Pine works fine for reading

by Kevin Cole, December 12, 1997

Sorry to be joining the discussion a bit late.

I would like to dispell a myth that the command-line interface is dead. Unix, e-mail and the Internet came LONG BEFORE Microsloth, Lotus and Apple. Pine has supported IMAP and POP3 for quite some time, and there is even old documentation on GALLUA's mail system that discusses how to set up LDAP (circa '90, if I recall correctly).

Saying that the command-line interface is dead, is like saying that audio is the wave of the future, and Gallaudet had just better get used to it. There ARE visually-impaired users on campus who cannot use Windoze. Telling them "Well, you're going to be stuck with a GUI mail system," is not the answer.

I am able to read from several different computers which have the Pine mail system, including gallux. Having said that, I must confess it's neither intuitive, nor pretty nor speedy, but for people who don't want to buy a new computer simply to read mail, or for people who are visually-impaired, it works. And, I haven't learned all the details. This was just stuff that I was able to hammer together quickly. There may be ways to improve performance...


Login to GALLUX and type carefully:

    pico .pinerc

Now, search for a line that begins with:


and change it to:

     incoming-folders=Domino {}INBOX

(Substitute your Domino username where you see User.Name above.) Now, move down a few lines, and find the line that begins:


and change it to:

     folder-collections=GALLUX mail/[],
             Domino {}[]

(Again, change User.Name to your Domino username.)

Notes: The only spaces in the above text are after "Domino" in the first section, after "GALLUX" in the second, and both before and after the word "Domino" in the second section. INSERT NO OTHER SPACES! You can change both occurances of the name "Domino" to whatever you want to call the non-gallux computer, as long as the name doesn't contain spaces. You can also change "GALLUX" to whatever you want to call all of your read and saved mail on gallux. I would stay away from confusing names like "Mail", since that doesn't distinguish it from any other mail on campus. The {}INBOX, mail/[], and {}[] must be typed exactly as shown (no added spaces). And be sure to indent the last line above -- the one starting with "Domino" -- at least one space.

You can include several different mailboxes on several different computers. For example, the relavant section from my setup reads:

# List of incoming msg folders besides INBOX, e.g. ={host2}inbox, {host3}inbox
# Syntax: optnl-label {optnl-imap-host-name}folder-path
incoming-folders=GRI {}INBOX,
        Domino {}INBOX

# List of directories where saved-message folders may be. First one is
# the default for Saves. Example: Main {host1}mail/[], Desktop mail\[]
# Syntax: optnl-label {optnl-imap-hostname}optnl-directory-path[]
folder-collections=GALLUX mail/[],
        GRI {}mail/[],
        Domino {}[]

To save, type Ctrl-X and when asked if you want to save the file type Y. Pico will suggest the filename .pinerc. Simply press <RETURN>.


Start Pine as usual. (Type pine.) At the menu, type L for LIST folders.

Pine should now display a list of sections. The top is the "Incoming mail" area, and it should list INBOX which contains your new gallux mail, and Domino which contains your new mail.

Below that will be the "Regular mail folders collection", which will contain all your folders on Gallux, and the "Other mail folders collection", which will contain all of your folders.

Select a folder by using your arrow keys to highlight the folder you wish to open, and pressing <RETURN>. If you've edited the .pinerc file correctly, you should see a line appear at the bottom of your screen after selecting "Domino". It supplies your Domino username and asks for your password at the bottom of the screen.


Eventually, you should see a list of your Domino messages appear and they should behave like regular GALLUX e-mail. If a message includes an attachment, you can press V to View the attachments. At that point you can select which attachment to view, and either S to Save or V to View it on the screen. Most times, you will want to Save and then use FTP to transfer the file.

But that's a separate tutorial...

Good Luck, all.