The News facility is used to keep people informed about system changes, Institute events, personnel openings, meetings, software updates, talks, and other information. It is also used to access Usenet news: hundreds of discussion groups, arranged by subject.

Local News

To start the News facility type:

During peak periods, it may take a minute or so for the program to start. (At peak times you may even get kicked out of News with the following error message: Failed to retrieve newsgroups from remote node, connection terminated.) After starting News for the first time, your screen should look something like Figure

Figure 8.7: VMS News Facility

Type the number of the group corresponding to whatever subject you want to read about, or use the arrow keys to move up and down the list to the appropriate group. For example, if you want to read announcements from the Public Affairs Office, type 6. Once you're in a particular newsgroup, you can get back to the main menu by typing NEWS.

By default, you are registered to read a set of local newsgroups. Use the DEREGISTER command to drop groups that look uninteresting. Type HELP to learn how to post items (POST), cancel items (CANCEL), or customize your environment (SET PROFILE).

When you're done reading news, type EXIT to leave the News utility. A list of some of the most commonly-used News commands is provided in Table 8.3.

Table 8.3: NEWS Commands

Usenet News

To see the Usenet newsgroups, type the command DIR/ALL. You may wish to REGISTER to read some of these groups and then use the command DIR/REG to avoid seeing the names of newsgroups you do not want to read. As of March 1994, the Institute receives close to 1200 newsgroups. We do not receive any of the groups in the Usenet soc and talk hierarchies, to save disk space.

Posting a News Item

First, some guidelines. These are especially intended for Usenet postings:

Emily Postnews says, "Use proper netiquette when posting to Usenet." Proper netiquette means:

Next, the mechanics. It might be easiest to use your favorite editor to put your posting into a file. Then type NEWS to start the News facility and issue the POST command, for example:

The program first prompts you for a list of newsgroups in which you want your posting to appear. Do you really want your posting to appear in more than one newsgroup? If so, list them all, separated by commas and without any spaces as in:

Newsgroups: local.classifieds,local.tute
This is usually much better than posting separately to each newsgroup. The second response from the program is to give you a final chance to edit your posting. You can use the SET PROFILE command in News to select your favorite editor. Once you exit from the editor, you will be prompted to supply a subject line for your posting--use something descriptive! Finally, you are given a last chance to abort the posting process.

Local News
Figure 8.7: - VMS News Facility
Table 8.3: - NEWS Commands
Usenet News
Posting a News Item

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