2.2 ELM -- A Better Way
Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet

Go to Table of Contents. Visit Gifcom.

     Elm is a combination mailbox and letter-writing system that uses
menus to help you navigate through mail.  Most Unix-based host systems
now have it online. To use it, type
and hit enter.  You'll get a menu of your waiting mail, along with a
list of commands you can execute, that will look something like this:
       Mailbox is '/usr/spool/mail/adamg' with 38 messages [ELM 2.3 PL11]     
     1   Sep 1  Christopher Davis  (13)   here's another message.             
     2   Sep 1  Christopher Davis  (91)   This is a message from Eudora       
     3   Aug 31 Rita Marie Rouvali (161)  First Internet Hunt !!! (fwd)       
     4   Aug 31 Peter Scott/Manage (69)   New File <UK077> University of Londo
     5   Aug 30 Peter Scott/Manage (64)   New File <DIR020> X.500 service at A
     6   Aug 30 Peter Scott/Manage (39)   New File <NET016> DATAPAC Informatio
     7   Aug 28 Peter Scott/Manage (67)   Proposed Usenet group for HYTELNET n
     8   Aug 28 Peter Scott/Manage (56)   New File <DIR019> JANET Public Acces
     9   Aug 26 Helen Trillian Ros (15)   Tuesday                             
     10  Aug 26 Peter Scott/Manage (151)  Update <CWK004> Oxford University OU
   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  
     Each line shows the date you received the message, who sent it,
how many lines long the message is, and the message's subject.
     If you are using VT100 emulation, you can move up and down the
menu with your up and down arrow keys.  Otherwise, type the line number
of the message you want to read or delete and hit enter.
     When you read a message, it pauses every 24 lines, instead of
scrolling until it's done.  Hit the space bar to read the next page. 
You can type a lowercase r to reply or a lower-case q or i
to get back to the menu (the I stands for "index"). 
     At the main menu, hitting a lowercase m followed by enter
will let you start a message.  To delete a message, type a lower-case
d.  You can do this while reading the message.  Or, if you are in
the menu, move the cursor to the message's line and then hit d.
     When you're done with elm, type a lower-case q.  The program
will ask if you really want to delete the messages you marked. Then,
it will ask you if you want to move any messages you've read but
haven't marked for deletion to a "received" file.  For now, hit your n
     Elm has a major disadvantage for the beginner. The default text
editor it generally calls up when you hit your r or m key is often a
program called emacs. Unixoids swear by emacs, but everybody else almost
always finds it impossible.  Unfortunately, you can't always get away
from it (or vi, another text editor often found on Unix systems), so
later on we'll talk about some basic commands that will keep you from
going totally nuts.
     If you want to save a message to your own computer, hit s, either
within the message or with your cursor on the message entry in the elm
menu.  A filename will pop up.  If you do not like it, type a new name
(you won't have to backspace).  Hit enter, and the message will be saved
with that file name in your "home directory" on your host system.  After
you exit elm, you can now download it (ask your system administrator for
specifics on how to download -- and upload -- such files).