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Pine 4.33 on Mac OS X: CLI email client with installation guide

PINE created in 1989 by the University of Washington, arrived today at version 4.33 and made available for OSX users. The team of "The GNU MAC OS X Public Archive" in perfect Open Source philosophy, has collected and produced the ports of a huge amount of UNIX applications on the OSX platform.

Thousands of Open Source applications ready to be used on Mac, all collected on a CD sold for $ 26.95 (you can find everything from XFree86, to GIMP, AfterStep, Apache Tomcat etc.) or downloadable on the net from the Italian mirror created by University of Eastern Piedmont.

Why install PINE when there are advanced powerful and reliable graphic software such as Eudora, Entourage or Apple Mail? You must first of all be curious and passionate about the OpenSource world, happy to be able to take advantage of the fantastic and soothing graphical interface of the Mac with which we all grew up , but at the same time happy to be able to use the OpenSource applications that Darwin offers us through the Terminal.

In addition to the features now common to all email clients, PINE has the advantage / disadvantage (it depends on your point of view) of not having a graphical interface.

In fact, this feature allows you to manage both e-mail (IMAP and POP) and newsgroups only via Terminal with text commands (moreover very simple and documented by an online assistant) .This therefore allows you to use the software even remotely by connecting with telnet or ssh to your machine and download and send mail from the other end of the world, using the IP assigned by your ISP without having any SMTP or account configuration problems.

Frankly, PINE can be difficult and archaic in its approach and conception. Considering that the IMAP protocol now allows you to download and send mail from any machine and from any client (including the Web front end) .But for the curious and for enthusiasts, perhaps a nostalgic p, for those who want to try their hand in the very simple installation of PINE for OSX (even those who are not very familiar with the compilation of Darwin applications via Shell), a free graphic installer is available, which uses the Aqua interface and allows a child-proof installation.

To avoid getting lost in the infinite list of GNU software for OSX, the first step is to connect to the official Apple list of UNIX software. Once the download of the PINE installer has started (3.4 Mb, the server is a little slow) just unzip the Pine-Pico-4.33X.pkg.sit file and click on the icon of Hexley, the mascot animal of OSX GNU project.

At this point a classic OSX installer will start (remember to authenticate with system login & passwd) which will ask you which partition to install PINE on. Use the partition where the system resides. Once installed, you will not find the classic icon of the application in the Applications folder of OSX.PINE has in fact been installed inside Darwin, the only way to access it is to launch the Terminal and type "PINE" on the promt.

The simple configuration, just follow the instructions that associate a specific command to a letter. By typing for example S (SETUP) you access the configuration. Each item can be flagged or customized according to needs and preferences. With the C (COMPOSE MESSAGE) command you will get a window from which you can send a message. The command? (HELP) offers an online assistant in English that explains all possible configurations as well as possible solutions to user problems and doubts. With the F (FOLDER LIST) command you can view all the mailboxes created (inbox, outbox, etc.). For a more detailed list of PINE commands and potentials, we recommend reading the official guides at this address.

(By Rudy Belcastro)