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Illustrated Hands-On Guide to Usenet

Consultez la version française de ce guide.

Downloading the List of Newsgroups

NewsBin is pre-configured with a small list of newsgroups that are used for sharing binary files. However, before you start work, it is a good idea to download the entire list of Usenet newsgroups carried by your particular news server. To do this, you use the Add Groups window.

To open the Add Groups window, click on the Add Groups button on the Toolbar.

When the Add Groups window opens, you will see the pre-configured list of newsgroups. To download the entire list, click on the button labeled Download Groups List From Server.

Since there are more than 100,000 newsgroups, this make take a few moments. When the download is complete, click on the button labeled Refresh the List. This tells NewsBin to update the contents of the Add Groups window.

Note: If you ever want to update your newsgroup list, you need to go through the same 2-step process: download the entire list from your news server, then refresh the list to update the contents of the Add Groups window.

You are now ready to search for newsgroups. Before we continue, however, let's take a moment to experiment by sorting the newsgroup list.

In the screenshot above, the list is sorted by newsgroup name, which is the default. If you click on the Post Count column heading, NewsBin will sort the list so that the groups with the most articles (posts) will be at the top of the list.

In our example, the newsgroup with the most articles — well over 300 million! — is alt.binaries.hdtv.x264. This newsgroup is used to share HDTV video files (specifically, files using x264, a free software library that implements the H.264 video compression standard).

Notice the second most popular newsgroup, alt.binaries.erotica. (Are you surprised?)

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Illustrated Hands-on Guide to Usenet

1. Introduction, Usenet Terminology
2. Arranging for Usenet Access
3. Installing Software: NewsBin
4. Starting to Use Usenet
5. Our Strategy
6. Orienting Yourself to NewsBin
7. Downloading the Newsgroup List
8. Searching for Pictures
9. Reading Text Articles
10. File Sharing
Reference Material