There are some reasons for people nowadays to use Usenet newsgroup. For example, a historical reason such as to join the same newsgroup as Linus Torvalds first announcement, comp.os.minix. Here we explain simple steps to join a Usenet server and then subscribe to one newsgroup. We provide examples here.
Introduction to Usenet
Usenet is an oldest global distributed discussion system. Is was originated in 1979, long time before WWW existed. Phisically, it consists of many servers around the world and every server exchanges its data with another server (so Usenet is called distributed). A newsgroup is a specific group inside Usenet network. A Usenet server typically contains dozens or thousands of newsgroups. It typically contains the same newsgroups with another server worlwide. So a newsgroup subscriber just need to know the newsgroup address (such as comp.os.minix) and they typically can select any Usenet server to access it. A subscriber just need to have an email account to subscribe to a newsgroup. Discussions inside Usenet newsgroup are text based by email, just like mailing list.
- Read wikipedia for Usenet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usenet
- Read Wikipedia for Newsgroup: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usenet_newsgroup
So in Usenet network there is Usenet server and there is Usenet newsgroup. Typical address for a server is like news.domain.com, and for a newsgroup is like comp.os.minix or gnu.announce. What a new user should do first is to find a Usenet server, then to subscribe to a newsgroup. Read references below if you need some.
There are paid Usenet services, and there are free (gratis) Usenet services. We provide here an example to join a free Usenet service and join a legendary newsgroup for GNU/Linux users. Actually there are so many Usenet servers out there but here we pick one example.
- Usenet server: news.aoie.org
- Usenet newsgroup: comp.os.minix
Join Usenet Server
In Thunderbird, do these steps:
- Open menu File > New > Other Accounts > Newsgroup Account.
- Enter your name and your email address.
- Enter the Usenet server address i.e. news.aoie.net.
- Enter the name of this new account. Let it’s default name news.aoie.net is safe.
Access The Usenet Server
In Thunderbird, do these steps:
- Right-click the news.aoie.net account entry in left panel > Subscribe.
- A new window shows it is in progress accessing the Usenet server news.aoie.net.
- While finished, it shows tens of thousands newsgroup addresses from that server.
Join A Usenet Newsgroup
In the same Subscribe window, do these steps:
- Do search for comp.os.minix newsgroup address.
- While you find it, check its check box.
- Press Subscribe button.
- A new entry is newsted below the new.aoie.net account in left panel.
- Enjoy reading and replying to comp.os.minix.
Some Usenet Servers and Newsgroups
Here some free servers and newsgroup probably interesting for you:
- Servers: news.tin.org, ddt.demos.su
- Newsgroups: gnu.emacs.announce, comp.security.unix, comp.unix.admin
- http://www.freeusenetnews.com, contains list of many free Usenet servers.
- http://homepage.cs.uri.edu/book/newsgroups/newsgroups.htm, contains comprehensive introduction into Usenet newsgroup.
- http://freenews.maxbaud.net, contains Usenet server reviews and search facilities for newsgroups.