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E-mail and Usenet

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  • E-mail and Usenet

    Dear Biomch-L readers,

    One of you asked me if messages from Usenet newsgroups can be
    received by E-mail, because he has no full Internet access. The
    answer is no, although you can *send* messages to newsgroups by
    E-mail. One way only! Some newsgroups, however, are gatewayed
    to an E-mail mailing list, to which you can subscribe. If your
    employer does not provide Internet access, there are now many
    'public access' Internet systems which can be reached by modem
    and provide full Internet services (for a monthly fee).

    Some relevant information follows:

    (1) The following is from the general Usenet FAQ (frequently asked
    questions). This file is periodically posted to news.newusers.questions
    and can also be retrieved by anonymous FTP from For more
    info on FTP, see BIOMCH-L GUIDE from LISTSERV, or later in this message.

    39. Is there a public access Unix system near me? How can I get
    access to system for news and mail?

    Phil Eschallier posts a list of open access Unix sites (he calls
    them "Nixpub" sites) on a regular basis to the following
    newsgroups: comp.misc and alt.bbs. Check his posting
    for information on sites you can contact.

    Furthermore, a list of open access sites that are not necessarily
    Unix sites is posted regularly in alt.bbs.lists; see the postings
    entitled "NetPub listing" for more information.

    [ See also item (3) below - TvdB ]

    43. Is it possible to post messages to the Usenet via electronic mail?

    There are a few sites on the Usenet that offer a full-scale mail
    to news gateway, so that you can post via E-mail to any newsgroup

    One of them is To use its gateway, you mail the
    message you wish to post to
    For example, to post to news.newusers.questions, you would send
    your message to

    Mail-to-news gateways of this sort tend to be overloaded.
    Therefore, please do not use this gateway or any other similar
    gateway if you have other posting access to the Usenet.

    [ I have tried this, and it really works. Another mail-to-news gateway
    is The same example becomes: If you use such a gateway
    to send something to a newsgroup, make sure to mention that replies
    should be sent by E-mail, because you can't read Usenet news. - TvdB ]

    44. Is it possible to read Usenet newsgroups via electronic mail?

    Most Usenet newsgroups do not correspond to any mailing list, so
    the conventional answer to this question is "no" for most groups.
    However, there are some newsgroups that are gatewayed to mailing
    lists. For a list of them, see the "List of Active Newsgroups"
    posting in news.announce.newusers.

    If you know a Usenet site admin who is willing to act as a
    personal gateway for you, you might be able to get him/her to set
    up his/her system to forward messages from individual newsgroups
    to you via E-mail. However, most admins don't like to do this
    because it adds to the outgoing traffic from their site, so don't
    post messages to the net saying, "Hey, is there someone willing
    to gateway newsgroups to me?"

    46. I'm on BitNet -- can I connect to the Usenet?

    Many BitNet sites also have connections to other networks. Some
    of these sites may be receiving Usenet with NNTP or by other
    methods. IBM VM/CMS sites which only have a connection to BitNet
    may still gain access to Usenet if they get a software package
    called NetNews, which is available from Penn State University at
    no charge. The PSU NetNews software allows sites to receive
    Usenet news over BITNET. Talk to your local site administraters
    to find out if your site has this software installed and how to
    access it from your account. Also, contact your favorite BITNET
    LISTSERV and get the list NETNWS-L. That list carries info on
    the necessary procedures and software.

    (2) A large (300 kB) file with information on mailing lists is
    periodically posted on news.lists, news.announce.newusers,and
    news.answers. The file can also be retrieved by anonymous FTP from /pub/usenet/news.answers/mail/mailing-lists.

    (3) Information about public access Internet systems is periodically
    posted on alt.internet.access.wanted.

    Other sources for this kind of information include the PDIAL list which
    you can get from body "Send PDIAL" and the
    NIXPUB list which you can get from with
    subject/body: "send nixpub long".

    An example. For Italy, the following service is listed:

    Name: IUnet - EUnet/Italy
    Area served: IUnet is the italian segment of the pan-european
    network EUnet, in activity since 1982.
    Area codes:
    Voice: +39 10 353 2747 (hotline)
    Fax: +39 10 353 2948
    Maximum baud rate: phone lines 14400, v32, v32bis, v42, v42bis, 19200 PEP
    X.25 (ITAPAC), leased lines 9,6 kbps to 64 kbps
    Services: UUCP connection, full Internet connection (InterEUnet)
    Electronic Mail, USENET News, EUnet Archive, ftp, fsp,
    telnet, rlogin, etc.
    Fees: for detailed pricing information please contact or our hotline number.
    Restrictions/notes: No restrictions apply. EUnet is a member of CIX.
    For access to the NSFnet the NSFnet acceptable use policy
    applies. For detailed information please contact us.

    (4) On Internet, you can use ftp as an interactive command. But you can
    also use FTP without having full Internet access. Use the FTP Email
    server BITFTP@PUCC.BITNET. Send a one-line message 'HELP' to this
    address for for full instructions.


    Good luck,

    -- Ton van den Bogert, Biomch-L moderator