Electronic mail, or email, is an extremely convenient way of communicating with various users on the network. Each time you log in, a program called checkmail is started. It checks the spool area for any new email items addressed to you. If it finds any it places the items into the .incoming-mail file in your home directory where you can read them.
Each user has a unique email address allowing email messages to be sent to that particular user. The general form of this address is username@sitename, where username is the user's login name and sitename is the name of a site. Undergraduate users have usernames of the form s
(eg. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
When sending email to local users (other students and staff in CSE) you can leave out the `@sitename' part of their address and just use their login name. There is no need to supply a sitename because the address will be resolved locally.
There are a variety of email readers available, mail, pine, and elm are three popular ones. You can also read mail using Mozilla or Thunderbird.
Different mail programs read email from different files. For example, pine and elm read email from your .incoming-mail file. If you then read your email from emacs, a file called INBOX will be created, into which all your email items from the .incoming-mail file will be moved. Reverting back to your original mail reader will result in a no mail error message or similar. If this happens, just move your INBOX file to your .incoming-mail file and all should be fine.
Different mail programs also store mail in different directories. For example mail, elm store mail in /Mail and pine stores it in /mail.
The best idea is to choose one email program and stick with it!
There are many Frequently Asked Questions documented on CSE's faq web page. For any mail related problems, you should refer to http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/faq/mail.html.