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Electronic Email
Conferencing/NetNews
Dialup/File Transfer
Real-Time Communication

Electronic Email

alpine/pine

Description: text-based mail client featuring automatic incorporation of users' mail, IMAP support and basic rendering of message bodies that are in HTML format. alpine is the successor to pine and is largely compatible with it; it is currently the standard text-mode mail reader on Athena

TO RUN:

athena% alpine

There is alpine documentation on the Web, pine documentation on the Web, Pine on Athena

See also: evolution, gpg

Note: ez-pine-gpg is also available. Documentation is here. This is a set of scripts that allows users to use gpg with alpine. To use it, type

athena% add outland

and append /mit/outland/share/ez-pine-gpg/pine-config to your .pinerc file. When verifying messages, you'll need to import the sender's public key outside of alpine

evolution

Description: GUI-based, IMAP and Exchange aware mail reader that can interpret multiple formats including HTML. Incorporates a built-in calendar/task list and address book. This is the currently recommended multimedia-enabled mail reader on Athena

TO RUN:

From Ubuntu Dash: type evolution in Search box

From command line:

athena% evolution &

There is a user guide

See also: alpine/pine, Outlook Web App

mutt

Description: text-mode Mail User agent, descended from elm

TO RUN:

athena% mutt

There is documentation on the Web

See also: alpine/pine

Outlook Web App

Description: Web-based Exchange mail system that can securely access your mail through almost any Web browser, anywhere in the world

TO RUN:

The entry point is here and there is documentation

See also: evolution

thunderbird

Description: fast, efficient mail and newsgroup reader based on those in Mozilla

TO RUN:

athena% thunderbird &

There are newsgroup lists on the Web that have active links that will directly invoke newsreaders in Web browsers. Some other information about News and newsgroup lists is here

See also: firefox

tnef

Description: decodes MS winmail winmail.dat files; can optionally output message text in rtf files, but those are most likely unreadable on UNIX systems- most useful for its ability to decode attachments in various formats

TO RUN:

athena% tnef -f winmail.dat

 

Conferencing/NetNews

discuss, xdsc

Description: Athena-specific networked online conferencing system where users can post transactions to "meetings" about various subjects. Similar to computer BBS "conferences"

TO RUN:

athena% discuss (for a text interface)

followed by an appropriate keyword at the discuss: prompt (typing help gives useful information)

athena% xdsc & (for an X interface)

There is a Web gateway

See also: DISCUSS-e, dsgrep

DISCUSS-e

Description: emacs-based interface to discuss

TO RUN:

M-x discuss (from within emacs)

See also: discuss

GNUS-e

Description: emacs-based interface to Net newsgroups

TO RUN:

M-x gnus (from within emacs)

There are newsgroup lists on the Web that have active links that will directly invoke newsreaders in Web browsers. Some other information about News and newsgroup lists is here

See also: pan, thunderbird

Google Groups

Description: hyperlinked newsgroup listings on the Web

Some other information about News and newsgroup lists is here

See also: pan, thunderbird

pan

Description: lightweight newsgroup reader

TO RUN:

athena% pan &

There are newsgroup lists on the Web that have active links that will directly invoke newsreaders in Web browsers. Some other information about News and newsgroup lists is here

See also: GNUS-e, Google Groups, thunderbird

thunderbird

Description: fast, efficient mail and newsgroup reader based on those in Mozilla

TO RUN:

athena% thunderbird &

There are newsgroup lists on the Web that have active links that will directly invoke newsreaders in Web browsers. Some other information about News and newsgroup lists is here

See also: GNUS-e, Google Groups, pan

 

Dialup/File Transfer

ftp

Description: UNIX standard file transfer protocol. Used to transfer files between hosts

Please be aware of security concerns: standard ftp will send your password and data in clear across the network by default. Consider secure file transfer methods such as scp (part of the ssh package) instead of the standard ftp program. Additional information about secure file transfer is here

TO RUN:

athena% ftp hostname

athena% ftp IP_address

(for internal commands, type ftp, followed by ? at the ftp> prompt)

See also: kermit, rlogin, shellinabox, ssh, uuencode

kermit

Description: commonly used file transfer program that allows file transfer between machines of many different types and architectures

TO RUN:

athena% kermit

There is a Kermit home page

See also: ftp, uuencode

openconnect

Description: Virtual Private Network (VPN) application; can be used to obtain an MIT I.P. address for a machine that is located off-campus. This allows you to run applications, typically controlled by a license server, that are restricted to run on machines with MIT I.P. addresses. You can also use the VPN to access other resources and services that are restricted to machines with MIT I.P. addresses

TO RUN:

sudo to root in a terminal window, and enter a command line as follows:

root@bullie:~# openconnect -s /etc/vpnc/vpnc-script https://vpn.mit.edu (if not using Duo authentication)
root@bullie:~# openconnect -s /etc/vpnc/vpnc-script https://vpn.mit.edu/duo (if using Duo authentication)

and log in with your athena username and password. If you are using Duo you will get a second password prompt which you should respond to with the type of second factor authentication you're using, such as phone. Hit return when you see the message "please hit the continue button..." (the button does not display in a text-mode terminal window). When you see the message Established DTLS connection your VPN connection is established. You will need to leave this terminal session running for the duration of your VPN session. Typing control-C in the terminal window will break the connection and terminate your session

Note: this application is not installed. You can install it temporarily (on a debathena-cluster machine) or permanently (on a debathena-workstation or non-Athena Ubuntu machine) but not on the Athena dialups by doing the following:

sudo to root and install from the openconnect Ubuntu package using aptitude or synaptic

rlogin, telnet

Description: standard UNIX applications allowing a user to log into a remote host

Please be aware of security concerns: standard rlogin and telnet will send your password and data in clear across the network by default. Consider ssh instead of the standard versions of these programs

TO RUN:

athena% rlogin hostname

athena% telnet hostname

athena% telnet IP_address

See also: ftp, shellinabox, ssh, x3270

shellinabox

Description: application that allows secure remote non-graphical login to Athena dialups on Web browsers

TO RUN:

Start from here, which will get you to an Athena login screen on one of the Athena dialup hosts; home page

See also: ftp, ssh, telnet, x3270

Note: This application replaces the former Mindterm Applet that performed a similar function

ssh

Description: allows secure remote logins and file transfer using a variety of authentication and encryption methods, including RSA, DES and others. Can act as a replacement for rlogin, telnet, ftp and rcp. ssh will automatically secure and encrypt an X session. Many command-line parameters and configuration settings exist. Read the man page (man ssh) and see the OpenSSH home page for more information; there is also a local Web page and ssh on Athena dialups

TO RUN:

athena% ssh options hostname (for secure shell)

athena% ssh -Y hostname (for graphical X-session)

athena% scp options sourcehost:source file desthost:destination file (for secure file copy)

See also: ftp, gpg, pgp, rlogin, shellinabox, telnet, vinagre

uuencode, uudecode

Description: converts a binary file into an ASCII encoded representation that can be sent via mail. It encodes the contents of source_file into an ASCII file encoded_file which can be inserted in a text mail message. The file_label argument is required, and is included in encoded_file 's header as the name into which uudecode places the binary decoded data

TO RUN:

athena% uuencode source_file file_label >encoded_file

athena% uudecode encoded_file (some versions can work with encoded_file embedded in mail; others may require separating it out)

See also: ftp, kermit

x3270

Description: IBM 3270 terminal emulator, used to access remote IBM mainframes

TO RUN:

athena% x3270 hostname

See also: shellinabox, telnet

 

Real-Time Communication

pidgin

Description: multi-protocol messaging client allowing communication with users of MSN Messenger, Yahoo messenger, AIM, ICQ, Jabber and others

TO RUN:

athena% pidgin &

There is information on the Web, information on configuring pidgin to access MIT's Jabber server

See also: Zephyr

Note: On Athena, many users use Zephyr.

Zephyr

Description: Athena-specific instant messaging system. Allows creation of groups, called "instances", to which messages can be sent

TO RUN:

athena% zwrite user (sends a message to a given user)

athena% zwrite -i instance (sends a message to members of instance)

athena% zctl (set instance lists and other Zephyr attributes)

athena% zlocate user (finds out where user is logged in (if not hidden))

There is online documentation, also a Web interface; also Inessential Zephyr and Zephyr overview

See also: pidgin