Usenet

Usenet is a very loosely-organized distributed discussion system. Usenet discussions are organized into groups, also known as newsgroups.

A Usenet moderated group is a group in which one or more human or software agents which must approve a posting before others see them. A Usenet gateway group is a way to mirror a mailing list discussion into the Usenet medium.

At times, people ask where to read USENET newsgroups. There is no one place to read USENET. USENET, as mentioned above, is a broadcast medium. So what one has to do is to find some place that either provides NNTP access to some subset of newsgroups, or one finds a web site with such access which provides http access to the data. Here on the Wiki one can find a simple news posting program and you may very well locate a news reading program as well.

LV: There were nntp readers and posting programs in Netscape [1 ] and probably other browsers. There is a relatively crude news reader and poster in http://lynx.browser.org/ . I myself prefer http://trn.sf.net/ .

For example, Google now provides a level of access to USENET (both current and historical postings) via http://groups.google.com/ .

Resources

Usenet Resources , by Marco d'Itri
Net.Legends.FAQ
Net.Legends mini FAQs

Etiquette

Someone commented: It is a matter of good manners to either check first with the original author or at least let them know afterwards. Some people prefer anonimity ... RS: Posting to Usenet is like "going public" - Google doesn't ask you either whether you want your posting archived...

Ah, but Google allows one to add a header that says "Do not archive this posting".

The bottom line is that while there is no requirement to check with the author, it is good manners. And one seldom goes wrong with observing good manners.

RS: OK, point taken.

Servers

eternal-september.org
free access to text-only usenet news
news.individual.net
10 EUR per year
cis.dfn.de
LINKS AND F.A.Q ABOUT OPEN NNTP SERVERS
alt.free.newsservers
readreenews.net
404
news.aioe.org
free access without registration

History

DejaNews was a WWW site that provided web access to usenet newsgroups; it used to have comp.lang.tcl as the URL http://www.deja.com/group/comp.lang.tcl - but Google came along, bought the database, and now has that information up at: http://groups.google.com/ . One has access to a large number of years - maybe all years! - of comp.lang.tcl* archives by using the advanced searching function of google. It appears to LV that, during November 2001, the lag time between posting and articles appearing on google, is about 6-8 hours.