Newsreader

Reinhard Doelz doelz at comp.bioz.unibas.ch
Fri May 29 13:08:02 EST 1992


In article <01GKKWNO96Q8000YJM at msvax.mssm.edu>, BISHOP at MSVAX.MSSM.EDU ("DAVID F. BISHOP") writes:
|> 
|> This ignorant molecular biologist would like to know what a newsreader is and
|> how to go about using it.  I log into our VAX from a Mac running Versaterm Pro
|> via a 9600 baud modem to read my accumulated mail.  Would this newsreader 
|> make my life easier?

I very much appreciate such postings, getting us down to the basis. 

A  newsreader is a program which is capable of displaying the data in 
the USENET NEWS system. In contrast to electronic mail, 


        individual    <---------------> individual


and the LISTSERV or all other mail-bouncing lists, 


                               /-------> individual
                              //------>  individual
                             ///---------------------> individual
                            ////----> individual
                           /////------------> individual 
                          //////----------------->individual 
 
                         LISTSERV 

where any of the individuals subscribed can send a message to, the 
USENET system is a pooled resource which is distributed as such. E.g., 
all NEWSgroups in the bionet... hierarchy are simultaneously distributed to 
host computers which store, redistibute, and manage the data (e.g., they 
usually 'expire' the data after a while). 


individual ---                          NEWS 
              \                        /   \  
               NEWS----------------NEWS    NEWS
                | \                 /         \
                |  \               /           \NEWS
               NEWS ------NEWS   NEWS
                |           \     /              
               NEWS           NEWS 
                \
                 \
                 individual

and the targets here where the individuals interact with the system are 
called 'newsreaders'. If you are on a serial line to a VAX, you might 
want to ask the system managers of the VAX whether they do already or wish 
to become a USENET NEWS site. The NEWSreader for the VAX is usually ANU-NEWS 
which can also handle NEWS, some other VMS programs are also in place. If you 
manage to get a Workstation or PC with ethernet card you can separate the 
host (in this case, the VAX) and the newsreader, by running a newsreader on the
local station with a network link to the next nearest NEWS host. 

The big benefit of the NEWS system is that your mailbox is no lunger cluttered
and that you can read NEWS in groups which you did not explicitly subscribe 
to. You can 'register' at the newsreader so that the program reminds you 
that there are new news as soon as you start it but you can also free-float
and read as you please. 

Maybe this helps. There are surely others who can explain it better and in 
more details if you want to. 

DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK AGAIN! 
We need people who are 'joe biologists' so that we can approach the broad 
biology basis.   

Regards 
Reinhard 

 
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