Subject: off-topic: nntp access for a netbsd-using public system?
To: None <current-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Ty Sarna <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/27/1998 13:39:50
I'm wondering if any ISP's (or other NetBSD-using organizations with
news servers) would be willing to give news reading/posting access to a
good, NetBSD-using cause.

In 1990, a friend of mine started a BBS here in San Antonio on his Amiga
2000. (He'd been a Sysop even before then, having run a custom-written
BBS on an SX64 with dual SFD1000 1M floppies, when that was considered a
kick-ass system!) In 1991, when I moved to town, I set up a UUCP feed
for the new Amiga BBS, and eventually he and I wrote a complete MUA for
the BBS (one of the few BBSes to handle internet mail/news natively
rather than through a lossy conversion, while providing a consistent

In 1994, Endicor set up a customer support area on the BBS.  When my
friend decided to go W95 (I still talk to him, though :->), he decided
to shut down the BBS.  Since we had a continuing need for a customer
support area, we moved the BBS to one of our Amiga systems, and kept it
running. We continued to provide mail and news to the public at no
charge. Not that long ago, we decided to switch to something more
maintainable, and have been running it on a dedicated NetBSD box with a
custom BBS glued together out of Lynx, Pine, and a bunch of custom

Now the problem: for over a year, we've been unable to get decent (or
recently, any) news service from our ISP.  They're apparently unable to
get their (Microsoft) news server to add new nets to the access list
without crashing.  Or at least, that's what they've told us.  "News is
not a priority for us right now".  We've looked at switching ISPs, but
this one is quite a bit cheaper than the rest (guess I know why).  Since
the IP service has been fine, and since news was the only other service
we needed, we'd just as soon not switch.  We looked at outfits like
Supernews that provide add-on service, but they're expensive and a lot
more than we need (must buy minimum 10 concurrent users, etc.)

So, I'm wondering if anyone would be willing to help a good,
NetBSD-using cause and offer free access to their NNTP server? We don't
need or want a feed, just the permission to point nntpcache at your
server.  Load should be very low -- <1 user, on average, with rare peaks
to 3.  While the BBS is run by a commercial operation, we do not profit
from it (quite the contrary!).  There is no fee, and it is open to
anyone who'll agree to the AUP (the usual no-spam, don't be a moron, etc
provisions). We do accept donations, but they don't begin to cover the
costs.  The BBS is essentially a charity supported by the company. 

If you'd be willing to allow access to your server, we'd be happy to
provide a link to your organization on the BBS, and exchange any other
service that we're able to.