This document is the user guide and reference manual for MT-NewsWatcher, a Usenet newsreader for the Macintosh. It is based on the documentation for NewsWatcher 2.2.2, and both the program and its documentation were written by John Norstad. Terje Bless kindly provided an HTML version of the documentation; subsequent errors and omissions are entirely my own. The document uses style sheets for formatting and layout; for best results, ensure that style sheets are enabled in your browser.
This documentation deviates from the original NewsWatcher documentation in two main aspects. First, I have added details about the additional features found in MT-NewsWatcher. Secondly, I have removed information that pertained to the use of NewsWatcher at Northwestern University, where it was mostly developed, and geared the manual more towards private individuals using MT-NewsWatcher at work and at home with an ISP, rather than the individual in a university setting.
There are some conventions used in this guide to make for easier reading, and easier use when you're offline. First, paragraphs which contain a warning, an informational note, or a useful tip, are highlighted like this:
Tip: This is a useful tip. Like much of this guide, you should be using a browser with good CSS support, like Netscape, Mozilla, Safari, or Camino so that these show up correctly.
Also note that links are color-coded, so you know when of them will take you away from the manual:
- This link takes you to another page of the manual.
- This is an "off-site" link that takes you somewhere else, and will cause network activity.
- This is a link to a newsgroup
- This is an email link
If you are new to reading Usenet news, you should start by reading the first two chapters: Usenet Organization and Etiquette and Getting Started. The remaining chapters and the appendices describe additional features of the program and provide detailed reference information. You can read them at your leisure.
MT-NewsWatcher is free. It may not be sold for profit or included with other software, products, publications, or services which are sold for profit without the permission of Simon Fraser, but otherwise you should feel free to use it and redistribute it.
MT-NewsWatcher has received the following awards:
|The "Good Net-Keeping Seal of Approval" (GNSKA).|
|MacOrchard "Essential Pick",|
|"Cool Tool of the Day" award.|
MT-NewsWatcher is available for download from a number of sites, which are listed at http://www.smfr.org/mtnw/downloading.html.
MT-NewsWatcher requires Mac OS X 10.1 or later to run. The Mac must have a connection the Internet (for example, a dialup connection via an Internet Service Provider, or direct ethernet connection in a company or university computer lab), and be properly configured for Internet access.
MT-NewsWatcher is strictly an online newsreader, so requires an active full TCP/IP connection to the Internet. It does not support offline newsreading, and it does not support older kinds of dialup connections designed primarily for simple terminal emulation.
MT-NewsWatcher 3.5 is believed to be Y2K compliant. Dates used internally are stored in Apple's standard date format, so properly handle dates between 1 Jan 1904 and 6 Feb 2040.
However, like any news client, correct functioning of MT-NewsWatcher during the Y2K transition requires that your news server, and the news transport system in general, is Y2K compliant. The distributed nature of Usenet news makes it impossible to verify that the entire system will function normally during the transition; there is a possibility that some news distribution problems could occur.
For more detailed information about the Y2K compliance of your news server software, contact your vendor, or the author of the software. Links for some common news servers are:
- NetWin's DNEWS server
- Netscape Messaging Server & Collabra Server
- Highwind's Cyclone, Breeze and Typhoon servers
(Mention of a product here does not constitute an endorsement.)
MT-NewsWatcher was written by Simon Fraser <firstname.lastname@example.org>, and has been under development for the past 8 years. It is based on the original NewsWatcher by John Norstad of Northwestern University, and stems from the publicly available source code to version 2.2.2 of that program.
The author welcomes your feedback on MT-NewsWatcher. If you have a comment, question, or suggestion about MT-NewsWatcher, please read this user document before writing to the author. Most questions are answered in this document. In particular, see the Getting Started chapter for basic instructions on how to use the program, and see the FAQ for a list of "Frequently Asked Questions" and their answers.
Before writing to the author, also please check the FTP site to make certain you have the most recent version of the program.
To send feedback about MT-NewsWatcher,
If you are describing a problem that you are having, please provide detailed
information about exactly what you were doing when the problem occurs.
Someone reading your report has to be able to reproduce your situation exactly
to try to identify the problem. If the program is crashing, it is helpful to
provide a crash log from Crash Reporter (turn this on in the Preferences of the
Console application, in
If you would like to make a feature request, please first read the documentation and experiment with the program to make sure that your requested feature does not already exist. Then consider if your feature would be of benefit to more than just a handful of people. If so, feel free to send in a feature request by clicking here. Although I read all mail that comes in, and use it to weigh the feature lists of future versions, I cannot reply in person to each email.
This manual is Copyright © Simon Fraser 1999-2004. Parts Copyright John Norstad, Northwestern University, 1994-1998. This manual may not be reproduced in electronic or printed form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Simon Fraser.
MT-NewsWatcher is based on version 2.2.2 of the NewsWatcher application, by John Norstad, without whom none of this would have happened. Many thanks to John, and Northwestern, for making the excellent NewsWatcher code available, and to those who inspired John to work on the original version. Thanks also to Bob Boonstra for earlier versions of the VA-NewsWatcher code (only small parts of which remain in this final version), and Brian Clark for making a NewsWatcher that inspired many of MT's features. Michael Crawford of Working Software also supplied an early version of the Word Services code.
Thanks are due to Terje Bless for the HTML version of the NewsWatcher manual. It is with regret that I have strayed from HTML 4.0 Strict where necessitated by browser deficiencies. And while on the subject of standards compliance, thanks to Terje, John Moreno and others for keeping me on track in the RFC department.
MT-NewsWatcher could not have been completed without the patient help of the beta testers, documentation readers, and those who helped with distribution. These include Adam Bailey, Terje Bless, David Brady, Doug Clark, Bill Christman, Jim Correia, Jeff Diamond, Greg Ferguson, Ludovic Ferrandis, Scott Forbes, Douglas Godfrey, Jerry Goldstein, Scott Gruby, Lars Kellogg-Stedman, Simon Kidd, Jerry Kindall, Joel Klecker, Pat Lee, Sarah Liberman, gor Livshits, Barry Margolin, Katsuhiko Momoi, John Moreno, Larry Rosenstein, Drew Saur, Mike Skultety, Andrew Southwick, Andrew Starr, Sander Tekelenburg, Rick VanDerveer, Kiran Wagle, F. Todd Wilson, the folks at Bare Bones Software, and many others. Responsibility for any remaining defects is entirely my own. Thanks also to Bernd Heller for the initial SOCKS code, and members of the QuickTime team at Apple, particularly Kevin Calhoun and Sam Bushell, who donated considerable time to help with progressive movie display issues.
SIMON FRASER PROVIDES MT-NEWSWATCHER AS IS, WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OR PROMISE OF TECHNICAL SUPPORT. SIMON FRASER DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY OF ANY KIND FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM THE USE OF MT-NEWSWATCHER, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, INDIRECT OR SPECIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, EVEN IF SIMON FRASER IS AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. SIMON FRASER MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, WITH RESPECT TO THE PROGRAM, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
MT-NewsWatcher includes code and components from the following sources:
- The NewsWatcher 2.2.2 source by John Norstad, which is Copyright © Northwestern University. In accordance with the licensing terms for derivative works, MT-NewsWatcher is distributed free of charge, and may not be sold for profit without the express permission of its author, and Northwestern University.
- WASTE text engine © 1993-1998 Marco Piovanelli
- Mercutio MDEF, Copyright © 1992-1999 by Ramon M. Felciano
- Apple Information Access Toolkit (AIAT, formerly known as V-Twin), by Apple Computer Inc.
- X-Face decoding code, based on Compface by James Ashton
- The GIF plugin contains code derived from GIF decoding source by Steven A. Bennett
- The JPEG plugin is based on the Independent JPEG Group 's JPEG software (Feb 1996 release).
- Regular expression support is provided by the PCRE library package, which is open source software, written by Philip Hazel, and copyright by the University of Cambridge, England.
- Database software based on DB, which is Copyright © 1991, 1993
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. In accordance
with the DB license agreement, DB's conditions of use follow:
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
- Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
- Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
- All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software must display the following acknowledgement: This product includes software developed by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.
- Neither the name of the University nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE REGENTS AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE REGENTS OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
- Table of Contents
- Advanced features
- The Interface