Most of the newsreaders out there are geared towards binaries at present. For those who just want to download text articles, such as those posted to the many popular scientific newsgroups and other newsgroups, there are good options. These readers provide you with the same type of flexibility that you would find in a binary oriented newsreader, such as allowing you to view more than one post at once and so forth. If you are interested in spending more time conversing than downloading binaries, you might want to take a look at some of the options out there.
Pan provides good service for text articles. It also supports binaries, so it does give you some flexibility. It is a GNOME newsreader, but it is also compatible with Macintosh OS and Windows, so anybody should be able to put it to good use.
Thunderbird, from Mozilla, is also a great option for people who just want to browse text posts and reply to them on the groups that they’re posted on. This program is, first and foremost, an e-mail program, and the interface is reminiscent of the days when most e-mail clients allowed you to read newsgroups in a very similar format to that in which you read e-mails. If you’re looking for something simple, easy to use and that allows you to participate in some of the great discussions that go on over the USENET system, this might be a good choice for you. It’s completely free and easy to install.
Newsbin is one of our recommended newsreaders and, in regards to text only posts to the USENET system, it’s just as easy to recommend this option. It gives a nice blend of capabilities where downloading binaries and text articles is concerned, which should make it versatile enough to keep you busy, no matter what you feel like doing at the moment.
The USENET still has some of the best conversations available anywhere online. If you haven’t explored any of the text articles on the science and technology newsgroups on the service, it’s highly recommended that you do. Using any one of these newsreaders will allow you to access those conversations easily, to respond to them just as easily and to enjoy one of the oldest and most interesting ways to participate in conversations on the Internet.