OK. Let's Send us some EMAIL!
Yes, you are ready for email now. At the very least, you are ready to hear about it. Just keep chanting: "It is not so difficult. It is not so difficult."
Your email and your internet discussion groups or newsgroups are read using the Emacs Gnus (G-N-U-S) reader. You start Gnus by M-x g n u s and hit Enter. If you are using my diald dialup configuration, Gnus will connect to your ISP to check for new messages and give you a list of all your discussion areas including your mailbox.
We'll send a message first: To send a message in gnus-mode, just type M for mail. This opens a new frame with a new empty mail message in the buffer; the first line to enter is the email address. We will send this to yourself, so enter your own email address, but don't hit Enter at the end.
This is an unfortunate bit of visualization: You must press the down arrow instead to move to the Subject Line, then before you type the subject of press C-e to make sure you are at the end of that line. Here you can enter the subject of your message, and again, don't press Enter at the end.
To complete the addressing of your email, you must press next-line (C-n or the down arrow) twice; there is a marker line in emacs email that says "text follows this line" and without that line (or if you mess it up) Emacs cannot split the buffer into address and message. Once you are clear of that splitter line, you can safely enter your message.
Enter your message to yourself and press Control-C twice to send the message. That's it. You're done. If all goes well, you computer will dial in to your ISP and send your email message, then disconnect when the line is quiet.
Back at the Gnus *Group* window, press G to Get New Mail; if we are lucky, your email will be waiting for you.
You can exit each group window and exit Gnus itself with the Q key. Normally you do not need to exit Gnus unless you are closing Emacs because it does not stay online and will not dial in until you press G to check for new messages. You can safely leave it running for your whole session.
diald is a program by Eric Schenk which watches for Internet traffic requests and when they happen, automatically connects you to your ISP. When the line is quiet, it automatically disconnects again. Very cool, highly recommended. Diald will be distributed as part of the standard Mandrake Linux distribution on the next release.