This is rather simple now, but if you're interested in usenet/newsgroups, bookmark it and check back in a week.

First, you'll need a newsreader. This is really a matter of taste, but my personal recomendation for newsreaders are:

  1. MicroPlanet Gravity (shareware)
  2. NewsXpress (freeware)
  3. Xnews (freeware)

1. First Things First

I'm going to assume you have a client now, and I'm not going to walk you though installation and configuration and all that, because this is not The Guide to Newsreaders. I'll start with Gravity, because it's my reader of preference, and it's fairly easy for a novice to get started in.

2. Getting Started With Your Client

You'll need to connect to your news server and download the latest newsrc list. This is just your ISP's list of all the newsgroups that are availiable for you to browse. Assuming you have your news server configured properly (generally, it will be NEWS.YOURISP.COM), your newsreader will fetch an updated list when you connect to it.

3. Choosing Your Groups

If you know a group you want to subscribe to, you can choose it from the list fetched. In Gravity, this would be access by choosing Newsgroup, Subscribe from the menu, then typing in a word into the box at the top in order to narrow down the choices presented. Common words are binaries, erotica, warez, pictures, but you'll probably be able to narrow it down further based on your interests. I suggest you start in the* hierarchy for porn, and the* hierarchy for warez.

Once you've selected a group, you can choose how many back articles you want to retrieve. I would suggest you select 2000 articles, as more than that will take too much time (and get into expired articles), while less that that will likely cut off parts of file series.

4. Setting Up Filters

SPAM. The bane of usenet. Also one of the reasons that you shouldn't just select every article in a group and tell your reader to download them. The other reasons being 2. it wastes bandwidth and 3. you're here for binaries, not text posts. Spam is fairly easy to get rid of with filters, but no filter set is perfect, just like with e-mail. And you can't just block particular authours, because headers can be faked, resulting in different 'From:' entries each time. You can make a blacklist, but you can't expect it to be 100% accurate.

That isn't to say that you can't get rid of spam by creating a whitelist, which is a list of words/domains/etc which are the only ones permitted to be accessed, as opposed to a blacklist, which is composed of words you don't want to see.

*pause here to save progress*

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