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March 5, 2005
Advice concerning usenet:
You need to find a good nntp feed
This should be free if you've
got a good ISP/DSL provider.
You need a good newsreader, of which
there are many candidates.
I get by with gnus for the moment; I
like nn when I can get it. The google
groups interface started weak and never
seems to get much better. Most of us
don't use it for anything but searches of
the old deja archive.
You micro-softies: consider the fact that
you can run a text-based newsreader in a
From a technical point of view, usenet
has a number of advantages over the web:
o it's far more decentralized:
it can't be slashdotted, it
doesn't get nailed by a It was funny watching the
single server outage. livejournal crowd slinking
back to alt.gothic for
their net-fix back during
a livejournal outage.
o Because it's text based, it's
much lighter-weight than the In a unix environment, you're
web: it often responds more expected to set your EDITOR
quickly, and it can be more environment variable to point at
customizeable. whatever you're used to
With Firefox, there's an
extension to do this ("It's
All Text") but you discover
it if you're lucky.
And cross-your-fingers and
hope it keeps working, eh?
Mozilla plug-ins have
a history of breaking
on upgrade. (Bye bye,
As far as social dynamics goes:
the bad news is that the web is where
the action is, and the good news is
that the web is where the action is.
The eternal September has definitely
ended. Usenet is a place you can go
for the wisdom of the elders without
being too annoyed by silly kid stuff.
But the social standards are collegiate
rather than corporate, so if you're the
kind of twit that gets bent out of shape
by someone calling you a twit, you might
as well stay off. Grow some skin, and BURDEN_OF_SKIN
learn to ignore insults, or stick to a
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