I've seen several messages referring to usenet in the forums. I've even mentioned it in my own answers to others.
What I haven't seen is a simple explanation / tutorial about usenet and how it could be used to enhance or
supplement a d-addict's users audio and video sharing experience.
So I decided to demystify usenet for the casual audience and for those who would like to access and use usenet
for text based discussions in a variety of newsgroups (forums), and binary downloading from the "alt.binaries"
hierarchy of newsgroups.
What is it?...
Usenet refers to the collection of newsgroups which are distributed around the world on the Internet and other
networks. Each newsgroup acts as a public discussion forum and may be read by anyone at any Usenet
site worldwide using a newsreader. When a user posts an article to a newsgroup the article is distributed
around the Usenet network to those sites carrying the particular newsgroup. Thus, in a short time (10 minutes
to a few days), the article will reach an audience of many thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands)
of people. Definition Source
How do I access usenet...
You may have access to usenet already and not know it. Many cable, dsl, and dial-up internet service providers (ISPs)
include usenet as part of the internet package you pay for. Check with your ISP if usenet is available. If it is,
you will need the newsserver name and find out if you need to authenticate for access (typically your normal
account login and password would be used, if needed).
If your ISP does not provide usenet access, you can still access usenet via a commercial usenet provider.
A few names come to mind, easynews, giganews, usenetserver. These usenet providers are known for
their reliable uptime, binary file retention and access to quite a few newsgroups not available from your
ISP provided usenet account.
So far so good, you either have access via your ISP or you set up an account with a commercial service. To connect
to your account, you'll need a newsreader. There are many newsreaders available, some are better than others.
If all you want is to participate in text only discussion newsgroups then you can use MSOutlook, For serious
usenet users I would recommend a newsreader that has both text reading and binary downloading capability.
To get you started....
For Windows users:
XNews - A freeware, text and binary on-line newsreader. Built in Yenc decoding. Supports multiple
newsservers. Excellent on-line documentation.
For Mac users:
MT-NewsWatcher - A freeware, text and binary on-line newsreader. Versions available for OS 9 and OS X.
Built in Yenc decoding. Supports multiple newsservers. Excellent on-line documentation.
For Linux users:
Pan - A GPL'd, text and binary on-line newsreader. Versions available for most flavors of Unix, MacOS X,
and Windows. Built in Yenc decoding. Multi-threading, don't know if it supports multiple newsservers.
On-line documentation is in the works, read the features and FAQ for now.
Please read the documentation for your newsreader for best results.
Okay, I think I've provided some helpful material to get you started. If you decide you like using usenet,
you can learn as you go.
- When you setup your newsreader, NEVER use your real name or email address, but you probably already knew that.
- If you post messages or binaries from your ISP news account, your IP address will be revealed. For best anonymity
subscribe to a reliable commercial usenet provider, you'll be happy you did.
- Once you find a newsgroup you like, just hang out (lurk), sit back and get a feel for what the crowd is like by reading
their message threads. Ask if a group FAQ is available. Not all groups have a FAQ, so be your courteous self.
- Park your ego at the curb before entering a group. Flame wars can erupt when least expected over simple stupid
misunderstanding and when people read too much into a message. Avoid trolls by kill filtering, Don't be drawn into
their troll-bait messages. A few trolls can upset a newsgroup in short order, and the friends you made may turn
against each other. Don't let this happen to your favorite newsgroup(s)!
- Downloading binaries from usenet requires a new tool set that you'll have to obtain and get used to using.
The attached FAQ from alt.binaries.multimedia.japanese, (aka abmj) is a very worthwhile read and
covers just about everything you need to enjoy usenet in general and a visit to abmj in particular.
- alt.binaries.anime <-- anime movies and tv series fan-subbed
- alt.binaries.asianusenet <-- asian movies
- alt.binaries.dvd.asian <-- no need to explain this
- alt.binaries.korea <-- often incomplete binaries, you might be lucky though
- alt.binaries.movies.martial.arts <-- asian action flix, usually E-Subbed
- alt.binaries.movies.zeromovies <-- many asian movies (not 100% asian)
- alt.binaries.multimedia.anime <-- the same as a.b.anime
- alt.binaries.multimedia.chinese <-- Chinese tv and movies, RAW / C-Subbed / E-Subbed
- alt.binaries.multimedia.japanese <-- Japanese tv and movies, RAW / C-Subbed / E-Subbed
- alt.binaries.multimedia.japanese.repost <-- no need to explain
- alt.binaries.multimedia.korean <-- Korean tv and movies, RAW / C-subbed / E-Subbed
- alt.binaries.multimedia.martial-arts <-- same as a.b.movies.martial.arts
- alt.binaries.multimedia.sentai <-- Japanese Sci-fi SuperHero tv and movies
- alt.binaries.multimedia.thai <-- Thai tv and movies, RAW / ?Subbed?
- alt.binaries.nospam.cd-r <-- asian movies
- alt.binaries.sounds.jpop <-- Japanese Popular music and sometimes music videos
- alt.binaries.sounds.korean <-- Korean music
- alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.chinese <-- Chinese music
- alt.binaries.vcdz <-- Vietnamese tv and movies
- alt.binaries.vcdz.repost <-- No need to explain
Good Luck! You're on your way to usenet nirvana now.