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News Group Readers


  • What Are News Groups and News Readers?
  • NewsWatcher for the Macintosh
  • Free Agent for Windows
  • Pine on the Pantheon

  • What Are News Groups and News Readers?

    On the Internet there are a large number of discussion forums known as news groups. These groups are much like bulletin boards where people may share their opinions and give advice by posting articles. News groups are organized by topic, and there are over 5000 news groups accessible via Yale's news server.

    A news reader is a program that allows a user to read from and post to news groups. Yale supported news readers are NewsWatcher for the Macintosh, Pine on the Pantheon, and Free Agent for Windows.

    NewsWatcher for the Macintosh

    Starting NewsWatcher

    To start NewsWatcher double-click on the NewsWatcher icon. It is located in the Internet Tools folder on all cluster Macintoshes.

    It is easiest to use NewsWatcher if you have a Pantheon account. NewsWatcher has the ability to transfer information about your news group activity to a remote computer such as the Pantheon. Information about news groups your read and messages you have read is stored on the Pantheon and can be accessed from any networked Macintosh on campus.

    Upon starting Newswatcher a screen prompting for a Username and Password appears. If you have never read mail from the Pantheon, click on the Cancel button. Otherwise, enter your Pantheon Username (NetID) and Password in the appropriate places. Then click on the OK button.

    Reading News Groups

    Reading news in NewsWatcher is simple. If you double-click on a news group, a list of the articles in the group is displayed. If you double-click on an article, the article is displayed. Options in the News menu allow you to navigate through the articles in a group.

    Subscribing to News Groups

    A window displaying all of the news groups on Yale's news server should be displayed on the screen. If this list is not displayed, select Show Full Group List from the Windows menu. If you find a news group that you would like to read consistently, you can subscribe to it. If you are subscribed to a news group, NewsWatcher will keep track of the messages you have read in that group so that when you start the program, only new news messages are displayed.

    To subscribe to a news group, click on the name of the group. Then choose Subscribe from the Special menu. The name of the group will appear in the .newsrc window if you have read news before, or in an untitled window if you have not. If you are reading news for the first time, you should choose Send Group List to Host after subscribing to your first group. You will be prompted for your Username and Password, where you should enter your Pantheon NetID and Password in the appropriate places and click on the OK button.

    Posting Articles

    You can respond to articles posted in news groups or create discussions of your own. Keep in mind that news group articles are read and by thousands of people. It is advised that you read the news group awhile before posting so that you know what types of discussion take place. Many groups also have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that is periodically posted. It may answer many of your questions about a given news group.

    To reply to a message, choose Reply from the News menu while the message you are responding to is displayed. To create a new message, choose Reply from the News menu. If you want to post to a news group, make sure that the Post as News option in the message window is checked. Type your message and click on the Send button.

    To create an original message, double-click on the news group to which you want to post. This will display the articles in the group. Choose New Message from the News menu. An article composition window appears. If you want to post to a news group, make sure that the Post as News option in the message window is checked. Type your message and then click on the Send button. You will need to verify that you want to send the message by clicking on the OK button.

    Free Agent for Windows

    Starting Free Agent

    To start Free Agent double-click on the Free Agent icon. It is located in the "Internet Tools" program group on all cluster computers running Windows.

    Unlike NewsWatcher, Free Agent does not have that ability to directly exchange news group information with the Pantheon. It can only store such information on a local drive. Because of this, in computing facilities Free Agent should not be used to subscribe to news groups. If you have a networked computer in your room, you should do your news reading there.

    Reading News

    A full list of news groups is displayed in the upper left window on the screen. Reading news in Free Agent is quite simple. If you double-click on a news group, a list of the articles in the group is displayed in the upper right window. If you double click on an article, the article is displayed in the lower window.

    Subscribing to News Groups

    Using Free Agent, you should not subscribe to news groups unless you are using a computer in your room. Free Agent cannot automatically exchange personal news group information with the Pantheon. You may only permanently store such information on a computer in your room. To subscribe to a news group, click on the group and then choose Subscribe from the Group menu.

    Posting Articles

    You can respond to messages posted in news groups or create discussions of your own. To reply to an article, you must first display the message on screen. Then choose Followup Usenet Message or Reply via Email from the Post menu. Type your message and then click the Send Now button.

    If you respond with a Usenet message, you will post an article to that news group. Keep in mind that news group articles are read by thousands of people. It is advised that you read the news group awhile before posting so that you know what types of discussion take place. Many groups also have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that is periodically posted. It may answer many of your questions about a given news group.

    To create an original message, double-click on the news group to which you want to post. This will display the articles in the group. Then choose New Usenet Message from the Post menu. An article composition window will appear. Type your message and then click on the Send Now button.

    Pine on the Pantheon

    Starting Pine

    To start pine, log in to your Pantheon account and type pine at the prompt, followed by return or enter. Keep in mind that commands in Pine are always listed at the bottom of the screen. From the main menu, type L to see the folder list. Use the arrow keys to highlight [ Select Here to See Expanded List ] below the News-collection bar; press return or enter.

    If you have previously read news on the Pantheon using a different program, the groups you are subscribed to will be displayed. If you have not read news before, you can press A to subscribe to a group. You will be prompted for the name of the news group. If you know the name, you can type it in. Otherwise, press ^T (control-T) to view all groups. Use the arrow keys to select a group, and press return or enter to choose it. Press return or enter again to subscribe to the group. The group you subscribed to is now displayed under the News-collections bar. Repeat this process as needed to subscribe to groups you wish to read.

    Reading News Groups

    After you have subscribed to a news group, reading news in Pine is much like reading e-mail. Your news groups are treated like Pine message folders. To view the articles in a group, use the arrow keys to select your news group. After pressing return or enter to view the group, the group's articles are listed on the screen. To read an article, select it using the arrow keys and press return or enter. If you are done with the message, press D to delete it.

    Posting Articles

    You can respond to articles posted in news groups or create discussions of your own. Keep in mind that news group articles are read and by thousands of people. It is advised that you read the news group awhile before posting so that you know what types of discussion take place. Many groups also have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that is periodically posted. It may answer many of your questions about a given news group.

    Posting articles in Pine is much like composing an e-mail message. However, it is easiest if you first enter the news group you would like to post to. If you find a message that you would like to respond to, press the R key. If you want to post your response to the news group, when you are prompted with Post follow-up message to news group(s)? press Y. You can also compose an article by typing C while viewing messages. When prompted if you would like to Post to current newsgroup?, press Y.

    URL: http://www.yale.edu/am&t/help/news/
    Certifying authority:
    David Davies, Manager, Student Computing
    Last modified: 13 October 1999