> >Set up your own local news server on your machine (eg, "leafnode"
> >or others) and read your news from the local spool rather than
> >through the dial-up connection. You'll find it to be much faster.
> >Further advantages are that you can use your news read (any nntp
> >compliant news read, for that matter) offline, expire articles
> >according to your preferences, feed news to other machines on yur
> >LAN (if you have one), etc.
> It seems to me that I still have to get my news from the
> dial-up. How can leafnode made that any faster? If I were to set up
> a local server it would have to load all the news, not only the
> groups in which I am interested. Am I missing something?
Let's start by addressing the misconception. Setting up a local
server does NOT mandate loading _ALL_ the news. It mandates loading
news for the newsgroups you select.
- With Leafnode, this is controlled implicitly; when you use your
newsreader to select a newsgroup, Leafnode notices this, and adds
that group to the list it pulls for.
- With many other local news servers, you have to explicitly set up
configuration in some files to indicate what newsgroups you want.
Either way, you pick the newsgroups you want.
Leafnode (and alternatives) make reading faster because they pull, all
at once, all the news for the newsgroups you planned to read; your
news reader can then access the data locally, at megabytes-per-second
speed rather than with mere (say) 28.8kbits/s speed.
This affects "time consumed" in two ways:
1. Each article, as well as summary information, is locally
accessible Very Fast, so that you don't have to go off and hit the
ISP's news server each time. Local access is probably 50x faster,
of which a whopping lot of that time won't be terribly noticeable
because you can't read that fast :-).
2. Supposing you're using a dial-in line, with a local spool, you can
hang up the phone whenever the spooler isn't pushing/pulling news.
It would be unsurprising, for instance, to find that it takes 3
minutes to download all the news that you'd read in a day.
With the local spool, you only need to be dialed up for that 3
Without the local spool, you need to be dialed up 100% of the time
that you're reading news.
Whereas with a local spool, you might set up your system to pull
down news at 3am, and need not care (since you're either asleep or
out partying :-)) if a network problem causes the pull to take 7
minutes instead of 3 minutes.
3. Reliability goes up.
You don't have to _care_ what's going on vis-a-vis your network
connections, so long as news gets pushed/pulled once in a while
If there's a slowdown due to heavy traffic (e.g. - you're
downloading new Red Hat ISO images, updating Debian, or downloading
episodes of Babylon 5) or due to something bad happening between
you and your ISP, this doesn't affect the quality of your news
service, as long as things haven't degraded _ridiculously_ badly.
Rules of the Evil Overlord #28. "My pet monster will be kept in a
secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not
accidentally stumble." <http://www.eviloverlord.com/>