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February 15, 2021

I don’t know where the Usenet has been in the last few years. I have read that some people still use it, as simple readers, or to post messages. According to my investigations, not very extensive though, many groups are just full of spams (e.g., comp.lang.lisp or comp.lang.awk), others are still doing relatively well (comp.lang.c) and for some people you will find more interesting exchanges on Freenode (e.g., comp.lang.scheme).

Personally, I stopped using Usenet a long time ago, and favored over this time simple mailing-lists, mostly from the R ecosystem some 10-15 years ago. I unsubscribed to all of them, including all the Google groups I was registered on. I believe the last time I read posts on comp.lang.lisp was on the mirror Google group, by the way. It was ever banned due to the amount of spams at some point.

Anyway, these days I feel just as comfortable reading my collection of curated threads, right from my RSS reader (newsboat). For more interactive session, I still have IRC and Matrix under the bend, and that’s alright.

However, last week I installed and configured slrn, just out of curiosity and for the pleasure of finding Usenet listings. I thought it would be a good fit for my TUI-only setup of the moment. This is the case indeed, as it is mostly inbetween mutt and newsboat. I used as my NNTP provider. Apparently, it works great when you’re in France, except behind some University firewalls.

Did I read a lot of posts? Not really. I just skimmed over some groups I was following years ago, and subscribed to a few others. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get my hands on my Emacs Gnus archives. It’s always a bit like the principle of old backups: you never really find what you’re looking for!

TIL that Neomutt handles NNTP servers quite well actually. I pressed i (<change-newsgroup>) while intending to press a different key, it catched up my settings to connect to NES and asked me which group I wanted to subscribe to. Great!

This was a pleasant experience in any case. I will undoubtedly consult the archives from time to time.

♪ Morcheeba • Blood Like Lemonade


See Also

» Welcome to the Matrix » Just write » Handy command-line utilities » RSS is trending » RCS 15 years later