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Re: [vox-tech] newbie annoyed with tin
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Re: [vox-tech] newbie annoyed with tin

Quoting Katie (krwright1@yahoo.com):

> 1. [...katie]$tin
> 2. this message flashed at the bottom of the screen
> really quickly:
> copyright...
> can't open /var/lib/news/active
> try tin -r to read news via NNTP
> 3. [...katie]$

By default (absent anything on the command line or user environment
space that says the contrary), tin assumes -- for lack of cues to the
contrary -- that you must be at the command line of a news server host.
/var/lib/news/active would be part of such a host's system-local news
spool.  (That situation is rare, these days.)

In this case, you probably _intended_ to communicate with some
particular real news server via the NNTP network protocol (the "-r"
option, which stands for "remote").  The problem...

> I tried the tin -r, got a "cannot connect to server"
> message.  

...is that you didn't specify _what_ news server.   tin metaphorically
scratched its head and gave up.

You must first know the hostname of a news server to which you have
access permission.  This used to be a lot more common than it is, today.  
The size of Usenet feeds keeps growing at staggering rates -- much of
it, sadly, spam -- and the expertise required to keep a news server
running is becoming rare.  So, it's tending to become either (1) flaky
and unreliable, or (2) a specialised service from just a few providers,
separately from one's basic connectivity (e.g., Newsguy, Supernews).
But you might be one of the lucky ones, whose Internet connectivity
provider still operates a functional news server with a good feed.

Suppose the news server to which you have posting rights is
news.example.com.  Then, you could either add this to your user
environment space:

 $  export NNTPSERVER=news.example.com  [1]

...or specify it on the tin command line:

 $  tin -r  -g news.example.com

Please note:  There's a program called leafnode that can maintain a
mini-news spool on your system, batch-fetching articles from your
upstream _real_ news server so you can read and follow-up to them at
local speeds.  Once you have that set up, you likewise talk to it via
NNTP, only it's a, so to speak, local call:

 $ tin -r  -g localhost

If you have no idea where, if at all, you have authorised access to a
Usenet news server, contact your Internet provider and cross your
fingers.  (Be aware that the answer may be "We don't provide one" or 
"We recommend that you post/browse using a Web browser via

[1] Which obviously can/should be put into your account's .bashrc, or
equivalent syntax & file for whatever shell you might prefer to Bash.

Cheers,                                      "Reality is not optional."
Rick Moen                                             -- Thomas Sowell
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