FAQ for comp.mail.pine - Part 4

Miscellaneous Questions

How do I get new-mail notification from Pine?

If you are using the POP3 protocol, you cannot. This is because Pine uses a sort of quasi-online mode for reading mail off of a POP3 server. You will have to close your INBOX and reopen it to check for new mail. The problem is that Pine does not close the INBOX during the entire Pine session.

There is a work-around though. Instead of setting your inbox-path to be your real Inbox, set it to some dummy value. Then, add your POP3 Inbox as an incoming folder. Now, to check for new messages, instead of quitting Pine, you only have to close that mailbox (by opening another one), and re-open it. Voilà!

Thanks to Terry Gray of the Pine team for posting this to the Pine-info mailing list. His original message can be found at http://www.washington.edu/pine/pine-info/2001.01/msg00036.html.

On the other hand, if you are using IMAP or reading directly from a spool file, then Pine will automatically beep and display a message in the status line that you have received n new messages, and if manageable, who they are from. If Pine is minimized and the enable-newmail-in-xterm-icon option is checked, Pine will change the icon title to say that you have received new mail. The $DISPLAY environment variable must be meaningful for this to occur.

If you are remotely logged in to a Unix machine from a Windows client, this may not work. Windows Telnet does not support changing the window title or icon. TeraTerm does, but it treats the icon title and window title the same. Nifty Telnet for the Macintosh supports it as well.

The frequency at which Pine checks for new messages is controlled by the mail-check-interval option under (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfig.

I filter messages into various folders. Can Pine tell me which folders have new mail in them?

No. But you have a few ways around it. You can add each folder that you filter messages into as an incoming folder. Then you can TAB between them. This won't tell you if there are any new messages until you try to enter the folder.

Or if you are running Unix Pine, you can apply a patch that Eduardo wrote. You can pick up the patch from his web site.

Can I search through all messages in a folder for a text string?

Yes. Make sure that you enable-aggregate-command-set; then go to your specified folder and (;)Select (T)ext (A)llText and type in the string to be matched. Instead of (A)lltext, you may also choose to search only through some headers. In addition, Eduardo has a patch which will allow you to search through only the body of a message. You can pick it up from his page.

You should check the options Pine gives you at the bottom of your screen when you enter each command. There are various criteria that you can select with besides text strings.

Can I search through all folders for messages that contain a text string?

Yes. As above, make sure that enable-aggregate-command-set is set. Then, go to the collection list that has a list of your folders. In that, (;)Select (T)ext (C)ontents and enter a text string. Once again, before you enter each command, check the bottom of the screen for various options so that you can select based on other criteria.

How do I convert my addressbook into a remote addressbook?

Go to (M)ain (S)etup (A)ddressbook and in the Personal Addressbook section, add a new one. The Server name should be your remote IMAP server and the path should be something that you can access.

After creating your addressbook as above, go to your regular addressbook by going to (M)ain (A)ddressbook. Select all your addressbook entries by pressing (;)Select (A)ll (A)pply (S)ave and save to your remote addressbook. If these commands don't work, make sure that the enable-aggregate-command-set option is checked in (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfig.

Instead of the above two steps, you can also copy your local addressbook to a remote one from the command line (Thanks to Eduardo Chappa for the tip). Just use the command

pine -copy_abook .addressbook {mail.example.com}/path/to/addressbook-remote

replace .addressbook with your local addressbook's path and filename, and put your IMAP server name in the braces. You can use any name for the remote addressbook file, and put it in any path that you can access via IMAP. Some people have reported problems with hidden remote files. I like to make the filename have a reminder that it is remote, so I suffix it with -remote as above, or -imap.

You can now go back and delete your local addressbook, so that all you ever use is your remote one, or look at Nancy's page on Speeding up Pine at http://www.ii.com/internet/messaging/pine/pc/#speed to figure out how to keep concurrent copies of local and remote addressbook up to date.

Every month, Pine asks me if I want to rename my old sent-mail and delete the old ones. How do I stop/change this behavior?

For Pine versions 4.30 and above, set the appropriate action in the pruning-rule option under (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfig.

For earlier versions, it is only possible to make it stop renaming and deleting your sent-mail. To do so, edit your .pinerc file, and change the value of the last-time-prune-questioned option to some ridiculously high value. The value for the option is of the form years_since_1900.month. So to set it to December 2050, you would make the value as follows:


How do I cancel a message I posted to a newsgroup?

Before starting, you need to add Control to your list of customized-hdrs under (M)ain (S)etup (C)onfig.

Then, open the newsgroup that you posted the message to, and open the message you want to cancel. Display Full(H)eaders. (You may need to set enable-full-header-cmd first). Copy the Message-ID of the message you want to cancel into the clipboard.

(R)eply to the message; select (F)ollowup to newsgroup. In the headers area, press ^R to display Rich Headers. In the Control: header, type in the word cancel followed by the Message-ID from the message to be cancelled. Thus, the Control header should look like

Control: cancel <old-msg-id>

Note that the angle-brackets around the Message-ID are required. Put something in the Subject line including the word "cancel", and leave the message body blank (actually, the body can contain anything, but it wastes bandwidth). Once this is done, send the message. It'll take a while to propagate around, but eventually, your message should disappear.

See also Aaron Hawley's instructions, and Nancy McGough's message with instructions.

Can I have my deleted messages go to a trash folder instead of being deleted?

Not directly. But you can try this method: Set up a filter with the following settings.

Current Folder Type: Specific: INBOX (Change this as necessary)
Message is deleted: Yes
Filter Action: Move to folder Trash (Or any other name)

One problem is that Pine doesn't expunge after it filters. So you may get duplicates or worse in your Trash folder.