Mailing lists using usenet newsgroup

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at
Tue Jan 6 11:33:13 PST 2015

[BCC some SF-LUG folk(s)][0]

I'll (mostly) skip the part about Google, but there are lots of reasons
not to do a "mail list" as a Usenet group.  Most notably (and unfortunately)
nowadays, most computer/Internet users are highly unfamiliar with
Usenet, and how to read/follow a Usenet group, etc.
E.g. if you think it can be rather challenging to get a newbie
oriented to and successfully using email and subscribing to and using
an email list, getting 'em to read and follow a Usenet group will make
it a whole lot more challenging/frustrating - for them, and those
attempting to get 'em to use Usenet.  There are many other disadvantages
(and certainly also some advantages too), but most notably for the
"newbie" factor, I'd be disinclined to recommend it as "replacement"
(or temporary replacement of filling or to augment) the SF-LUG list,
though it may be well suited for other purposes (e.g. fine/excellent
for those already familiar with Usenet and that like using it regularly,
or those sufficiently technically inclined where they'd likely quite
like using it and find it to their benefit - and presuming also the
other pros/cons were a suitable fit (I'm not going to even attempt to
cover all the pros/cons here nor more generally compare email or email
list to Usenet).

And "Google Groups" - though it does also include full Usenet content (with
some caveats - most notably means of access and hoops to jump through to
get some parts of contents), for better or worse Google has also rather
muddied the waters, in not making all that clear and obvious (and is both
advantage, and disadvantage) to users what on "Google Groups" is a Usenet
group being accessed/used (also) via Google Groups, vs. what is a Google
Group which is independent of and not used at all by Usenet.  Anyway, one
needs exercise due care on what one gets/uses, and how, to avoid unpleasant
surprises (okay, so that also applies to a whole lot of The Internet).

And note too, some of the other disadvantages, be it Usenet group, or a
non-Usenet Google group, it's difficult to unfeasible to fully back up
all the content (at least short of running news server and preserving
Unsenet group content "forever"), and if it's Google Group or
(non-private, distributed) Usenet Group, one does give up a fair amount
of control over the group.  And if it's "private" (not publicly Internet
accessible - like this not an email list, "just" email distribution list),
then the content isn't publicly accessible nor findable in search engines,
etc.  Basically one is essentially "just" having off-list email exchanges
(even if one is attempting to have it more-or-less look/feel and be used
more generally/shared).

Anyway, I'm also hoping/expecting, one way or another, in the
not-too-horribly-distant-future, that SF-LUG will again have a fully
functional properly operating list again.  Don't hold you're breath,
but I'm thinking that will likely be the case in the week(s) to month
ahead ... and *maybe* even sooner.

0. per request (and good luck to 'em on seeing replies)

> From: jim <jim at>
> Subject: Re: Mailing lists using usenet newsgroup
> Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 10:16:53 -0800

>     Me, too, tho' I don't really know why--probably
> something about Google's using any and all user
> meta-data and possibly data (e.g. email messages)
> to mine keywords.
>     I have to say that overall I admire Google (partly
> because I've met some of the employees). Google
> may be my second favorite big-ass internet system
> after Amazon, which looks like it will be taking over
> the world--excellent user data security and also
> haul-ass inovation--did you know Amazon is now
> offering 3-D printing for on-demand customized
> stuff?
> On 01/06/2015 04:45 AM, maestro wrote:
>> I DO NOT want to use google.
>> That's my vote cast...
>> Message ends.
>> _________________
>> On Thursday, January 1, 2015, Michael Shiloh  
>> <michaelshiloh1010 at <mailto:michaelshiloh1010 at>>  
>> wrote:
>>>> >By they way, Bobbie, is there any reasone we don't set up a  
>>>> Google Group, just
>>>> >for the purpose of using it as a mailing list? Or are there  
>>>> people on this
>>>> >list who prefer not to use Google, which is very understandable?
>>>> >
>>>> >Michael
>>>>     Well Michael, unfortunately I am one of those individuals who  
>>>> care only
>>>> to use Google as search engine.
>>>>     I do use Usenet Newsgroups but it seems few people know how to
>>>> access these groups which in the case of Linux is really a departure from
>>>> its roots.
>>>>     But we could try to propagate an or we
>>>> could simply
>>>> pick a newsgroup like alt.os.linux.mandriva and use it.  There are Linux
>>>> newsgroups by the way where your query as to p/o of source code
>>>> would be welcome and elicit many replies.
>>>>     I suggest the group mentioned above because i am already
>>>> subscribed to it and
>>>> because since the collapse of the Mandriva company in France it has
>>>> been largely
>>>> empty with only a few posts about arcane Mandriva programs and what OS
>>>> to use when Mandriva is too far behind the curve.
>>>>     If anyone wants help in setting up a news.server account  bring
>>>> it to this
>>>> list and I will do my best as I certainly have made enough mistakes to
>>>> know what can go wrong.   The server I use is eternal-september,
>>>> properly designated  
>>>> <> and it is a free text
>>>> only server.  If you want a binary group server you most likely will
>>>> have to pay.
>>>>     Bobbie
>>> Hi Bobbie,
>>> That's a very interesting suggestion. I am very familiar with  
>>> newsgroups from
>>> back in the 80's. Back then we used 'rn' which probably stood for  
>>> 'read news'.
>>> I tried typing 'rn' just now and Ubuntu suggested I installed trn or trn4
>>> which as I recall stood for "threaded read news" so I'd be very happy with
>>> this.
>>> I invoked trn4 and it says
>>>         Connecting to t61b...connection to  
>>> <>: Connection refused
>>> t61b is the name of my computer. Do I need to have a local news  
>>> server running or
>>> can I point trn at some remote server, such as the one you mention?
>>> I used to know all this but it's been many, many years ...
>>> Michael

More information about the sf-lug mailing list