient. Email can be misdirected, even when you are careful. Do not put something in an email message that you would not want read by everybody. And if you receive a message intended for someone else, let the sender know.

Email does not show the subtleties of voice or body language. Avoid attempts at irony or sarcasm. The most effective email is short, clear, and relevant. If you receive a message that makes you upset, do not respond immediately, and in any case, avoid "flaming," that is, sending an angry or rude message.

As you use email, keep the following tips in mind:

4.19 Quitting PINE and logging off

To quit Pine while you are at almost any screen in Pine, type Q (Quit). This gives the question message: Really quit pine? at the bottom of the screen. Type y (yes) or press <Enter> to quit. The system now takes you out of the e-mail program, to the First Menu screen shown in Chapter 3.

It is a good idea to log off from your account whenever you are through with Pine or when you must leave your computer unattended. Type 10 to select the UNIX Prompt option and press <Enter>, giving you the UNIX prompt, username>. To log off, type 'exit', as instructed at the bottom of the screen, and press <Enter>.

To return to Pine before pressing <Enter>, delete the command, type 'menu' and press <Enter>, then type 1 to select the e-mail option and press <Enter>, which takes you to the Pine Main Menu again.

Chapter 3:Logging on to VSNL
Chapter 5:File Transfer Protocol
Table of Contents