Pine to Gmail

Wednesday August 15th 2007, 2:10 pm

for the last 7 or 8 years or so, I’ve been checking my email ( and its variations) by ssh’ing directly into my mail server and using Pine. For a text-online email program, Pine had a lot of great features, including spell checking, folders, and nicknames for addresses in your addresses book, and I liked having all my email in one place I could check from any computer without having to set up Outlook or Evolution or Thunderbird or whatever and use Imap to keep them synchronized. That made a lot of sense before the proliferation of POP web-based email (and before POP web-based email was any good; I do remember trying Yahoo mail with POP a few years ago and being very frustrated with it).

But, Pine is no longer being supported by the University of Washington (who developed it, and who are replaceing it with something called “Alpine”), which seemed like a good enough incentive to finally stop using a program that was state of the art in 1989. After using Gmail for a while with a Gmail account, I got a little pampered by its features, and it seemed silly to keep using Pine, so after putting it off for a while I finally switched to Gmail over POP. It’s pretty sweet.


  1. Is Alpine Elm?

    Comment by Anonymous — August 20, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

  2. No, Elm is a different program. Alpine is a new version of Pine with different copyright restrictions or something.

    Comment by Eric Rosenfield — August 20, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

  3. How did you transfer all the old messages stored with Pine into your gmail account?

    Thanks in advance,


    Comment by Octavi — August 31, 2007 @ 12:03 pm

  4. They were already there. Because I checked my messages on the mail server, they never left the mail server, so when I had Gmail pull down the messages via POP they were all just there to be pulled down.

    Comment by Eric Rosenfield — August 31, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

  5. So, what are specific things you like better about Gmail vs pine/alpine?

    Comment by Mark Stosberg — December 31, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

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