Yes, I know… Usenet WTF?

I enjoyed reading until Google Groups shut down. I found Narkive where I can read but there’s no way (at least that I can see) to create an account so that I can post.

Any gurus out there with a suggestion for a free reader/poster client or website?

Thank you in advance, JP

No idea but it’s good to know there are other F1 fans here :slight_smile:

Thunderbird will let you set up usenet. You’ll need to find a news server, get the full group list and subscribe to the group you want. Just like the old days!

I saw a recommendation for; I looked but did nothing. If you create an account there, please report on your experience.

I used eternal-september (with NetNewsWire, IIRC) for some lightweight Usenet browsing and posting a couple of years ago. I didn’t find any glaring problems. Apparently, they don’t allow binaries – I assume as a way to avoid some copyright, pr0n, and CSAM issues. Whether they actually somehow detect and block binary uploads and downloads, or just don’t carry groups with binary content, I can’t say.

Years ago I used but then switched to Checking this morning, I see that aioe does not respond. A quick search indicates it may no longer work so it means back to the former.

That and to greatly reduce their bandwidth requirements. The last time I looked, many years ago, a news provider can cut their bandwidth requirements by over 90% by eliminating all binaries groups (and keeping literally everything else). I see no reason to believe that this situation would have changed today - if anything, it may be even worse.

Tom’s Guide wrote a recent article listing what they consider the best Usenet providers: The best Usenet providers in 2024 | Tom's Guide. But note that I have no personal experience with any of them - I stopped reading news when my ISP stopped offering a server.

On a related question, what apps do you use to read news today?

Back when I was reading news, I used three different apps:

  • trn a text-based newsreader with very robust threading capabilities, originally based on the original “rn” program.
  • GNUS a news reader that runs within Gnu Emacs.
  • Unison. No longer developed, but was released for free after its cancellation. But I don’t know if it will still run today, since it was discontinued in 2014. I suppose that will depend on whether it is 64-bit or not.

I personally prefer trn for reading message groups. It does things like collect all of the various message ID and reference headers in order to generate a tree view of discussion threads. You can then use arrow keys to navigate the tree, which is a lot nicer than reading messages in the order they were posted.

I preferred Unison for binary groups. It had a few things I’ve never seen anywhere else. It can auto-identify all the pieces of a multi-part binary post and present the original file as a single object to download. You can then just download the file and it will read all the parts, combine and decode them. It can also “preview” certain kinds of binaries (like images and audio files), letting you view/play them directly from in the browser. Really slick.

I never liked web interfaces to Usenet - they almost always are unsuitable for “drinking from the firehose”, which is par for the course for a popular newsgroup.

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