So, for the longest time I’ve been using PINE for my email. And by the longest time I mean 14 years. It was originally the only option we had for checking email when we first got Internet access to the high school back in 1993 from PacBell, and when it was available when I went to Berkeley, I used it because I was familiar with the keystrokes and configuration stuff.
When I started working at Yahoo!, I set it up on my FreeBSD machine and used fetchmail to grab the mail from the POP server, a setup that more than a few Yahoo! engineers used at the time.
When I got my own personal email / vanity domain, I did the same setup for my local Linux machine and my personal POP account. I even tried setting my domain’s MX record to my Linux machine, but when the DSL went down people started getting undeliverable messages, so I stopped that.
I was mocked sometimes, but I never had to worry about clicking on a .SCR and getting a virus, and those annoying graphical spam messages simply appear as blank messages. Sure, it was a kind of a pain sometimes to get the URL clicking to work right, and if I ever wanted to view an attachment I had to save it to disk then FTP it off the server, but it was all fine and good.
Then my new job at Yahoo! required I use Outlook. So at this position I never used Pine for work email. Oh well, I could handle that.
Then I decided to migrate everything off my Linux machine and got my Dreamhost account. Hey, it’s shell access, and I can use PINE! Happy days! And it even had a webmail client I could use if I wanted to.
But after using it for a while, I realized something. I wasn’t really using PINE to view local mail like I was used to. I was using PINE to access my email via IMAP. Which is all well and good, but I was sshing into a shell to get at this email, when I could just get at it directly with a mail client. So I fired up Mail.app on my Powerbook and pointed it my account. And there everything was. I set up Thunderbird at work, and ditto.
Granted, I now have three mostly independent spam-filtering methods (spamassassin on the server, and Thunderbird and Mail.app have their own) that don’t agree on many things, but now I don’t have to deal with entering my password three times to check my email. (Once to log into the shell, once to access the IMAP inbox, once to access the IMAP other mailboxes.)
Good bye, PINE. It’s been a great 14 years.