Confessions of a Netnews hack

Skip to first unread message


Feb 4, 1982, 5:09:32 PM2/4/82
Back in the days when there were only four newsgroups
it made perfect sense to say:
netnews -s ALL,!fa.arms-d

I used to subscribe to "ALL" because I wanted to know what new stuff was
coming along; I figured that if net.reaganomics started appearing I could just
add that to my "!" list. That worked fine as long as new groups came up once
a month or so.

Lately I've noticed that it takes me a couple of hours a day to wade through
netnews and that most of what I've read I wished I hadn't.

While at Usenix I heard people with similar problems complaining about having
to read "news" that they didn't have the least interest in or that they found

When I got back I spent about 6 hours staring at the netnews that had
accumulated while I was gone. It felt as if I had subscribed to every
newspaper and magazine published in the U.S. and wouldn't be able to cancel
my subscriptions fast enough to keep the new publications from overrunning me!
Not only that but I already had 240 characters of "!"s in my subscription list.

>> Obviously there must be something wrong with the concept of netnews! <<

Or could it be that there's something wrong with the way I (and others) use it?

I had said, in essence, "Give me EVERYTHING ANYBODY sends out and I'll tune out
what I don't like". Hmmm, I can't imagine doing that with radio stations...

So I changed my personal subscription list to include only the news groups that
I enjoy plus net.general,, & net.misc. Now I hear about new groups
before they're used, subscribe to the ones that sound good and get to spend
some time with my girlfriend. Netnews isn't so bad after all!


Feb 5, 1982, 8:31:15 AM2/5/82
what esquire!psl says makes sense. I think I'll try it if I ever get caught
up reading my backedup netnews!
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages