Gutenberg Exchange Lesson Four: Sending E-Mail Messages
Computer Literacy Objectives: In this lesson you will learn
how to use E-Mail on the Internet.
Writing Objectives: You will learn how to modify words and
sentences using four types of Bound Modifiers, and you will
learn the definition of a Main Clause.
Your E-mail account must be active to complete this lesson. You
should have activated the account at least two to three days ago.
- Visit Lesson Three to review
and basic sentence patterns.
- Leave Netscape running (so you can toggle back to this page
to check these instructions) and shift to your telnet program. (For
NIU students, the telnet program is in the LAN window.) Telneting basically
turns your computer into a work station directly tied to a larger
- Once you have opened the LAN window, click on the icon that telnets
you to the computer where your E-mail account is (probably Oats or
- When the computer prompts you, type in your account
number (that is, your z number), press Enter, and type in your password.
- When it asks for the terminal type, press the Enter key.
- When the mainframe computer's prompt comes up (it has the computer's
name and a > sign or : following it), type biff n and press Enter. The
biff n command tells the computer not to dump incoming messages onto
your screen. Some people say it stands for "Biff, No!" in memory of
a dog who always bothered his master when he was cooking.
- The mainframe's prompt will reappear. Now type pine and press
return. This command takes you to Pine, which is a program that helps
organize your E-mail. A screen comes up with a menu containing five
or six options.
- For this lesson, you want to send an E-mail message to your teacher,
so you select the "Compose a Message" option. You can do this by
moving the highlighted bar to the compose option and pressing
Enter or by typing C. Once you do that, a new
screen with a memo-like heading appears. The first line asks for
the address of the person you wish to send a message to.
- Put your teacher's E-mail address into the first line of the
memo-like heading. Press the Tab or Enter key, and put your own E-mail
in the line that asks whom you would like to send copies to.
- In the Subject line, put your last name, an apostrophe s, and the
words "bound modifiers," like this: Jone's bound
line will help your teacher know what the message is and who it is from.
- Below the memo-like heading is the space for you to compose your
message. Your message is to consist of two sentences that contain at least
eight bound modifiers each. To learn how to do that, you will need to
click on the folowing prompt: bound modifiers.
- After composing two sentences with eight bound modifiers each
(and with the names of the bound modifiers in parenthesis behind them),
type a new line that has your full name, and then type another line that
indicates what class and section you are in.
- Ask a classmate to check your message to see if the E-mail address
lines look right and to see if the sentences look right.
- Send the message by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the X
key. You will be asked if you want to send the message. Press the Y key.
If all went according to plan, you should receive a copy of your
message within a minute or two. You read messages by pressing the
M key (for Main Menu), selecting the List Folders option, pressing
Enter, and moving the highlighter to the InBox option. Press Enter
when the highlighter
is on a message line. When you do that, the message opens up.
If you don't get a copy of your message, it may be because you activated
your E-mail account so recently that the computer services people have
not yet been able to get your account working, or it may be because you
gave the wrong address in the "copies to" line.
- If you get a message back from the "daemon mailer," it will tell you
that it was unable to deliver the message either to you or to your teacher.
People new to E-mail get these notes all the time because they aren't quite
careful enough when they type in addresses. If you get one, check the
- You don't have to retype the whole message if this
happens. Instead you can "forward" the the returned message by pressing
the F key while the rejected message is still on the screen.
When you do, the memo-like heading reappears. Fill it
in carefully. Below the heading will be the rejected message which
contains an explanation of the failure and a copy of the original
message. Erase the explanation by placing the cursor at the end of the
explanation and pressing the Backspace key or by holding down the Ctrl
key and pressing the K key. Be careful doing these operations because
you send more commands to delete than the computer is able to execute
immediately. As a result, you sometimes end up erasing more than
you wanted to.
- When you get a copy of your message back, open it by going to the
in-box and pressing the Enter key when the highligher is on the
- Save your message by pressing S while your message is on the screen.
It will ask for a file name. Type a name like homework and press
Enter. If this is the first message you've saved to that folder,
the computer will tell you that no such folder exists, and it will ask if you
want to create it. Press the Y key.
- To check whether you saved it correctly, go to the Main menu by
pressing M and then to the List Folders option. Your homework
Folder name should appear. When you press the Enter key, it will
list the files in your folder, which you can open as you did in the
- To leave Pine, go to the Main menu (press M) and then press the
Q key. The computer will ask if you want to quit; press "y" for yes and
answer its questions.
- When the mainframe prompt appears, type logout and press Enter.
This command logs you out of the mainframe but not out of your
- Close Netscape and log off of your computer.
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