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Getting Started with News and the NN News Reader

Archive-name: usenet/software/nn/getting-started
Posting-frequency: approximately monthly
Last-modified: 5 May 1995

Current Hypertext Version:

    _______|                                                    |_______
     \     |                                                    |     /
     /     |         Copyright (c) 1995 Nancy McGough           |     \
    /      |____________________________________________________|      \
   /___________)                                            (___________\


  0.0 Preliminaries
      0.1 Getting the Latest Version of this FAQ
          0.1.1 Hypertext
          0.1.2 Plain Text
      0.2 Notation
  1.0 Introduction to nn
      1.1 Why Use nn? A Comparison of Unix News Readers
      1.2 Essential nn Commands
      1.3 Getting nn Help
  2.0 Your First Time
      2.1 Starting nn
      2.2 Going to a Newsgroup and Subscribing
      2.3 Menu Mode: Selecting Articles to Read
      2.4 Show Mode: Reading Selected Articles
      2.5 Leaving a Newsgroup
      2.6 Quitting
  3.0 Your Second Time
  4.0 Customizing nn
      4.1 Strategy: Plug and Play
      4.2 Setting Your Editor
          4.2.1 C-Compatible Shells
          4.2.2 Bourne-Compatible Shells
      4.3 Your Subscription List
          4.3.1 Your seq File
          4.3.2 Your .newsrc File
       Strategy: Subscribe to All Newsgroups
          4.3.3 Finding Newsgroups You're Interested In
      4.4 Your init File
          4.4.1 Variable Settings
          4.4.2 Key Mappings
          4.4.3 Host-Specific Settings
  5.0 Efficiently Reading Lots of News
      5.1 Killing and Auto-Selecting Subjects and Authors
      5.2 Quick Selecting Subjects
      5.3 Select, Read, Flag, Kill, Next Newsgroup
      5.4 Moving Between Newsgroups
          5.4.1 Going to a Newsgroup *Temporarily*
          5.4.2 Jumping to a Newsgroup
       Jump Macro
      5.5 Reading an Article That's in Digest Format
  6.0 Virtual Newsgroups: Creating a Custom Menu of Articles
      6.1 Presenting All Articles in a Newsgroup
      6.2 Searching For Subjects or Authors
          6.2.1 Within a Newsgroup
       Macro to Show All Articles with Current Subject
          6.2.2 Across Newsgroups
      6.3 Full Text Searching
          6.3.1 Across Articles in a Newsgroup
          6.3.2 Within One Article
  7.0 Saving Articles
      7.1 Strategy: Mail & News Folders Are Essentially the Same
      7.2 Saving an Individual Article
          7.2.1 Saving an Article That's in Digest Format
      7.3 Saving a Group of Articles
      7.4 Folder Management
          7.4.1 Reading a Folder
          7.4.2 Moving and Deleting Messages in a Folder
          7.4.3 Linking Your Mail and News Directories
  8.0 Posting
      8.1 Netiquette
          8.1.1 First Read the FAQs
          8.1.2 Some DOs and DON'Ts
      8.2 Your First Posts Should Be Test Posts
          8.2.1 Newsgroups for Testing
          8.2.2 Test 1: Following Up to an Article
          8.2.3 Test 2: Starting a Thread
          8.2.4 Test 3: Replying to an Article in Mail
          8.2.5 Test 4: Canceling an Article
      8.3 Responding to a Message
          8.3.1 Strategy: Flag it, Continue Reading, Then Respond
          8.3.2 To Mail or Post Your Response?
          8.3.3 Included Text
          8.3.4 Headers
       Newsgroups and Followup-To Headers
       Subject and References Headers
      8.4 Starting a Thread
      8.5 Your Signature
      8.6 Canceling an Article You Posted
  9.0 Glossary
 10.0 Contributors
      10.1 Acknowledgements
      10.2 If You'd Like to Contribute
 11.0 Copyright Notice


Date: 05 May 1995 00:00:00 GMT
Subject: 0.0 Preliminaries

This article is a fairly comprehensive introduction to news and the
nn newsreader.  There are a lot of general news concepts and
strategies in the article that you may find useful, even if you have
no plans to use nn (or Unix).  For example, section 8.1.1 "First Read
the FAQs" discusses a number of strategies for finding the FAQ(s) of
a newsgroup.


Date: 05 May 1995 00:10:00 GMT
Subject: ... 0.1 Getting the Latest Version of this FAQ

If this FAQ is over a couple months old, there may be an updated
version.  Please get the latest hypertext or plain text version from
one of the places listed below.


Date: 05 May 1995 00:11:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 0.1.1 Hypertext

The best way to read this FAQ (and most other FAQs) is to view the
hypertext version using a Web browser such as Lynx, Mosaic, or
Netscape.  This will allow you to easily jump:
   * between subjects in the FAQ
   * to any Uniform Resource Locator (URL) in the FAQ
   * to an Internet Request For Comments document (RFC)
   * to some manual pages

This, and all FAQs that are crossposted to news.answers, are available at:

This particular FAQ is at:

If you don't want to type that long URL, you can go to Infinite Ink's
Sample Writings Page and jump to it from there:


Date: 05 May 1995 00:12:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 0.1.2 Plain Text

The plain text version of this FAQ is regularly posted to these
  news.newusers.questions       news.answers

It's in digest format which means that you may be able to use your
newsreader to easily move between digest items (e.g., nn uses G% to
burst a digest and trn uses ^G to jump to the next digest item).

The plain text version is also available through...

A Link on Infinite Ink's Sample Writings Page:

Anonymous FTP:

 Send mail to containing the following:
    send usenet/news.answers/usenet/software/nn/getting-started



Date: 05 May 1995 00:20:00 GMT
Subject: ... 0.2 Notation

 Notation            Means
 ========            =====
 BS                  Backspace key
 CTL or C- or ^      Control key
 DEL                 Delete key
 ESC                 Escape key
 LFD                 Linefeed
 META or M-          Meta key
 RET                 Return or Enter key
 SFT                 Shift key
 SPC                 Space key
 TAB                 Tab key
 ^X                  Press CTL and then, while holding down CTL, press
                     the X key.  Often the the lower case letter will
                     also work so you can use either ^x and ^X.
 TextDescription     appropriate text
 <Text Description>  appropriate text (without the angle brackets)
 <Mode Description>  mode you should be in
 `text' or ``text''  text (without the smart quotes)
 "text"              "text" (including the double quotes)
 'text'              'text' (including the single quotes)
 `text`              `text` (including the back quotes)
 #                   What follows is a comment
 ###                 What follows is commented out code you might want
                     to use by removing the three pound signs
 ~ or $HOME          Your home directory

SEE ALSO: Section 9.0 "Glossary"


Date: 05 May 1995 01:00:00 GMT
Subject: 1.0 Introduction to nn

The underlying philosophy of nn is "no news is good news" and "nn"
actually stands for "no news"!  This is because hundreds of thousands
of messages arrive in the over ten thousand newsgroups each day and
nn makes it easy to efficiently read only articles and newsgroups
you're interested in.

If you are concerned that nn might be too brutal about killing
articles, don't fear.  You can always view all articles, including
killed articles, using the "Go to all" (`G a') command described in
section 6.1 below.  You can also change nn's default kill behavior by
using some of nn's nearly 200 variables.

As of May 1995 the latest released version of nn is 6.4.18.  The
latest beta version is 6.5.0.b3.  The beta is very stable so you
might want to upgrade.  For information about getting and installing
nn see the nn FAQ -- details about finding the FAQ are given in
section 1.3.

Historical Note:  nn is based on the tass newsreader.


Date: 05 May 1995 01:10:00 GMT
Subject: ... 1.1 Why Use nn? A Comparison of Unix News Readers

The most commonly used Unix newsreaders are pine, nn, tin, and trn.
Each of these has many ardent fans and the choice between them
depends on your news reading needs.

  News reading Power    Newsreader
  ==================    ==========
  low                   pine
  medium                tin
  high                  nn and trn

If you are just getting started with news, and you already use pine
for mail, then pine is the easiest way to start reading and
participating in news.  With pine, you'll be able to use your
familiar mail commands to go to a newsgroup and find, select, read,
flag, save, and respond to news articles.

If you want something more powerful than pine, and you don't think
you are going to want to evolve into a power news user, then tin is a
good choice because its interface is pretty easy to learn.

But, if you want to be a power news user then either trn or nn is the
way to go.  Both nn and trn are powerful, customizable newsreaders
that have evolved over many years.  Neither one is clearly better
than the other.  Here are some of the differences:

+ is an advantage
o is neutral
- is a disadvantage
? is something I don't know about

+ Contains a superset of RN commands so it's an easy migration for RN
+ newsgroup selection level is friendlier than nn's A/B (advance/back) and
  N/P (next/previous) commands (I like being able to see the list of
  newsgroups that I say no to)
+ true threading (uses References line)
+ graphic view of thread ("article tree")
+ can search the full headers of articles in a newsgroup
+ can reorder subscription list from within TRN (using m)
+ can have macro names longer than 2 characters
+ active participation by trn developer in newsgroup
+ can reverse the sort order (e.g., most recent at the top)
+ intrinsic commands for going to root/leaf of a thread (in nn you
  need to do this with macros or a sequence of commands)
+ intrinsic command for auto-selecting your articles
+ easy to change attribution line to whatever you want (using ATTRIBUTION
  environment variable)
+ when you post you get lots of blank headers (e.g., Followup-To) put
  into your editor
o newsgroup ( for discussion but also contains lots
  of non-TRN discussion.
- harder macro language

+ virtual newsgroups - result of subject, author, or full text search
+ easier macro language
+ more powerful kill/select abilities (ANDing, ORing)
+ faster auto killing/selecting
+ can split/unsplit a digest
+ dedicated newsgroup ( for discussion
+ Commands for flagging (l and L) and leaving an article to deal with it later
  (this is better than trn's M command which just returns an article as unread
  next time)
+ built-in command for mailing a copy of a followup article to the author you're
  responding to (in trn you need to type the person's email address)
+ can easily mail articles you read/post to other addresses
+ incredibly customizable
+ can easily view and organize your folders (both mail and news) with nn
+ can merge newsgroups
+ can search all (or some) newsgroups for subject and/or author
+ can set default save directory for each newsgroup that is not necessarily
  one of the interpreted strings (e.g., my default save dir for comp.editors
  is +vi)
- not very active participation by developer(s) in newsgroup
- can only search on subject, author, or full text; also author is the
  "real name" rather than full From line
- macro names limited to 2 characters (as far as I can tell)
? more powerful macro language than trn

[Please send more comparisons.]

NN Testimonials
*  Ron Dippold, who handles most newsgroup voting, says that nn is the
   "best Usenet group reader on the planet."

*  Despite years of power rn experience and some trn experience,
   and many finely crafted [t]rn macros, I ( switched
   to nn because of many of the features listed above.

*  [Please send me your NN Testimonial!]

Fortunately, all these newsreaders (and many others) use the .newsrc
file to track which articles you've read (or marked read), so you can
try out all these newsreaders and not have to reread any articles
you've already read.


Date: 05 May 1995 01:20:00 GMT
Subject: ... 1.2 Essential nn Commands

Before we go into the step by step process of using nn, here is a
list of essential nn commands.  Be aware that *NN IS CASE SENSITIVE*
-- many commands use upper case letters because lower case letters
are reserved for selecting articles.

Type...      In order to...
=======      ==============
SPC          Do the next reasonable thing, usually keep moving through
             articles and newsgroups -- next page, next article, next 
             newsgroup, etc.
RET          Default response to a prompt
^G           Cancel the current prompt
?            Quick help on commands available in current mode
:?           Present help on colon commands
:help        Present help subjects
:help subj   Present help on subj, where `subj' is in the `:help' list
:man         Present sections of the nn manual on a menu.  You can then 
             use nn's commands to choose and read sections of the manual.
Q            Quit
:q!          Quit & don't record what you read (or marked read) this 


Date: 05 May 1995 01:30:00 GMT
Subject: ... 1.3 Getting nn Help


 The FAQs are posted regularly to and news.answers,
 and archived in all the usual FAQ archives, including:

Web Pages:

Man pages: 
 Read the nn (1) man pages with either the `:man' command from within
 nn or using a pager like less or more (`man nn |less'), so you can
 use the search capabilities of the pager.


Date: 05 May 1995 02:00:00 GMT
Subject: 2.0 Your First Time

Before you customize nn you need to run it at least once.  This will
create the default files and directories that nn uses.  It will also
familiarize you with the basics of nn and give you ideas for what you
want to customize.


Date: 05 May 1995 02:10:00 GMT
Subject: ... 2.1 Starting nn

To start nn simply type `nn' at your Unix prompt.  The first time
(and only the first time) you run nn you will get a welcome message.
If you want to see this message again you can access it by ???.

[If you know how to view the welcome message after your first time,
please let me know.]

You are presented with a menu of articles ("menu mode") in the first
newsgroup in your subscription list.  If you have not set up a
subscription list, then nn uses whatever your system administrator
has set up as the default subscription list.  Your default first
newsgroup might be:

 * Whatever is alphabetically first in the list of all newsgroup 
   that your host receives (sometimes this is alt.2600)

 * host.announce (where `host' is replaced with the name of your 
   provider, e.g., `halcyon.announce', `best.announce', etc.)


Date: 05 May 1995 02:20:00 GMT
Subject: ... 2.2 Going to a Newsgroup and Subscribing

To go to a different newsgroup use nn's Go command (G).  For example,
here's how to go to one of the newuser newsgroups (which is a good

 Prompt                          Type         In order to...
 ======                          ====         ==============
 <menu mode>                     G            Go to...
 Group of Folder (+./~%=sneNbB)  newuser RET newsgroup with
                                             `newuser' in its name
 foo.newuser                     n RET        no, go to next
 news.announce.newusers          y RET        yes, go to this newsgroup
 Number of articles (juasne) (j) RET          jump to the newsgroup

For now, don't worry about what the cryptic-looking prompts mean.  At
the final prompt you should press RET which means do the default --
`j' for jump (or `a' for all if jumping is not possible).

Once you get to the newsgroup look in the upper right corner of the
screen to see if you are subscribed to the newsgroup.  If you are not
subscribed, it will say:


In order for nn to keep track of the articles you read, you need to
subscribe.  To subscribe to news.announce.newusers, do this:

 Prompt                                                         Type
 ======                                                         ====
 <menu or show mode>                                            U
 Already unsubscribed. Resubscribe to news.announce.newusers?   y

U is a toggle that unsubscribes you from a subscribed group or subscribes
you to an unsubscribed group.

* When searching for a newsgroup with the G command it's a good strategy to
  use a short search string so that you will hit all variations, e.g., use
  sport rather than sports so you will be presented with the alt.sports
  hierarchy as well as hierarchy.
* You can always break out of a prompt with ^G.


Date: 05 May 1995 02:30:00 GMT
Subject: ... 2.3 Menu Mode: Selecting Articles to Read

After you go to a newsgroup you are presented with a menu of articles in
the newsgroup.  Each line contains this information about an article:

 ID  Flag  Author  Lines  Subject

Here's more details about these:

 Field    Details
 ====     ======
 ID       Lower case letter (a-z) or number (0-9); the range depends on 
          screen height
 Flag     read (.), seen on menu but not read (,), left in previous 
          session (=), left this session (+), selected (* or highlighted 
 Author   Author's full name (or email address if no full name)
 Lines    Number of lines in article (if article has a Lines header)
 Subject  Either the Subject header or if the subject contains only 
          greater than signs (>) or a dash (-), then it has the same 
          subject as the line above. > is a reply, >> is a reply to a 
          reply, etc.; - means same subject as above but not a reply.

Here are some ways to select articles you'd like to read.

 To select (or unselect)...             Type
 ==========================             ====
 single article                         ID
 all articles with current subject      *
 all articles with ID's subject         ID*
 range of articles                      ID1-ID2
 all articles                           =^

The = command means "select any subject that contains" and the caret
(^) means a "beginning of line."  Since every subject contains a
"beginning of line," this selects all subjects.

To unselect all articles that are selected type two tildes: ~~

To move through the pages of the menu use these commands:

 Type         In order to move in the menu...
 ====         ===============================
 SPC or >     Forward page
 <            Back page
 ^            First page
 $            Last page


Date: 05 May 1995 02:40:00 GMT
Subject: ... 2.4 Show Mode: Reading Selected Articles

After you've selected some articles, you can start reading them (go
into "show mode") by typing either SPC on the last page of the menu,
or Z.  These work as follows.

 Menu Page  Type  In order to read selected articles and then...
 =========  ====  ==============================================
 any        Z     return to current menu in the current newsgroup
 last       SPC   move to next newsgroup's menu

I usually use Z because I like returning to the current newsgroup
after reading the articles I selected.  Sometimes something I read
will inspire me to want to read more in the current newsgroup.  The
description below assumes that you typed `Z'.

Here are some commands for moving within an article:

 Type...    In order to move in current article...
 =======    ======================================
 SPC        Forward page
 u          Up half page
 DEL        Back page
 ^          First page
 h          First page and show all headers
 $          Last page

And here are some commands for moving between the articles you've selected.

 Type     In order to...
 ====     ==============
 SPC      Go to next selected article if you're at end of current article
 n        Go to next selected article
 k        Kill the rest of this subject and go to next subject (this only
          kills the subject for this session; future articles with this 
          subject will be presented)
 p        Go to article previously viewed

When there are no more selected articles, pressing SPC, n, or k, will
move you back to the menu of the current newsgroup.  At any time you
can use the Z command to go from reading mode to menu mode, or vice
versa.  (Z toggles between these modes.)

When you return to the menu after reading some articles you will see
flags next to article IDs.  Articles that you read are marked with a
period (.).  Other flags are described in section 2.3 above.


Date: 05 May 1995 02:50:00 GMT
Subject: ... 2.5 Leaving a Newsgroup

After you've read the articles you're interested in you can move to
another newsgroup by using one of these commands.

 Type     In order to...
 ====     ==============
 SPC      Go to the next newsgroup if you have no more articles selected
          in the current newsgroup.
 A        Advance newsgroup in your sequence
 B        Back newsgroup in your sequence
 G        Go to a newsgroup you specify

If you use the A or B command, NN presents the newsgroup name with a prompt
like this:

 Enter (STATUS) ?  (ABGNPy)

Where STATUS is either READ, UNSUB, or nothing (which means there are
unread articles).  You can then:

 Type        In order to...
 ====        ==============
 A           Advance newsgroup in your sequence
 B           Back newsgroup in your sequence
 G           Use the G command and any of its many variations
 N           Advance to newsgroup in your sequence with unread articles
 P           Back to newsgroup in your sequence with unread articles
 RET or y    Go to the newsgroup named in the prompt

Since nn's philosophy is "no news is good news" its default is to
mark "read" any article that you saw on the menu.  If an article has
been marked read it will not be presented on the menu the next time
you start nn.  (But you can always go to all articles in a newsgroup,
including those marked read, by using the Ga command, which is
described in section 6.1 below.)


Date: 05 May 1995 02:60:00 GMT
Subject: ... 2.6 Quitting

 Type  In order to...
 ====  ==============
 Q     Quit
 :q!   Quit and don't record what you read (or marked read) this session


Date: 05 May 1995 03:00:00 GMT
Subject: 3.0 Your Second Time

Between sessions, nn remembers:
 * Articles you read or marked read.
 * Articles you left with the `l' command.
 * Articles you selected but didn't read (and didn't unselect).
 * The newsgroup you were in when you quit.

When you start nn (after your first time), you're asked if you want
to go to the newsgroup you were in when you last quit nn with a
prompt like this:

  Enter (N unread)?

If you answer yes (y or RET) you'll jump to that newsgroup.  If you
answer no (n) you'll jump to the first newsgroup in your subscription
list that has unread articles.  If you always want to start at the
beginning of your subscription list then you can set the
enter-last-read-mode variable to 0.  This is one of the settings
suggested in section 4.4.1 below.


Date: 05 May 1995 04:00:00 GMT
Subject: 4.0 Customizing nn

One of the greatest things about nn is its customizability.  It has
over 180 variables which you can use to change the way information is
presented and the way commands work.  You can also remap your
keyboard, create macros to do just about anything, and create
customizations that are specific to only some newsgroups.

This section describes suggestions for customizing the following files.

 File                Purpose
 ====                =======
 .login or .profile  Set your EDITOR environment variable
 .newsrc             Track newsgroup subscriptions & articles read
 seq                 Specify newsgroup sequence, default save files, and
 init                Variable settings, key mappings, macros, command 
                     groups, and more
 init.*              Files loaded by init (these can actually be named
 kill                Auto kill & select commands

The .login, .profile, and .newsrc files are in your home directory (~), and
all the rest reside in your ~/.nn directory.


Date: 05 May 1995 04:10:00 GMT
Subject: ... 4.1 Strategy: Plug and Play

It's a good strategy to compartmentalize your customizations as much as
possible.  This allows you to easily:
 * Turn on or off a customization.
 * Share some of your customizations with others (and keep some
   customizations private).
 * Move your customizations to another host and, if your host-specific
   customizations are in a separate file, easily change those.
 * Debug customizations (e.g., you can turn everything off but what 
   you are trying to debug).
 * Manage your customizations - small files are much easier to edit 
   than one big unwieldy file.


Date: 05 May 1995 04:20:00 GMT
Subject: ... 4.2 Setting Your Editor

When you compose a message within nn or nnpost, nn decides which
editor to use as follows:

1. If nn's `editor' variable is set in one of your init files, then
   that is what is used.

2. If nn's `editor' variable is not set, then the EDITOR environment
   variable is used.  If you don't explicitly set your EDITOR
   environment variable, then it is set to the system default, which
   is often vi (which does not stand for "very intuitive"!).

Since the EDITOR environment variable is used by many other programs,
it's useful to set nn's editor with it rather than the nn-specific
editor variable.  This way the setting will propagate to other
programs such as your mailer.  Since some programs use the VISUAL
environment variable to determine the editor, it's useful to set this

If you don't know what editor to use, the PIne COmposer, pico, is a
good choice.  It's easy to learn and always has a help menu at the
bottom of the screen.  To see if pico is on your system type any of
the following:

  which pico
  type pico
  where pico
  whereis pico

If it's on your system one of these should tell you what directory
it's in.  If it's not on your system then you will need to use a
different editor (or you could ask your system administrator to
install pico).

If you use pico, then you might want to use it with either or both of
these flags.

 Flag Meaning
 ==== =======
 -t   tool mode, which prevents some unnecessary save prompts
 -z   allows you to suspend with ^Z and go out to Unix; you return with fg


Date: 05 May 1995 04:21:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 4.2.1 C-Compatible Shells

If you are using csh, tcsh, or another C-compatible shell, put the
following in your ~/.login file:

  setenv EDITOR "pico -t -z"
  setenv VISUAL "$EDITOR"

To "run" your .login either log out and log back in again or type:

  source .login

To check your new settings are in place, type:



Date: 05 May 1995 04:22:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 4.2.2 Bourne-Compatible Shells

If you are using sh, bash, ksh, or another Bourne-compatible shell,
put the following in your ~/.profile:

  EDITOR="pico -t -z"  export EDITOR

To "run" your .profile either log out and log back in again or type:

  . .profile

To check your settings type:



Date: 05 May 1995 04:30:00 GMT
Subject: ... 4.3 Your Subscription List

Your subscription list is determined by both your .newsrc file and
your seq file (*).  Your .newsrc keeps track of what newsgroups
you're subscribed to and what articles you've read in those
newsgroups.  Your seq file tells nn:
 * which collections of newsgroups to merge into a virtual newsgroup
 * the order in which you want to be presented newsgroups
 * the default save folder for each newsgroup

(*) You can specify your sequence in either a separate seq file or as
    the last part of your init file, in a section starting with the
    word `sequence'.  Using the seq file is more in keeping with the
    plug and play strategy, so that's what I describe below.
    NOTE: The seq file is currently not documented in the nn man pages.


Date: 05 May 1995 04:31:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 4.3.1 Your seq File

If you have used other Unix newsreaders and your .newsrc is already
ordered the way you like it, then, to begin with, you can use it as
your sequence.  To set this up simply put `RC' in your ~/.nn/seq
file.  Here are instructions using pico as your editor.

 Type        In order to...
 ====        ==============
 cd          go to your home directory
 cd .nn      go to your .nn directory
 pico seq    create your seq file using the pico editor
 RC          put `RC' in the file
 ^X          exit pico
 y           answer yes to the question about saving the file

Now you can start nn and newsgroups will be presented in your .newsrc

If you do not have your .newsrc ordered the way you'd like it, or if
you want to take advantage of nn's sequence features, including being
able to:  
 * Specify a default save folder for each newsgroup 
 * Use wild cards like `all' to specify a hierarchy, e.g.,
 * Merge newsgroups into a virtual newsgroup

Then you should specify your sequence in your seq file.  The format
looks like this:

# Newsgroup(s)         Default Save Folder
# ============         ===================       +folder1
  hierarchy.all                  #all groups in this hierarchy, 1 at a time
  group.a,group.b      +folder2  #merge group.a & group.b into 1 virtual group

* Anything after a pound sign (#) is a comment.
* In order for a newsgroup in your sequence to show up when using SPC
  to move through newsgroups you must be subscribed to it.
* If you don't specify a save file, the default-save-file variable 
  setting is used.  (See section 4.4.1 for a suggested default-save-file 

Here's an example seq file.

 halcyon.announce                 +halcyon
 halcyon.all                      +halcyon
 seattle.all                      +seattle
 news.newusers.questions          +newusers            +newsreaders
 comp.mail.misc                   +mail
 comp.unix.questions              +unix

With this seq file, if you save (s) an article in the group, for example, it will be saved in a
folder named "newsreaders" in your folder directory.


Date: 05 May 1995 04:32:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 4.3.2 Your .newsrc File

Your .newsrc file, which resides in your home directory (~), is used
by most Unix newsreaders, including nn, to keep track of what
newsgroups you are subscribed to and what articles you've read.
Lines in the .newsrc file look like this: m-n,p-q!

A colon (:) after the newsgroup name means you are subscribed and a
exclamation point (!) means you are unsubscribed.  The numbers are
articles, or ranges of articles, that you've read.


Date: 05 May 1995 04:32:10 GMT
Subject: ... ... ..... Strategy: Subscribe to All Newsgroups

There are two main strategies that people use for subscribing to
 1. Subscribe to only the newsgroups you read.
 2. Subscribe to all newsgroups your host receives (sometimes 
    10,000+ newsgroups!).

I prefer the second strategy because then:
 * You can add anything to your seq file and it will be presented
   when you move through news using SPC.

 * You never need to type U to subscribe to a newsgroup.  (Remember
   that if you read a newsgroup that you aren't subscribed to nn
   won't keep track of what you've read and so then the next time you
   go to it you'll be presented all the articles again.)

 * You never (or very rarely) type `nn' and get this response:  
     No News (is good news)

To see the newsgroups you are not subscribed to, type:

  nngrep -u |less

To append these unsubscribed groups to your .newsrc:

 cp .newsrc .newsrc.old
 nngrep -u | sed -e 's/$/:/' -e '/^C/d' >> .newsrc

The cryptic looking last command takes the output of the `nngrep -u'
command and uses sed, a stream editor, to add colon (:) to the end of
each line and then remove any line that starts with a `C' (specifically 
lines that say ``Connecting to NNTP server...'').  It then appends 
these lines to your .newsrc file.

Now start nn and make sure that your .newsrc file wasn't corrupted by
a typo you may have made in the above command.  If it's been
corrupted you will get an error message and you can revert to your
old .newsrc file by typing:

 cp .newsrc.old .newsrc

WARNING: If you directly edit your .newsrc file make sure that you
use an editor that can handle any long lines in your .newsrc.  For
example, if you use pico you should turn autowrap off, i.e., use
`pico -w .newsrc'.  `pico -w' can handle lines up to 128 characters
long.  [Please send me info about other editors that can handle long


Date: 05 May 1995 04:33:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 4.3.3 Finding Newsgroups You're Interested In

Here are some ways to find interesting newsgroups:

* Read these articles that are regularly posted to news.groups and
    List of Active Newsgroups, Part I and II
    Alternative Newsgroup Hierarchies, Part I, II, and III

  These articles are archived at all the usual FAQ archives

* Search through the news hierarchies at:

* Read and ask questions in news.groups.questions.

* Regularly read news.announce.newgroups, which is where new 
  newsgroups are announced.

* Look at the Newsgroups header to see what group(s) an interesting 
  article is crossposted to.

* Look at the master list of newsgroups with short descriptions:

  After you use ftp to retrieve one of these you will need to
  uncompress it.

* Look at Infinite Ink's Web page, which has links to lists of 

* Look at the `newsgroups' file on your system.  This file contains a
  list of all newsgroups that your host receives, with a short
  description.  Sometimes this file is in /usr/lib/news/newsgroups --
  you can ask your system administrator where it's located on your

* Use nngrep to get a list of newsgroups your host receives (but without
  descriptions) by doing one of the following:

  Type                  In order to...
  ====                  ==============
  nngrep -a |less       View all newsgroups at your host in the less pager
  nngrep -a text |less  View all newsgroups with `text' in their name

* From within nn you can use the G command to be prompted for all
  newsgroups that contain some text you specify, and to go to one you
  are interested in.  See section 2.2 and/or 5.4.2 for instructions.


Date: 05 May 1995 04:40:00 GMT
Subject: ... 4.4 Your init File

It's possible to establish most of your customizations in your init
file but to use the plug and play strategy, use your init file to
specify only other files to load.  For example, you could put these
lines in your ~/.nn/init file:

--- begin init ---
# Archived in

load init.variables
load init.keymaps
load init.macros.jump
load init.macros.all-subject
load      #put last so it overrides other settings
--- end init ---

In all the init files, any text following a pound sign (#) is a
comment and is ignored by nn.  To "unplug" one of these just put a #
at the beginning of a line.  To "plug" it in remove the #.

Descriptions of these files are below.

 File                      Describe in section...
 ====                      ======================
 init.variables            4.4.1
 init.keymaps              4.4.2                 4.4.3

All these init files are archived at:


Date: 05 May 1995 04:41:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 4.4.1 Variable Settings

You can use nn's over 180 variables to customize nn's behaviour.
Below are some especially useful settings.

--- begin init.variables ---
# Archived in

# In nn, list variables settings with `:set' or `:set all'

# When nn starts, always begin with the first group set in the seq file
set enter-last-read-mode 0

# Always show purpose of group
set show-purpose-mode 2

# Show each subject only once on menu
# Bug: Doesn't work with merged groups
set consolidated-menu on

# On the menu show only: ID, number of articles, subject
# Default is 1: ID, author, number of lines, subject
set layout 3

# When reading a message show these header lines
# For info, see CUSTOMIZED ARTICLE HEADER PRESENTATION section of man pages
set header-lines FOnW*Y

# Don't split a digest until user says to with G%
set split off

# Make default save folder name last component of newsgroup name
# E.g.: rec.arts.movies default save folder will be +movies
set default-save-file +$L

# Save articles so I can view them with mailers (pine, elm, etc.)
set mail-format on

# Silently append new groups to .newsrc; stay subscribed to all groups
set new-group-action 3
set keep-unsubscribed on
set tidy-newsrc on

# Interpret a complete newsgroup name in the seq exactly as it is, i.e.,
# don't interpret it as meaning the newsgroups *and* all its subgroups.
set also-subgroups off
--- end init.variables ---


Date: 05 May 1995 04:42:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 4.4.2 Key Mappings

It gets confusing when different programs use different keys for the
same command.  For example, pine and lynx use the minus key, `-', to
move back a page, but nn uses `<' to move back a page in a menu mode
and the BS key to move back a page in show mode.  You can map a key
to an nn command by using nn's map command.  The format of the
command is:

 map <mode> <key> <command>

Where <mode> is either `menu', `show', or `both'.

Below are a few key mappings that I like to use.

--- begin init.keymaps ---
# Archived in

# In nn you can see mappings with `:show map'

# For a list of all command names see STANDARD KEY BINDINGS section of the
# nn manual (pages 78-83 in nn 6.4.18 man pages)

# Shouldn't have to do this mapping, but by default they aren't working
map show A advance-group
map show B back-group

# For compatibility with pine and lynx
map both - page-1

# Since - is now being used for page-1, need something for select-range
map menu _ select-range

# For compatibility with elm and pine have i go to menu (index).
map show i goto-menu

# My screen isn't long enough to show article IDs x and z; so why not use
# x and z to also do what X and Z do...
### map both x read-skip
### map menu z read-return
### map show z goto-menu
--- end init.keymaps ---


Date: 05 May 1995 04:43:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 4.4.3 Host-Specific Settings

It's useful to put information that is specific to your host in a
separate file.  This way if you get an account on another machine you
can transfer all your init files and easily edit the host-specific
information.  Here are some of the things I put in my

--- begin ---
# Archived in

# This is what + is replaced by when you save an article or go to a folder.
# Default: ~/News
set folder ~/Folders

# Save copy of articles I post or mail.
# Default: Not set (i.e., they aren't saved)
set news-record ~/Folders/Posted
set mail-record ~/Folders/Mailed

# Replace with your organization's name, and remove the leading #'s
### set news-header Organization: Infinite Ink, Seattle, WA, USA
### set mail-header Organization: Infinite Ink, Seattle, WA, USA
--- end ---


Date: 05 May 1995 05:00:00 GMT
Subject: 5.0 Efficiently Reading Lots of News

With nn it's easy to filter through lots of articles in lots of
newsgroups and only read articles you're interested in.  These three
variables, which were set in init.variables above, especially help
because they minimize the amount of information you need to scan.

  set consolidated-menu on
  set layout 3
  set split off


Date: 05 May 1995 05:10:00 GMT
Subject: ... 5.1 Killing and Auto-Selecting Subjects and Authors

One of the keys to moving through lots of news articles is "killing"
subjects and authors that you don't want to read, and auto-selecting
subjects and authors that you do want to read.

The `k' command kills the current subject for the current session
only.  Use this when you're tired of a subject but you may want to
look in on it again in a future session.

The `K' command kills or auto-selects a subject or author for the
number of days you specify, anything from one day to permanently.
Here's an example of using the `K' command to set up auto selection
of any article with *you* as the author.

 Prompt                                                       Type
 ======                                                       ====
 <reading an article you posted>                              K
 AUTO (k)ill or (s)elect (CR => Kill subject 30 days)         s
 AUTO SELECT on (s)ubject or (n)ame  (s)                      n
 SELECT Name: (=/)                                            RET
 SELECT in (g)roup '' or in (a)ll groups  (g)   a
 Lifetime of entry in days (p)ermanent  (30)                  p
 CONFIRM SELECT Name perm exact: YourFullName                 RET

At the `SELECT Name' (or `SELECT Subject') prompt, pressing RET means
to use the current name (or subject).

One of the most common ways to use `K' is to kill the current subject
in the current newsgroup for 30 days.  Doing this takes only two

 Prompt                                                       Type
 ======                                                       ====
 <reading an article you posted>                              K
 AUTO (k)ill or (s)elect (CR => Kill subject 30 days)         RET

After 30 days the kill command will automatically be commented out in
your "kill file."  Your "kill file" is ~/.nn/kill and it is where all
the kill and select commands that you create with the `K' command are
stored.  In addition to using the `K' command, you can also use your
editor to directly edit your kill file and create, edit, or delete
kill commands.


Date: 05 May 1995 05:20:00 GMT
Subject: ... 5.2 Quick Selecting Subjects

While you are in menu mode you can quickly select each article that
contains some particular text in its subject.  To do this:

 Prompt                 Type
 ======                 ====
 <menu mode>            =
 Select regexp          text RET
 Selected N articles

The text that you specify can be plain text or an egrep(1) regular
expression.  For example, the regular expression ^ matches the
beginning of a line, so to select all subjects in the current
newsgroup, type:



Date: 05 May 1995 05:30:00 GMT
Subject: ... 5.3 Select, Read, Flag, Kill, Next Newsgroup

When you want to power your way through a newsgroup, one strategy is
to rely on nn's default behaviour that you get by typing SPC.  The
following is pretty much the strategy I use.

Use SPC to page through all pages of the menu, selecting all subjects
you're interested in.

On the last menu page press SPC to go into reading mode.

Use SPC to page through the pages of an article.

On the last page of an article press SPC to go to the next selected
article.  Or you can use one of the following:

 Type    In Order To...
 ====    ==============
 n       Move to the next selected article.
 k       Move to the next selected subject.
 l       Flag this article and leave it so you can deal with it later.
 K       Kill or auto-select the current subject or author for this
         and future sessions.

After you've read (or marked read) the last selected article in the
newsgroup, press SPC to move to the next newsgroup in your sequence
with unread articles.


Date: 05 May 1995 05:40:00 GMT
Subject: ... 5.4 Moving Between Newsgroups

The easiest way to move through newsgroups is to arrange your
sequence so that they are presented in the order you want to view
them.  Even if you have your sequence perfectly arranged you will
often want to go to a newsgroup that isn't next in your sequence.  If
you want to go to a newsgroup that's close to where you currently are
in your sequence, use the A or B command to step forward or backward
through your sequence (see section 2.5 above for details on the A and
B commands).  If you want to go to a newsgroup that's not close by,
use the G command.  With the G command you can either:

* Temporarily go to a newsgroup, which means that nn will
  automatically return to the group you came from when you finish
  with the group.  nn will not keep track of articles that you read
  or flag -- it's as if you were never there.

* Jump to a newsgroup, which means that nn will not remember the
  group you came from and when you are finished with the group you
  will move on to the next group in your sequence (i.e., the group
  after the one you just jumped to).  nn will keep track of the
  articles you read and flag.


Date: 05 May 1995 05:41:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 5.4.1 Going to a Newsgroup *Temporarily*

To temporarily go to a newsgroup named

 Prompt                          Type             In order to...
 ======                          ====             ==============
 <menu or show mode>             G                Go to...
 Group of Folder (+./~%=sneNbB)  bar RET newsgroup with
                                                  `bar' in its name                         n RET            no, go to next                       y RET            yes, go to this newsgroup
 Number of articles (juasne) (j) <anything but j> temporarily go to

Here's the meaning of the choices in the last prompt:

 Type  In order to *temporarily* go to...
 ====  ==================================
 u     unread articles
 a     all articles
 s     articles with subject matching what you specify
 n     articles with author matching what you specify
 e     articles with either subject or author matching what you specify

When you temporarily go to a newsgroup:
* The upper right corner will say *NO*UPDATE*
* The lower right corner will say <Level N>.  N is a number that
  tells how far you are from the top level (i.e., the "current"
  underlying group).  E.g., <Level 2> is one away from the top and
  <Level 3> is two away from the top.


Date: 05 May 1995 05:42:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 5.4.2 Jumping to a Newsgroup

When you "jump" to a newsgroup, articles you read and flag are
tracked in your ~/.newsrc and ~/.nn/select, respectively.  To jump to
a newsgroup named

 Prompt                          Type       In order to...
 ======                          ====       ==============
 <menu mode>                     G          Go to...
 Group of Folder (+./~%=sneNbB)  bar RET newsgroup with `bar'
                                            in its name                         n RET      no, go to next                       y RET      yes, go to this newsgroup
 Number of articles (juasne) (j) j          jump to

 * You must be in menu mode in order to jump.
 * If all articles in a newsgroup are marked read, you cannot jump
   to the newsgroup.


Date: 05 May 1995 05:42:10 GMT
Subject: ... ... ..... Jump Macro

Since jumping to a newsgroup is one of the most common things to do,
it's useful to have a macro for this.  The following macro is invoked
by typing ^j (CTL+j).  It prompts you for part or all of a newsgroup
name, and then it jumps to the newsgroup if it can (i.e., if there
are unread articles).  If it can't jump, it does the default, which
is to go to all articles in the group.

--- begin init.macros.jump ---
# Archived at

map both ^j (
        ?show goto-menu :!clear  #So you really can jump
        prompt "Type part or all of newsgroup name:"
        input " "
        prompt ""                #Clear prompt
--- end init.macros.jump ---

To install this macro, put init.macros.jump in your ~/.nn directory
and put this line in your init file:

 load init.macros.jump


Date: 05 May 1995 05:50:00 GMT
Subject: ... 5.5 Reading an Article That's in Digest Format

Some articles (like this one) are in digest format.  An article is in
digest format if it contains a sequence of messages, each with their
own headers.  Often, nn can split a digest and present each subject
as a separate item on a menu.  In order for nn to be able to split a
digest, each sub-message must have a Subject header and either a Date
or From header, i.e., each message must contain at least...




Any other headers are fine but it must contain at least either of the
above pairs of headers.  So, for example, the following will work:


Usually nn's default is to automatically split a digest (but your
system administrator may have configured it differently on your
system).  You can control the default behavior by setting the split
variable in one of your init files such as init.variables.

set split off  #On the menu, present a digest as a single article
set split on   #On the menu, present each digest sub-message as a menu item

I prefer `set split off' because then the article only takes up one
line on the menu.  If you are interested in it, you can select it and
then, when you are reading it, you can split it by typing G%.  Once a
digest is split, you can read, respond to, print, and save individual
digest items.

SEE ALSO: Digest format is specified in RFC1153.


Date: 05 May 1995 06:00:00 GMT
Subject: 6.0 Virtual Newsgroups: Creating a Custom Menu of Articles

You can use the G command or the `nn -mxX' command to create a
virtual newsgroup, i.e., a menu of articles that are the results of
searching subjects, authors, or full text of articles.


Date: 05 May 1995 06:10:00 GMT
Subject: ... 6.1 Presenting All Articles in a Newsgroup

To go to all articles, both read and unread, in the current group do
the follwoing.

 Prompt                          Type   In order to...
 ======                          ====   ==============
 <menu or reading mode>          G      Go to...
 Group of Folder (+./~%=sneNbB)  a      ...all articles in current group

NOTE: Even though a is not one of the optiongs listed in the prompt,
      it does work.  This is another undocumented feature.

To go to all articles in a group that you're not currently in, use
the G command to specify the group and then type `a' at this prompt:

 Number of articles (juasne) (j)


Date: 05 May 1995 06:20:00 GMT
Subject: ... 6.2 Searching For Subjects or Authors

Subjects and authors' full names are indexed so that nn can very
quickly search these.  Note that only the author's full name is
indexed so you cannot do a fast search on an email address or
fragment of an email address.  The default is for searches to be
case insensitive.


Date: 05 May 1995 06:21:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 6.2.1 Within a Newsgroup

If you are already in the newsgroup that you want to search, type `G'
to get this prompt:

  Group of Folder (+./~%=sneNbB)

If you're not in the newsgroup that you want to search, use the `G'
command to specify the group, and get to this prompt:

  Number of articles (juasne) (j)

At either of these prompts:

 Type  To search...                Resulting prompt
 ====  ============                ================
 s     subjects                    s=
 n     authors' full names         n=
 e     both subjects and authors   e=

At the resulting prompt:

 Type        In order to...
 ====        ==============
 RET         use the current subject or author as the search text
 text RET    specify the search text


Date: 05 May 1995 06:21:10 GMT
Subject: ... ... ..... Macro to Show All Articles with Current Subject

Often you will read an article and want to go back and read all the
articles that have been posted with its subject.  Here's a macro that
does this.  To run it type ^a (CTL+a) while reading an article with
the subject you're interested in.

--- begin init.macros.all-subject ---
# Archived at

# Select all (even read) articles with this subject; display base article
# Assumes you have case-fold-search set, and want to do a case-sensitive
# search.
# BUG: Also finds articles with current subject as substring of subject.
#      (Anyone know how to do an exact match?)
map show ^a (
        :unset case-fold-search    # Make case sensitive
        goto-group "s" find "^" 'Z'
        :set case-fold-search      # Make case insensitive (default)
--- end init.macros.all-subject ---

To install this macro, put init.macros.all-subject in your ~/.nn directory
and put this line in your init file:

 load init.macros.all-subject


Date: 05 May 1995 06:22:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 6.2.2 Across Newsgroups

You can search for subjects or authors in many newsgroups, using some
of nn's command line flags.  These are the ones I use the most:

Type at Unix prompt  To search all groups, all articles, & merge results
===================  ===================================================
nn -mxXs"text"       search subjects for `text'
nn -mxXs/"regexp"    search subjects for regular expression `regexp'
nn -mxXn"text"       search authors' full names for `text'
nn -mxXn/"regexp"    search authors' full names for regular expression `regexp'

For each of these, if you don't specify anything else, all articles
in all newsgroups will be searched.  THIS CAN TAKE A REALLY LONG
TIME, so usually what I do is specify a hierarchy to search.  For
example to search all subjects in the sci hierarchy for "realism", I'd
use this:

 nn -mxXs"realism" sci.all


Date: 05 May 1995 06:30:00 GMT
Subject: ... 6.3 Full Text Searching

Full text searching can be very time consuming because (currently)
there aren't full text indexes like there are subject and author


Date: 05 May 1995 06:31:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 6.3.1 Across Articles in a Newsgroup

Full text searching across articles in a newsgroup is only available
in nn 6.5 (and higher versions), and then only if your sys admin
turned this feature on at compile time.  If your version of nn
doesn't have this feature, you can use either trn or pine 3.90 (or
higher) to do a full text search across articles (*).

To do a full text search of articles in the current newsgroup, type
`G' to get this prompt:

  Group of Folder (+./~%=sneNbB)

And then:

 Type   To search the full text of...
 ====   =============================
 b      all articles on the menu
 B      all articles (both read and unread) in the newsgroup

You will then get this prompt:

  Article body search pattern=

Now specify the search text.

To speed up full text searching you may want to use the Gs or Gn
command to first create a menu, and then use the Gb command to search
only that menu.

(*) Instructions for full text searching across articles in pine
    and trn are accessible from Infinite Ink's Internet Web Page:


Date: 05 May 1995 06:32:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 6.3.2 Within One Article

To search through the article you are currently reading:

  Type     In order to...
  ====     ==============
  ^        Go to the top of the article
  /text    Search for `text'
  .        Repeat the search


Date: 05 May 1995 07:00:00 GMT
Subject: 7.0 Saving Articles

Since news articles expire, sometimes very quickly, you will probably
want to save some articles.

RELEVANT VARIABLES: folder, mail-format, suggest-default-save


Date: 05 May 1995 07:10:00 GMT
Subject: ... 7.1 Strategy: Mail & News Folders Are Essentially the Same

If you save messages in folders that are in mailbox format (which you
specify with the mail-format variable), you will be able to access
them with mailers like pine, elm, and Berkeley mail, as well as with
nn.  You can go one step further and save both mail and news messages
in the same folders.  For example, everything I want to save about
nn, whether it was a news or mail message, I save in a folder named
`nn'.  To make this really easy I use the same directory, called
`Folders' for both my news and mail folders.  To do this, you need to
tell your mailer(s) and newsreader(s) that this is the folder
directory.  In nn specify this by putting the following line in your file.

 set news-folder ~/Folders
 set mail-folder ~/Folders

I put this into because this is host-specific information,
i.e., on another system I may use a different directory structure.


Date: 05 May 1995 07:20:00 GMT
Subject: ... 7.2 Saving an Individual Article

To save a single message, type `s' while reading it.  nn will suggest
the default save folder for the newsgroup you're in.  A plus sign (+)
at the beginning means your news folder directory (~/News or whatever
you set with the folder variable).  At the folder prompt you can:

 Type      In Order To...
 ======    ==============
 RET       Save in the suggested folder
 <text>    Edit the suggested folder name
 ^U        Delete suggested folder and be prompted with last-used 
           save folder
 ^U ^U     Delete suggested folders so you can type a folder name

NOTE: ^U is not an nn command; it is the usual Unix command to "kill"
a line.  To find out your Unix "kill" command type `stty -a' at your
Unix prompt.

After you save the article, the status bar at the bottom of the
message will say `(Filed)' so you'll know that it's been saved.


Date: 05 May 1995 07:21:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 7.2.1 Saving an Article That's in Digest Format

If you save an entire article that's in digest format by using the
`s' command, you won't be able to split it after it's in its save
folder.  This is because the internal message headers are escaped
(usually with a tilde (~)).  The trick for saving a digest so that it
is split in the save folder is to do the following while reading the
unsplit digest.

  ^U ^U
  |cat > +FolderName

With this command, the internal headers won't be escaped, and each
sub-message will be presented as an individual message when you view
it with a folder reader like nn, pine, or elm.


Date: 05 May 1995 07:30:00 GMT
Subject: ... 7.3 Saving a Group of Articles

To save a collection of messages, select them on the menu and then,
while in menu mode, type capital `S'.  You will be prompted for which
articles you want to save:

  Type   In order to save...
  ====   ===================
  +      All selected articles on the current page
  *      All selected articles

The save folder is specified the same way as it is for saving a
single article.


Date: 05 May 1995 07:40:00 GMT
Subject: ... 7.4 Folder Management

You can use nn to read and organize both your mail and news folders.


Date: 05 May 1995 07:41:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 7.4.1 Reading a Folder

You can open a folder either from within nn or from the Unix prompt.
To begin, type one of the following:

  Prompt          Type
  ======          ====
  <Unix prompt>   nn SPC (but *not* RET)
  <within NN>     G

Followed by:

  Type                       To open folder in...
  ====                       ====================
  +FolderName                your folder directory
  +relative/path/FolderName  directory under your folder directory
  ~/FolderName               your home directory
  ~/relative/path/FolderName directory under your home directory
  FolderName                 current directory
  relative/path/FolderName   directory under current directory
  /full/path/FolderName      specified full path

For example, I use the following to read the inet-marketing mailing

  nn +inet-marketing

You can also use your mailer to read your news folders (as long as
nn's mail-format variable is set).  Here are some mailer commands for
opening up a folder.

  pine -if FolderName
  elm -f =FolderName
  mail -f FolderName

NOTE: These mailer commands work if `FolderName' is in the default
folder directory for the mailer.


Date: 05 May 1995 07:42:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 7.4.2 Moving and Deleting Messages in a Folder

While you are reading a folder, most nn commands work the same as
when you are reading a newsgroup.  The following commands work a
little differently.

  Type     In order to...
  ====     ==============
  C        Delete a message from the folder
  s or S   Save message(s) to a different folder; you will be asked where

When you leave a folder you will be asked if you really want to
delete any messages that you deleted with C, or saved with S or s.

WARNING: Since nn does not use lock files you should not use nn to
delete messages in a folder which is receiving messages (e.g., via a
mail processor like procmail, mailagent, deliver, or filter).


Date: 05 May 1995 07:43:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 7.4.3 Linking Your Mail and News Directories

If you use lots of mailers and newsreaders, rather than set each of
them up to use ~/Folders as the default folder directory, it's much
easier to link (with the Unix `ln' command) your Folders directory to
directories named News, Mail, and mail, which are the most commonly
used folder directory names.  This way almost all your mailers or
newsreaders will use the same directory for saves.  A link is
basically just a way to create an alias for a directory or file.

Before you can set up the directory links you need to put all your
folders into one directory.  Here are instructions for merging the
folders in directories named `mail' and `News' into a new directory
named `Folders'.  If your mail folders are in a different directory,
e.g., `Mail', replace `mail' with `Mail' below.

Type                              In order to...
====                              ==============
cd                                go to your home directory
mkdir Folders                     create Folders directory
cp mail/* Folders                 copy folders in mail dir to Folders dir
cp -i News/* Folders              copy folders in News dir to Folders dir;
                                  answer no about overwriting, note dupe names
cp News/DupeName Folders/NewName  copy and rename dupe names
ls -l Folders                     list folders in Folders dir
ls -l mail                        list folders in mail dir
ls -l News                        list folders in News dir
                                  check that all mail and News folders are
                                  now in Folders dir
rm mail/*                         delete folders in mail dir
rmdir mail                        delete mail dir
rm News/*                         delete folders in News dir
rmdir News                        delete News dir

If you have folders in other directories, such as `Mail', move those
folders to your Folders directory and delete your `Mail' directory.
Once you've got all your folders in your Folders directory you can
create links (aliases) for the Folders directory named mail, Mail,
and News.

Type                              In order to...
====                              ==============
ln -s Folders mail                link Folders dir to mail
ln -s Folders Mail                link Folders dir to Mail
ln -s Folders News                link Folders dir to News


Date: 05 May 1995 08:00:00 GMT
Subject: 8.0 Posting

Once you've spent some time reading news, and possibly responding to
articles through mail, you're ready to enter the wild and wonderful
(and sometimes cruel) world of publicly participating in news


Date: 05 May 1995 08:10:00 GMT
Subject: ... 8.1 Netiquette

There are many good sources of information about Net etiquette,
including these articles, which are regularly posted to
news.announce.newusers and news.answers:

 * Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
 * Hints on writing style for Usenet
 * How to find the right place to post (FAQ)
 * A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community
 * Rules for posting to Usenet

These and other news.announce.newusers articles are archived in all
the usual FAQ archives including:


Date: 05 May 1995 08:11:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.1.1 First Read the FAQs

Before you post an article to a newsgroup you should read the
newsgroup to get a sense of the type of discussion that is
appropriate for that group.  And, most importantly, you should read
the periodic postings and frequently asked questions (FAQs) of the
group.  There are lots of different ways to find these, including:

*  While in the newsgroup use nn's Gs command to search subjects for
   one of these words: faq, frequent, period, regular, weekly, part
   <the newsgroup name>, <topic of the newsgroup>

*  If that doesn't work, and if you are using nn 6.5 or higher, use
   the GB command to search the full text of articles in the
   newsgroup for:


   This should find any FAQ that is archived on the FAQ
   server, because the first line of an "official" FAQ must contain 
   a line that starts with this.

Since news articles expire, the FAQ may not currently be on your
host.  If neither of the above turn up the FAQ you can look at these


Anonymous FTP:

  Send mail to containing the following:
      send usenet/

  Where "" is replaced with the newsgroup you're
  interested in.  You will get an automated reply that includes a
  list of the FAQs for that newsgroup.  Once you know the name of the
  FAQ, send another message and replace "index" with the name of the
  relevant file.


Date: 05 May 1995 08:12:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.1.2 Some DOs and DON'Ts

In addition to suggestions given in the articles, such as "Emily
Postnews," mentioned in section 8.1 above, here are a few things I'd
like to emphasize.

:>  Say what you've done to try to find the answer to your question.
    For example, say you've read the FAQ (if you have) or if (and
    only if) you tried to find it but couldn't, ask for a pointer to

:>  If you set the Followup-To header to be something other than the
    newsgroups you are posting to, say you've done this in your
    article so people will know where to go to follow the discussion.

:>  If you notice somthing is getting asked frequently, package the  
    question and answer, if you can, and send it to the FAQ
    maintainer.  [Thanks to Bill Wohler for this DO.]

:<  Do not post a response before you have read the entire thread.  This 
    way you won't post the same thing that someone else already posted.

:<  Do not ask people to only mail you a response.  There *will* be
    other people who are interested in the responses.  Also, if
    responses are posted, people can see that your question has been
    answered and know that they don't need to take the time to write
    you a response.

:<  Do not include a signature longer than four lines.

:<  Do not use a meaningless subject like "Help".

:<  Do not include the whole article you are responding to.  Rather,
    you should include only the bare minimum.

:<  Do not overuse smileys (like I've just done).


Date: 05 May 1995 08:20:00 GMT
Subject: ... 8.2 Your First Posts Should Be Test Posts

To make sure that posting is working on your system, it's a good idea
to post a couple test articles.  Even if you have experience posting
with another newsreader or on another system, it's still a good idea
to post a couple test messages.  This way, if posting isn't working,
you won't have wasted much time on an unsuccessful post.

With a test posting you can test whether:
1. Your editor is set correctly.
2. Your news-record variable is set. This is the folder where a copy of
   each article you post is saved.
3. Your signature is appended to your posts.
4. Your headers are the way you want them to be. These can be modified
   with the news-header variable.
5. Your article is posted on your system.
6. Your article is distributed outside your system.

For the first five types of tests, a local test newsgroup and `local'
distribution is sufficient for testing.  For testing that your
article is distributed outside your system you'll want to use a
world-wide newsgroup with world distribution (i.e., use *no*
Distribution header).


Date: 05 May 1995 08:21:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.2.1 Newsgroups for Testing

There are lots of newsgroups that are specifically for posting test
articles.  If you need to test world-wide distribution then you can
use misc.test or alt.test.  A lot of sites have set up these
newsgroups so that they will send automated reply that tells you they
received your message.  If you don't want to receive those automated
replies, then you can put the word `ignore' in the article's

If you only need local distribution for your test then it's best to
use a test newsgroup that is specific to your host.  This way you
will (hopefully) save the Net from distributing some bytes.  Usually
this type of newsgroup is named host.test.  For example, hosts that I
used have these test groups: halcyon.test, best.test, texasnet.test,
and realtime.test.


Date: 05 May 1995 08:22:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.2.2 Test 1: Following Up to an Article

If you want to publicly respond to a news article, then you post
what's called a "followup" article.  Here's how to do a test followup
post in the misc.test newsgroup.  If you don't need to do a world-wide
test, replace misc.test with your host's test newsgroup, usually named

Prompt                           Type      In Order To...
======                           ====      ==============
<within nn>                      G         Use the Go command
Group or Folder (+./~ %=sneNbB)  misc.test Specify the misc.test group
Number of articles (juasne) (j)  RET       Jump to the group
<menu mode>                      a         Select article a
<menu mode>                      Z         Go into reading mode
<reading article a>              f         Followup
Include original article?        y (or n)  Include (or don't include) the 
<your editor>                    <text>    (There must be a completely
                                           blank line between the headers 
                                           and body.)
                                 <exit ed>

You'll then see this prompt:
  a)bort c)c e)dit h)old m)ail r)eedit p)ost v)iew w)rite
  Action: (post article)

If this were a real followup rather than a test, you might want to
send a "carbon copy" or "courtesy copy" to the person you are
responding to by using the `c' command.  To just post the article
press the RET key.

If everything is working, you'll see these two lines:

  Be patient! Your new article will not show up immediately.
  Article posted


Date: 05 May 1995 08:23:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.2.3 Test 2: Starting a Thread

You can start a thread by using either `nnpost' at your Unix prompt
or by using `:post' from within nn.  With `:post' you can avoid
typing the name of the newsgroup your posting to by first going to
the group.  Here are instructions for starting a test thread in
misc.test.  As before, you should replace misc.test with host.test,
if you don't need to test world-wide distribution.

 Prompt                           Type      In Order To...
 ======                           ====      ==============
 <within nn>                      G         Use the Go command
 Group or Folder (+./~ %=sneNbB)  misc.test Specify the misc.test group
 Number of articles (juasne) (j)  RET       Jump to the group
 <misc.test menu or reading mode> :post     Start a thread
 POST to group                    RET       Specify current group
 Subject:                         <text>    Specify subject (*)
 Keywords:                        RET       Give no keywords
 Summary:                         RET       Give no summary
 Distribution: (default 'world')  RET       Use world distribution (**)
 <in your editor>                 <text>    (There must be a blank line
                                            between the headers and body.)
                                  <exit ed>
 Action: (post article)           RET       Post your article

If everything is working, you'll see these two lines:

Be patient! Your new article will not show up immediately.
Article posted

(*)  The subject can't be left blank so you can *not* just press
     RET at this prompt.  If you include the word `ignore' in
     the subject you won't get as many auto-responses.

(**) Or you can type `local' to specify a local distribution but be
     aware that the Distribution header is often ignored so articles
     often get world-wide distribution no matter what you put in the
     Distribution header.


Date: 05 May 1995 08:24:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.2.4 Test 3: Replying to an Article in Mail

Often you will want to reply to an article with only a private mail
message, rather than a public news article.  To test doing a reply
through mail choose an article that *you* posted and then your test
reply will go to you.

Prompt                           Type      In Order To...
======                           ====      ==============
<reading article you posted>     r         Reply in mail
Include original article?        y (or n)  Include (or don't include) the 
<your editor>                    <text>    (There must be a completely
                                           blank line between the headers 
                                           and body.)
                                 <exit ed>

You'll then see this prompt:
  a)bort e)dit h)old m)ail r)eedit s)end v)iew w)rite
  Action: (send letter)

To send the message press RET.


Date: 05 May 1995 08:25:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.2.5 Test 4: Canceling an Article

It's a good idea to test out canceling right now, before you really
want to be able to cancel (and possibly find out you can't cancel!).

To cancel one of your test messages just type `C' while reading it.
After about 30 minutes, go back to the newsgroup and list all
messages that were posted by you by using `G n YourFullName'.  The
message you canceled should be gone.


Date: 05 May 1995 08:30:00 GMT
Subject: ... 8.3 Responding to a Message

A good way to get your feet wet is to join in a discussion that is
already going on.  That way it's more likely that people will respond
to your article and then, when they do, you'll feel like you're
really participating in Net news.


Date: 05 May 1995 08:31:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.3.1 Strategy: Flag it, Continue Reading, Then Respond

If there's an article you want to respond to, here's a strategy
you can use to read other articles on the subject before you post your

1. Leave the article by typing `l' (the letter el).

2. Read all articles with that subject.

3. Read other articles in the newsgroup with related subjects.

4. When you are finished with that newsgroup you will be asked
   whether you want to view the "left over articles."  If you want to
   respond now, type `y'.  If you answer `n' the article will be
   flagged with plus (+) or equals (=) and kept for the next

5. When you are ready to respond, type `f' to followup in news or
   type `r' to reply in mail.  


Date: 05 May 1995 08:32:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.3.2 To Mail or Post Your Response?

If your response is personal and/or only appropriate for the person
you are responding to, then mail your response.

If your response will be interesting to others or includes a question
that others might be able to answer, post it.  

In addition to posting your response, you may want to also mail a
copy to the person you are responding to.  You can do this by using
the c)c or m)ail command at the final posting prompt.

Be aware that people who read your private mailed response will not
be able to tell whether you both posted and mailed your response or
just mailed it.  If you only mailed your response and you do not want
them to respond publicly then you should include a note that says
something like:

   This message has only been mailed; it has not been posted.
   Please do not post this private message, or an excerpt of
   it, to a newsgroup.

This is especially a problem if the person who receives your mailed
response uses pine.  If the person wants to respond to your response,
pine will ask whether their response to your response should also be
posted to the newsgroup.  [A future version of pine will make it more
clear to users that they might be posting a private mail message.]


Date: 05 May 1995 08:33:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.3.3 Included Text

When you post a followup it is often useful to include *some* of the
article you are following up to.  To include the article, answer `y'
to the `Include original article?' prompt.  After you are in your
editor, delete all the lines that are not specifically relevant to
your response.  For example, you should always delete any signatures
(unless of course you're discussing a sig!).  Here are commands for
deleting a line in some editors.

  Editor     To Delete a Line
  ======     ================
  vi         ESC dd
  pico       ^K
  emacs      ^K

With all these editors there are more efficient ways to delete lots
of text, but these commands should get you started.


Date: 05 May 1995 08:34:00 GMT
Subject: ... ... 8.3.4 Headers

News and mail messages consist of headers, a completely blank line,
and the body.  For a followup message you usually won't need to edit
the headers at all.  When you start a thread, usually the only
headers you'll need to think about are the Newsgroups and Subject
headers.  Sometimes you may want to edit other headers.  The next
sections describe the Newsgroups, Followup-To, Subject, and
References headers.

For some general information about headers, see the "Customized
Headers" section of the "Signature, Finger, and Customized Headers
FAQ" which is regularly posted to and archived in
all the usual FAQ archives including:


Date: 05 May 1995 08:34:10 GMT
Subject: ... ... ..... Newsgroups and Followup-To Headers

When you are composing an article, always look at the Newsgroups
header to see what newsgroups your response will go to.  Sometimes a
poster will direct followup articles to newsgroups other than the one
you are reading.  You can edit the header lines with your editor.  If
you list more than one newsgroup then they must be comma separated
without any spaces.  For example, this article includes these


If you followup to this article by using the `f' command your
followup article will include this header:



Date: 05 May 1995 08:34:20 GMT
Subject: ... ... ..... Subject and References Headers

When you respond to a message do not change the headers unless you
know what you're doing.  Threaded newsreaders, like trn, tin, and
netscape, use the References header to track threads.  Unthreaded
newsreaders, like rn, nn, and pine use the Subject header to simulate
thread tracking.  If you change either of these headers you will mess
up the tracking abilities of some newsreaders.


Date: 05 May 1995 08:40:00 GMT
Subject: ... 8.4 Starting a Thread

After you've had some experience reading news and participating in
conversations that someone else started you're ready to start you're
own thread.  For instructions on starting a thread, see section 8.2.3
on "Test 2: Starting a Thread."

Sometimes you think you've got a great topic that will lead to
fascinating discussion, but then you get absolutely no response.  Be
aware that this happens to everyone and it's really impossible to
tell what will turn into a great thread and what will fizzle into

To really get a thread going, post some wrong information in a
seemingly innocent way.  (I'm not really advocating this, but it's a
good trick to know about!)


Date: 05 May 1995 08:50:00 GMT
Subject: ... 8.5 Your Signature

Detailed instructions for creating and automatically appending a
signature file to your news articles and mail messages are given in
the "Signature, Finger, and Customized Headers" FAQ which is regularly
posted to and is archived in all the usual FAQ
archives including:


Date: 05 May 1995 08:60:00 GMT
Subject: ... 8.6 Canceling an Article You Posted

To cancel an article you posted, go to it and then, while reading it,
type `C'.  Here are some reasons that you might want to cancel an

* Something you advertised in a forsale newsgroup has sold and you're
  still receiving inquiries about it.  

* You posted incorrect information and you want to prevent people
  from problems this information would cause.

* You posted incomplete information and rather than posting an
  addendum to your first article, you'd like to repost the entire 
  article, including the additional information.

Unfortunately, canceling an article doesn't obliterate all traces of
it from the Net.  After you post your article and before you cancel
it, people will read it, save it, and possibly respond to it and
include your article.  Also, even after you cancel it, there will be
sites that don't get, or don't honor, your cancel message.


Date: 05 May 1995 09:00:00 GMT
Subject: 9.0 Glossary

~ or $HOME or home directory
 The Unix directory that you are in when you first log on to your
 account.  You can always get home by typing `cd'.

 A file in your home directory that keeps track of which newsgroups
 you're subscribed to and what articles you've read.

article or message
 One item that is posted to a newsgroup or mailed to an email
 address.  Often the word "article" is used for news postings and
 "message" is used for email.

 "Exclamation mark" or `!'.  In Unix an exclamation mark can be used
 to go out to your shell and run a program while you are in the midst
 of running another program.  For more info, see "shell out."

 A bulletin board system (or service) is similar to news in that
 a group of people publicly discuss things.  A difference between
 a BBS and Net news is that a BBS is usually centralized and all
 the articles are stored on one machine.  Net news is decentralized
 and news articles are replicated on thousands of news machines around
 the world.

 A Web browser.

Clarinet news
 UPI and Reuters news that is distributed and stored in the same way
 that Usenet news is.  Clarinet news costs money so not all Internet
 providers receive it.

desktop computer
 The machine you are physically working on.  If this machine is not
 "on the Internet" (see definition) then it needs to use communication
 software to connect to a machine on the Internet.

 Since there is such a high volume of news on the Net, each
 article can only be made available for a short amount of time.
 Different Internet hosts have different rates of expiration --
 usually from 2 to 15 days.

 To verbally attack a person, rather than a person's ideas.  

flame war
 A group of people verbally attacking each other. 

 To "followup" to a news article means to respond by posting an
 article to the newsgroup.

 Fully qualified domain name.

 Graphical User Interface such as Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, or X
 Windows, and OS/2.  Pronounced like the word "gooey."

 HyperText Markup Language is the markup language used to create Web

 HyperText Transfer Protocol is the protocol used to transfer the bits
 (0's and 1's) that comprise Web pages.

 Internet Message Access Protocol is a protocol for accessing messages
 on your Internet host.  With IMAP, you can choose whether to leave 
 messages on your host or transfer them to your desktop computer.

init file
 A file in your .nn directory that's used to establish variable
 settings, macros, and other things.

 To "kill" a subject (or author) means to mark all articles with that
 subject (or by that author) read.

kill/select file
 A file (~/.nn/kill) that keeps track of what subjects and authors
 you want to automatically kill or select.

local and remote host 
 These two terms are relative.  When you connect from one Internet
 machine to another, the one you start at is the "local host" and the
 one you connect to from the local host is the "remote host."

mailer or mail user agent or MUA
 Software that allows you to read and respond to mail.  Examples are
 pine, elm, Berkeley mail, Pegasus Mail, and Eudora.

mail transport agent or MTA 
 Software that transports mail messages.  Examples are sendmail or

menu mode or selection mode
 In nn, this is when the list of authors and subjects of articles in
 a newsgroup are displayed.  You choose the articles you're
 interested in by typing their IDs.

moderated newsgroup
 A newsgroup that has a moderator, i.e., someone who looks at each
 article before it gets posted and decides whether it is appropriate.  
 Examples are comp.viruses and bit.listserv.nettrain.

The Net
 The Internet. 

Net news or Internet news
 All the thousands of newsgroups and articles that are distributed
 through the Internet.  This includes Usenet and Clarinet news.

news reader
 Software that can be used to read Net news.  Examples are nn, tin,
 trn, pine, Netscape, Free Agent, and News Express.

newsgroup or group
 A discussion area in Net news.  For example, rec.arts.movies is
 a newsgroup for discussion of movies.

 A news reader that displays articles in a menu and lets you choose
 which ones you want to read.  After you have read the articles you
 want to read, it marks all the articles in that newsgroup as read,
 so you won't see them the next time you read that newsgroup.  nn
 stands for "no news" because the default is to not see any old
 news.  FYI, you can view old news by typing `G a'.

on the Internet
 A machine that is "on the Internet" has an IP (Internet Protocol)
 address, and can directly participate in the Internet.  For example,
 it may be able to receive mail and news, and connect to other
 Internet machines using ftp and telnet.  If you have a personal
 interactive account, then your machine is not "on the Internet" --
 it uses your local host to access the Net.

 Pretty Good Protection is used to authenticate messages that are
 mailed or posted.

 A user-friendly editor that is the default PIne COmposer.  It can also
 be used from the Unix prompt, with nn, and in other Unix

 A user-friendly mailer and news reader that displays messages in a
 menu and lets you use the arrow keys to move around the menu.

 The `|' (which is often above the backslash (\) on keyboards).  In
 Unix, and some other operating systems, the pipe is used when you
 want the output of one command to be the input of another command.
 For example `ls -CF |less' means use the ouptut of the `ls -CF'
 command as the input of the `less' command.

 Post Office Protocol is a protocol for transferring mail messages
 from your host computer to your desktop computer.

 A set of rules for how data bits (0's and 1's) are packaged and

read article
 In nn, an article is "read" if you viewed its contents or it was
 marked read by nn when you left the newsgroup the last time you were
 in it.

regular expression
 Text that can include "wild cards" (such as .to match any single
 character); used for searching.

 To "reply" to a news article means to respond to the author in mail.

seen article
 In nn, an article is "seen" if you saw its author's name and subject
 displayed on the menu.

 The order in which newsgroups are presented by nn.  This is
 established in your ~/.nn/seq file or in the sequence section of
 your init file.

 A layer that sits on top of the Unix operating system and allows a
 human being to communicate with Unix.  A friendly shell presents the
 user with a menu.  Two common (less friendly) shells are the Bourne
 shell (which usually has a $ prompt) and the C shell (which usually
 has a % prompt).

shell out
 To "shell out" of a program means to temporarily leave the program by
 typing `!'.  You return to the program that you shelled out of by
 typing `exit.'  For example, you might shell out of nn so you can use
 lynx to look at a Web page someone mentioned in a news article.

show mode or reading mode
 In nn, this is when you are reading an article. 

 Serial Line Internet Protocol/Point-to-Point Protocol are protocols
 used to communicate with the Internet over a telephone line.

text file
 Unformatted file such as most news articles. 

 A collection of articles in a newsgroup that make up a conversation.

Unix prompt
 The command line prompt that you get while working on a Unix host.
 Different shells have different prompts, for example the Bourne shell
 usually has a $ prompt and the C shell usually has a % prompt.

 A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is an address that can be used by a
 Web browser.  URLs usually look like this:


 Where "protocol" can be http, gopher, ftp, mailto, news, etc.

Usenet news
 Most (but not all) of the thousands of newsgroups and articles that
 are distributed through the Internet.

 Unix-to-Unix copy. 

 Wide Area Information Service. 


Date: 05 May 1995 10:00:00 GMT
Subject: 10.0 Contributors

This periodic posting, like most others, is a collaborative effort.
I learned a lot of the news and nn information from all the helpful
people in news.newusers.questions,, and  Also, I got a lot of great help from people in and comp.editors while I was writing the shell
scripts and vi macros that I use to organize and update this file
(which is actually many little files!).


Date: 05 May 1995 10:10:00 GMT
Subject: .... 10.1 Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Bill Wohler <> who meticulously read,
commented, and constructively criticized an early draft of this.
Also, thanks to Bill for being a role model for me both as an FAQ
maintainer and as a supporter of free information on and off the

Thanks to all the nn enthusiasts in, especially Milt
Epstein <> and Sven Guckes
<> who have posted and/or mailed me lots of
good tips over the years.  And thanks to my brother, Tom McGough, who
performed the tedious task of counting the nn variables!

I wrote most of this article while I was visiting the great Lone Star
State of Texas.  Thanks to my friends Matt Kaufmann
<>, Holly Bell <>, and their cat
Baby Kitty for putting me up in their home and letting me tie up
their phone line while I was working on this.  Thanks also to
TexasNet <>, Real/Time Systems <>, and
Computational Logic, Inc., who all helped me connect to the Net in

Thanks also to all my regular providers, Best Communications
<>, Northwest Nexus <>, Jazzie Systems
<>, who let me use lots of their space to make
information available on the Net.

And, as always, I want to give special thanks to Thomas A. Fine
<> for setting up and maintaining the
hypertext archive of FAQs, which, to me, is one of the greatest
things on the whole Internet!

Please let me know if I've left you, or anyone else, out of these


Date: 05 May 1995 10:20:00 GMT
Subject: .... 10.2 If You'd Like to Contribute

If you have any corrections, suggestions, or new digest items to
contribute to this FAQ please send them to  If your
reader understands the following URL, you can use it to send me mail:  

I'm especially interested in:
  * History of nn, e.g., it's relationship to TASS
  * Comparison of newsreaders (any newsreader, including newsreaders
    for Unix, DOS, MS Windows, X Windows, Macintosh, OS/2, etc.)


Date: 05 May 1995 11:00:00 GMT
Subject: 11.0 Copyright Notice

Copyright (c) 1995 by Nancy McGough.

No portion of this work may be sold or put to commercial use without
express written consent of the author.  This restriction covers
publication in any form, or distribution by any method, which permits
this work to be visually perceived, either directly or with the aid
of any machine or device.  Permission is granted to republish or
redistribute this article in its entirety for noncommercial use as
long as a best effort is made to distribute the most up to date
version, and this copyright notice is not removed or altered.

End of Getting Started with News and the NN News Reader

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