How to Telnet into and Read Your Mail with Pine

Logging on to the Telnet Server and Running Pine

On a Unix Machine

At the command prompt type telnet . Once connected, enter your user name and password. You will be connected to our site.

On a PC With Windows XP/2000

Select Start on the menu bar and then select Run, you will get a dialog box asking which program you want to run. You should type:

telnet -t vt100

Then you can follow the directions below begining with "Once you connect with telnet..."

On a PC With Windows 95/98/ME/NT

Microsoft has a telnet program built into it. By selecting Start on the menu bar and then selecting Run, you will get a dialog box asking which program you want to run. By entering telnet you will be prompted with the microsoft telnet screen. Under Connect select Remote System. At the prompt enter, and you should be connected.

Once you connect with telnet you will see an authentication prompt that looks like:

FreeBSD ( (ttyp2)

login: [type your username here]

Password: [type your password here]

Then you will see the greeting from our server:

FreeBSD/i386 ( (ttyp8)

Last login: Tue Oct 8 12:58:52 from red
Copyright (c) 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

FreeBSD 4.6.2-RELEASE-p2 (RED) #0: Tue Sep 17 14:54:28 PDT 2002

Welcome to ASIS Internet Services!
You have mail.


Running The Pine Program

(To avoid graphics problems you may have to type set term=vt100. However, the Win 95 telnet usually takes care of this for you so don't do it unless you have trouble.)

The Pine program is pretty intuitive, and has visible menus telling which letter to press to invokve the various commands. It may not be necessary for you to read the following instructions.

Now type pine at the prompt followed by pressing the Enter key. If this is the first time using pine you will get a screen telling you it is the first time using pine and you will be asked several questions. Hit y for all of them. Once pine is loaded you will get a screen with the options:

? HELP - Get help using Pine
C COMPOSE MESSAGE - Compose and send a message
I FOLDER INDEX - View message in current folder
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

This screen is called the main menu. Most of the time you can get to this screen by hitting m.

Sending Mail

To send mail hit c for compose. You will get a screen that looks like:

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

Next to To: and Cc: you can enter the names of the people you want to send messages to.

Attchmnt: can be used to send a file in your local directory to someone by typing in the name of the file. Note: When sending mail through telnet files have to be on the machine you telnet into, and files on your personal machine have to be uploaded onto the server to be sent through pine.

Next to Subject: you can put the name of the subject you want to send and under Message Text you can write your message.

When you are done writing your message hit control-x and your message will be sent. Note that the command menu at the bottom of the screen uses the ^ character to denote the Ctrl key.

Reading and Deleting Mail

To read your mail hit i for index. You will see a list of your messages:

U 1 Jun 26 To: userid 703 hello
N 2 Jun 27 To: userid 1703 file enc
N 3 Jun 27 To: userid 600 info

You can select the message you want to read by highlighting it with the arrow keys, then pressing the Enter key. Now you should see your message:


To: userid 

Subject: file included


   1 Shown  14 lines  Text

   2        27 KB     File "prog.exe", ""


   Try running this program I find it useful.


  Robert R
The text part of your message will appear on the screen and another part will display which attachments are attached. To view your attachments hit v for view. The attachment screen will show up.

1   14 lines   Text

2 27 KB File "prog.exe", ""

Select the attachment you want to view, and it will place it on the screen if it is text. If it is not text it will ask you if you want to save it to your local directory. Hitting y will allow you to save the file. Once you have viewed your attachments hit e to exit the viewer. Going back to the message hit e if you want to save the message to your home directory. Next hit d to delete the message and save disk space in your mailbox. Hitting i will return you to your list of messages where you can read the rest of them.

Quitting Pine

Once you have finished reading all your email hit q for quit. Answer y to quit pine and delete marked messages. You will be returned to the command prompt. Files saved to your local directory can now be transferred to your machine using an ftp program. Type exit if you want to exit telnet.