CategoryComputingTips > NetNewsCompTips
alt.binaries.* is a great place to get mp3s and comics and things.
And a wonderful abuse of what should be a text only medium. If the world stopped trying to use it for p0rn and warez and used things that were designed to transfer binary files point to point then it'd be more realistic for ISPs to carry full news feeds without clogging up their bandwidth.
Isn't it lucky then that the binaries are all in their own subhierarchy, and the ISPs can choose whether to carry them or not?
Some good groups:
A note on yEnc:
- This is a new encoding that a lot if not all of the binaries groups are switching over to. It's apparently more compact than uuencoding.
Decent console-mode alt.binaries.* newsreaders for Linux:
tin - earlier versions can't cope with automatically downloading, combining and decoding binaries, but version 1.5.8 at least is fine. RPMs and Debian packages are available. tin is also great for reading news normally. It doesn't have built-in yEnc support, but you can tag and save everything, then run a decoder manually -- for example ydec, found at http://www.iguana.be/~stef/
Decent X-based alt.binaries.* newsreaders for Linux:
pan - still in early development, but works fine. Installs with the minumum of fuss, unlike knews, which seemed to also want everything under the sun installed in exactly the right version. Debian packages available, didn't check for RPMs. This might not be such a great newsreader for non-binary groups; certainly earlier versions didn't generate References: headers right, though this might be fixed now. Allegedly supports yEnc but some people seem to be having trouble with it.
BNR2 has good yEnc support, but it's GUI and not open-source. I had trouble getting it going to start with; don't just dump it in your home directory because the binary is called BNR2, and seems to assume that anything in your home directory called BNR2 is a subdirectory, and tries to put files in it. Ugh.
Decent newsreaders that work under X or tty and on most platforms:
Gnus - gnus fits into Emacs or XEmacs. It reads mail as well as news. Has a good 'groups (or mail folders) with x unread articles' index window. Shiny.
Web based interfaces for binary content:
* Usenet Binaries - Provides free limited and commercial unlimited access to Usenet binaries.