Usenet blog

A blog about the world of Usenet: free servers, news services, clients reviews.

Friday, December 30, 2005

How to test your Usenet Server: Slut 0.3

Have you ever looked for a program for testing your newsgroup server? If you have a list of free news servers and you'd like to test them quickly, you had to manually configure your News reader client each time. Now there is a small and simple program for Windows that performs quick and effective tests of any NNTP compliant News Server: Simple Little Usenet Test (SLUT).
This piece of software is still in early stage of development (current version is 0.3), but it already allows you to perform the following tests:
  1. Connect to your news server. This should verify that the news server name and account settings are correct.
  2. Select a newsgroup. Selects a group on the server. This verifies that your account access is sufficient to select the group.
  3. Download Headers. Requests the XOVER headers from the newsgroup. This ensures that you have the appropriate access to retrieve newsgroup headers.
  4. Download Message Body. Downloads one of the messages from the newsgroup. This verifies that you have the appropriate access to retrieve newsgroup messages. The downloaded message is automatically discarded; it is note stored on your computer.
The software is released as freeware and can be downloaded from the following link.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Yottanews free server Back Online!

After a long downtime period the Yottanews Free News Server is back online. The news is highlighted in the status page of the Yottanews site. This is really an unexpected Christmas gift for all the free subscribers that were waiting so long for this good free server to come back online.
The free server was shutted down around the 5th of November, when Yottanews decided to upgrade the News Server Software to an in-house developed server.
If you want to signup for a free account, browse this page.
In a next post we'll discuss about the options provided by the free account vs. the paid account.


Sunday, December 25, 2005

New Yanoff Usenet reader for Palm OS

Are you a Usenet fan? Are you a Palm addicted? If you answered yes to both questions, then there is the rigth software for you: New Yanoff .
According to the software description:
New Yanoff is SonLight Software's closed-source fork of the original Usenet (NNTP) newsreader client for Palm OS PDAs, GPL Yanoff. With New Yanoff, the premier portable newsreader™, you can read your favorite internet newsgroups ANY TIME, ANYWHERE. New Yanoff is the most customizable, mature, and fully-featured Palm OS newsreader available as well as a very capable, basic SMTP email client. It consists of two different programs: Yanoff+ or (free) Yanoff-.
The paid version costs US$24.00.
I discovered this Palm OS Usenet Reader from this post.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Newsgroup Commander Pro 8.3 released

Internet Soft Corporation recently released Newsgroup Commander Pro 8.3. According with the publisher's description:
Newsgroup Commander Pro is the fastest way to find any information you're looking for in news group archives. The program allows the fastest messages downloading from selected newsgroups. Newsgroup Commander extracts information from newsgroups using multiple include/exclude keyword filters based on article contents and subjects. You can use your selected keywords to scan the target audience and only return the information you are interested in.

The software was released in two versions:
  • Newsgroup Commander , which is free
  • Newsgroup Commander Pro, whose price is 49.95$
Reading product description isn't so clear which features are in the free version and which are in the Pro one.
Users at Softpedia rated it 3.5/5 , while Fileforum rated it 2.4/5.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Yahoo releases beta of Yahoo Answers.

Yahoo recently released the beta of it’s new Answers service site. This is a free service based on the Usenet concept of posting a question and receiving answers by other people. According Yahoo Answers help page:

Yahoo! Answers offers an easy way to share facts, opinions, and personal experiences on any topic, from the serious to the irresistibly trivial. Get real answers from real people in an easy-to-use, privacy-protected, and spam-protected environment.

The service is extensively covered here.

Why Yahoo Answers is like Usenet and which are the differences? Well, of course some users of the beta service asked similar questions and received answers here and here.

I’ll try Yahoo Answers for a while and then I’ll report my impressions.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What is usenet?

Hello! This is the first post of this new blog focused on the Usenet. Here you'll find information about news servers, newsgroups, free and paid services, usenet clients and... who knows!?
I think that the first post is one of the most difficult, so I would start pointing to one clear definition of what usenet is, from the Wikipedia site.
Usenet was born to organize and spread discussion groups all over the internet and, with the massive growth of bandwidth, storage and processing power, has evolved spreading a huge quantity of binaries each day.
Today web forums and blogs drained users and attention from newsgroup and somebody speaks of the Death of Usenet, as in this article from Slashdot. Is this true? Look at this blog and you will know (hopefully!).