Introduction to Pine on Athena

Pine is a popular menu-based, non-graphical email client. It is particularly useful for reading and sending mail when logged in remotely to an Athena workstation or dialup, e.g. via dialup, telnet, or ssh. To use pine, simply type "pine" at the Athena prompt:

    athena% pine
If you get a "pine: Command not found." error, then you are probably on an Athena machine running an older release (9.0 or below); in this case, you can get a functionally similar version of pine by running "athrun sipb pine-imap".

After successfully running pine, you should see a screen like this:

  PINE 4.33L   MAIN MENU                          Folder: INBOX  63 Messages

            ?     HELP               -  Get help using Pine

            C     COMPOSE MESSAGE    -  Compose and send a message

            I     MESSAGE INDEX      -  View messages in current folder

            L     FOLDER LIST        -  Select a folder to view

            A     ADDRESS BOOK       -  Update address book

            S     SETUP              -  Configure Pine Options

            Q     QUIT               -  Leave the Pine program

   Copyright 1989-2001.  PINE is a trademark of the University of Washington.
                      [Folder "INBOX" opened with 63 messages]
? Help                      P PrevCmd                   R RelNotes
O OTHER CMDS  > [ListFldrs] N NextCmd                   K KBLock
Most of the time, you will want to go straight to reading the new message in your inbox, so hit I to do that. You will now see a screen which looks like:
  PINE 4.33L   MESSAGE INDEX             Folder: INBOX  Message 8 of 64 NEW

+ A   1 May 17 Bjorn Borud        (2,921) ares channel->next_id, and some ques
+ A   2 May 18 Bjorn Borud        (6,169) Re: ares channel->next_id, and some
  N   3 Jun 11 U.S. Conference S  (6,373) Minimize your phone expenses
  N   4 Jun 12 Darren Reed        (3,293) Re: code freeze on current?
  N   5 Jun 11 Jason R Thorpe     (2,525) Re: code freeze on current?
      6 Jun 11 Greg Stein         (6,277) Community input for Alpha
      7 Jun 12 CableDescrambler4  (2,709) *****cable converter/decoder*****
  N   8 Jun 12 Greg Stein         (2,869) Re: notification system rewrite in p
      9 Jun 12 Ben Collins-Sussm  (2,961) Re: broken libtool on freebsd

? Help       < FldrList   P PrevMsg      - PrevPage D Delete     R Reply
O OTHER CMDS > [ViewMsg]  N NextMsg    Spc NextPage U Undelete   F Forward
As shown at the bottom of the screen, you can use the P or N keys to navigate the message list; the currently selected line will be displayed in reverse video. The arrow keys and PgUp/PgDn may also work. To view a message, press >, and then press < to get back to the message list (or press N to go on to the next message).

You can clean up mail you don't want to keep around by pressing D to mark it for deletion and then X to execute all of the marked deletions. Deleted mail is difficult or impossible to retrieve, so be careful.

You can use the R key to reply to a message, or the C key to compose a new message. The message editor will look like this:

To      :
Cc      :
Subject : Re: *****cable converter/decoder*****

----- Message Text -----

^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
When the key guide at the bottom indicates a key like ^C, that means to press control-C. You can usually navigate in the message editing screen using the arrow keys; if those don't work, use control-P, control-N, control-B, and control-F for previous line, next line, back, and forward respectively. When you are done entering the message you want to send, press control-X to send it.

For further information about Pine, you can consult its online help (type ? at any screen other than the message editor), read the University of Washington's tutorial on Pine, or use the olc command from the athena% prompt to read stock answers or ask questions.