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Reading news with Emacs


After a few weeks trying out Linux I decided to downloaded Emacs and sofar I am impressed with Emacs.  

I have not succeeded in getting Emacs Gnus to read news, however.  I did put export NNTPSERVER=news.ilink.nis.za in my .bashrc file but it did not have any effect on gnus' behavior

I get the following error message: 
Johann (My computer name) open error:''. Continue?

If I answer yes then the following message appear: 
Auto-save file exists. Read it?

After that  "no news is horrible news" in the minibuffer and on the status bar "Gnus: *Group* {nntp:Johann}

I do not understand the documentation in this regard.  It talks about a DOMAINNAME - variable but I do not read where I can find or change this variable.

Can somebody help, please?

Thank you to everyone who patiently answered my questions on LaTeX and smail.

Johann Spies

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