Mike Butkus hosts the manual for the Canon SureShot Z70W. If this isn't the exact same model, it sure looks pretty similar, so you can probably extrapolate the info in the manual to your camera. (Mike looks for a donation for hosting all these old manuals. I donated once.)
The manual says that when "E" is displayed on the LCD panel, this indicates a "self-diagnosis display when reset is necessary". The manual says to "open then close the lens cover" and "if the display remains, take the camera to be repaired".
Personally, I wouldn't trust a 25-year-old electronic point and shoot. Whatever about the price on release, these were predominantly cheaply-produced products. I think you'd have a much better experience with film photography by getting yourself a SLR that allowed you to easily manually focus and set manual exposure. It would probably have a better lens than a point and shoot, and would allow you to be more creative and achieve better results. If you do want to keep it lo-fi, what about buying disposables? Or at least buy a camera that can be returned if it turns out not to be in good working order.