The Text Based Internet
Part 4b: Accessing Newsgroups Through Tin
The first thing that you need to do is type tin -r at the
unix prompt. It will go through basically the credits, who wrote it,
when, what version this is. Next, it may take you through a list of news
groups and ask if you want to join them. Then it should take you to this
1 34 alt.barney.dinosaur.die.die.die "There's enough hatred
2 95 alt.books.kurt-vonnegut Discussion of Kurt
3 267 alt.cyberpunk High-tech low-life.
4 197 alt.destroy.microsoft Do it, and do it NOW!
5 54 alt.education.alternative School doesn't have to
6 790 alt.education.distance Learning from teachers
7 14 alt.etext Texts made available for
8 123 alt.fan.jello-biafra The Dead Kennedys' lead
9 462 alt.games.vampire.the.masquerade A World of Dark game.
10 38 alt.music.dead-kennedys Art is not bound by the
11 1696 alt.parenting.solutions Use misc.kids.* instead.
12 351 alt.snail-mail Mail sent on paper.
13 29 alt.tv.forever-knight The Forever Knight
14 9 alt.tv.the-jihad No description.
15 21 alt.tv.tv-nation Some show called "TV
16 100 alt.unix.wizards Like comp.unix.wizards,
=set current to n, TAB=next unread, /=search pattern, c)atchup,
g)oto, j=line down, k=line up, h)elp, m)ove, q)uit, r=toggle
s)ubscribe, S)ub pattern, u)nsubscribe, U)nsub pattern, y)ank in/out
If you don't have the last part, the command cheat sheet, then push
Okay, here's where the arrow keys come in. Use your down arrow to
select the group you want. Then push your right arrow to go into that
group. If the arrow keys don't work, use k to go up a line and
j to go
down. When you get to the group you want, press enter.
You can also navigate by typing the number of the group you want. For
example, if I want to jump to the Forever Knight group, I just press
13 then enter. The tab takes you to the next group that has unread
Now it lists the threads:
1 + 5 21 movie endings cyndismith@m
2 + 101 FK and Related Voting Booths Anne Gargac
3 + 2 11 noticed something Tish
4 + 2 19 Sci-fi Network? Cyrille V.
5 + 2 16 Mean Sci-fi!!! Cyrille V.
6 + 10 Two Things Given Moricia
7 + 2 13 MP3Exchanger v1.13 New Internet utilit mp3_exchanger
8 + 9 $1,000 a month this way? 7734 uijwbh@thebr
9 + 4 7 We're a happy family? Deborah
10 + 10 Two Things Feedback Given Moricia
11 + 11 We're a happy familly re others Lacroi Tim Van Dyke
12 + 7 Tran-what epsiode was he in? BeckBJD2
13 + 49 FREE! Guaranteed Approval for Visa & Mcreditsolutio
14 + 2 11 beta read this! Deborah
=set current to n, TAB=next unread, /=search pattern,^K)ill/select,
a)uthor search, c)atchup, j=line down, k=line up, K=mark read,
|=pipe, m)ail, o=print, q)uit, r=toggle all/unread, s)ave, t)ag,w=post
*** End of articles ***
The first column is the message number. The second is a plus sign
showing that I haven't read the most recent follow up to this thread. The
third column is how many follow ups there are followed by the size and
subject of the message. Last is the name or e-mail address of the person
who posted it.
Notice messages 7, 8 and 13. These are spam, and largely should be
ignored. Don't reply to them, or you will most likely get yourself on a
mailing list of some kind. Don't believe them, any company that
would send ads to unrelated news groups should be considered
disreputable. This is an ongoing problem. If you are interested in
working on a solution, you may want to pick up Stopping Spam
published by O'Reilly press, or join one of the many internet based
Now, what's this about the Sci-fi network? Have they stopped showing
Type the number 4 and hit enter twice, this is what you get:
Mon, 24 Jan 2000 10:53:20 alt.tv.forever-knight Thread 4
Lines 19 Sci-fi Network? 1 Response
Pardon my ignorance but I've been away for a while....
My parents just got digital cable, which about the only way to get Sci-fi
network in West Michigan, but now that I have that, is the network no
longer showing it?? I can't seem to find it!
* "That's your problem, you know: you haven't seen enough *
* movies. All of life's riddles are answered in the movies." *
=set current to n, TAB=next unread, /=search pattern,^K)ill/select,
a)uthor search, B)ody search, c)atchup, f)ollowup, K=mark read,
|=pipe, m)ail, o=print, q)uit, r)eply mail, s)ave, t)ag, w=post
Okay, you happen to know that the Sci-fi channel did cancel Forever
Knight and want to start a letter writing campaign to get it back on the
air. After reading all the responses (by pushing the space bar to go to
the next page and enter to go to the next message) and making sure that no
has made a similar suggestion, type the letter f for follow up
and type the message. The interface is a lot like pine.
When you are done press ctrl-x and type
y when it asks you if you want to save it. Then press enter for
the save location. The next screen will have some simple reminders
(Don't use long quotes, use a small signature...) and at the bottom it
q)uit, e)dit, i)spell, p)ost, p(o)stpone: p
As p)ost is the default, simply press enter.
If you want to e-mail it to a friend who thinks
she's the only person mourning the loss of her favorite vampire show,
type m. It will ask you how you want to send the message.
Mail a)rticle, t)hread, h)ot, p)attern, T)agged articles, q)uit: t
Choose a for article, hit return and enter her
e-mail address. Remember, the default is sending the thread, but threads
can get very long and many times can stray off topic. You will want to
read through the entire thread and consider if the follow up messages add
any important information. Your friendship may be at stake.
Should you want to post a new message, instead of replying to old ones,
Hit enter a couple
of times and type your
message. From there, it is just like typing a follow up. Push
ctrl-x when you are done. It will ask you
if you want to q)uit, e)dit, i)spell, p)ost or p(o)spone. Choose
p to post. Remember, you should only post to one group at a time.
To get out of the group, either push the left arrow or q. Both
will work and get you, first out of the message, then out of the group.
If you press it again, you get back to the UNIX prompt.
Remember, when you leave the newsgroup, the read messages will
Subscribing and Unsubscribing
You will not have the same interests for the rest of your
life. Also, you may subscribe to a group that you later
decide is too low/high traffic or you don't agree with a lot
of people on the list. This is when you unsubscribe. Unsubscribing has a
couple of benefits. It will speed up the time it takes to load tin and
make it easier to navigate through your group list. To unsubscribe to a
group, you simply use your arrow keys or type in the group number and then
enter to select it and press u. This will not make the group go
away automatically, but if you go into another group or quit the program
and come back to the list, it will be gone.
Don't worry, this is not permanant. You can bring in the complete list
of newsgroups that you have to access by pressing y for "yank in
all news groups." This list is often very long and hard to manage, but
you can search it. Type the slash (/) and it will ask you
Search forwards >
Here you type in the word that you are
for, let's say punk, and take you to the next group with a reference to
punk in the name or description.
This is not exactly what you were looking for, so you search again by
pressing the slash.
Search forwards [punk]>
Now, punk is the default, and all you have to do is press enter. Here
are some other news groups I found.
Notice that alt.music.blink-182 does not have the word punk in it.
That means that it probably has the word "punk" in the description.
To subscribe to a group, select it then press s. Then,
yank out all of the groups you are not subscribed to and you're
ready to go.
- You can check your mail through Pine.
- You may want to download some files with ftp.
- While you're at it, you should fiddle around with some miscellaneous commands and programs.