Unknown terminal type

Over the past week, I've been trying to figure this one out, but as I'm 
new to running Linux locally I haven't had any luck. When running under 
Eterm, many of the applications I try to run (Pico, pine and vi just to 
name a few) complain that Terminal type eterm is an unknown terminal. 
Though I agree that Emacs is a great editor, sometimes I need something 
simpler, and  would really love to get pico/vi running. Can anyone offer 
any advice with this one?