Using Newsgroups

I describe below two ways of reading newsgroups: netscape and tin.

Setting up Navigator for newsgroups

If you are using one of the Math/CS computers (College Hall 444 classroom lab, 439 lab), or if you are using your own computer but have never used your browser (Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer) for email, you need to set the computer up as follows.

Now you are ready to subscribe to a newsgroup. For example, let's say you want to subscribe to the newsgroup duq.cosc-445 (one used by my Software Engineering course). It starts with duq to show that it's a Duquense newsgroup. Another interesting set of newsgroups are those starting with comp (computer related), which is a world-wide set of groups.

The instructions for subscribing in Netscape 4.0 and 3.0 and again somewhat different.

To post to a newsgroup, just go the the window containing the list of messages in the group and press the New Msg button. You will see a composition window. Use it just as you would for composing email and press the Send button when finished. You can add cc's as you would to regular email. Conversely, if you're using netscape to send and email and want to cc the newsgroup, just create an address line with Group: instead of To: and type duq.cosc-445 .

If you find something's that not quite right with these instructions, please email me so that other people won't be as confused as you were!

Using tin

An alternative to using a browser is to run a program called tin, which is a text-based newsreader. Here are some basics about using tin:

First, if you are on a Math/CS system already running Unix, you can start tin up much as you start pine: move the cursor out into the blue portion of the screen, click the right mouse button, and from the Programs menu select tin. This will cause a window to popup, and after a short wait the tin program will begin.

If you are not on a Math/CS system but running from elsewhere, you will first need to telnet to a Math/CS machine. Then at the command prompt type tin. For example, if you telnet to cls108 then after the cls108% prompt you would simply type the word "tin" (no quotes). After a short wait the program will begin.

tin will likely begin by asking you if you want to subscribe to a group or something and give you a list of options [yYnN]. Lowercase responses say that you're answering just this question, uppercase say that you're answering all similar questions the same way. I recommend answering this question (and any others you get until you get to the main tin menu) with capital N.

Finally, you should get to a main tin menu, which will largely be blank with a menu of commands at the bottom of the screen. One of the menu items is ubscribe, which lets you subscribe to a newsgroup of your choice. Type capital S and you'll be prompted for a "regular expression" describing the group(s) you are interested in. Just type in the name of the group, in our example, "duq.cosc-445" (no quotes) and hit Enter. Now you can move the cursor (using the arrow keys, not the mouse) onto this group and hit Enter. You'll now see a list of posts to this group. Move to a title you're interested in and hit Enter. Q gets you out of tin.