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Illustrated Hands-On Guide to Usenet

Consultez la version française de ce guide.

Our Strategy

In a moment we will start to use the NewsBin newsreader to access Usenet. First, though, let's take a moment to discuss our basic strategy:

1. Make sure you have the full list of newsgroups.
2. Look for a newsgroup that interests you.
3. Subscribe to that newsgroup.
4. Download the headers for that newsgroup.
5. Look for an article that interests you.
6. Download that article.

As you may know, there are more than 100,000 different Usenet newsgroups. The first thing you must do is tell your newsreader (NewsBin) to download the full list of newsgroups carried by your news server.

Once the list is downloaded, you can search for those newsgroups that interested you. When you find such groups, you tell NewsBin to add them to your personal list. In the language of Usenet, we say that you SUBSCRIBE to those groups. (Subscribing is free: it simply means that you are telling your newsreader which newsgroups you want to read.)

Usenet is designed so that every article has two parts. The HEADER comes at the beginning. It is short and contains information about the article. The BODY, which comes after the header, contains the rest of the article, either text or data.

Since many Usenet articles contain large files (or parts of files), it would take far too long for your newsreader to download all the articles in a newsgroup. Instead, you download only the headers. You then look at the headers, choose the articles you want, and download those articles only.

I realize that, at first, this may all be a bit confusing, but don't worry. I promise this will all make sense once you get some experience, so let's get started.

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