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
The username is
"surekha". The host computer name is giasbm01. The
"vsnl.net." 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
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 "firstname.lastname@example.org". This is because
the domain "vsnl.net.in" 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
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.
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
Use the compose command to continue an interrupted message.
? Help P PrevCmd R RelNotes
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
3.90 COMPOSE MESSAGE Folder:INBOX 2
------ Message Text -----
Help ^X Send ^R Rich Hdr ^Y PrvPg/Top ^K Cut Line ^O
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
giasbm01.vsnl.net.in, were to compose such a test message, the
completed screen would look like Fig. 4-3, the example shown
Example of Filled-in Compose Message Screen
COMPOSE MESSAGE Folder:INBOX 2
To : "Dr. Raj Mehta <email@example.com>
Subject : Test
----- Message Text -----
This is a test.
Help ^X Send ^R Read File ^Y Prev Pg ^K Cut Text ^O
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
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., @giasbm01.vsnl.net.in),
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:
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,
Entering the name of the file to be included
COMPOSE MESSAGE Folder: INBOX 83 Messages
"Dr. Raj Mehta"
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
3.91 COMPOSE MESSAGE Folder: INBOX 83 Messages
"Dr. Raj Mehta)"
Hello this is a file which
was uploaded to
^G GetHelp ^X Send ^R
ReadFile ^Y PrevPg ^K CutTxt ^O Postpone
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
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.
Acknowledgment of Binary File in Attchmnt Entry
COMPOSE MESSAGE Folder: INBOX 13 Messages
"Dr. Raj Mehta"
This is a test to show that
a file has been
^G Get Help ^X Send ^R Read
File ^Y Prev Pg ^K Cut Text ^O Postpone
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.
Folder Index Screen
FOLDER INDEX Folder:INBOX Message 3 of 3 NEW
Jan 10 Juri Vilms (486) Proposal +
? Help M Main Menu P
PrevMsg - Prev Page D Delete R Reply
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).
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
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 :
Message with Attachment
MESSAGE TEXT Folder: INBOX Message 14 of 14 ALL
9 Apr 1996 19:42:10 +0530 (GMT+5:30)
This is a test to show that
a file has been attached to the message and
[Part 2, "" Text
11 lines] [Not Shown. Use the "V" command to
[ALL of message text]
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
ATTACHED TEXT Folder: INBOX Message 14 of 14 ALL
[ALL of message text]
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
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.
FOLDER LIST Folder:INBOX 3 Messages
INBOX sent-mail saved-messages 101class
? Help M Main Menu P
PrevFldr - PrevPage D Delete R Rename
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
a. Saving a Message to the
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
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 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
[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) :
Address Book Screen
ADDRESS BOOK Folder:INBOX Message 1 of 3
Kovarcik, Jarmila firstname.lastname@example.org
? Help M MainMenu P
PrevEntry - PrevPage D Delete S CreateList
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
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)
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" <email@example.com>
Chapter 3:Logging on to VSNL
Chapter 5:File Transfer Protocol
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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
The option allowing you to choose
a printer is especially useful and is described in the following
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
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
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