Draft Article - This article is still a work in progress

Slrn is a newsreader. It runs on all Unix like operating systems (Linux, BSD, MacOS, etc) and is command-line only. It's lightweight, fast and highly configurable. This article will discuss slrn and how I use it on a daily basis to read Usenet feeds via the Eternal September usenet servers.

I like slrn mainly because it provides an interface consistent with the other tools in my life. I use mutt for email, weechat for IRC and vim for text editing. Slrn just fits in with that workflow nicely. The default key-bindings are not my favorite but they are intuitive enough that I've not found a reason to modify them yet.

I like usenet because it's low bandwidth and generally focuses more on content and less on presentation. So much of the content you find on the Internet today is served via overly bloated websites. What amounts to just a few Kilobytes of text data turns in to several Megabytes due to advertisements, flashy animations, videos and images. Usenet predated the modern web and the focus was on providing a decentralized means of sharing information. As a result it is low bandwidth, fast and content dense. It also has the benefit of working, even when you're offline. See my article on Optimizing for offline use to learn more about my setup.