Your initial session as a new elm user might look something like the session below.
vanilla@sisyphus $ elm
This version of ELM requires the use of a .elm directory in your home
directory to store your elmrc and alias files. Shall I create the
directory .elm for you and set it up (y/n/q)? n
Mailbox is '/usr/spool/mail/vanilla' with 2 messages [ELM 2.4 PL25]
1 Jul 5 meb@mailbox.SLAC.S (17) test
2 Jul 1 meb@mailbox.SLAC.S (38) Re: mail/pine problems for user hebe
You can use any of the following commands by pressing the first character;
d)elete or u)ndelete mail, m)ail a message, r)eply or f)orward mail, q)uit
To read a message, press <return>. j = move down, k = move up, ? = help
To display a list of elm commands and how to invoke them, enter ? and then enter ? again in response to the prompt.
Netnews has many similarities to a normal electronic mail delivery system, but also some major differences. A normal e-mail system provides person-to-person communications, a transaction between sender and recipient in which a third party cannot view the mail contents. An e-mail system can typically be extended by using mailing lists through which each mailing list member receives a copy of the mail. Bulletin boards extend the e-mail model by allowing all bulletin board subscribers to view all postings to the board. Usually a bulletin board resides on one computer to which subscribers log on. In contrast, the Netnews "board" floats around the world travelling from one computer on the network to the next. Since new messages can be entered at any computer, the "board" will usually look slightly different at every site.
For newsgroups local to SLAC see newsgroups with names starting with slac. You might, for example, want to periodically read the entries in slac.users.unix.
Currently there is no single supported newsreader for UNIX. SCS is presently evaluating several news support models whose goal is to provide reliable news service using news readers on all supported platforms. IBM AIX/6000 and Sun users have access to the X-windows application xrn, which is also available in line-mode as the command rn. xrn is a point-and-click interface. For more information about the line-mode rn enter the command man rn. To use xrn you must first start an X-windows system; for information, see "Workstations and Window Systems" on page 9.
If you use the editor emacs, consider using the emacs newsreader. It has both a line mode and X-window interface. To use the X-windows interface:
To exit, select Exit from Gnus from the Misc menu. To read a news group or news item, click on the name of the newsgroup or a news item; then press RETURN. Online help is also available.