Readers will have seen the previous article on newsgroup binaries reader Klibido v0.2.5 which whilst a very good package appears to now be discontinued. With that in mind I set out to find a currently supported newsgroup reader that and my investigations led me to Pan 0.133.
Written by Charles Kerr, Christophe Lambin & Matt Eagleson in C, it aims to offer both text (posting/reading) and binaries support on UseNET. So lets have a look at some of the features:
NZB support, multi server support (again an almost essential feature), supports the decoding of uu, base64 and yEnc-encoded binaries.
For a full list of the many features take a look at the Pan FAQ page:http://pan.rebelbase.com/features/
Setup of the package is quick and simple. For the Ubuntu users especially its a simple case of geting the .DEB from http://www.getdeb.net/ (I mention that since it appears Ubuntu is fast becoming the distro of choice for many users new and experienced)
Theres even a flavor for the Windows user, so theres no excuse if you are looking for a multipurpose newsgroup reader/poster.
Firefox communicated perfectly with Pan, allowing for .NZB files to be imported directly in from websites.
Where Pan really comes into its own is performance. I expect many of you who have looked through a rather large newsgroup (or indeed wanted to scroll through the entire list of available newsgroups on your server, it can sometimes be a rather sluggish experience if you are doing many other things at the same time. Pan is different. It has a small footprint and is blisteringly fast. The simple list of subscribed newsgroups on the left of the screen allows you to effortlessly switch between those you post in and those you may grab files from.
So do I think Pan is the best newsgroup software Ive tested? Yes. Do I recommend it? Yes. Will it replace Klibido on my distro? No.
Why? Ill explain.
Ive recently moved from Evolution to Thunderbird to handle all of my emailing needs. Since Thunderbird also has RSS and text newsgroups covered, I really have no need for Pan when I have Klibido. But you said Pan was faster? Since my use of a binaries grabber is little more than a client to open and download .NZB, theres little need for me to go scrolling through lists of newsgroups or posts within Klibido. If I hadnt changed over to Thunderbird, then this probably would be my package of choice for newsgroup reading.
You can visit the homepage of Pan here:http://pan.rebelbase.com/
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org
We all like to keep up to date with the news, however, believe it or not I had never used a RSS reader package before. I installed LIFEREA on Ubuntu 8.10 and whilst the repositories had an older version, I was able to get v.1.4.22b from here! It should be noted however that the latest stable version is now v1.4.22c and you can get that from the official site.
How can I start? Well its an RSS reader, and a very simple to use one at that! The package is tiny (1.1mb) and within seconds I was subscribing to all my sites of choice, including the Pro-open source Microsoft Watch!
Its layout is very similar to any email package you have used before and as I say Id be supprised if anyone has difficulties using this package.
It works seemlessly with Ubuntu, but I am presuming this is the case for all other distros aswell. Liferea supports Atom, RSS and OPML as well as offline reading.
The official site says “Liferea tries to fill this gap by creating a fast, easy to use, easy to install news aggregator for Gtk/Gnome.” and in my opinion suceeds in this excellently.
95% A compact, fast piece of software that does exactly what it says it does.