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Managing files on The WELL (using SSH and PicoSpan menus)

If you have a Complete account, you create files in your home directory on well.com when you copy information from topics, or upload files to attach to email messages. This page is about how to manage these files.

  1. Opening the File menu
  2. Managing files in your home directory
  3. To list the files in your home directory
  4. To display the contents of a file
  5. To copy, rename, or delete a file
  6. Handling directories
  7. To see the name of the current directory
  8. To change to a different current directory
  9. To create a new directory
  10. To delete a directory
  11. Compressing files
  12. Downloading files
  13. Uploading files
  14. Changing file management settings
  15. To change to another file editor

Opening the File menu

To open the File menu, from the Main menu choose 9 File Management.


 MANAGING FILES ON THE WELL                   .  Menu name : file
                                              .  Conference: wellcome
  1  List the files in your directory         . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  2  ...including hidden ones                 .
  3  ...with details                          .  HELP and INFORMATION:
                                              .  www.well.com/membersguide
  4  Display the contents of a file           .  
  5  Copy a file                              .  
  6  Rename a file                            .  
  7  Delete a file                            .
                                              .  
  8  Show current directory name              .   
  9  Change to a different directory          .
 10  Make a new directory                     .  GETTING AROUND
 11  Delete a directory                       .
                                              .   66  Go back one menu
 12  Compress a file                          .   77  Go to the Main menu
 13  Download a file                          .   88  Go to a menu by name
 14  Upload a file                            .   99  Turn off these menus
                                              .
 15  File management settings...              .  100  Exit from the WELL
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

OK (type a number or command):

The File menu lets you list the files in your home directory in various ways, display the contents, and copy, rename, or delete them. This menu also lets you control your directory (and the location of your files) by creating subdirectories and compressing, uploading, and downloading files.

Managing files in your home directory

You can use up to 100 megabytes of disk space without being charged. The fees for additional space are not large, but the whole idea is to keep disk space available for whomever needs it.

If you begin to upload and download lots of files, you should periodically remove files to clean up the disk space assigned to you and getting rid of files that are no longer useful.

To list the files in your home directory

The first three commands on the File menu let you display your files. From the File menu choose one of the first three commands:

  • 1 List the files in your directory lists the names of your working files, the ones that contain information you are working with. These are files you have created by copying responses, uploaded from your computer, or created by saving email way back when email used to be routinely delivered to members' home directories.

  • …including hidden ones lists the names of both your working files and the "hidden" files that The WELL computer uses to keep track of your preferences for working, settings, conference participation files, and so forth. These files are sometimes called "dot files," because they each begin with a dot.

  • …with details lists the names and other details of all the files in your directory. Details include the read/write setting for each file, the file size, the date last modified, and the filename. Files beginning with a dot (.) are hidden files, used to store settings for your various activities on The WELL.

Subdirectories are indicated by the letter "d" at the beginning of the listing. Here is an example:

total 120
drwxr-sr-x   9 puffball well        1024 Dec  5 13:47 .
drwxr-sr-x  34 root     sys         1024 Nov 29 14:27 ..
-rw-------   1 puffball well          64 Nov 25 13:40 .addressbook
drwx--l---   2 puffball well         512 Dec  4 14:18 .cfdir
-rw-------   1 puffball well           0 Nov  9 11:35 .events.wellcome
-rw-------   1 puffball well           0 Dec  5 09:16 .inbox
-rw-------   1 puffball well          38 Sep  2 11:17 .mailrc
-rw-------   1 puffball well        7782 Dec  5 09:37 .pinerc
-rw-r--r--   2 puffball well         964 Nov  7 14:39 .plan
-rw-------   1 puffball well           3 Oct 28 15:15 .rnprofile
drwx--l---   4 puffball well         512 Nov 27 13:19 .tin
drwx--l---   2 puffball well         512 Nov 27 13:19 Mail
drwx--l---   2 puffball well         512 Oct 30 04:58 News
-rw-------   1 puffball well        5248 Dec  1 16:46 Questions
drwx--l---   2 puffball well         512 Dec  5 13:41 Answers
-rw-------   1 puffball well          64 Sep 10 10:53 dead.letter
drwx------   2 puffball well         512 Dec  5 09:38 mail
OK (Return for menu):
To display the contents of a file

You can display the contents of a file. This is useful when you've forgotten what a file contains. You need to know the filename of the file you want to see.

From the File menu choose 4 Display the contents of a file. Enter the filename of the file you want to see and The WELL will display the contents of the file.

To copy, rename, or delete a file

Copying, renaming, and deleting files are basic file management tasks. You can perform all of them from the File menu.

Renaming files can be particularly important if you're planning to download a file to your personal computer or attach it to a mail message. For example, if you are going to download a file named "this_large_important_file" to a computer running Microsoft Windows, you would rename the file to something Windows can handle, such as "importnt.txt".

From the File menu choose the appropriate menu command: 5 Copy a file, 6 Rename a file, or 7 Delete a file. When The WELL prompts you, enter the filename of the file you want to copy, rename, or delete.

  • If you're copying or renaming a file, enter the new filename when The WELL prompts you for it.
    • If you are copying a file, The WELL creates a second file with the new filename.
    • If you are renaming a file, The WELL changes the filename of the original file to the new one.
  • If you are deleting a file, you must confirm that you want the file deleted.

Caution: Be sure of your intentions before you copy or rename a file. The system carries out the command immediately, without asking you to confirm the action. Therefore, it is possible to overwrite a file that has the same name as the new filename you want to use, without warning. We may be able to restore a deleted file if you contact helpdesk@well.com swiftly.

Handling directories

A directory is like a folder. It is a named location on disk that can contain files. If you are familiar with pathnames, you know about directories. Here is a path to a file named filename:

  /home/l/o/login/filename

The part of the path that precedes the filename is a series of directories. When you log in to The WELL, your current directory is your "home" directory. Any information you copy to a file or upload is placed in your home directory unless you explicitly instruct the system to place it in another directory.

You can create other directories, make one of them the current directory, and delete directories.

To see the name of the current directory

Occasionally you may create a file you want other people to read. To give them access to the file, you need to tell them the location of the file, including a full path to it. (And you will need to change the security permission from private to public. See Changing File Management Settings.)

Your home directory is created automatically when you first sign on as a WELL user. If your name were "login," your home directory would be:

  /home/l/o/login

You don't need to remember that - you can see it when you need to have the information. To see the name of the current directory, from the File menu choose 8 Show current directory name. The name will be displayed.

To change to a different current directory

The current directory is the active location. This is the directory that is used when you perform file management tasks unless you explicitly include a different path name.

You can change the current directory to take advantage of this convention. For example, if you have several files to upload into your work subdirectory, you can make it the current directory; then you won't have to enter the pathname to the work subdirectory each time.

From the File menu choose 9 Change to a different directory. At the prompt, enter the directory you want to make current.

You can provide the entire pathname, starting with /home/, or you provide only the name of the subdirectory.

To create a new directory

If you make extensive use of The WELL storage area for files, you may want to create subdirectories of your home directory in which to group them. For example, your home directory may contain two subordinate directories: work and project2. You could store files in either of these subdirectories as well as in your home directory.

From the File menu choose 10 Make a new directory. At the prompt, enter the name you want for the new directory. The new directory is created subordinate to the current directory.

If you want the new subordinate directory to be the current directory, you must change the current directory, as described in To change to a different current directory.

To delete a directory

If you discover that you no longer need a directory you created, you can delete it.

From the File menu choose 11 Delete a directory. At the prompt, enter the subdirectory you want to delete.

Note: You can't delete the current directory. A subdirectory you want to delete must be empty (must contain no files).

Compressing files

You can compress a text file (make it smaller). The file compression available on The WELL works with UNIX and PC-compatible computers. If you are using a Macintosh system, do not use this feature.

A file that has been compressed is no longer a text file. You must download it as a binary file and uncompress it on your personal computer.

The file compression program creates a "zip file." The compressed file has the extension ".zip".

To compress a file, you need to know the filename of the file you want to compress. From the File menu choose 12 Compress a file. Enter the filename at the prompt. You don't have to type the ".zip" extension for the file, The WELL automatically adds it to the filename if you leave it out.

CAUTION: The compressed file replaces the original file.

Downloading files

The menu system provides a download option. From the File menu choose 13 Download a file. When prompted, enter the filename of the file that you want to download.

Most users will prefer to use FTP to transfer files. However some SSH clients will support this menu option, which sends zmodem and similar transfers.

Uploading files

The menu system provides a file upload option. From the File menu choose 14 Upload a file. When prompted, enter the filename of the file that you want to upload.

Most users will prefer to use FTP to transfer files. However some SSH clients will support this menu option, which sends zmodem and similar transfers.

Changing file management settings

Your file management settings allow you to set security permissions on your files and directories, and to choose the editor you want to use for editing files.

You can set your files to be "public" or "private." Anyone logged into The WELL via an SSH session can read a public file, and files must be public in order to function as Web pages in your WEB directory. Only you can read your private files. By default, most of your files are private. You may want to designate a certain file as public when you think it will be of general interest. You can then post the path to the file so that other people can read or download the file when logged in.

To change the security permissions on a file:

  1. From the File menu choose 15 File management settings.
  2. Choose 1 Change security permissions on files. The WELL File Permissions menu will appear.

FILE PERMISSIONS MENU
     ---------------------------------------------------------------------
                           WELL File Permissions Menu
     ---------------------------------------------------------------------

     - Change Default:  Make all new files you create:

          PUBLIC:   Any WELL member can read them..............Type:  a
          PRIVATE:  Other WELL members cannot read them........Type:  b

     - Make ALL Currently Existing Files PRIVATE...............Type:  c
            (Does not include Picospan setup files.)

     - Make ALL Currently Existing Files PUBLIC................Type:  d
            (Does not include mbox file or Mail directory.)

     - List Files & Their Permissions..........................Type:  e

     - Change Permissions on Specific Files....................Type:  f

     ---------------------------------------------------------------------

     Enter Choice (or 'q' to quit):

Use the menu to view and change any permissions you wish to change. To see the current permission status of your files, enter e.

To change to another file editor

The file editor is the program that you use to edit files, such as your biography. If you don't like the file editor you are currently using, you can change to one you are more familiar with, or one that is easier to use.

  1. From the File menu choose 15 File management settings.
  2. Choose 2 Pick the editor used to edit files. The Editor menu will appear.

 PICK THE EDITOR USED TO EDIT FILES              .  Menu name : editor
                                                 .  Conference: wellcome
  1  ped (recommended)                           . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  2  red                                         .
                                                 .  HELP and INFORMATION:
  3  vi (if you know how to use it)              .  www.well.com/membersguide
                                                 .  
  4  Other                                       .  
                                                 .  
                                                 .
                                                 .       
                                                 .   
                                                 .
                                                 .  GETTING AROUND
                                                 .
                                                 .   66  Go back one menu
                                                 .   77  Go to the Main menu
                                                 .   88  Go to a menu by name
                                                 .   99  Turn off these menus
                                                 .
                                                 .  100  Exit from the WELL
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

OK (type a number or command):

Choose the editor you want to use by entering its number.

  • The standard file editor is Ped (a WELL nickname for the Pico Editor, which is used in the Pine mail program).

  • You may want to use the red line editor if your computer does not have full-screen capability.

  • If you are familiar with vi, and want to use it, enter 3.

Other UNIX editors are available, but you will have to teach yourself how to use them. If you are familiar with another text editor, you may choose 4 Other and enter its name at the prompt.

Contents

WELL policies and etiquette
Getting connected
Menu basics
Getting and sending email
Starting out in WELL conferences
Working with WELL conferences
People online
Publishing a Web page
The muse
Managing files on The WELL
Checking and changing settings
Accounting and billing
Troubleshooting
PicoSpan Command Summary

For instructions about using PicoSpan menus, see Menu basics. Note that to Enter a command, you type the command followed by the Return or Enter key.

Look for more documentation of legacy commands in the picohelp conference. For documentation of the newer web-based access to the same conference content, see the newer guide to direct engagement using your browser.

 
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