Full Sail: Power User Tips

Reading News From Pine 3.95

v1.6 - Updated October 2, 1998

To tell Pine to receive news from the Dalhousie news server:


  • type 'gmail' (without the quotes),
  • press 'm' for menu,
  • 's' for setup and
  • 'c' for configure:


Highlight the following options and use ENTER/Return to change:

          Put this under nntp-server: news.dal.ca
(This will allow you to post to the groups.)

          Put this under news collections: *{news.dal.ca/nntp}[]
(This will allow you to read from the groups.)
          Please note that the [ ] are two square brackets (although they may look like a square on some monitors).

          If you do not already have it checked off, you may want to scroll down to the option:

[ ] auto-open-next-unread
and place an 'x' in the box using ENTER/Return. This will allow easy entry into each newsgroup when you reach the end of the group you're in. If this option is not selected, you will be asked to confirm 'y'es entry into each newsgroup.

          Next scroll down to the option:

[ ] enable-aggregate-command-set
and place an 'x' in the box using ENTER/Return. This will allow multiple deletes and undeletes using the ' ; ' and ' &  ' keys.

          Next scroll down to the option:

[ ] expanded-view-of-folders
and place an 'x' in the box using ENTER/Return. This will allow you to see all your mail and news folders without having to specifically press ENTER/Return each time you leave a newsgroup. The default setting is to simply show one large group for each; one called Mail Collections, the other News Collections.

          Next scroll down to the option:

[ ] save-will-not-delete
and place an 'x' in the box using ENTER/Return. This way, saving postings will not delete them until you want them deleted. If you do not select this option, you can simply use 'u' to undelete anything you want kept for later reference.
          Next scroll down to the header called:
on the left of the screen. Use ENTER/Return to change the option to 'Ordered Subject' to tell Pine to simulate Tin. This will put all of the postings in each group in subject order as well as date received so that you can read a thread intact. Not checking this option will cause Pine to collect the postings like email and scatter threads throughout each newsgroup.

          If you want your mail sorted by arrival and not ordered subject, it is easier to use '$ a' to sort your email by 'arrival' and have your newsgroup sorted by the sort-key setting rather than the default setting which will have your mail handled by the sort-key and have to manually thread every single newsgroup using '$ s'.


Save the changes:

          Now you have to exit the configuration by pressing 'e' for exit, 'y' for yes, save the changes and quit Pine altogether.


Reading News:

          The next time you access Pine, the changes will take effect. To read news like you would mail:

  • press 'l' for the folder list and
  • press on News Collections for your full list. This will not be necessary if the expanded view option above is selected as they will already be viewable.
  • Press ENTER/Return to select your first newsgroup.

          Use TAB to select each newsgroup and 'y' to enter them to read.


Adding / Deleting Newsgroups:

          To add to your list of groups:

  • press 'a' and '^t' (press t while holding down the Ctrl key) to get the full list of available newsgroups.
  • Press 'l' to set up a selectable ordering list and then scroll down through the list or...
  • use 'w' for whereis and select your groups.
  • Use ENTER/Return to put an 'x' by each group.
  • Press 's' and then 'y' to subscribe to your selected groups.

          When you press 'e' to exit the selector, you will be returned to your subscribed newsgroups. To delete an unwanted group, simply highlight the group in question and press 'd' for delete.


Viewing News Threads:

          Use TAB or ENTER/Return to view your threads within your selected groups.

          If you didn't select the Ordered Subject sort option in the configuration earlier, use $ and then 's' while viewing your list of threads to sort them by subject.


Posting to a Newsgroup:

          To post to a newsgroup, press 'c' for compose (as in an email) and write your message. Send it as you would normally send email using '^x' and 'y'.


Responding - Replying To The Author / Followup To A Posting:

          To respond to a posting, press 'r' (for respond) and then 'r' (for reply) a second time to send an answer directly to the author of a posting. Use 'r' (for respond) and then 'f' (for followup) to send an answer to a posting to the newsgroup.

          NOTE: Do not just hit 'f' first because, in Pine, 'f' is for 'forwarding'. To followup a posting, you must press 'r' first and then 'f'. Use 'b' (for both) if you want your response to go to the author _and_ to the newsgroup.


Saving / Exporting Messages:

          You can 's' any postings to your 'saved-messages' or any other mail folder. You can 'e'xport any postings to your home files directory after you enter a filename for it.


Bouncing Messages:

          You can 'b'ounce a posting to someone else or a mailing list if you have [ ] enable-bounce-cmd selected in your Pine setup configuration.


Deleting / Undeleting 'Read' Messages:

          Since Pine treats news postings like email, you will have to delete all read and unread postings prior to moving onto the next group unless you want them to remain. Pine doesn't have a 'c'leanup command like Tin but uses the 'Apply' feature instead. To delete everything remaining in a particular group, press " ;AAD " (without the quotes). To 'unread' previously deleted messages, use " & " (again without the quotes).

          As you use Pine to read news, your newsrc file will keep track of what you read or haven't read. One feature that Tin had, was notifying you when a new newsgroup became available. You can see what new newsgroups have been added in the past week using the Lynx prompt 'gnews:*'. As each day goes by, new newsgroups will appear and week old groups will disappear from this list. All groups, however, can be found in your full listing in Pine.

          Save this guide for future reference.


You may direct comments or suggestions about this column to:

our fine Userhelp volunteers at  userhelp@chebucto.ns.ca

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