This section is an overview on how to perform basic Usenet actions with Pan.
Set Up a News Server
When you start Pan for the first time, the Add a Server dialog is displayed.
At this point, you must enter the connection information for the server you wish to access. After you enter this information, Pan will contact the server and download a list of all the groups the server carries and save it to disk.
Refer to News Servers for more detailed information.
Selecting a News Group
The Group Pane contains a list of all the news groups available on the server. Scroll through the list and enter a group by clicking on its name.
If this is the first time you have entered this group, you will be prompted on how many article headers you wish to retrieve from the server. You can choose to retrieve all article headers available for that group or limit the retrieval by either quantity of articles or number of days.
After making a selection from this dialog, Pan will download the article headers for the selected group and save them locally on the computer.
Depending on the news server, certain groups might be "dead" and have no headers available for download.
After article header retrieval, the group name in the Group Pane will turn bold, which means there are unread articles in that particular group. Also the number of unread articles in the group will be displayed in parenthesis following the group name.
It's not unusual for a server to have tens of thousands of groups, but usually a user is only interested in a few. To better keep track of the interesting groups, select the group name by middle-clicking on it and choose Subscribed Groups section.. Scroll the group window to the top if necessary and you will see that the selected newsgroup is listed directly under the
After entering a group, the header pane will be filled with article headers. The header pane can be sorted by clicking on the topmost row of a column, where the column name is located. Clicking again will reverse the sort. The column that is used for sorting will have a downward arrow after the column name and the entire column will darken.
Pan defaults to showing collapsed threads. Only the first article of the thread is shown with a number in parenthesis indicating how many posts are hidden. Clicking on the right-facing arrow before the header text will expand the thread, showing the hidden articles in the thread. Reading the first article of the thread will also expand the thread. The keyboard shortcut for expanding threads is Shift+→. Shift+← will collapse the thread.
Clicking on a header will download the article from the server, store it in the article cache and display it in the article pane. The article is then marked as read. Read articles are distinguished in the header pane by using a normal (not bold) font and by showing an open envelope icon in the state column.
You can scroll the message in the Article Pane by using the scrollbar or by pressing Space. Whenever the bottom of the retrieved article is already displayed, pressing Space will download the next article.
To post an article in a group and start a new thread, select the group you wish to post to in the Group Pane and then choose Posting Profile dialog will appear and you will be required to fill in some information. Next, the Post Article dialog will appear. Type in a subject and then enter the body of the message at the bottom. When done, choose to send the article to the news server and out to the rest of Usenet.. If this is the first time you have posted an article to a newsgroup, the
Replying to Articles
If you want to post a reply to a specific article and have your followup appear in that article's thread, highlight that article in the Header Pane with the middle mouse button and use. The highlighted article's text will appear as quoted text (each line is preceded by a ">") in the editor window. Type in your response and then choose to send the article to the news server.
If you want to send a reply to a specific article via email, highlight that article in the Header Pane with the middle mouse button and choose. The highlighted article's text will appear as quoted text (each line is preceded by a ">") in the editor window. Type in your response and then choose and the text will be sent to the default external email application. Double-check the To: field and then send the email as you normally would with that application.
A binary file in Usenet is usually composed of many smaller articles. Pan automatically organizes all these articles under one special article header. If all the data that comprises the binary header made it through the Usenet network successfully, a green, full puzzle-piece is displayed in the first column. To save the data, select the special header in the header window and use to download and save the binary data to disk.
If the binary posts are corrupted by missing or incorrect data, a red, incomplete puzzle-piece is displayed in the first column. The file may be saved, but it will probably be corrupt in some way.
Supporting binary newsgroups takes a large amount of bandwidth. Unless you are using a premium news server provider, it is not unusual for many binary files to be missing or corrupt.