How to use ALPINE

Table of Contents

  How to Use Email with ALPINE
How to Start ALPINE
What is My Address?
Reading a Message
Sending a Message
Saving and Deleting Messages
Printing a Message
The Address Book
Quitting ALPINE
Related Documents

 


How to Use Email with ALPINE

ALPINE is an electronic mail program designed for novice users, though it has features to allow for processing large amounts of mail. ALPINE's basic features include:

  • On-line context-sensitive help screens.
  • View, save, export, delete, print, reply and forward incoming mail.
  • Compose message in a simple editor with word-wrap and spell-checker.
  • Address book to keep long or frequently-used addresses.
  • Full-screen selection and management of mail folders.

How to Start ALPINE

Login to your UNIX account.

You can access your Unix account via a ssh client such as  Putty, which you can download from our Software Express page at: http://www.umanitoba.ca/software, or Telnet (Start -> Run -> telnet ccu.umanitoba.ca) to connect.

For instructions on how-to remotely connect to UNIX, click here.

Once you have logged in to your UNIX account:
Type: alpine <Enter>
NOTE: Unix is case sensitive, so alpine is not the same as ALPINE or Alpine.

The first screen that appears is the MAIN MENU. This screen tells you what functions are available.

Commands are listed at the bottom of the screen. In some menus you make a choice by holding down the <Ctrl> key and pressing a letter key. When the <Ctrl> key is necessary, the menu item will use the ^ character. For example, the command to send a message, <Ctrl>x,will be labeled ^X on the bottom of the screen. Use the command o (Other Commands) to discover other options that are available, but not shown.


What is My Address?

Your address is constructed from the name of your account (the userid you use to log on to your Unix account) and the full name of your system. For your account on the system cc.umanitoba.ca your address looks like:

username@cc.umanitoba.ca
or, for example,
umsmith@cc.umanitoba.ca

Messages can be sent to electronic addresses throughout the world. Electronic addresses cannot contain spaces and they are not case-sensitive. Regardless of the mail package being used, mail is addressed with the following format:

user@somewhere.subdomain.domain

Reading a Message

At the MAIN MENU type i (Folder Index) to go to the FOLDER INDEX screen. Move your cursor to the message you wish to read and then type v (View Message) or press <Enter> to read the message. Again, a menu row of options will appear at the bottom of your screen.


Sending a Message

At the MAIN MENU press c (Compose Message) to enter the COMPOSE MESSAGE screen. Fill in the To:, Cc: and Subject: fields. When sending to more than one person use a comma between the addresses. Press <Enter>, <Tab> or use the cursor keys to move from one field to another. Then enter the text of your message, using the message editor pico. A menu row of options will appear at the bottom of your screen. Press <Ctrl>x to send the message. You will be asked to confirm that this is what you wish to do. Press <Enter> to send the message or n to go back to change things.


Saving and Deleting Messages

A folder is a collection of one or more messages stored so that you can access them and manage them like the messages in your inbox. Folders provide a good method for organizing the mail you have received into logical groups. To save one of your messages to a folder, press s (Save). You will be asked to supply a folder name to save the message in. If you press <Enter> the message will be saved in the default folder called saved-messages.

To mark a message for deletion, highlight it in the FOLDER INDEX and press d (Delete). You may also press d while viewing the message. You will be asked if you wish these marked messages removed when you exit ALPINE. Type y to delete them. If you have decided to save a message in a folder, it will also be automatically marked for deletion from your inbox.


Printing a Message

To use the Print option in the FOLDER INDEX and MESSAGE TEXT screens, press % (shift key + 5) and the current message will be printed using the default printer setting.

For more information on changing the default printer setting, please see an extension to this document available on our UNIX Help and Support page


The Address Book

ALPINE has a handy and easy to use Address Book. It allows you to create short, easy-to-remember nicknames or aliases that replace long or frequently used e-mail addresses. You can then use these nicknames instead of the address. The Address Book can also be used to create mailing lists. When you go to the Address Book from the To: or Cc: lines of the COMPOSE MESSAGE screen by using ^t (To Address Book), you move then your cursor to the nickname you want and press <Enter> to copy the address to the message field.

Conversely, if you receive mail from someone whose address you do not have already, you can use the t (Take Address) command directly from the MESSAGE TEXT screen to take that address and place it in your Address Book. You will be prompted for a nickname. The full name and e-mail address will be taken from the message header and ALPINE will add it to your Address Book.


Quitting ALPINE

You can exit the ALPINE program from the MAIN MENU by typing q (Quit). You can also exit ALPINE from the FOLDER INDEX screen or the MESSAGE TEXT screen by typing q. In all cases, you will be asked if you really want to quit. You will then be asked if you wish to save your read message to the mbox folder. This folder is intended to keep your inbox free of all but your most recently received mail. You have the option of saying either yes or no to this query. You can return to the mbox folder and read these messages at any time by typing or > (Folder List).


Related

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