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alt.usenet.offline-reader: YAFAQ (Yet Another FAQ)


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Archive-name: off-line-readers/usenet/yet-another-faq
Alt-usenet-offline-reader-archive-name: yet-another-faq
Posting-Frequency: monthly

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Note: The original author of this document, Zhahai Stewart, has handed the
maintenance of this FAQ off to me as of mid-1994.  I have taken the
liberty of making some minor updates and corrections.  I wouldn't have
bothered except that I found this document particularly helpful when I was
getting started in offline reading and thought it was worth a little work.
I invite any further suggested changes.  I am especially desirous of
removing any redundant and/or outdated information that is more
appropriate in one of the other FAQs posted to alt.usenet.offline-reader
or comp.os.msdos.mail-news.

Mike Northam (mbn@teleport.com)

=====================================

              Unix host to DOS offline-reader systems
         for reading, replying, and posting email and news.
			 Zhahai Stewart
			12/06/93 Version
    			08/01/94 updates by Mike Northam
			01/22/95 updates from readers
				Thomas Riha <rito@site46.ping.at>
				William Werth <billw@eskimo.com>
			03/15/95 Rhys Weatherley <meteor@sprintmail.com>
				 Russell Schulz 
				<Russell_Schulz@locutus.ofB.ORG>
=============== Intro ===============

Many people read their internet mail and usenet newsgroups via direct
login to a Unix based host, using a terminal (like a VT-100/200/300
series), or a computer emulating a terminal.  They may do this via a wired
connection (say, at a university computer lab), or via a modem and
telephone connection.  On the Unix end, they may run a news reader program
such as rn, trn, nn, tin, etc. for news, and a mail reader such as mail,
elm, etc. for email.

(Of course, lucky ones have a high powered graphical workstation on a high
speed network gated to the internet, but that's another thing...).

For those who are connecting via modem and a computer emulating a
terminal, it becomes obvious that they could reduce their connect time
(which may cost money, or may tie up a phone line, or ...) if they could
download new email and news, read and respond "offline" (while not
connected to the Unix host), and then upload their mail and news
responses.  This is the idea behind offline readers.  A very similar
process is used by many BBS users, but the typical BBS oriented formats
and offline readers (eg: QWK and Bluewave formats and offline readers)
were not designed for Internet mail and Usenet news.

However there are now several options for offline reading of internet
email and usenet newsgroups.  First off, there are "sorta" 4 packet
formats:

  SOUP - designed for just this purpose, open standard, has the most
         support; used to be called "HellDiver Packet Format" or HDPF.
  ZipNews - also designed for this, proprietary, one $20 shareware reader
  QWK plain - actually BBS std, doesn't handle email and news well, 
      	 especially bad for replies; but can be read by any QWK reader.
  QWK with header in body - includes internet/usenet header in the QWK
         body; theoretically a reader could use this (MR/2 INMAK does so,
         and handles setting up reply headers, too); one can at least read
         (verbosely) the header info, and an expert can manually create
         appropriate response headers (dangerous, as it is possible for a
         user to enter invalid header information). 

Basically, all of these consist of a group of files (one or two per
newsgroup, plus a few extra) enclosed in a compressed archive file (like
*.zip).

On the Unix side, there are two packages which can create these packets
for download, and accept uploaded responses.

   uqwk - can create/accept all four (SOUP, Zipnews, QWK plain and QWK
          header)
   getnews/postreply - can create/accept SOUP (in slnr package)

Both of these are distributed in C source code, and may need to be
compiled on your Unix machine host (somebody else may already have done
this, or you may have to).

Another tool is olmenu, a front-end to uqwk:
olmenu        kgresham@america.net
              ftp://ftp.america.net/pub/offline_readers/OLMenu/
              http://www.america.net/~kgresham/olmenu.html

Jim Tittsler says:
I've added "score" (in YARN format) file processing to uqwk.  Articles
with negative scores are not added to your uqwk packet.  This eliminates
the need to run trn before uqwk just to kill off some articles.
It is distributed in the form of a source patch to uqwk version 1.8.
http://shrine.cyber.ad.jp/~jwt/uqwk

I've also created a SOUP<>QWK converter that is intended to allow using
a SOUP format reader to be used to read/reply to QWK format packets...
in case that is all that is offered by your host.
http://shrine.cyber.ad.jp/~jwt/qwksoup/

On the nearby (to you) end, on your machine, there are several offline
readers.  There are two basic dynamics: either they read the downloaded
packet directly, or you run one program to import each packet into a local
messagebase and another to read/respond from the messagebase.  A
"threaded" reader can group related messages together (eg: same subject);
unthreaded ones display them in the order received.

   slnr - SOUP only; MSDOS; packet reader; distributed in C source;
      colored screens supported; also runs under Unix or Atari or OS/2     
   offliner - SOUP; MSWindows; beta at present (apparently abandoned)
   paperboy - SOUP only; MSWindows; packet reader; threaded
   newswerthy - SOUP; MSDOS; databased; threaded
   yarn - SOUP only; MSDOS; messagebase reader; threaded; also runs under
      OS/2
   unor - SOUP only; MSWindows; packet reader; unthreaded
      (sorted by 'Subject:' header)
   hpv - SOUP only; MSDOS; packet reader?
   ZipNews Reader - ZipNews only; MSDOS; packet reader; threaded; shareware 
      $20; unregistered version can read netnews only, cannot read email or 
      respond to either

   any QWK reader - can read QWK plain or QWK header, but most cannot
      handle all of the internet/usenet fields, or good responses.  Not
      recommended except as a last resort for this reason.  Some QWK
      readers now respect Usenet header formats and these are perfectly
      acceptable.  MANY readers are available, for many machines and OS's.

Note that all of these formats, host programs, and offline readers can
handle both email and newsgroups; unlike the typical Unix software
division of labor, the same program usually does both.

There is more information on the formats, readers, and host software later
in this document, including file names, authors, and ftp locations.

========= Setting up and configuring the software =========

This can be complicated, and very much depends on the software you are
using.  You may have to create configuration files (on the DOS and/or Unix
end), or set environment variables (likewise, on either or both ends), or
use the right set of command line parameters.  You may want to create
"shell scripts" (on the Unix End) or "batch files" (on the DOS end) to aid
you in getting everything set up or called correctly.  You will have to
read the documents for the software you plan to use.  Ask specific
questions in the newsgroup if you get confused.  This document would be
many times longer if I tried to explain all the background and details
(well, even that portion thereof which I more or less understand <grin>).

You may even need to compile some C program(s) to get started.  Some
systems are simple (like getnews/postreply/slnr) and fairly obvious to
anybody used to the compiler; others like uqwk include a makefile to
handle the complexity.  Get local help if you cannot figure out how to
compile.  [See note at end.]

========== Operating Procedure (after set up) ===========

Typical usage:
  Use your terminal program and modem to log in to the Unix host as usual.
  Run UWQK or getnews with proper parameters to extract news and email and
      create a 'download' packet.
  Download the 'download' packet using a modem file transfer protocol like 
      ZMODEM.
  Log off.

  For packet reader, run the reader software on the new packet; read &
      reply
  For messagebase reader, run the import software on the new packet; then
      run the reader to read from the messagebase.
  The reader should create a reply ('upload') packet if you have any
      responses.
  Use the terminal program to log in again (or do this next time you
      download).
  Upload the reply packet via a modem file transfer protocol like Zmodem.
  Run 'uqwk' or 'postnews' with the proper parameters to process the reply
      packet and send email and/or news to the appropriate destinations.
  Log off.

One part not specifically addressed here is the process of moving
individual files in the packet into and out of compressed archives.  Some
aspects may be done automatically, others you may have to do manually (or
via batch files).  For example, getnews will invoke a configurable
archivers (by default, zip), but you have to manually unarchive (unzip,
pkunzip) this file on your PC before handing the enclosed files to slnr.
Read the docs.

Logging in, running the host programs, and downloading/uploading are still
your responsibility, so you need to already know how to log on to the host
system, and how to download and upload binary files using a protocol like
Zmodem.  The UQWK and getnews/postreply software must also exist on the
Unix host, and be properly configured (these come with doc files).  You
should understand the idea of compressed archive formats, like .zip files.

========== Basic Questions and Answers ============

Q: What is "subscribing" to a newsgroup?

A: This just means that you have it on a list to be read; the list is
 maintained as a file on the host, and it has both the name of the
 newsgroup and the list of messages (by number) which you have already
 read.  This file is typically named ".newsrc" and is kept in your host
 directory.  Files beginning with a period are by default not shown, so
 this is a semi-hidden file; see a book on Unix for more details.
 Subscribing means the newsgroup names go into this file (one per line),
 unsubscribing means the name is removed.  (Detail: actually, it's
 subscribed only if the newsgroup name is followed by a colon; if followed
 by an exclamation point, it is unsubscribed even if listed in the file).
 Offline reader host programs (getnews and uqwk) also use a file like this
 for the same purpose (to know which groups are subscribed, and which
 messages have already been marked as read); they may use the same file,
 or separate ones.

 Note that most online newsreaders allow you to subscribe or unsubscribe
 to newsgroups, and change your .newsrc accordingly (as they also do to
 show which messages you read).  You can also do so with a text editor, as
 the ".newsrc" file is simple text., and there exist special programs for
 maintaining this file.  Offline host programs may require that you use
 some online method to maintain your .newsrc (or equivalent)--the online
 reader, or an editor, or a maintenance program; or they may allow you to
 subscribe and unsuscribe remotely.  For example, the SOUP protocol has
 explicit options (which may or may not be implemented) for subscribing
 and unsubscribing, as well as listing newsgroups.  Or, the uqwk program
 can read commands mailed to it as messages.  See the documentation.

Q: Can I read my mail/news both online (connected to the Unix host via a 
 terminal or terminal emulator and using elm/nn/trn/etc.), and offline
 (via a packet format and offline reader as described here)?

A: Yes, but you need to think out what you are trying to do.  Both the
 online reading programs and the host end of the offline system keep track
 of which messages you have read or not read.  Do you want them to use the
 same info about this?  Or each keep separate pointers?

 Same info: For news, use the same .newsrc file for both the online news
 readers (like rn/trn/nn/tin/etc.) and for the host end of the offline
 system (like uqwk/getnews).  Once either of these has read a message, it
 will be marked not to be presented to you again by either one (unless you
 take special actions).  For mail, have uqwk/getnews delete your incoming
 mailbox after collecting the messages therein.  In this case, each mail
 message will go to the online or offline reader, whichever gets it first
 (actually, this is only true if you delete it from the incoming mailbox
 with the online mail program; if you leave it around, the offline host
 program will snarf it up when it next runs).

 Different info: For news, use a different .newrc type file for each;
 uqwk can be configured to use another one, getnews can be edited and
 recompiled. You can decide to put some newsgroups into each, allowing
 some to be read online and some offline.  Of you a newsgroup in both
 such files, in which case the online and offline readers will maintain
 separate pointers.  For mail, configure the offline host program to not
 delete your mailbox; you will get all mail both offline and online.

 You can answer this question (using the same or different info about
 what has been read for online and offline) independently for mail and
 news. The difference between them is that for news, you only have info
 about which messages you have already read (in your .newsrc or
 equivalent file), but the messages (whicha are shared by everybody) stay
 around for a while and you can still refetch ones you are marked as
 having read with some minor effort; but for mail, once the messages are
 deleted from your incoming mailbox (by an online mail program or an
 offline host program), they are gone, period.

Q: I cannot compile getnews.c on my Unix host; it gives two errors, one
 near "recompile" and another near the "I" command description.

A: Version 1.9 of getnews.c is mostly "old" C, but has one ANSI extension
 which confuses some older C compilers: concentanation of two adjacent
 quoted strings.  This is used for multiline strings in two places.  You
 have to change the second and following strings into separate print
 statements, matching the first one.  Maybe this will be changed in a
 later version.  The problem is your compiler being too old, not bad
 coding on the author's part. Luckily, this is easy to compensate for.

Q: On the PC, "slnr" blows up in strange ways with some newsgroups.

A: If the newsgroup name plus description is too long, the stack gets
 trashed, with unpredictable but unpleasant results.  In the function
 "show_header()", increase the length of the desc[80] array, maybe to 160.
 Recompile.

Q: How do I create a SOUP packet for download with uqwk?

A: run the commands:
uqwk +n +m +L
zip news.zip AREAS *.MSG
sz news.zip

Q: How do I get my uqwk SOUP replies mailed?

A: run the commands:
rz         ;your comm program will prompt you for the reply packet
unzip -U reply.zip
uqwk -n -m +L -RREPLIES

Q: How do I create a Zipnews packet for download with uqwk?

A: run the commands:
uqwk +n +m +z
zip news.zns <user>.*
sz news.zns

Q: How do I get my uqwk Zipnews replies mailed?

A: run the commands:
rz         ;your comm program will prompt you for the reply packet
unzip -U <host>.pst
uqwk -n -m +z -R.

Q: How do I find out more about uqwk?

A: type the command:    man uqwk
   You can find out which version of uqwk your system is running by
   typing: 	uqwk -p

Q: uqwk can, under certain circumstances, lose mail.  How can I avoid
   this?

A: Use the following script for secure mail locking:

     #!/bin/sh
     #
     # Safe UQWK wrapper -- H.Shrikumar shri@cs.umass.edu 1994
     # All rights reserved by the holder of the mail lock file. :-) 
     #
     ( echo 's1-$' /tmp/qwk$$ ; echo q ) | mail 
     exec uqwk -f/tmp/qwk$$ $*


Q.  Is it possible to use killfiles with uqwk?  (Answered by Larry
    Caldwell <larryc@teleport.com>)

A.  Uqwk does not directly support killfiles, but it uses the same .newsrc
    as trn, which does support killfiles, and is available on almost all
    unix systems.  Just run trn first, then run uqwk and you won't have to
    download mountains of junk.

    You can learn the full details of trn kill files in the rn killfile
    FAQ, which is regularly posted to news.software.readers.

    Here is a shell script wrapper for trn:

# cut here  -------------------------------
#!/bin/sh
# trnkill - shell script to apply trn KILL files in the background
# 14 Mar 89  created for rn by Jim Olsen <olsen@XN.LL.MIT.EDU>
# 10 Sep 93  modified for trn 3 (or 2) by Wayne Davison <davison@borland.com>
# 16 Nov 94  New version received from Chin Huang <cthuang@io.sys>
#
# Options: -d   debug mode -- you see all gory action as it happens.
#
# Visit all newsgroups (if trn asks about anything else, just say no)
export TRNINIT TRNMACRO RNMACRO
TRNINIT='-q -s -T -t -x +X'
TRNMACRO=/tmp/trnkill$$
# support for trn 2.x
RNMACRO=$TRNMACRO
trap 'rm -f $TRNMACRO; exit' 1 2 3 15
cat >$TRNMACRO <<'EOF'
z  %(%m=[nf]?.q^J:n)^(z^)
^m ^(z^)
^j ^(z^)
EOF
if test X$1 = X-d; then
        echo "z" | trn
else
        echo "z" | trn >/dev/null 2>&1
fi
rm -f $TRNMACRO
exit 0
# cut here  -------------------------------


=============== Formats =============

Format: QWK (plain; message body = Usenet message body)
Origin: sparky@sparkware.com (Mark "Sparky" Herring), extended by others
Version: 1.7	
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/  QWK format spec
Files Dnloaded:CONTROL.DAT,MESSAGES.DAT,*.NDX
Files Uploaded:<bbsid>.MSG
Unix Host End: uqwk   (optional mode)
DOS Reader End: any standard QWK reader

Advantages:
   Widely supported standard, many readers available for many machines
   Compatible with QWK packets from many BBSs and doors
   uqwk source freely available
Disadvantages:
   QWK format truncates some important fields, is missing others as
   initially implemented.  Some readers overcome this disadvantage.
       * This is a major problem for posts and replies *

***

Format: QWK (w/header; message body = Usenet message header and body)
Origin: (see above for basic QWK)
Version: 1.7
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/   QWK format spec
Files Dnloaded:CONTROL.DAT,MESSAGES.DAT,*.NDX
Files Uploaded:<bbsid>.MSG
Unix Host End: uqwk   (default mode)
DOS Reader End:       [most QWK readers]

Advantages:
   Piggybacks on std QWK, can fallback to previous case
   With full headers, it's possible to write USENET aware reader
   uqwk source freely available
Disadvantages:
   Many QWK readers do not make correct use of Usenet headers.  Some use
   headers embedded in the QWK message body, for replies, display,
   threading, etc. and these are preferred for Usenet use.

***

Format: SOUP  (formerly Helldiver Packet Format, HDPF or HPF)
Origin: meteor@sprintmail.com (Rhys Weatherley)
Version: 1.2
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/    SOUP format spec
Files Dnloaded: AREAS, *.MSG, *.IDX  (typ in INFONEWS.ZIP)
Files Uploaded: REPLIES, RMAIL.MSG (typ in REPLY.ZIP) for slnr
                REPLIES, MAIL.MSG (typ in IOXR.ZIP) for yarn
Unix Host End: getnews/postreply from slnr pkg; uqwk
DOS Reader End: slnr; yarn; unor; hpv (Helldiver Packet Viewer); offliner

Advantages:
   Format designed for Usenet news/mail, powerful and expandable
   Full header fields, no truncation
   Source code freely available for getnews,postreply,slnr,uqwk
   Largest number of readers for any full-header usenet offline format
Disadvantages:
   The name?  email mbn@teleport.com if you have comments on any disadvantages.

***

Format: ZipNews format
Origin: jkilday@nlbbs.com (Jack Kilday)
Version: 0.92y
Ftp: (format not publicly documented)
Files Dnloaded: Archived file <bbsname>.ZNS contains: 
	<user>.JN, <user>.NWS, <user>.MAI, <user>.GPS
Files Uploaded: <bbsname>.pst contains:
    	<user>.id, <user>.* (one for each article or reply)
Unix Host End: uqwk
Dos Reader End: ZipNews Reader

Advantages:
   Designed to handle usenet messages without omissions or truncations
   For DOS BBSs, there is a compatible "ZipNews Door" host end
Disadvantages:
   Supported only by ZipNews Reader on DOS, and uqwk on unix hosts
   Beta only at this time; registration is $19.95 during Beta phase 
       (with free upgrades to later versions)
   ZipNews unregistered shareware will not post news, read email, or 
       send email, only read news (and send subscribe/unsubscribe cmds)
       but a 10-day evaluation key can be obtained via email to try out
       these functions

============= Readers ============
***
Name: 1stReader
Author: Mark "Sparky" Herring (sparky@sparkware.com)
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/

Notes: QWK format that extracts information from RFC-822 headers


***
Name: Crosspoint 3.11
Author: Peter Mandrella (peter@xpoint.ruessel.sub.org)
ftp://ftp.ping.at/pub/pc/xpoint/prog/
http://ttrip.worms.fh-rpl.de/xp/

(reviewed by Thomas Riha (rito@site46.ping.at))

Crosspoint (XP) is DOS based and works in several networks (FIDO, Z- 
Connect, Internet, Usenet...).

The Internet, or UUCP, module is by far the easiest to work with program  
I've seen so far. You don't have to edit config files. Everything is done  
from inside the program. You only have to fill out a few points, call your  
provider with crosspoint and the program fixes everything for you.

Maybe the problem with XP is that it is a German program but an english  
version is available since last June (but I'm not sure about the UUCP- 
module - but I think it's being translated right now). Some english  
speaking persons use it already - at least there are some english mails in  
the usenet-group de.comm.software.crosspoint.

Next advantage: The registered version is quite cheap (40$) and the non- 
registered version isn't crippled at all.


***
Name: hpv 1.01b		Helldiver Packet Viewer
Author: meteor@sprintmail.com (Rhys Weatherley)
ftp://ftp.halcyon.com:/pub/waffle/news/

Notes: DOS reader.  HDPF format.  Reads archived HDPF packet (does its own
unarchiving to a temporary and deletes temps on exit).  Multiple archiver
formats accepted (ZIP/LHA/etc.)  Text/Graphical interface (Borland lib).
"The Original" SOUP reader (HDPF predates SOUP).

***
Name: helldiver 1.07	Helldiver windows Packet Viewer
Author: meteor@sprintmail.com (Rhys Weatherley)
ftp://ftp.halcyon.com:/pub/waffle/news/

Notes: MS Windows viewer.  Supports Waffle only.

***
NewsWerthy (reviewd by William Werth <billw@eskimo.com>

Name: NewsWerthy 2.10 - SOUP format, packet reader, threads on subject.
Author: William Werth (billw@eskimo.com)
ftp://ftp.eskimo.com:/u/b/billw/nwrth210.zip
Available using ncftp with the following command:

   ncftp ftp://ftp.eskimo.com/u/b/billw/nwrth210.zip

(or with ftp at ftp.eskimo.com in directory /u/b/billw).

If the above site is busy during peak hours try any of the Simtel
mirror sites. The primary one is ftp.coast.net and it is in the
SimTel/msdos/offline directory.

Notes: Fully functional, reads news and mail, can send replies to
either. Works well when used with uqwk, since it has a built in interface
to uqwk commands.

Now includes support for mailing lists, including a separate "news" group
for the list and an option to reply to the mailing list.


***
Name: slnr 1.3		Simple Local News Reader
Author: Philippe Goujard (ppg@oasis.icl.co.uk)
ftp://ftp.uu.net:/networking/news/readers/off-line/slnr/

Notes: DOS reader. SOUP format.  Reads directly from unarchived SOUP packet, 
directly produces replies.  Freely available in source.  Packaged along 
with getnews 1.9 and postreply, which can provide Unix SOUP host functions,
also in source format.  Has compile options for Unix, OS/2 and Atari based 
reader. Currently limited to 500 msgs and 100 groups per packet in DOS 
version, but easy to expand.  Can colorize display via ANSI.SYS escape 
sequences.

***
Name: slrn 0.9.5.4      SLRN Newsreader
Author: John E. Davis
ftp://space.mit.edu/pub/davis/slrn
Homepage: http://space.mit.edu/~davis/slrn.html

Review courtesy of Tim Kynerd <tim.kynerd@idsc.nu>

Brief synopsis:  slrn is a threading newsreader based (perhaps loosely)
on the good old rn newsreader.  The "sl" part comes from the fact that
slrn uses the S-Lang library.  Both slrn and S-Lang are the work of John
E. Davis, also the author of the editor jed.

slrn now includes a utility called slrnpull.  This can be set up to
connect to your news server and pull down new messages for the groups
you read.  It is not intended to be used for a large news feed, as INN
or CNews is, but for a relatively small number of groups.  (I read about
six groups at home.)

My setup is a Linux box with slrn and slrnpull.  I have cron jobs set up
that go out and connect to my ISP, and pull down news, every x hours.  I
then read news in slrn (telling it to read news from the spool on my
hard disk rather than my news server).  Responses are placed into a
directory under the spool called out.going, and are automatically posted
the next time slrnpull runs (unless you tell it not to).

Slrnpull is the easiest piece of software to configure that I have ever
seen (and I'm a systems consultant).


***
Name: yarn 0.85	(Yet Another RN)
Author: cthuang@io.org (Chin Huang)
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/ (DOS)
ftp://ftp.nation.org:/pub/offline/ (DOS and OS/2)
ftp://hobbes.NMSU.edu:/os2/comm/ (OS/2)
ftp://ftp-os2.cdrom.com:/pub/os2/bbs/ (OS/2)
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/win3/offline/ (Windows)

Notes: DOS and OS/2 reader.  SOUP format (fully Usenet compliant). Netnews
and mail. Imports SOUP packets into its own messagebase format, date
expires old messages; reader operates on messagebase rather than SOUP
packet.  No source.

***
Name: Offliner for Windows 0.06b		Usenet Offline Reader
Author: harknesb@metronet.com (Barry L. Harkness)
ftp://ftp.oslonett.no:/gopher/Software/Windows/Comm/Offline/
    [maintenance apparently abandoned 9/95.  mbn]

Notes: MS Windows Reader.  SOUP format.  Currently in beta test.

***
Name: unor 0.31		Usenet Offline Reader
Author: rrusbasa@nyx10.cs.du.edu (Bob Rusbasan)
ftp://ftp.gte.com:/pub/unor/

Notes: MS Windows Reader.  SOUP format.

***
Name: znr 0.93b		ZipNews Reader
Author: jkilday@nlbbs.com (Jack Kilday)
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/
ftp://ftp.halcyon.com:/pub/waffle/news/ (old version)
ftp://ftp.gte.com:/pub/zipnews/

Notes: DOS reader.  ZipNews format, or local Waffle BBS messagebase.  
Proprietary format; DOS based host also available (ZipNews Door).  $19.95
shareware.  Fully Usenet compliant.

***
Name: pboy 2.06 	PaperBoy
Author: vart@clark.net (Michael H. Vartanian)
ftp://ftp.clark.net:/pub/vart/

Notes: MS Windows based.  SOUP Reader.

***
Information submitted by Kathy Morgan <kmorgan@polarnet.com>
Name:  MacSOUP
Author: Stefan Haller
File size is 633K, $20 shareware

This site has an informational paragraph written by the author, Stefan
Haller, and it is a download site:
http://www.snafu.de/~stk/macsoup/

A longer informational paragraph and link to Stefan Haller's download site
is available at:
http://www.blol.com/web_mnj/060196/macsoupjune.html

This site mentions MacSOUP, toadnews and rnmac as SOUP readers
for Macintosh. 
http://www.nic.com/~cannon/winsock.html#mac

Another site
ftp:  http://www6.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/mac/infomac.html?fcode=MC14326

Kathy adds the following review:
All I can offer is my experience after some initial difficulty in
configuring my system to use MacSOUP, I find that it is *much* faster in
downloaded the newsgroups than other newsreaders I've tried by at least an
order of magnitude (Newswatcher, YA Newswatcher, another I can't remember
the name of, and Netscape, all on-line readers). MacSOUP can be used with
unix accounts, slip accounts, or PP/TCP type connections. (I've got the
last, so of course I haven't tried it with the other two.)

My difficulty in configuring was that the news password and news user name
had to be deleted from my Internet Config file in order to access my
particular news server.  Information about this is in the manual; some
servers need the password and user name, other servers do not want it.

============ Utility Software for Offline Readers ==========

***
Name: Bus V0.12
Author:  bobr@mcs.com (Robert P. Rush)
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/

Notes: Bus-012 (v0.12) - Bus works with uqwk's summary mode to select
threads based on the subject line. Bus will take the summary file produced
by uqwk and match subject lines to produce threads. It will then use a
full-screen format to present these threads for selection. Includes bug
fixes; improvements for blind users. Freeware. Robert P. Rush bobr@mcs.com

***
Name: DDigest ddig-006.zip    Extract articles from digest mailing lists.
Author:  bobr@mcs.com (Robert P. Rush)
ftp://ftp.coast.net:/SimTel/msdos/offline/


DDigest (De-Digest) will extract individual articles from a digest
format mailing list and place these articles into a rnews packet to be
imported into an offline news reader.  DDigest will find these digests
in either a mail packet (in soup format), or a Yarn folder.

It uses regular expressions when searching for the digest and when
looking for separators between articles.



============ Unix based Host Software for Offline Readers ==========

Name: uqwk 1.8		Unix QWK host
Author:  seb3@gte.com (Steve Belczyk)
ftp://ftp.gte.com:/pub/uqwk/
ftp://ftp.clark.net:/pub/vart/
ftp://ftp.clark.net:/pub/vart/

Notes: Unix host.  SOUP, ZipNews, QWK and QWK/header in body formats.  The
compiled Solaris versions are available for those without a compiler.

Jeroen Scheerder <js@xs4all.nl> writes:
I have a set of patches available that implement NNTP authentication
for uqwk, includes Jim Tittsler's score code (with bugfixes); it fixes
dozens of other bugs, and behaves much better.
New URL: <http://www.xs4all.nl/%7Ejs/warez/uqwk++.tar.gz>
It's in late beta now, and will be `uqwk 2.0' soon, having major new
features and being pretty much rewritten and cleaned up.

***
Name: getnews, postreply
ftp://ftp.uu.net:/networking/news/readers/off-line/slnr/

Notes: Unix host.  SOUP format.  Source freely available.  Packaged with
slnr reader.

***

There's a Linux qwk reader available.  I'm not sure if there's a version
for your system, but the source is available, and porting shouldn't be
difficult.  
ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/system/BBS/mail/atp142src.tar.gz

============ Win95 Software for Offline Readers ==========

I confess to not following Win95 very closely.  The following home page
has several tools for offline reading on Win95.  Further submissions are
welcome: 

http://www.itribe.net/virtunix/

Review by ebutcher@ashmount.com:
Here are the details of Virtual Access a news and mail reader for 
MSWindows 3.x, 95 and NT.

Virtual Access can be found at 
http://www.vamail.com
http://www.ashmount.com

Brief Feature List of VA:

* Internet access - newsgroups and mail.
* Multiple services - to serve multiple ISPs or multiple remote
  accounts (Service aliasing)
* Kill-files & Get-files (excludes unwanted material from Internet
  downloads, selected by name or subject).
* Connection Scheduler - set up connections for a specific time, or
  when a given number of actions are awaiting upload.
* Build & Prune Scheduler - perform these administrative tasks
  overnight or at weekends.
* Mail Rules - sort your incoming mail according to the address or
  the subject.
* Auto-decoding of incoming Uuencoded and MIME-encoded material.
* Attach File/Auto Uuencoding or MIME-encoding - now much easier to
  send files across the network, across dial-up services, and beyond.
* Extensive user configurability.
* Comms Wizards - to aid the initial configuration of services.
* New Spelling Checker - no more excuse for speeling misteaks!


=====================================================================
The author of this document is Zhahai Stewart (zstewart@nyx.cs.du.edu),
with helpful contributions from:
   seb3@gte.com (Steve Belczyk)
   jkilday@nlbbs.com (Jack Kilday)
   mbn@teleport.com (Mike Northam)
   Russell_Schulz@locutus.ofB.ORG (Russell Schulz)

---------------

-- 
mbn@teleport.COM  Public Access User --- Not affiliated with Teleport
Mike Northam    coords: 123 11' 40"W   45 37'14"N                     O-
http://www.teleport.com/~mbn/ for Blazers stuff and more   [not line noise]
Free Randal Schwartz!  email fund@stonehenge.com for details

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