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Grant Heinrich and Piers Johnson

Basic Pine

To start Pine type pine at the UNIX prompt. This is the main menu :

  PINE 3.90   MAIN MENU                            Folder: INBOX  69 Messages

       ?     HELP               -  Get help using Pine

       C     COMPOSE MESSAGE    -  Compose and send/post a message

       I     FOLDER INDEX       -  View messages in current folder

       L     FOLDER LIST        -  Select a folder OR news group 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 Washington.
                    [Folder "INBOX" opened with 69 messages]
? Help                     P PrevCmd                  R RelNotes
O OTHER CMDS L [ListFldrs] N NextCmd                  K KBLock

From this page you can see more top-level commands by typing O (OTHER CMDS):

? Help       Q Quit       L ListFldrs   I Index       S Setup       B Report Bug
O OTHER CMDS C Compose    G GotoFldr                  A AddrBook

You can return to the main menu from almost anywhere in Pine by typing M. Usually, ? displays a relevant help screen.

Sending mail

Type C for compose in the main menu. Pine displays a screen like this[*].

  PINE 3.91   COMPOSE MESSAGE                     Folder: INBOX  11 Messages   

To      : 
Cc      : 
Subject : 
 --- -- Message Text  --- --

^G Get Help  ^X Send      ^R Rich Hdr  ^Y PrvPg/Top ^K Cut Line  ^O Postpone  
^C Cancel    ^D Del Char  ^J Attach    ^V NxtPg/End ^U UnDel Line^T To AddrBk
The Compose menu is in two parts. The header (the information above Message Text) tells Pine where to send the e-mail; the lines To: Cc: etc are fields, explained below. The e-mail message is entered below Message Text.

The receiver's e-mail address goes on the To: line. For other users on the SoCS system, a logname like agnarfle or hhefner is enough. For users on other networks, use their complete address (eg,, or an alias set up by Pine's Address Book (explained later this chapter). To e-mail multiple users, separate each name with a comma:

To      : agnarfle, progsoc,

You should have something relevant on the subject line. It's not compulsory, just helpful.

If another user is to receive a copy of the mail but it doesn't concern them directly, put their username in the Cc: field[*]. You don't have to do this, but it keeps things neat and amuses the larval bureaucrats.

Header fields can be changed any time before the mail is sent: for example, you could send it to someone else by changing the recipent's name.

Put the cursor below Message Text to enter your e-mail text. Pine uses the pico editor, which sucks strongly[*]. (Progsoc's editor of choice is Vi. See Pine Options for an explanation how to call Vi from Pine to edit mail.) When the text and header are complete, use CTRLX to send.

Compose Menu Options

Send message.

Postpone message: returns you to the main menu with the current message saved. When you next compose Pine will ask if you want to complete the postponed letter.

Cancel message. You'll be asked to confirm. A cancelled message is lost forever. If you think you'll want to finish it later, use postpone.[*]

Delete a line. This also works in the Header -- for example, it will delete a recipient from the To: line.

Undelete lines. Restores the most recently deleted group of lines -- if you deleted six in a row, they're all restored.

Justify: takes raggedly formatted paragraphs and makes them nice. Be careful with this. Pine considers a paragraph to be any series of lines with a blank line at either end.

Read a file: inserts a file at the current line.

Change to the alternate editor. See Defining Vi As Alternate Editor.

Reading Your Mail

Type I from the main menu to examine your mail index. Pine will open folder inbox if you haven't changed folders (see Mail Folders). New mail is always stored in inbox.

My mail index:

       PINE 3.05       MAIL INDEX       Folder:inbox  Message 11 of 11          

    1   Feb 18 Stephen Boyd Gowin  (1,415) Re: ProgSoc: The VPs FYI!            
    2   Feb 22  (1,799) Re: clubs and societies (late!)      
    3   Feb 23 osborn@agouti       (1,909) Info                                 
    4   Feb 23 Max Hoffmann        (3,714) Re: REVIEW: STRICTLY BALLROOM        
    5   Feb 24 brian               (1,756) Re: Tlot Tlot campus mini tour dates 
    6   Feb 24 Bill Hagarty        (6,922)                                      
    7   Feb 24 dennis@agouti       (1,093) Hi Ho! Hi Ho!                        
    8   Feb 25 Mark Colston        (1,083) New Address                          
    9   Feb 25 Stephen Boyd Gowin    (763) pine intro                           
  N 10  Feb 26 morgan@agouti         (982) PP Meeting                           

? Help       M Main Menu  P Prev Msg     - Prev Page  F Forward     D Delete
O OTHER CMDS V View Mail  N Next Msg SPACE Next Page  R Reply       S Save
There are 10 messages in inbox. Message 10 is prefixed with N, which means it's new mail -- I haven't read it yet.

In the Index Menu, the cursor keys scroll up and down; SPACE and - move forward and backward one screen respectively. Hit return to read the message under the cursor.

Mail Reading Options

Previous message (the one before this in the index).

Next message (in the index).

Take address. Adds the sender's address to your alias file (explained in the Address Book section).

Where is? Search for text.

Marks current message for deletion. Mail is not deleted until you eXpunge or Quit. (see The Index Menu and Exiting Pine).
Saves mail to a folder. (See Folders.) The message is copied to the new folder; the original copy is marked for deletion.

Compose mail. Same as compose from the main menu.

Reply (see below)

Forward (see below).

Answering Mail

There are three options: Reply, Forward or Compose.

Type R to reply. Pine will prompt Reply to all recipients? (y/n) [n]:

The default is to reply to the sender only; but you can choose to reply to every address in the To: and Cc: lines (all recipients).

You will also be asked

Include original message in Reply? (y/n) [n]:

A yes requests that the current message be copied to your message text screen, where you can scribble all over it.

It's common practice to distinguish any quoted text (for example, the message you are scribbling on) by prefacing each line with a >, like so:

>I am a quoted line.

Pine will do this if requested. (See Reply Styles.)


You can re-send e-mail to other users using F for forward. That option puts you into the Compose menu with a copy of the mail to be forwarded; all you need do is enter the forward address.


As explained before.

Quoted text can be edited freely -- interject, delete anything you're not interested in, whatever you want. Correcting spelling and grammar is impolite; changing the message's meaning is particulary rude[*].

Using the Index Screen

The index screen allows you to reply to and forward mail, add addresses to the address book using T and delete and save mail, as well as changing folders and composing new mail.

An important index menu option is eXpunge (X). Mail you tag for deletion is not permanently removed from the index until you eXpunge or Quit (see Exiting Pine).


When you first use Pine, you have a single folder, inbox. This can be thought of as similar to having a single directory for your account; eventually, you'll need some form of organisation.

The simplest method is to create other folders; for instance, all mail from hhefner could be kept in the hhefner folder. Folders are created by saving mail (see Mail Reading Options) to a new folder name.

Folders are stored in your local directory Mail (~yourusername/Mail). To change folders, use G (Go to folder -- this option works while reading mail and from the Index Menu).

If you know the folder name, type it in. If you can't remember, or get some kind of sick thrill each time you see your folder list, CTRLT lists all folders: select one with the cursor. Pine places you in the index menu again, which works the same way for all folders.

When you want to read any new mail, change folders back to your inbox.

Saved Mail (The sent-mail folder)

All messages you send are saved to the folder sent-mail. You should expunge this regularly (either saving messages to other folders, or deleting them), or it becomes impractically large to look through.

The Address Book

You must specify a complete address to send mail outside the SoCS network, such as:

(Mail addressing is explained in Email: the Concept.)

Big Ted's address is a bugger to type repeatedly. Pine saves your typing fingers by keeping an address book. From the main menu, type A. You'll see this:

      PINE 3.05      ADDRESS BOOK      Folder:inbox  Message 10 of 10           
bigted     BIG TED!                  
jemimah    Jemimah the Raggedy doll  
smart      Mr Smart                  
johnboy    Johnboy Walton            
camille    Camille Pagalia (More porn!)

mymailer   All my imaginary friends            DISTRIBUTION LIST:

? Help       M Main Menu  T AddToList   - Prev Pg     A Add         D Delete
	     S CreateList L Print   SPACE Next Pg     E Edit        W Where is

Or you would if all your friends were Mr Men, Playschool characters and contentious feminists. Your address book should be empty. The line

bigted     BIG TED!                  
is an alias for Big Ted, whose email address is To send mail to Big Ted, I put bigted -- his alias -- in the To: field. Pine expands this as

To      :  BIG TED!  <>

Creating New Aliases

From the main menu, type A for the Address Book menu. From there, A adds a new alias. You'll be prompted for the receiver's full name (BIG TED! in this case, although My Little Furry Friend or pretty much anything else is acceptable. Be warned that Pine tags your name for this person onto any mail you send them). Pine also asks for a nickname -- this is the alias used in the To: field. It must be one word; being succinct helps. Then enter their complete e-mail address. Pine stores addresses in alphabetical order by full name.

To create an alias for your friend Brian at

New full name (last, first) :  Wah-Wah, Brian

Enter new nickname (short, one word and easy to remember) : brian

Enter new e-mail address :
The new line in the address book will read:

brian      Wah-Wah, Brian            
You can edit aliases using E, delete them with D; other options are listed at the bottom of the Address Book Menu.

To send mail to Brian and Big Ted, enter their aliases on the To: line:

To      : brian, bigted
Pine expands this to:

To      : BIG TED  <>,
	  Wah-Wah, Brian <>
While reading mail, or while in the index screen, the Take Address command (T) creates an alias for the sender of the current mail. (You have to specify their nickname and sometimes the full name; Pine usually only copies the e-mail address to the address book. The full name will be whatever alias the sender has given themselves, if there is one[*].) Nicknames can can only be added one at a time -- you'll have to use T multiple times for multiple names.

Pine can also create distribution lists, which are lists of people referenced by one nickname. Any mail sent to that nickname will be received by all parties. Here is an example

mymailer   All my imaginary friends            DISTRIBUTION LIST:

(The nicknames on the right hand side have already been defined in my address book, but a complete address such as is also valid.)

When I put mymailer in the To: field of e-mail, Pine expands it to:

To  : All my imaginary friends -- BIG TED! <>,
      Jemimah the Raggedy doll <>,
      Mr Smart <>,
      Johnboy Walton <>,
      Camille Pagalia (More porn!) <>

The mail goes to Big Ted, Camille Pagalia, Jemimah, Johnboy Walton and Mr Smart[*]. All my imaginary friends is the list description (name) defined in the Address Book; like a full name, it could by any name you want.

Note: addresses can be removed from To: using CTRLK for delete. (If a particular message about bear trapping, for instance, was too heartbreaking, Big Ted could be removed from the To: line to protect his innocence.)

S creates a new list in the Address Book Menu. You'll be asked for a list description, a nickname to refer to the list, and the aliases or addresses of each member. Press RETURN twice when finished.

You can add new people to an already created list: place the cursor within the list and type Z. Pine will ask for the person's alias. It will keep on asking for names until you just hit RETURN without any name. Names can either be predefined nicknames or full addresses. If you use a short name that isn't a nickname, the user-domain field will be added to it[*].

Exiting Pine

Q for quit works from most screens. Pine will ask you to confirm, and if you want to expunge the current folder; if so, Pine destroys all messages marked for deletion.

PINE Options: .pinerc

When you first run Pine, it writes a file to your home directory called .pinerc. Playing with .pinerc changes your Pine defaults: the alternate editor, your .signature file and other bits and pieces you can work out yourselves. .pinerc changes take effect the next time you use Pine after saving .pinerc -- try exiting and restarting. Use Vi to edit .pinerc.

Defining Vi As Alternate Editor (Do this! It's important!)

In .pinerc, find the lines:

# Editor to use in place of Pine's internal composer, Pico

Change this to


This does not mean you will automatically use Vi; it has to be called by the Choose Alternate Editor command CTRL-_ (CTRL-underscore) while in the message text window. Any Vi save command, like :x or ZZ, will return to Pine; you can swap freely between the Pine editor pico and Vi at all times.

.signature Files

A .sig (pronounced ``dot sig'') is a text file appended to every piece of mail you send. They usually include your name, an email address and sometimes business or home phone numbers, fax numbers, addresses, etc. They sometimes include quotes that only the sender finds funny. A .sig file is traditionally named .signature, and kept in your home directory. Here is an example .sig.

-- Hugh Hefner  ( )
Gimmie some sugar, baby!

(See? That quote isn't funny if you don't know which film it's from -- and dubiously so if you do.) It is best to keep a .sig short; otherwise, people will assume you're a wanker.

To have your .sig included in outgoing mail, change the folowing lines in .pinerc

# Name of file to read signature out of for inclusion in outgoing mail


# Name of file to read signature out of for inclusion in outgoing mail

If your .sig file isn't named .signature, you'll obviously need to use the real filename.

Reply Styles

Unlike other, more sensible mail systems, Pine places the .signature at the beginning of your mail, not the end. And it doesn't quote (add > to) text automatically. It does, however, offer the patronisingly named ``old-style-reply'' option, which does both. If you're sensible, you'll make a last change to .pinerc: find these lines

# Use old style forward/reply with new text and signature below included text

Change them to


Setting up made easy in Pine 3.90.

Pine's setup mechanism has been incorporated into the application itself. In the old days, you had to do everything in the .pinerc file[*]. But with Pine 3.90, much of that functionality is a few keystrokes away. Access this by typing S (as listed in Pine's opening screen/main menu). The bottom of the screen will change to:

Choose a setup task from the menu below :
^G Help       P [Printer]   C Config
^C Cancel     N Newpassword U Update
Typing CTRLG to get help will give you this simple message:
Select one of the setup tasks by typing the capitalised letter.
The U -- Update option contacts the University of Washington to see if the version of Pine you're using has been superceded, and will update it if it has. DON'T do this, not even if you have hours to spare in which to wait for it all to happen. The N -- New Password option is the same as typing passwd at your UNIX prompt. The screen will look a bit like this:
  PINE 3.90   MAIN MENU                           Folder: INBOX   69 Messages   

Changing NIS password for piers on lucy.
Old password:
New password:
Retype new password:

The P -- Printer option allows one to choose which type of printer to use. It's a single screen of information, which is irrelevant because YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PRINT MAIL.

The C -- Config option is a partial replacement for the old .pinerc setup procedure. Type C and you'll see this:

  PINE 3.90   SETUP CONFIGURATION                  Folder: INBOX  69 Messages

personal-name          = Ol' BT
user-domain            = <No Value Set: using "socs.uts.EDU.AU">
smtp-server            = <No Value Set: using labmail.socs.uts.EDU.AU>
nntp-server            = <No Value Set: using news.socs.uts.EDU.AU>
inbox-path             = <No Value Set: using "inbox">
folder-collections     = Mail/[]
news-collections       = <No Value Set: using *{news.socs.uts.EDU.AU/nntp}[]>
default-fcc            = <No Value Set: using "sent-mail">
postponed-folder       = <No Value Set: using "postponed-msgs">
read-message-folder    = <No Value Set>
signature-file         = .signature
global-address-book    = <No Value Set>
address-book           = <No Value Set: using .addressbook>
feature-list           =
            Set        Feature Name
            ---   ----------------------
            [ ]  assume-slow-link
            [ ]  auto-move-read-msgs

? Help       E Exit Config  P Prev      - PrevPage    A Add Value
             C [Change Val] N Next    Spc NextPage    D Delete Val  W WhereIs

This is the first screen of the setup, there's a lot more to come yet. Let's go through the lines of this page before continuing. personal-name is an alias for yourself, similar to those you use for other people in the address book, and your full e-mail address will follow your alias in the headers of any mail you send. (e.g. From: Ol' BT <> ) The user-domain field is the default location for user names for outgoing mail. For instance, with the above configuration, if you just type piers in the To: field, the text will automatically be appended when you hit return. If you have specified a domain (i.e. used @some.machine), the text will not be appended. Don't change this! It saves time when sending mail to other people at SoCS. The smtp-server and nntp-server fields also shouldn't be changed, as they're the defaults for SoCS. If you wish to have your inbox folder located somewhere strange, you can set this with the inbox-path field (useful if you receive a lot of mail, but not really worth doing). The most useful option on this screen is the folder-collections field. With this, you may specify mail located on other machines, such as ftoomsh and ghostgum so that you can read that mail without having to log into that machine[*]. Mine is listed as:

folder-collections     = Mail/[]
The first line is on the local machine (in this case, lucy), and the second line allows me to access my mail on ftoomsh. The server name goes in braces, followed by the directory in which your mail is held (normally Mail). This must be followed by /[ ], which allows all the mail folders within your mail directory to be read[*]. Note that when adding folders, you should use A for Add Value, not C for Change Value, otherwise you won't be able to read your local mail. Once you have added other servers, you will be able to access them through L (Folder List). When you select a remote machine, you will be prompted for your login and password on that machine, even if you have an .rhosts file. It will look something like this:
News-collection <News on news.socs.uts.EDU.AU>                          (Remote)
HOST: ftoomsh  ENTER LOGIN NAME: kaleid                                         
^G Help
^C Cancel   Ret Accept

The rest of this screen is self explanatory, with the exception of three fields. The signature-file and address-book fields are useful, but don't really need to be changed. The feature-list starts on the first page, but continues for another two pages (see below). When you have moved down into the feature list, the commands available change as the next page shows:

  PINE 3.90   SETUP CONFIGURATION                  Folder: INBOX  69 Messages

            [ ]  auto-open-next-unread
            [ ]  compose-sets-newsgroup-without-confirm
            [ ]  delete-skips-deleted
            [ ]  enable-aggregate-command-set
            [X]  enable-alternate-editor-cmd
            [ ]  enable-alternate-editor-implicitly
            [X]  enable-bounce-cmd
            [ ]  enable-flag-cmd
            [X]  enable-full-header-cmd
            [ ]  enable-incoming-folders
            [X]  enable-jump-shortcut
            [ ]  enable-mail-check-cue
            [ ]  enable-suspend
            [ ]  enable-tab-completion
            [X]  enable-unix-pipe-cmd
            [ ]  expanded-view-of-addressbooks
            [ ]  expanded-view-of-folders
            [ ]  expunge-without-confirm
            [ ]  include-attachments-in-reply

? Help       E Exit Config P Prev       - PrevPage
             X [Set/Unset] N Next     Spc NextPage                  W WhereIs

enable-suspend allows one to use CTRLZ while reading mail with Pine. All the feature list options on the previous two pages, and the next, can be set by typing X when the option to be changed is highlighted. This is in contrast to the options which by default have <No Value Set>; these are changed by the C or A options (see the first page, above). Options for some sections are set using S for select (as in fcc-name-rule, etc.) The appropriate commands are shown on the bottom two lines as you move down the list.

I think most of the options in the feature list are self-explanatory[*]. I prefer to have my signature at the bottom of my mail (who doesn't?), so I've marked that box.

 PINE 3.90   SETUP CONFIGURATION                  Folder: INBOX  69 Messages

            [ ]  include-header-in-reply
            [ ]  include-text-in-reply
            [ ]  news-post-without-validation
            [ ]  news-read-in-newsrc-order
            [ ]  quit-without-confirm
            [ ]  save-will-quote-leading-froms
            [ ]  save-will-not-delete
            [ ]  save-will-advance
            [ ]  select-without-confirm
            [ ]  show-selected-in-boldface
            [X]  signature-at-bottom
            [ ]  use-current-dir
            [ ]  user-lookup-even-if-domain-mismatch
initial-keystroke-list = <No Value Set>
default-composer-hdrs  = <No Value Set>
customized-hdrs        = <No Value Set>
saved-msg-name-rule    =
            Set       Rule Values
            ---   ----------------------

? Help       E Exit Config P Prev       - PrevPage
             X [Set/Unset] N Next     Spc NextPage                  W WhereIs

The options that follow under a Set heading use the S for Select command.

  PINE 3.90   SETUP CONFIGURATION                  Folder: INBOX  69 Messages

            ( )  by-sender
            (*)  by-from
            ( )  by-recipient
            ( )  last-folder-used
            ( )  default-folder
fcc-name-rule          =
            Set       Rule Values
            ---   ----------------------
            ( )  by-recipient
            ( )  last-fcc-used
            (*)  default-fcc
sort-key               =
            Set       Sort Options
            ---   ----------------------
            ( )  Date
            (*)  Arrival
            ( )  From
            ( )  Subject
            ( )  OrderedSubj

? Help       E Exit Config P Prev       - PrevPage
             S [Select]    N Next     Spc NextPage                  W WhereIs

Some explanatory notes here. saved-msg-name-rule is how mail in any of your saved message folders are headed; fcc-name-rule is how copies of mail in your sent mail folder are headed; sort-key is how mail in your inbox is arranged; addrbook-sort-rule is how your, er..., address book is ordered. Easy, hein?

  PINE 3.90   SETUP CONFIGURATION                  Folder: INBOX  69 Messages

            ( )  Reverse Date
            ( )  Reverse Arrival
            ( )  Reverse From
            ( )  Reverse Subject
            ( )  Reverse OrderedSubj
addrbook-sort-rule     =
            Set       Rule Values
            ---   ----------------------
            ( )  fullname-with-lists-last
            ( )  fullname
            (*)  nickname-with-lists-last
            ( )  nickname
            ( )  dont-sort
character-set          = <No Value Set>
editor                 = <No Value Set: using "/usr/ucb/vi">
image-viewer           = <No Value Set: using "/usr/bin/X11/xv">
use-only-domain-name   = Yes

? Help       E Exit Config P Prev       - PrevPage
             S [Select]    N Next     Spc NextPage                  W WhereIs

This is the last page (whew!). Much of the same here -- sorting for folders and the address book, as well as options for changing external applications. If you change these, make sure the paths are correct, or you'll get error messages when you try and do things. Also, if you use a different editor, make sure the enable-alternate-editor-cmd option is set (it's listed on the second page of the feature list). There's also an enable-alternate-editor-implicitly option, which I prefer not to set by default -- Pico is fine for ordinary spontaneous typing as one employs when writing mail, I only use my alternate editor (vi, the default choice) for certain things.

The old way of configuring pine was by using your .pinerc file. Pine still uses this approach (a bit); look at the end of this chapter for more information on this daunting approach to configuring Pine.

Folder Collections

The folder collections in Pine have changed their appearance somewhat recently. Earlier versions defaulted to showing you all of your folders, on all of your machines (local or remote) in the expanded format. Now, Pine is a bit more compact, and L will show you a screen something like this:

  PINE 3.90   FOLDER LIST                         Folder: INBOX   69 Messages   

                            Incoming Message Folders

INBOX               {ftoomsh}

Folder-collection <Mail/[]>  ** Default for Saves **                     (Local)

                      [ Select Here to See Expanded List ]

Folder-collection <Mail/[] on ftoomsh>                                  (Remote)

                      [ Select Here to See Expanded List ]


? Help       M Main Menu  P PrevFldr    - PrevPage    D Delete      R Rename
O OTHER CMDS V [ViewFldr] N NextFldr  Spc NextPage    A Add

News-collection <News on>                          (Remote)

                      [ Select Here to See Expanded List ]

These screens show all your Mail collections (and news collections) on any machines you specified in the folder-collections field, covered above under Config. This field does not include the Incoming message folders. You have to set this up yourself by using the Add option with the cursor higlighting something in the top section (your INBOX would be good). You would then type the name of the remote server. An alternative approach would be to edit your .pinerc file. Find the line incoming-folders= and add {ftoomsh} to it. If you have set the feature expanded-view-of-folders in your configuration[*] then you will have something approaching the old folder list. If you have this set, and use remote machines then you will have to supply a login and password for all of those machines whenever you use Pine. Personally, I don't think it's worth doing. Having this flag set, or highlighting a section and pressing return will show something like this:

  PINE 3.90   FOLDER LIST                         Folder: INBOX   69 Messages

                            Incoming Message Folders

INBOX               {ftoomsh}

Folder-collection <Mail/[]>  ** Default for Saves **                     (Local)

sent-mail           3308sric            TADS                TFM
ag298               anagrams            android             bong
bongfool            bywong              chrisf              chromium
cwchoy              greenland           funny               goaway
iching              jeremy              jerome              jhomer
jimmy               kevin               leroy               lists
morag               mouser              niall               piers
postponed-mail      progsoc             sbg                 sent-mail-apr-1995
sent-mail-aug-1994  sent-mail-dec-1994  sent-mail-feb-1995  sent-mail-jan-1995
                         [Now in collection <Mail/[]>]
? Help       M Main Menu  P PrevFldr    - PrevPage    D Delete      R Rename
O OTHER CMDS V [ViewFldr] N NextFldr  Spc NextPage    A Add

Using .pinerc

The old way of configuring pine was by using your .pinerc file. Pine still uses this approach; but the internal reconfiguration scheme is much easier to use. You might need to use this if you can't run Pine because of what you've done to your configuration. It looks something like this:

# Updated by Pine(tm) 3.90, copyright 1989-1993 University of Washington.
# Pine configuration file -- customize as needed.
# This file sets the configuration options used by Pine and PC-Pine.  If you
# are using Pine on a Unix system, there may be a system-wide configuration
# file which sets the defaults for these variables.  There are comments in
# this file to explain each variable, but if you have questions about
# specific settings see the section on configuration options in the Pine
# notes.  On Unix, run pine -conf to see how system defaults have been set.
# For variables that accept multiple values, list elements are separated
# by commas.  A line beginning with a space or tab is considered to be a
# continuation of the previous line.  For a variable to be unset its value
# must be blank.  To set a variable to the empty string its value should
# be "".  You can override system defaults by setting a variable to the
# empty string.  Switch variables are set to either "yes" or "no", and
# default to "no".
# Lines beginning with "#" are comments, and ignored by Pine.

# Your full name
personal-name=Little Wooden Head

# Your printer selection

# Special print command if it isn't one of the standard printers

# Date last time you were asked about deleting old sent-mail

# Domain name you are in  e.g.,,

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

# 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[]
And so on.

As you can see, the .pinerc more or less replicates the functionality of the Pine setup/config options[*], except that you have to know the names of the features.

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