[an error occurred while processing this directive]

[ FTP/Fetch ] [ Kermit transfers ] [ Text vs. Binary ] [ Exporting from Pine ]

[ Sending Files with Pine ] [ Attachments ] [ Printing email ] [ Cleaning up ]


NOTE: These instructions assume you have a Minerva/Pantheon account and are using a machine that is somehow connected to the network.


Why transfer files?

Knowing how to transfer files can be useful if you want to save a copy of and/or print your email, if you want to send a file via email using Pine, if you receive such a file, or if you want to do anything that requires that you move a file from one machine to another.

Exactly how you transfer a file depends on how your local computer is connected to the network. If it has a direct connection, or if it has an ARA or a PPP modem connection to the network, then you will use a program called FTP (or Fetch). If you are dialing in with a modem but have a Shell account connection (also known as Remote Terminal Access), you can't use FTP so you have to use a program that can do what's known as the Kermit transfer protocol.


Using FTP/Fetch

You use FTP/Fetch to establish a connection between two networked computers. Once the two computers are connected, you can use the program to copy files back and forth between the two machines. In order to use FTP/Fetch, you will need to know the full address of the machine you want to connect to, and where (i.e. in what subdirectory) the file you want to copy is located.

  1. Start the FTP/Fetch program (look in the Internet Tools folder/program group). You should see a screen where you can enter connection information.
  2. Enter the Host (or Hostname) information. If you are connecting to your Pantheon account, this should be "minerva.cis.yale.edu".
  3. Enter your User ID. This is the name with which you log into your Minerva/Pantheon account (also known as a NetID and a Username).
  4. Enter your Password.
  5. All other information on this first screen is optional. Click "OK".
  6. Here the PC compatible (FTP) and Macintosh (Fetch) versions diverge a little:
  7. PC compatible

    The window is split into two halves. The left half represents your local machine (i.e. the computer in front of you) and the right half represents the remote machine (i.e. Minerva). In each half, the upper portion of the window displays both subdirectories of the current directory and any other available disk drives, and the lower portion displays files in the current directory.

    To send a file from your local machine to the remote machine, select the file you want to send by locating it (double-clicking on drives and/or subdirectories if necessary) and clicking on it once. If you there is a particular directory on the remote machine in which you want to put the file, you may double-click on that directory to select it. Choose the appropriate type of transfer (ASCII or binary -- for a discussion of this see below), then click on the arrow that points in the direction you want to send the file. A transfer status window should flash on the screen, et voila! the file is transferred.

    To get a file from the remote machine onto your local machine, the process is exactly the same in reverse. Select the file on the remote machine that you want to transfer, select which directory on the local machine you want to put it in, choose the type of transfer, and click on the arrow that points in the direction you want to send the file.

    Macintosh

    You see a window that shows you the contents of the directory you have selected on the remote machine (when you connect to minerva, it automatically selects your home directory).

    To send a file from your local machine to the remote machine, click on "Put File". Up pops a window that lets you select the file you want to send (if you don't see the file you want, try clicking on "Desktop" and searching from there). Select the file and click on "Open". Enter the name you want the file to have when it's on the remote machine, select the appropriate transfer format (see below for a discussion of text vs. binary), and click "OK". You should see a brief display on the right side of the window indicating the status of the transfer; when that display disappears the file has been successfully transferred.

    To get a file from the remote machine onto your local machine, select the file you want to transfer, choose the appropriate type of transfer (Automatic usually works pretty well) and click "Get File". You should be prompted where you want to save the file, so just select the appropriate directory and click on "Save".

  8. When you're finished, be sure to quit out of the FTP/Fetch program, especially if you're using it on a public machine.

Using the Kermit transfer protocol

There are a number of programs which can handle the Kermit protocol. On the PC side, the ones we support are Kermit (DOS), Terminal (Win31), and HyperTerminal (Win95). For the Macintosh, we support TinCan (which we no longer recommend, however) and MacKermit. There are many other programs out there that will do Kermit, and you are under no obligation to use the ones we support, but be forewarned that we may not be able to answer questions about programs we don't support.

In order to transfer files using the kermit protocol, you must actually have two programs running, one on each machine, each of which must be able to do the kermit protocol. These two programs, instructed by you, negotiate the transfer of the file. The process is as follows:

  1. Connect to the terminal server and log into your Minerva/Pantheon account. If you don't already know how to do this, refer to the handy Dialing in with a NetID document available from the Internet Information Center.
  2. To send a file from your local machine to the remote machine:

    1. At the minerva% prompt, type "kermit". This starts the C-kermit program on minerva, which handles the kermit protocol on the remote end of things.
    2. Type "set file type text" or "set file type bin" depending on whether the file you want to transfer is a text file or a binary file (see the discussion below on text vs. binary transfers).
    3. Type "receive". C-Kermit will tell you that it's ready to receive a file, and that you should return to your local kermit and give a send command.
    4. From your local communications program (i.e. Kermit, Terminal, HyperTerminal, TinCan, MacKermit, etc.) select the file to be sent, and tell the program to send it. How you do this varies from program to program:
    5. PC compatible

      Kermit: Type alt-x to get a command line. Type "set file type text" or "set file type binary". Then type "send" followed by the name of the file you want to send. From the command line you can use some normal DOS commands (like "cd" to change directory, or "dir" to view the contents of the directory) to help you find the file you want to transfer. Once the file has finished transferring, type "c" to get back to the connection screen, then type "quit" to quit the C-Kermit program.

      Terminal: make sure Terminal is set to do the kermit protocol by selecting "binary transfers" from the "Settings" menu. Terminal is strange in that if you want to use the kermit transfer protocol you must do a binary transfer. So, select "Send Binary File" from the "Transfers" menu, choose the file you want to send, and click "OK". After the file has finished transferring, type "quit" to quit the C-Kermit program. The "Send Text File" option in the "Transfers" menu does work, but it doesn't use kermit; using it is equivalent to typing out (very quickly) the contents of the text file. To use it, therefore, you must be running a word processing program on minerva (like pico, or while composing an email message). While that program is running, you may select "Send Text File" and the text will appear in the open document just as if you typed it. If this makes no sense to you, stick to binary transfers.

      HyperTerminal: Select "Send File" from the "Transfer" menu. Choose the file you want to transfer, click on "Open", then click on "Send". Once the file has transferred, type "quit" to quit the C-Kermit program. Like Terminal (see above), HyperTerminal's "Send Text File" command just sends the contents of the text file as if typed from the keyboard.

      Macintosh

      TinCan: Select "Send File" from the "File Trans" menu, choose the file you want to transfer, click on "Send". When prompted, enter a name for the file on the remote machine and select the appropriate type of transfer (text or binary). When the file has finished transferring, type "quit" to quit the C-Kermit program.

      MacKermit: Select "Send File" from the "File-Transfer" menu. Choose the file you want to transfer, select the appropriate type of transfer (text or binary), select "data" for text files and "resource" for binary files, and click on "Send". When the file has finished transferring, type "quit" to quit the C-Kermit program.
  3. To get a file from the remote machine onto your local machine, do the same process in reverse. That is, start the kermit program on minerva, tell it what type (text or binary) of transfer you want to do, and tell it to send the file by typing "send" followed by the name of the file you want to send. Then choose "Receive File" or its equivalent from the same directory you chose "Send File" from (in your communications program) and watch the file transfer away. The one catch is that it's not always obvious where the transferred file is stored on your system. Sometimes the transfer status window will give a destination of the transferred file, some programs will ask you where you want to save it. If worst comes to worst and you can't find the file you just transferred, try doing a search for the file (command-f from the Finder for the Mac, "Search" from the File Menu in the File Manager for Win31, "Find" from the Start Menu for Win95).


Text (ASCII) vs. Binary

Simply put, everything that is not a plain text file is a binary file. Binary files include image files, sound files, and most importantly, word processing files. That's right, unless you specifically save a document as "Text only" or "ASCII text" or some equivalent, your word processing program adds a number of binary codes to the text of your document. These codes contain formatting information and so affect how the text is displayed (fonts, justification, footnotes, etc.) If you do a text transfer of a binary file these codes will be destroyed. Sometimes a text transfer is necessary, however, especially if you want a text file created on a Mac to be readable on a PC and vice versa.

If you are using Fetch, you have the additional options when you "Put" a file, of BinHex II, MacBinary, AppleSingle, or Raw Data. Rather than go into a discussion of these here, suffice it to say that "Raw Data" is equivalent to a normal binary transfer, while the other three involve additional encoding of the information.


Exporting an email message from Pine to your home directory

Say you received an email message that you want to transfer to your local computer (so you can print it, for instance). How do you get the message into a file on your home directory so you can use the process described above to transfer it? Simple: while looking at the message (in Pine), type "E" (for Export). Give the file a name, hit return, and the file is created. To check this, quit out of pine and type "ls" (for list) at the minerva% prompt to get a listing of the contents of your home directory. You should see the new file with the name you gave it.


Sending files via email using Pine

Files come in two varieties, as explained above: text and binary. Text files may be sent as part of the body of an email message, so that the recipient will just receive one (long) email message. A binary file must be sent as an attachment (see below), and text files may also be sent as attachments.

Method 1: Incorporating a text file in the body of an email message
  1. Transfer the text file to your home directory.
  2. Start pine and begin composing a message.
  3. Type "^R" (control-R) and enter the name of the text file. The file should then appear as part of the message.

This method does not let you include any fancy formatting information, but if you're not sure the person you're sending the file to knows how to handle attachments, it is the most fool-proof way of making sure the other person will be able to read your file. Most word processing programs let you save documents as text; try looking under the "Save As" option.

Method 2: Send a file (binary or text) as an attachment
  1. Transfer the file to your home directory.
  2. Start pine and begin composing a message.
  3. Position the cursor on the "Attchmnt:" line and type "^J" (control-J). Enter the name of the file, then enter a description ("Attachment comment") of the attached file. The name of the attached file should appear on the "Attchmnt:" line.

You may want to write a note in the body of the email message explaining what format the attached file is in and what the recipient should do with it. This method is convenient in that it lets you preserve formatting information for word processing documents, but it assumes that the recipient knows how to deal with attachments.


Dealing with attachments

If you receive an email message that contains an attachment, first view the list of attachments by typing "V" while you're looking at the email message. Select the attachment you want to save, then type "S" to save it as a file in your home directory. Then transfer it as you would any other file (see above).


Printing your email

If you want to print email, and you've tried the "attached-to-ansi" print option without success (see the section on printing from Pine in PantheonHelp), then you will have to transfer your email message to your local machine and print it from a word processing program. To do this, first export the message to a file in your home directory, then transfer it as you would any other file (see above). Once the file is transferred, open it with your favorite word processing program and print to your heart's content.


Cleaning up

If you do a lot of file transfers you may end up with a bunch of old files sitting in your home directory just taking up valuable space. When you transfer files you're really only transferring a copy; the original stays put. To get rid of a file in your home directory on Minerva/Pantheon, type "rm" followed by the name of the file. BE CAREFUL, because once you've removed the file it's gone and you can't get it back, period.

For other useful Unix file handling commands (of which rm is one), take a look at the section in PantheonHelp on File Handling.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]