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PM News Readers- by Chris Wenham

One could almost say that the OS/2 news reader market is nearing saturation, but who's complaining about a great selection to choose from? In the past year, two major OS/2 news readers have entered the ring to contend against each other, with others in the wings which have been around for years longer. In this review we cover the best Presentation Manager news readers for OS/2 only. In a future issue we will also cover some of the excellent full-screen news readers that have been around for eons, such as SLRN and the Binary Newsreader.

Today, the "Greater Usenet Conglomerate" carries a staggering number of news groups to suit every taste and need. In fact, some servers carry up to 30,000. Not surprisingly, many of these are either frivolous or have died out completely. The comp.os.os2 hierarchy is alive and well, however, with several hundred (or thousand?) new messages coming through daily. Each of the clients reviewed here does a good job of keeping track of these, but undoubtedly most of us have lives beyond just OS/2 and like to keep abreast of everything from our musical interests to outdoor activities, sports, health, pets, cuisine and whatever else. In these reviews we'll investigate which clients can best serve the broadest range of users.

The first is EmTec Newsreader, part of the EmTec Network Suite (formerly the NeoLogic NetSuite) which was first reviewed by OS/2 e-Zine! in June 1996 by Stephen Turk. This time Dr. Dirk Terrell takes a look at it.

Second is PlusPak: PMINews from Stardock and Southside Software, first reviewed only just last year in June 1997, but having the ignoble distinction of being a wee bit too buggy for the reviewer's tastes. We're happy to say that the product has undergone revision since then and is worth looking at again, if only for its excellent multi-server support and snappy looks.

Third is NewsBeat from Insomnia Software, a smaller newsreader that's easy to get around in thanks to its simple and fast user interface. Christopher B. Wright gives us his views on it.

Fourth is Internet Adventurer, Adventure Software's suite of Internet applications similar to EmTec's, and one that has been gaining popularity lately. With IRC, e-mail, News, Web, FTP, and Gopher all woven into one interface, it's almost all you need to be on the 'net -- besides a modem and an ISP.

OS/2 e-Zine! Editor's Choice

But the fifth news reader, and OS/2 e-Zine! 's Editor's Choice, is ProNews/2 from Panacea Software, the same company that brings us HTML Studio. We were very impressed by ProNews/2, especially its unique flexibility in managing queued tasks and its outstanding support for binary attachments. ProNews/2 has been in public beta for several months now, and it shows in its stability, features and speed. Lief Clennon reviews this newsreader for us.


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Chris Wenham is the Senior Editor of OS/2 e-Zine! -- a promotion from Assistant Editor which means his parking spot will now be wide enough to keep his bicycle and a trailer.


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