Post by Tristan Miller
I use three different computers (a desktop machine at work, a desktop
machine at home, and a laptop when I'm travelling) for news and mail.
For mail I use IMAP, which has the advantage of storing each message's
status (unread, read, replied, forwarded, etc.) on the server. So no
matter what mail client I use on what machine, I can easily distinguish
new messages from those that I've already read or processed. Does
anyone know how I can achieve something similar with news articles?
That is, when I mark an article as being read using a news client on one
machine, I'd like it to automatically appear as being read when I view
the newsgroup using a news client on some other machine.
I know that one way I could do this is to use only a single news client
on one of my machines, and use the other two machines to connect to it
remotely. However, this method has the disadvantage of requiring me to
be always online to read news. That is, I can't download all the
articles from a group in bulk and then read them offline.
Are there any other options here? For example, are there any news
client/caching news server combinations that use NNTP, or some extension
thereof, to mark articles as "read" on the server? (Obviously I'd need
to run such a server on one of my own machines, but I'd be fine with
that.) Or alternatively, are there any news clients that support
syncing of article/thread metadata across installations? Or even more
alternatively (and kludgily), are there any news-to-mail gateways I can
install locally that will keep news articles in folders that I can
access via IMAP instead of NNTP?
Not sure this will work since I haven't tried it. When travelling or on
vacation, I use the remoting trick you mentioned to get to my home PC
(which obviously I had to leave up) to use the NNTP client from there.
However, I was thinking that maybe you could use a cloud sync agent and
service, like OneDrive, Google Drive (now called Backup & Sync), or
Dropbox. Those will sync a local folder to the cloud (your online file
storage). Each host could run the sync client to the same cloud
account. Configure your NNTP client's to store their data in the local
folder that the sync client monitors. You use the sync agent and cloud
file storage to maintain a message store that gets shared by each host
that also has the sync client going to the same cloud account.
While most users tend to install the sync client provided by a cloud
service (i.e., use the OneDrive client for OneDrive, Google's Backup &
Sync client for Google Drive, Dropbox client for Dropbox account), there
are sync clients that support multiple cloud sync protocols, like
SyncBack Pro (supports Amazon S3, Backblaze, Google Drive, Microsoft
OneDrive, OpenStack, Sharepoint, Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, WebDAV, etc,
along with FTP/FTPS/SFTP).
That relies on a cloud account for synchonized file storage across each
host running the sync client. If you didn't want to use someone else's
file server, I suppose you could operate your own, like an FTP server,
and use a local client, like FTPzilla or SyncBack Pro/SE, to sync a
local message store to one stored on the server. That means setting up
your own FTP server, operating on a DMZ'ed host, and punching holes in
your router's firewall (whether you use a separate router or the one
inside a cable modem) with port forwarding, and possibly using DDNS to
give the WAN-side of your router or modem a hostname instead of having
to know its current dynamic IP address assigned to it by your ISP. A
lot of work just to avoid using someone else's cloud file storage and a
sync client to it. Obviously when using your own file server, that host
must be always up for indeterminate access by any of your local or
There are solutions that combine server and sync client into one (e.g.,
syncthing.net, www.goodsync.com/file-sync, www.maxsyncup.com,
allwaysync.com). The sync is directly between the endpoint hosts. No
cloud service needed. Haven't used any to know if you still have to
punch holes in the router's firewall via port forwarding to allow
unsolicited inbound connections from remote hosts, and how to handle
dynamically assigned IP addressing on the endpoint hosts.