Department of
Physics & Astronomy


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Email on the P&A Computer System

Email Received through your Stars Account

Every student in Physics and Astronomy is entitled to an account on the Department computer system, with email service as part of this account. General Department announcements are sent to all these email accounts, and a lot of less formal communication goes on, too. It is a good idea for every Department member to check this email account regularly.
  • If you are logged onto a computer in the Department Computer Room, TH 123, or remotely, you can use the Unix program pine to read and send email, open attachments, etc.
  • There is a easy way to login over the web without having a secure-shell client installed, just using any web browser. However, this requires an additional password which must be obtained from the Physics and Astronomy office (415-338-1969).
  • If you want to have all of your Stars mail sent to another email account, you can have it automatically forwarded to another account (yahoo, hotmail, earthlink, ...). See Forwarding, below.
  • At present (8/2004) it is not possible to fetch mail from your stars mailbox using a POP client. The SMTP and POP protocols have been turned off because of security issues. A secure POP server may be implemented in the future.

Email Through Other Internet-Service Providers

You can read other email accounts while logged onto the P&A computer system. Other Unix systems can be reached directly using ssh. Web-based email systems can be reached by running Netscape, Internet Explorer, or Mozilla.

Forwarding Your Email to Another Computer System

Some people prefer to read their Physics and Astronomy email through another email service. This can be easily accomplished by having all of your email messages automatically forwarded to another address. This will happen if you put that address in a file (.forward) on your home directory on the P&A system. Here are the steps to follow:
  • Log onto your account on the P&A system.
  • Create a file, using pico (see pico man page) or some other text editor. The name of this file should be
    Note the period preceeding the word forward. This file name is pronounced "dot-forward".
  • Enter a single line into this file, containing the email address to which you want your mail forwarded. For example,
    (If you are Brad Pitt, that is.)
  • Save the file. To verify the presence of the file on your home directory, do a directory listing as follows:
    	quark:bpitt> ls -a
    The flag "-a" is necessary to see files which start with a "dot" - these are system files which are not normally listed. This listing should show up the .forward file which you have just made. To check its contents, display it on the screen as follows:
    	quark:bpitt> more .forward