Guide to E-Mail on HERMES

Electronic Mail (or e-mail)

Electronic mail works the same way regular mail does: people send you notes, letters, announcements; you receive the mail in a mailbox; you decide whether or not to read the mail, save it until later, toss it out, reply to it, etc. The only difference is that the mail circulates via a computer. To use electronic mail you need to know a couple of things:

Your electronic mail address

An e-mail address has two parts: a user i.d. and a "node."
For example, my e-mail address is:

The "lbrady" part is my user i.d. This is just like putting someone's name on an envelope.
The part that comes after the "at" sign (@) is called the "node."
This is a lot like a street address. My mail is delivered to "street address" of the huge computer that actually sorts, stores, and processes my mail.

Your password

OK. You don't want everyone reading your mail, do you? Of course not. That's why you have a password. The computer at the "node" part of your address can automatically sort and store your mail, but only you can tell the computer to open your mail. To make sure that YOU are giving the command, the computer will always ask you for two things: your user i.d., and your password.

Whenever I go to read my mail, for instance, I have to respond to the following prompts:

login/user i.d.:

password: ******

At the first prompt, I type my user i.d. (lbrady). At the second prompt, I type in my password (and I'm not going to tell you what that is or there'd be no point in having all this nifty secret stuff).

When you first get your e-mail account, you will be given your user i.d. and a password. The very first thing you'll do is change your password. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Just be thinking of what you want as your password:

Logging on to the College Server

OK. You have your user i.d. and you know what you want as your password. Now you just have to access your mail. Go to one of the computer labs on campus (the `lair, Stansbury, Armstrong, etc.). Most of the labs are connected to the large computer "server" that will let you get to your mail.

Look for some sort of folder icon that says "Internet" (or perhaps "Network" or "Communication"). If you don't see something like this, ask.

A window should open up that asks you for a session name. Type:

Click on "OK." (You should be able to leave the window name blank.)

(The "hermes" stuff is the "node" part of your address. On some machines, you may need to type: TELNET )

You should then get a screen (or maybe just a single line) that asks you to log in. The prompt will look something like this:


That's where you type in your user i.d. (for instance, that's where I would type lbrady). Your user i.d is probably just your first initial and your last name--with no spaces in between.

Then you'll get a new prompt that asks for your password:


Type in your password. If this is your first time logging on, remember that passwords are case sensitive. That means, if the password that came with your user i.d. is a mix of upper case letters and numbers, make sure you type it exactly as it appears (upper case, lower case, etc.).

If you create a new password, again make sure you notice whether you use caps or lower case letters. The computer will only accept your password if it includes a mix of letters and numbers.

To create a new password, follow the steps to log in as usual:

login: lbrady (i.e., your user i.d.)

password: engl295 (or whatever your password happens to be) At the prompt that looks like your use i.d., type the following:


The machine will ask for your old password (e.g., engl295) and then for your new password, twice. (It wants to make sure you've typed it in correctly.) That's all there is to it.

Where to find your mail

Only one more step. Once you've logged on and given your password, you should see something like this:

Last login: Fri July 7 13:35:31 from
Sun Microsystems Inc. SunOS 5.3 Generic September
your user i.d.--

You are now connected to the Sun Computer Server and you can now give commands. To get your mail, you now need to type the name of the mail program that will let you read, write and edit. Our mail program is called PINE You type in the name of that program right next to the prompt that has your user i.d. For instance, this is what my screen looks like when I am calling up my mail:

Last login: Fri July 7 13:35:31 from
Sun Microsystems Inc. SunOS 5.3 Generic September

About PINE

Think of PINE the same way you think about a word-processing software. Just as you have to tell your computer to open up Word Perfect 6.1 or Microsoft Word 5.1, you also have to tell this computer what program you'll use to read and write mail. (There are lots of programs out there.) You say, PINE, and then you get an opening menu for that program.

The PINE menu is, I think, pretty self-explanatory. Just play around a little. Don't send anything very long or very important until you feel comfortable with the system.

Here's a sample of PINE's opening menu. Whenever you are in PINE and you want to get back to that main menu, type M. (Note: If you ever see the ^ sign before a letter, it means that you need to hit the "CONTROL" key along with the letter that follows. For instance, ^ C means that you hit CONTROL and the letter C to cancel a command.)

*************SAMPLE OPENING MENU FOR PINE**************

? HELP - Get help using Pine

C COMPOSE MESSAGE - Compose and send a message

I FOLDER INDEX - View messages in current folder

L FOLDER LIST - Select a folder 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 Univ. of Washington

. [Folder "INBOX" opened with 0 messages]

? Help P PrevCmd R RelNotes

O OTHER CMDS L [ListFldrs] N NextCmd K KBLock


Get me out of here!

Whenever you want to get out of PINE, you get back to the main menu (type M). From the main menu, type Q to QUIT the program.

The computer will ask, "Do you really want to quit?" Type Y for "yes."

You'll get a new prompt that is just your user i.d. again. At that prompt, type EXIT:


You'll get a message that you are logged off the college server.