Well apparently there are quite a few missing friends from our cyber backyard. Grdngal has lost her newsgroups capability, and now I've found that the other Marilyn up in Ohio has lost HER newsgroups thanks to AOL dropping them. This is horrible!! It's like walking down the street to visit a friend's garden and discovering in the night that the whole yard has been whisked away! I guess I'll have to personally e-mail some of my garden friends to see if they're having newsgroup withdrawal. I wonder why AOL would do this? (and the server that Pam, aka grdngal, has)
madgardener up on the snowy ridge, where we FINALLY got snow (it's all gone Eastwards to North Carolina every time!) back in Faerie Holler, overlooking a beautiful wintery English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7?, Sunset zone 36
They can use Google.com to read and post to Newsgroup, even if they are silly enough to stay with AOL.
I would guess AOL did this for at least a couple of reasons.
-Newsgroup activity can use up a lot of bandwidth and AOL is slow enough the way it is, some readers download and upload a great deal of data.
-AOL can not put spam pop-ups in your newsgroup, they want you back on their home page, clicking and buying it up, reading their advertisements.
<DIV><EM><FONT size=2>Well apparently there are quite a few missing friends
from our cyber backyard. Grdngal has lost her newsgroups capability, and
now I've found that the other Marilyn up in Ohio has lost HER newsgroups
thanks to AOL dropping them. This is horrible!! It's like walking
down the street to visit a friend's garden and discovering in the night that
the whole yard has been whisked away! I guess I'll have to personally
e-mail some of my garden friends to see if they're having newsgroup
withdrawal. I wonder why AOL would do this? (and the server that Pam, aka
<DIV><EM><FONT size=2>madgardener up on the snowy ridge, where we FINALLY got
snow (it's all gone Eastwards to North Carolina every time!) back in Faerie
Holler, overlooking a beautiful wintery English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee,
zone 7?, Sunset zone 36</FONT></EM></DIV>
<DIV><EM><FONT size=2></FONT></EM> </DIV>
<DIV><EM><FONT size=2></FONT></EM> </DIV></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
So few ISP customers even know what newsgroups are that bandwidth is not
an issue. In the case of AOL, a proprietary interface was used (you
couldn't use a real newsreader), and it was crappy enough for text
messages. I seriously doubt that they had a problem with people
downloading or uploading huge quanities of binaries.
It's been a while since you've been on AOL, hasn't it. Or do you not
have any personal experience, and are just perpetuating misconceptions
held dear by so many others who also really don't have any personal
Quite simplely the issue is that not enough people used newsgroups on
AOL to make it worth the expense. AOL may be one of the first to
completely dump Usenet because they had the additional costs associated
with their proprietary interface (or a choice of revamping the service
to allow real nntp traffic.)
Other ISP's are finding their costs too high even without an interface
to maintain. The first step, which is already pretty common, is
outsourcing their Usenet servers. Next will come limiting monthly
transfers to contain the costs of providing wholesale accounts to
customers. Eventually Usenet will be dropped completely. For many ISP's,
even if they lost every single customer to whom Usenet service is
important, they'd still come out ahead. And once their compeditors stop
offering unlimited Usenet, the likelyhood of losing any customers goes
The bottom line is if every ISP dropped Usenet service tomorrow, it
might make the headlines at some techie websites, and it might be worth
a column inch or two on an inside page of the local paper's business
section, but it wouldn't even get a passing mention on the nightly news.
We Usenet users are a very small faction in today's gentified Internet
wow, thanks for educating me Warren. to think of the gardeners as a small
fraction of users humbles me (I am most sincere in this statement) and what
on earth will we do if we can't visit each other at rec.gardens?? I've made
life friends here on the newsgroup over these last seven years, and hope to
touch more gardeners out there with my foolish but passionate rambles and
what not postings. I'm not selfish, I just appreciate what we have here. My
alternative is gardenweb who is strictly monitored by Spike and I've been
careful not to overstep my limits with him because I understand he can
banish me from the whole thing to the Disney website. (something that smacks
of freedom of speech to me, although I don't use offensive words most times,
but there comes a limit to the "political correctness" that is tolerable. I
posted one of my rambles on his newgroup forum but before I posted it, I had
to remove my phrase of dawg eating shit from a picket fence because I knew
I'd be slapped for saying the phrase no matter the appropriate description.
I wonder how close sometimes we're getting to the world portrayed in the sci
fi where people were fined for language use (Stallone and Bullock and
Snipes) and other improper offences. (I think of the "President
Swartzenegger library and have to laugh, because who would have thought of
even the possibility of Gov. Swartz. back then? LOL)
But again, thanks for the insightful reasonings. I'll watch closer and
appreciate what I have here more.
Usenet users are who I was referring to as being a small faction.
There are plenty of gardeners, of varying degrees of commitment. Someone
is taking care of all those beds and lawns out there. But Usenet users
are a rare breed.
I realize that my message here is doing little more than taking up
space, but I must add that I am also greatly appreciative that this
group has hung together so well for so long. My interest here follows
the seasons, I generally drop out near the end of the summer and
resubscribe in January, when the gardening itch demands scratching.
I've participated in numerous groups, both Usenet and Listservs, over
the years, and I'm so happy that this group has not been overtaken by
spammers or control freaks. Thanks guys.
-- Mr Gardener
-- Zone 5 - On The Maine Coast
Outlook Express is an offline newsreader. The basic definition of
an offline newsreader means it downloads the newsgroup to your
hard disk and stores it in a file for reading later on. OE does this
when you click on the Synchronize Newsgroup menu item.
For security, make sure Outlook Express is set to view files in
Plain Text (Tools, Options, Read tab). And never open any
attached documents by double-clicking on them (except maybe
.jpg or .gif and ONLY if Internet Explorer is NOT set up as the
default program to view such files).
Please post replies to newsgroup.
There are two ways to use an "offline" newsreader.
1. Download every message in a group, so that the messages are
available to read offline, or
2. First download all the headers, go offline, mark those you want
to read, go back online, retrieve those messages, and then go offline
In the first example, no tracking is possible because you've downloaded
everything. No one can guess which messages you read, and which you
didn't. In the second example, tracking is as possible as reading the
messages online. The difference is in offline reading, you do not stay
connected to the ISP while you're reading.
If you have dial-up, and only one phone line, then the advantage of the
second example is that your phone line is only tied-up while you're
actually downloading the messages, and not while you're reading them. If
you're paying by the minute for your dial-up connection, the advantage
is obvious. If you're doing the first method, and downloading everything
before going offline, the benefit is less, unless you were going to read
every message anyway.
If you're not paying by the minute, or if you have a dedicated
connection (either a phone line just for the modem, or you're on cable,
DSL or other "always-on" type system), there simply is no benefit to
using a newsreader in offline mode.
Not sure what you mean by no tracking is possible. As I was
specifically talking about Outlook Express, and I don't see
anyone as being able to "track" which messages YOU read
unless you reply to them. That statement just doesn't make
any sense to me...
Almost all newsreaders provide a mechanism for highlighting
message threads (called "watching" the thread). Also, unread
messages are usually flagged or boldened in some manner. A
thread with an unread message gets enboldened as well,
making it very easy to tell if there's an unread message in any
When you first download the messages in OE, unread ones
are highlighted (boldened)... it's very easy to tell which you
have read and which you haven't. Furthermore, there are
two other mechanisms in Outlook Express... 1) Flag, you
can flag any message, I only find this useful in rare cases,
and 2) you can watch messages. Watched messages show
up as a red highlight. And if it's an unread watched message,
the newsgroup is shows up as bold red.
Microsoft put a convenient feature inside of Outlook Express
as well. OE will download the "watched" messages (red)
first. And then it'll finish downloading the headers and then
move on to the next newsgroup. ;-)
Just remember, watched is red, whether it's read or not, whether
or not you actively watch it. Ctrl+A, Ctrl+Q turns off all bold
entries and marks everything as read, whether it's red or unread
Being that you are using Outlook Express, I'm a little puzzled by
what you mean by tracking.
;-) Enjoy! It was fun writing about watched messages and Ctrl+Q.
Oh, by the way, you usually can tell if the thread interests you, by
reading the first item in the thread. If it doesn't interest you, Ctrl+Q
on that first item marks the whole thread as read and you can then
do a Ctrl+U to jump to the next unread message.
Please post replies to newsgroup.
Hm, threads sometimes start dull but become interesting later. On my
offline newsreader, I can click open a thread's header to show a list of
participants, before opening any messages. Often the authors list is a
far more reliable indicator of the thread's interest-level for myself,
than its header.
ISPs know that only a tiny fraction of their customers use, or even know
about, usenet, yet it ties up a lot of their time and equipment. They
can improve their earnings by dropping usenet, as only a few customers
will leave when they do that. Some ISPs just eliminate the equipment
for usenet, and buy feed from one of the usenet services, at a discount.
Mine does that and we never knew it when they made the switch, but now
when I ask them to add a newsgroup, they say they can't, as it is out of
Google can be used, or if you want the best service, you can sign up
with one of the usenet providers; I think most cost about $10 a month.
SPAMBLOCK NOTICE! To reply to me, delete the h from apkh.net, if it is
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