How to get to newsgroups: Your e-mail machine will probably
have a menu that offers you a choice like "tin" or "newtin" or
"rn". Take that choice. The first time you do so may take a
minute or so to get started, and on the mail.sas machine you will
be presented with a default list of introductory newsgroups --
you may begin deleting at once if you like! To see the
whole range of possibilities, type (usually) "y", then
scroll until your eyes glaze over. You may search this endless
menu (check the screen for command: often initiated with the
slash key) for words of interest. You will "subscribe" to groups
you find appealing. When you then exit the newsreader program,
it will save your choices, and the next time you come back it
will take only a couple of seconds to load them up and show you
what is available in them. My newsreader screen today looks like
Group Selection (netnews.upenn.edu 14) h=help 1 121 upenn.classics.cs28 No description available. 2 79 sci.classics Studying classical history, langu 3 264 clari.world.europe.germany News of Germany (Moderated) 4 193 upenn.talk Forum for discussion of Penn issu 5 245 de.soc.politik 6 65 de.etc.sprache.deutsch Die deutsche Sprache: Fragen, Ant 7 71 de.soc.recht 8 61 de.soc.weltanschauung Religion(en), Atheismus und sonst 9 406 soc.culture.german Discussions about German culture 10 12 alt.usage.german Questions and answers about the G 11 1 clari.feature.imprb_research Excerpts from the Annals of Impro 12 11 clari.news.briefs Regular news summaries. (Moderate 13 13 clari.news.education.higher Colleges and universities (ModeraThe column of numbers tells me how many messages are available in each group. All groups have "expiration dates" beyond which messages are trashed, so the collections are constantly refreshed, but if I read messages in one group and am happy to dismiss them, I may type "c" and the number will be reduced to zero so that the next time I come here, any messages showing will certainly be new.
=set current to n, TAB=next unread, /=search pattern, c)atchup, g)oto, j=line down, k=line up, h)elp, m)ove, q)uit, r=toggle all/unread, s)ubscribe, S)ub pattern, u)nsubscribe, U)nsub pattern, y)ank in/out *** End of Groups ***
Note that my first group is one created for my undergraduate course Classical Studies 28, and it is the archive for all the messages in that course's discussion group, including the students papers, submitted to the whole class for reading and discussion.
Usenet can be a useful tool if you think of it like a newsstand. If a listserv list is like having a subscription to a magazine, Usenet is like going to the store and browsing the magazine rack. Your mailbox doesn't get cluttered, but the material you are interested in is there when you choose to inspect it.