Choosing a News Reader


Usenet news (often called Netnews or just news) is a collection of more than 20, 000 different discussion groups on a variety of topics. Several main categories of Usenet newsgroups exist, as well as dozens of local, regional, and esoteric categories. Our ISP carries about 25, 000 newsgroups, which is fairly typical. The Common Usenet Categories sidebar lists some of the main Usenet categories. The newsgroups you'll have available through your Unix system depend on which ones your ISP or company subscribes to.

You can read news using a variety of news readers, including pine and tin, which we'll cover in this section. Both of these are fairly easy to use and available on many Unix systems.

Common Usenet Categories

The main Usenet categories include

  • comp. computer-related topics

  • news. Usenet administration topics, including answers to questions frequently asked by new users

  • rec. recreational topics

  • sci. science-related topics

  • soc. social/sociology topics

  • talk. discussion for its own sake

  • misc. anything that's left over

Other common categories include

  • alt. practically any topic imaginable

  • bit. mirrors of discussions from Listserv lists (that were originally on the BITnet network)

  • k12. education topics, from K12

Dozens of other categories exist for universities, states, companies, and other purposes. Ask your system administrator about what's available to you, or just take a look for yourself.





Unix(c) Visual Quickstart Guide
UNIX, Third Edition
ISBN: 0321442458
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 251

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