Usenet the alternative to the WWW!
Usenet is a large worldwide network which provides an opportunity for those who share common
interests to meet and exchange information in a virtual environment. Unlike the Internet,
with which it is frequently confused, Usenet is a collection of thousands of publicly
accessible discussions on a wide range of topics rather than a purely technical network.
Whereas using the Usenet was a relatively complicated business in the past, various
providers now exist who attempt to secure the custom of users by offering simple and convenient access. The
different software products
which are available are particularly aimed at simplifying the process of searching for and downloading files
from Usenet. We hope you enjoy exploring Usenet !
What is USENET?
Usenet is an open forum free from arbitrary editorial
guidelines, file size limits, and format restrictions. Usenet is growing fast - and is
already used by millions of people in every corner of the world..
Usenet is a collection of user-submitted notes or
messages on various subjects that are posted to servers on a worldwide network. Each subject
collection of posted notes is known as a newsgroup. There are thousands
of newsgroups and it is possible for you to form a new one. Most groups are hosted on
Internet-connected servers, but they can also be hosted from servers that are not part of
the Internet. The original protocol was UNIX-to-UNIX Copy (UUCP),
but today the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)
Usenet is mostly accessed via newsgroup readers, such as
Outlook Express, that run as separate programs. Uncensorednewsfeed.com offers easy Web Browser access for
those that are either new to Usenet or don't wish to use as newsreader.
The idea of network ( Usenet ) news was born in 1979 when two
graduate students, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, thought of using UUCP to connect machines for
the purpose of information exchange among users. They set up a small network of three
machines in North Carolina.
Initially, traffic was handled by a number of shell scripts
(later rewritten in C), but they were never released to the public. They were quickly
replaced by ``A'' news, the first public release of news software.
``A'' news was not designed to handle more than a few
articles per group and day. When the volume continued to grow, it was rewritten by Mark
Horton and Matt Glickman, who called it the ``B'' release (a.k.a. Bnews). The first public
release of Bnews was version-2.1 in 1982. It was expanded continuously, with several new
features being added. Its current version is Bnews-2.11. It is slowly becoming obsolete,
with its last official maintainer having switched to INN.
Another rewrite was done and released in 1987 by Geoff
Collyer and Henry Spencer; this is release ``C'', or C-News. In the time following there
have been a number of patches to C-News, the most prominent being the C-News Performance
Release. On sites that carry a large number of groups, the overhead involved in frequently
invoking relaynews, which is responsible for dispatching incoming articles to other hosts,
is significant. The Performance Release adds an option to relaynews that allows to run it in
daemon mode, in which the program puts itself in the background.
The Performance Release is the C-News version currently
included in most releases.
All news releases up to ``C'' are primarily targeted for UUCP
networks, although they may be used in other environments as well. Efficient news transfer
over networks like TCP/IP, DECNet, or related requires a new scheme. This was the reason
why, in 1986, the ``Network News Transfer Protocol'', NNTP, was introduced. It is based on
network connections, and specifies a number of commands to interactively transfer and
There are a number of NNTP-based applications available from
the Net. One of them is the nntpd package by Brian Barber and Phil Lapsley, which you can
use, among other things, to provides newsreading service to a number of hosts inside a local
network. nntpd was designed to complement news packages such as Bnews or C-News to give them
A different NNTP package is INN, or Internet News. It is not
merely a front end, but a news system by its own right. It comprises a sophisticated news
relay daemon that is capable of maintaining several concurrent NNTP links efficiently, and
is therefore the news server of choice for many Internet sites.
Today, Usenet connects tens of thousands of sites around the
world, from mainframes to PC's. With thousands of newsgroups and untold thousands of
readers, it is perhaps the world's largest computer network.