When you log in you may get a message:
You have mail.
You can then type the command:
[First unread email message]
Your mailbox is a file called by your user name which is kept in a central mail directory called mail. Its path is:
This is quite separate from your mail sub-directory within your home directory:
which you will use to originate email you wish to send or classify by sender and subject the email messages you have received. Individual messages within your mailbox file are separated by a row of 4 smilies (Ctrl-A) characters on a line by themselves. Your email address is always written in the form:
To read and send email you use an email program like mail, Mail, elm, pine. If you use Xwindows you can use MailTool or xmail.
Sending a Message
To send a message, you type-in the following command
Hello user, this is my message to you. What do you think
of it? I think it is great.
The dot on the line by itself at the end tells mail to go ahead and send the message. Old versions of mail may also need Ctrl-D.
Reading Your Mailbox
To get a list of outstanding incoming mail messages type the command:
3 letters found in /usr/rob/mail.
0 scheduled for deletion.
0 newly arrived
> 1 234 jim@sharon 10:15:57 Tue 23 Jan 1995
3 56321 jack@plato 12:32:44 Tue 23 Jan 1995
2 4376 jill@ulysses 13:45:32 Tue 32 Jan 1995
You can then respond with the following commands:
Enter read the message the > is pointing at
Msg No moves the > to that message
d delete the message the > is pointing to
u undelete the message the > is pointing to
m followed by username@hostname to forward the message
r to reply to the message the > is pointing at
z to see next screen-full of message headers
p print the message the > is pointing at
q quit the mail program
? for further help, including other commands you can use
Reading a Message
Move the > to the message you want to read by entering its number and press Enter. The message is displayed. When you have finished reading it you can:
d delete the message
r reply to it with another email message
p 3 print message 3 on screen
s file1 save the message to the text file file1.
If file1 already exists, mail appends the new message to it. If you do not delete or save a message once you have read it, it is saved automatically in a file called mbox presumably in your own mail sub-directory.
Elm - a much better Email Program
To invoke the elm email program, just type:
Mail box is '/usr/mail/rob' with 3 messages
1 22 Dec R J Morton (49) a few technical hints
O 2 23 Dec F Bloggs (12) memory upgrades list
N 3 23 Dec M Brean (10) new program notes
The following controls are in effect when you are in the mail index:
Up/Dn arrows move highlight to the message you want
Enter read the highlighted message
d delete the message after you have read it
u undelete the message
m send (mail) the message
r reply to the message
f forward the message to someone else
> s save the message to a folder or text file
p print the message
q quit the elm program
? for more help information and commands
o to go to elm's configuration options
h edit the header of the selected message
c go to a folder index to see the messages that you have
stored in a particular sender or subject folder.
When you press m, elm asks you for:
- the address to send it to
- the subject of the message
- the addresses to send copies to
Elm then it runs an external text editor for you to type the message you wish to send. Then save it and exit the editor. You may then if you wish press h to edit the message's header information. Elm then gives you the following choices:
Choose e)dit message, !)shell, h)eaders, c)opy file, s)end, f)orget.
You can then press s to send it.
You set up which text editor you want elm to use as follows:
- press o to get the elm options
- press e to change the editor
- type the name of the editor you wish to use
- press > to save the change
- press i to get back to the mail index
To read a message, you highlight its line and press enter. Elm prints (on screen) the first screen-full of the message. After you have read it, you can press:
d to delete the message
f to forward it to somebody else
r to reply to it
space to leave it in the mailbox and go to the next message
i to leave it and go back to the index
> s to save message to a folder
When saving to a folder, elm asks the file name of the folder. Folder names begin with an = sign.
Folders can be named after the people you receive the messages from, or by the subjects of the messages.
You can look at the messages you have saved in a folder by pressing c while in the main index. You then type in the folder name and a list is displayed of all the messages currently in that folder. You look at folder messages the same way you look at them in the mailbox.
If you do not use an = prefix, elm assumes you are saving to an ordinary text file. The text file may be imported into a document if required.
© 1998 Robert John Morton