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Usenet Newsreaders


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Current Version: 1.0.3b3

Diiva is a specialized newsreader that works in conjunction with Diiva's $5.00/month image preview and categorization service. Simply speaking, Diiva is a proprietary client that works in conjunction with the company's proprietary servers to help Usenet picture junkies quickly preview and find the pictures they are looking for. Available only for Power Macs running Mac OS 8.0 and later, it's distributed as shareware and costs $35. Version 1.0.2 adds/changes the following:

  • Much improved stability -- numerous crashing bugs fixed.
  • Improved compatibility with a wider range of news servers.
  • Added the ability to reset the group access counts.
  • Fixed incompatibility with aggressive transparent proxy servers.
  • Improved error reporting.
  • Lots of smaller fixes.

User Reviews

"Diiva is a nice program for weeding through the thousands of GIFs and JPEGs that are posted online daily, but it's not without its quirks and shortcomings. For $5.00 a month, you can subscribe to Diiva's preview server, which creates thumbnail previews of most of the files that are posted to the binary graphics newsgroups; Diiva then displays those previews on your screen. Frequently, however, many pics display "Preview Not Available" instead of a thumbnail; just as frequently, the wrong thumbnail is displayed for some pictures. Also, there is no ability to mark a picture, thread or newsgroup as being read; nor are crossposts marked as already read (or viewed). This leads to a lot of "I've already seen these previews!" Still, Diiva is better than downloading hundreds or thousands of pictures and sifting through them to find something good. The previews let you download only the pictures whose thumbnail preview looks interesting. It's a good program that needs some work and feature additions/enhancements, particularly the ability to mark posts & groups as read (or in this case, viewed)."
—Kevin Engler

"Diiva fills a great need for Mac users who download images from the usenet. Instead of the laborious process of downloading an image at a time, and then having to delete the ones you don't want, Diiva gives preview images, so you only download what you want, or else you can tell it to download all images in all your favourite newsgroups, while you're having lunch, then delete the unwanted ones with a single click. It saves a huge amount of work for me. It's so intuitive I only had to click it open and it set itself up, without any human configuration needed!"
—Wilson Gilmore

"Buyer beware, this company does not reply to emails, the application does not work with my ISP and your credit card will be billed recurring monthly charges to get the alleged full feature set. Stick with your free newsreaders or Baker; this developer gives shareware a bad name."
—Thomas Patrick Dillon

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Download the Mac OS 9 version.

Version 1.0.3 Preview 3 for Mac OS X (Carbon) is now available, adding/changing the following:

  • Carbonized for Mac OS X.
  • OS X Mouse wheel scrolling support added. (Mac OS X only)
  • OS X Fixed even more proxy server issues.
  • OS X Other smaller fixes.
  • Added yEnc support.
  • Fixed problem where the image viewer would sometimes fail to update properly. (Mac OS X only.)
  • Fixed a couple of issues with the yEnc decoder. It's now much more robust.


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Release Notes License:
Shareware; $49

Current Version: 4.3 (December 27, 2006)

Hogwasher is a multithreaded, online/offline email and Usenet news client that has become a favorite of many users in recent years. It features the following:

  • Online and offline operation
  • Powerful filtering
  • Scheduled connections
  • "Tree" thread display
  • Security settings
  • Batch binary posting
  • Automatic binary decoding (including yEnc)
  • Multi-part post assembly
  • Built-in image viewing
  • Support for multiple accounts
  • Full email support
  • Address book

Version 4.3 - the first new release in nearly two years - adds/changes the following:

  • Built as universal binary.
  • New Hogwasher icon and Dock icon badging.
  • New Search... command, for creating a persistent search set.
  • New account setting for whether searches use the XPAT command.
  • New account setting for how many connections to open automatically.
  • NZB file support.
  • Fixed crash and error -1309 retrieving large number of headers.
  • Fixed nil pointer error while downloading.
  • Fixed the Download folder reverting to the default location.

Version 4.3 is a free upgrade to version 4.0 or later; registered users of versions prior to 4.0 may upgrade for $25.

User Reviews

Currently, no user reviews have been submitted. Send me yours!


Home Page Release Notes License:
Shareware; $20

Current Version: 2.8.3 (December 16, 2009)

From the Info-Mac abstract file: MacSOUP is an offline reader for news and mail (it can be used for news only, if you prefer Eudora or another email client for mail). It works either with a Unix shell account (in conjunction with uqwk), or with a TCP/IP connection (MacTCP or Open Transport). Features: fetches only article headers in a first pass; lets you select which articles you actually want to download; true references-based threading, with a graphical display of the thread tree; kill file (with regular expressions); and multiple mailboxes with mail filters.

Version 2.8.3 - the first release in over two (!) years - makes the following changes/enhancements:

  • Worked around a possible crash on startup with certain kinds of Address Book corruption.
  • With very large Address Books, typing in the address fields of an email editor window was very sluggish.
  • The Services menu now works in Snow Leopard.
  • MacSOUP's scripting dictionary can be opened again with the AppleScript editor in Leopard.
  • Minor fixes.

User Reviews

"MacSOUP is a remarkably useful and easy-to-use off-line mail reader. It combines news and e-mail, has an intuitive interface and a very good address book, and is one of the few Mac programs to work with UQWK, so you don't need TCP - a shell connection will work. MacSOUP can be configured so it is not something you even have to think about. The new version, 2.1, will work with TCP connections as well as UQWK mail packets, but requires Internet Config."
—David Zatz

"MacSOUP, shareware at $20, is simply the best off-line news and mail program available for [the] Mac. It allows me to use [an off-line connection] with a Waffle Bulletin Board, as well as my regular PPP connection. Features are: easy to subscribe/unsubscribe to newsgroups, good kill files, multiple mail boxes, easy to use reply and followup commands, multiple configurations for different servers, accounts etc.,...need I go on?"
—Chris Smith

"I use MacSOUP regularly as my news client application of choice. By retrieving the entire text of subscribed newsgroups in batch mode, the user can spend as much time offline in examining the content. The status of retrieval is shown in in a small window with a progress bar. After MacSOUP completes the retrieval of the textual data, the user can be notified via a system beep. Alternatively, an AppleScript can be initiated (such as one to disconnect a PPP session).

"While reading a news article, you are able to see a branching graphical representation of the current message thread (with symbolic representation of whether a given posting has been read or not). While examining the graphical thread, moving the cursor over a message yields the name of the author. Finally, a fairly flexible kill file option is included.

"The one area where MacSOUP could stand improvement is in its inability to UUdecode binaries (either single or multiple segment). At least one other news client, Nuntius, has this capability."

—Mike Oetting

"MacSOUP is great. I don't waste online time, and its email with newsgroup reader package is the best. MacSOUP also has an article thread tree, which helps you keep track of a topic. This is a must-use program for the beginner Net user."
—Toby Kels

"I have been using MacSOUP for about 3 years now, first on dial-up and now with a permanent Internet connection. Even though I don't "need" an offline reader anymore, MacSOUP still does an amazing job; the killfile facility is as flexible as that on complex UNIX news clients, but remains very easy to use. Being able to fetch all articles from some groups and only headers from others (e.g., binary groups) makes browsing fast and comfortable. And with all the e-mail viruses these days, there's another reason to use a program which does NOT support message attachments."
—Graham Reed

"MacSOUP is rather lovely, especially the threading for offline news reading. Flaws: it insists on using Internet Config, which makes it difficult at best to have two different people (with different email addresses) to use it for news and mail reading, which is a shame. There's also no 'take address into addressbook' that I could find...."
—Stuart Langridge

"I use this on an old Performa 200 (Classic II) and it runs very quickly. The layout of the windows etc. is fine on the small screen and it looks good even in monochrome. This is an ideal newsreader if you are a bit short on processor horsepower. The graphical thread indicator is excellent. The only minus points are that it doesn't handle attachments very well and it can't decode binaries automatically. The ability to customise mail headings is a plus. Recommended!"
—Paul Foster

"The best Shareware app I've ever used - in fact the only one I have paid for. Brilliant. I even use if my Email now as well, it does lack in attachment support, but I set the message limit to download and use Eudora then. Attachment support is promised for the next release. It's a breeze to send messages to multiple NG's or Email and post replies at the same time. Get it NOW."
—Andy Hewitt

"Still the only program with an easily-navigable two-dimensional thread overview and the ability to fast-read tagged messages only -- like "trn" on Unix. Downside: No Carbon version, no ability to export a full .newsrc file."
—Matthias Urlichs

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Home Page Release Notes Screen Shots License:
Shareware; $20

Current Version: 1.3.2 (July 15, 2009)

MaxNews (formerly MacNews) is a nice-looking offline Usenet newsreader. Version 1.3.2 adds/changes the following:

  • [Fix] Data is now saved to the '~/Library/Application Support/Maxprog' folder rather than '~/Documents/Maxprog'.

User Reviews

Currently, no user reviews have been submitted. Send me yours!


Home Page Release Notes License:
Open source; $0

Final Version: 1.7.13 (April 27, 2006) / 1.2.1 (December 3, 2002)

Mozilla was the original name for Netscape Navigator, back when it was first being developed in 1994 by Marc Andreesen and his friends from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA - the people who developed Mosaic, the world's first graphical web browser). The name was supposed to imply a supercharged, "Godzilla" version of Mosaic; Mozilla was forced to change its name to Netscape when the people at NCSA threatened to sue over trademark infringement. Behind the scenes, though, Netscape Navigator and Communicator have always been known as Mozilla; type "about:mozilla" into the "Location" field of any version of those browsers and you'll see evidence of that.

In the early 21st century, with the "Mosaic"-inspired name no longer an issue, Mozilla became the name of the open source project upon which the Netscape series of browsers was based. Continuously developed by programmers around the world rather than by just a handful at a large corporation, it changed constantly, and improved all the time.

Today, however, Mozilla is no longer under development, at least under the "Mozilla" moniker. The primary components of Mozilla - its web browser and email/Usenet client - were broken off into separate, optimized development efforts, known respectively as Firefox and Thunderbird. The combined application suite has, as of early 2006, been reincarnated as SeaMonkey, which I will be adding to the Orchard soon.

Nonetheless, I include Mozilla here for historic purposes, since people will still find it useful and functional for some time, and it represents one of the only opportunities for users of "Classic" Mac OS to access a more modern browser that is largely compatible with today's more advanced web standards.

While Mozilla 1.7.13 was a minor update to Mozilla 1.7 that added some security and stability fixes, version 1.7 made a huge number of feature and performance enhancements. The online release notes have the whole picture.

Mozilla is fast (once it's loaded, which can still take a while) at rendering web pages. Mozilla is a breath of fresh air, and while the interface elements seem a little slow compared to other browsers, pages render remarkably quickly. This latest release is more than worthy of your daily use. Two of my many criteria for determining a browser's usefulness are: 1) how long I keep it open for browsing before quitting out in frustration; and 2) how long it keeps itself open before crashing. Mozilla wins on both fronts. Download it and try it for yourself; I suspect you'll be pleasantly surprised.

FYI: If you use OS X and like Mozilla - but don't like the way it looks - you should proceed, posthaste, to download the Pinstripe Theme for Mozilla, which lets the browser breathe through a beautiful Aqua interface, just like all of your favorite OS X apps. Mozilla's just not complete without it.

Mozilla 1.7 requires a Mac OS X later to run (version 1.2.1 was the last "official" release for OS 9, although the Web and Mail Communicator Project has a modified, unofficial release of version 1.3.1 available for OS 9), and it comes with optionally-installable news, email, and IRC (yes, IRC; Mozilla includes an incomplete IRC client called "Chatzilla" rather than AOL Instant Messenger) components. The mail and news clients are surprisingly well thought-out and pleasant to use, although I will probably always maintain that it is better to use separate, dedicated email and newsreading software rather than taking a "swiss army knife" approach; the separate tools are still superior at what they do. (Personal note: this is why I actually use Firefox for my regular browsing rather than the combined Mozilla suite...for email, I use Eudora.)

User Reviews

"I used to be a big Netscape fan until version 6. Mac Orchard reviewed NS6 correctly - big and clunky! While IE5 will probably remain my default browser, I am highly impressed with Mozilla. I am a web designer and need to see my pages in all the various browsers. Many times when I would attempt to view a page in NS6, it would quit even before it opened! Finally Mozilla will end that frustration for me."
—Erin Bird

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Download the Mac OS 9 (Classic) version (1.2.1).
Download the Mac OS X (Carbon) version (1.7.13).
Go to the "nightly build" FTP site for the latest unofficial release.

Version 1.8 beta 1 is also available for Mac OS X (Carbon), making many enhancements; however, it was announced in March 2005 that this version will not see a final release, as the Mozilla organization instead focuses its efforts on the development of the independent Firefox and Thinderbird programs. The SeaMonkey project is Mozilla's heir apparent. See the online release notes for more details.

Multi-Threaded NewsWatcher

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Release Notes License:

Current Version: 3.1 / 3.4 / 3.5.2 (August 28, 2006)

Since John Norstad releases the source code to the free NewsWatcher program for people to change, there are several variants of the program that add many features. MT-NewsWatcher is a multi-threaded version of NewsWatcher (hence the name) that brings a new level of usability to the NewsWatcher series. Multithreading has almost become a necessity in these days of Usenet overload, and the version 3.x series further enhances MT-NW's implementation, with an intuitive interface and smooth operation that will get you reading news faster than just about any other newsreader. Yes, it still has speech recognition capabilities, but a host of new features in version 3.x are, perhaps, of far more interest to most users. A few highlights include:

  • Read news on multiple servers at the same time.
  • Set up several personalities for posting, with different reply addresses, headers and signatures.
  • View images inline, right in the article window! Non-image binaries show up as file icons.
  • Read and post articles in different languages, like Japanese and Chinese.
  • Post binaries to newsgroups.
  • Index the contents of articles that you read, so that you can search them later.
  • Configure per-group preferences for list format, character sets etc.
  • Real-time pattern filtering in newsgroup, subject, and article windows.
  • Newsgroup FAQ retrieval.
  • Many other new features, and feature enhancements.

Version 3.1 (the latest "Classic" version) has some new features, and a lot of bug fixes. New features include:

  • Progressive movie (QuickTime, MPEG etc) display, and MP3 playing
  • More image formats supported (PNG and other QuickTime image formats)
  • Option to use a more accurate way of counting the number of articles available in a group
  • More message posting options
  • Support for UTF-7 and UTF-8
  • SOCKS 4 support (via the Internet Control Panel).

Version 3.4 (the latest Mac OS 9 version, which is not considered fully supported by the author) features the following changes:

  • Junk filtering - MT-NW now has an adaptive junk filter that makes it much easier to filter spam out of your newsgroups.
  • Inline spell checking - The native Cocoa spell checker is used to do spell checking as you type in message windows, complete with red underline.
  • Email address auto-complete - The system Address Book is used to auto-complete email addresses as you type them in recipient fields.
  • Better error reporting when extracting binaries - When batch-extracting binaries, extraction errors now go into a log window to avoid interrupting the extraction with dialogs.
  • Auto-extracting of downloaded files - You can set preferences so that "safe" files that you download are automatically opened.

Version 3.5.2 (the latest Mac OS X version) is a must-have upgrade, bringing Universal Binary support for both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs. Improvements include:

  • Secure News - Added support for news over SSL (snews), configurable via the server settings in the News Servers dialog.
  • Secure Mail - Added support for SMTP authentication, and SMTP over TLS and SSL, configurable via the Mail Server tab in the Personalities dialog.
  • Passwords Stored in Keychain - MT-NW can now store news and mail passwords in your Keychain, and not in its preferences file.
  • Search Integration - The context menus in article and message windows now have items to search in Google, look up a word in Dictionary, and search using Spotlight (on Tiger). Spelling-related items are now also available in message window context menus.
  • More reliable binary extraction - This version contains fixes for several bugs relating to binary extraction. Extraced binaries will no longer produced corrupted files, and the process will use less memory.
  • Added the ability to create filters via AppleScript.
  • Removed the ability to base a personality on an Internet Config profile, since IC is deprecated in the OS.
  • The "User agent" header no longer contains "Intel" on PowerPC machines.
  • Build PPC with gcc 3.3 so that it's compatible with pre-10.3.9 systems.
  • Fixed the "Print" menu item.
  • Authentication via GSS (Kerberos) now works again.
  • Fixed SOCKS connection error on Intel.
  • Fixed a bug that caused extracted binaries to be corrupted sometimes.
  • Fixed a bug that caused files created by cancelled binary extraction tasks to not be deletable.
  • Improved error reporting when extracting binaries.
  • You can now Copy from the binary extraction Log window
  • Fixed memory leaks when extracting binaries.
  • Now use long filenames when dragging msgs from subject window to Finder.
  • JPEG images now display millions of colors, which fixes color banding issues.
  • Fixed some issues enabling menu items on the "Shared Newsrc" submenu.
  • Fixed a bug that caused some window positions to be restored incorrectly on Intel (this was most apparent with the Log window, and I believe was responsible for a nasty hang when extracting binaries on Intel machines).
  • Fixed an issue that caused MT-NW to complain that some URL helpers (like Fetch) are too old to use.

MT-NewsWatcher is one of the reasons the Macintosh remains the preferred platform for serious Usenet junkies. There's little else that compares with it.

User Reviews

"Multi-Threaded NewsWatcher . . . without doubt positions itself as the premier Usenet newsreader available today for the Macintosh. Simon Fraser has done an unbelievable job supporting this excellent product, and get this - it's free! It is easily the most-used piece of software I have on my Mac.

"As far as bug fixes are concerned, every bug report I have sent to Simon has either resulted in a fix or has been acknowledged. Three new releases this year is pretty good going! I work for a software development company, so I can appreciate the response Simon is providing.

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Download version 2.4.4 (for older Macs).
Download version 3.1 for Power Macs running OS 8 and earlier.
Download version 3.4 for Mac OS 9.
Download version 3.5.2 for Mac OS X 10.3.x+ (Carbon / Universal).
Download the MT-NewsWatcher documentation.

Version 3.5.3b3 for Mac OS X 10.3.9+ is available (July 7, 2008), adding/fixing the following:

  • MT-NewsWatcher now supports SSL (secure) connections to news servers. To enable SSL for a server, go to the News Servers item on the Special menu. In the resulting dialog, select the server you wish to change. Check the "Use secure connection" checkbox under the server address. Normally this will use port 563, but you can change that if you wish.
  • Some forms of SMTP authentication are now supported (PLAIN, LOGIN and CRAM-MD5). MT-NewsWatcher will attempt to detect which authentication methods your mail server supports, and use the most secure. Secure SMTP is not yet supported.
  • MT-NewsWatcher now stores passwords for news and mail in Keychain. This relaxes the maximum username length from 32 to 64 characters.
  • MT-NewsWatcher is now Leopard-compatible.
  • Improved typing performance by not flushing the graphics port on every caret blink.
  • Greyscale images now display correctly.
  • Fixed authentication issues when not saving the password in Keychain.
  • Fixed the display of the help images on Intel machines.
  • Fixed a hang on 10.5 when extracting binaries on showing a "Choose folder" dialog (and some other related hangs).
  • Fixed a hang on 10.5 after posting a message (deadlock when destroying the spell checker object).
  • Fixed a bug that could cause security failure dialogs to not be displayed on connection. (b2)
  • Fixed a bug introduced in 3.5.3b1 that caused sending mail to never complete. (b2)
  • No longer show error message when dragging and dropping in subject windows. (b2)
  • Made uudecoding more robust to crud inserted into articles by news feed providers. (b2)
  • Fixed the ability to drag an inline image to the Finder without selecting it (option key saves a file, rather than a clipping). (b2)
  • Moved the MT-NewsWatcher.rsrc file to the English.lproj directory in the package to make localization easier. (b2)
  • Fixed a crash closing subject windows after rebuilding the full groups list. (b3)
  • Fix an issue where Extract Binaries would sometimes stall after choosing a destination folder. (b3)
  • Clear the news server authentication password field when switching between news servers. (b3)


Home Page Release Notes License:
Shareware; €14.99

Current Version: 0.2.9 (July 14, 2009)

Nemo is Usenet newsreader made for Mac OS X that is designed to look and behave like an Apple application. It uses the most recent Mac OS X technologies like WebKit and Spotlight.

Nemo uses WebKit in order to render messages on screen. This means that if you know a little bit of CSS you can create your own messages styles or threads map styles easily and share them with other users like in Adium or Colloquy. You can also navigate the Internet with the simple and complete integrated browser; you can use your bookmarks from your favorite browser with an auto-update sync feature.

Features include:

  • You can use it as an Online or Offline newsreader
  • Google Groups Integration
  • Fast message search bar for Subject, Author, MsgID and Body
  • Advanced Search inside groups
  • X-Face, Face and X-Face-URL support
  • Messages rendering engine based on WebKit, fully customizable.
  • Fully Customizable Signatures with AppleScript.
  • Growl Notification supports for incoming events.
  • Hierarchical Messages List
  • Flat Messages List
  • Graphical Thread Map
  • Navigate between threads using your keyboard without touching the mouse.
  • Thread Inspector window to navigate without opening a thread.
  • Smart Folder Support
  • Virtual Newsgroup to archive messages
  • Multiple Labels support
  • Mark a message as watched
  • Automatic archive purge
  • Automatic groups refresh
  • Send a message automatically at specified time.
  • Multiple Concurrent downloads from the same server.
  • Customizable dock icon
  • Messages preview as tooltips in list
  • Multiple post ordering (last thread update and thread creation)
  • Support for different encodings from standard ISO to Japanese.
  • Integrated web browser based upon WebKit engine
  • Automatically share bookmarks with Safari, Camino, Firefox, Opera and OmniWeb.
  • Automatic Software Update
  • Export or Import settings between different copies of Nemo.
  • Spotlight support.

Version 0.2.9 adds/changes the following:

  • #450 Can't send messages
  • #432 Nemo places signature in one-line
  • #438 Can't perform refresh
  • #439 Can't select groups
  • #440 Subscribing to the same group is allowed multiple times
  • #441 Deleting drafts is dimmed
  • #442 Added shortcut to refresh selected groups and refresh all subscriptions
  • #445 Crash at startup

See the development forum for more information.

User Reviews

Currently, no user reviews have been submitted. Send me yours!


Home Page Release Notes Screen Shots License:

Current Version: (December 11, 2007)

Please note: As of February, 2008, Netscape will once again be discontinued. This time, however, it will be discontinued for all platforms, and support for all versions, past and present, will be discontinued as well. See Tom Drapeau's blog post for more information.

Once the universal choice for browsing the web, Netscape's presence today has been marginalized by many other browsers, largely due to the stagnant 4.x series that introduced little innovation, and to the 6.x series, which merely showed amateurish promise.

Netscape 9 is a bundled Web browser / authoring environment / email / newsreader / instant messenger offering based upon the Mozilla project's browser and renderer work.

The primary components of Netscape and Mozilla - both the web browser and email/Usenet client - were broken off into separate, optimized development efforts, known respectively as Firefox and Thunderbird. The combined application suite has, as of early 2006, been reincarnated as SeaMonkey, which I will be adding to the Orchard soon.

In its older (7.x) incarnations, Netscape represents one of the few remaining opportunities for users of "Classic" Mac OS to access a more modern browser that is largely compatible with today's more advanced web standards. Version 7.02 was the final release for "Classic" Mac OS, and it remains available, below.

Version 9 is available for Mac OS X 10.2 and later, represents the first new release of Netscape for the Mac in over three years. It's a universal binary, and it offers the following:

  • Visual Refresh - Netscape Navigator 9's theme has been updated to save screen-space and leave more room for the websites you visit.
  • URL Correction - Navigator 9 will automatically correct common typos in URLs. For example, if you accidentally type googlecom, Navigator will fix it be to The browser will watch for nearly 30 different types of common mistakes and correct them for you (asking you to confirm, if you choose to enable confirmation).
  • News Menu and Sidebar - The latest news is built right into the browser, under the News menu. Provided by, you can customize the menu to only contain the news sections you want to monitor. You can also open the News sidebar to always keep an eye on what's happening.
  • Link Pad - The Link Pad is a new sidebar feature that allows you to save links/URLs that you want to visit later without cluttering your bookmarks. Just drag a link over the Link Pad status bar icon and drop it to save it in the Link Pad. By default, clicking on an item in the Link Pad will open it in the browser and remove it from the list, saving you the step of deleting it.
  • News Tracker - The Netscape Tracker sidebar lets you monitor breaking news as it happens, via
  • In-browser voting - Share your opinions with the world! The icons in the Navigator address bar let you share interesting stories you find and vote on stories shared by others.
  • Extension Compatibility - Navigator 9 shares an architecture with the latest Mozilla technologies; as such, Navigator 9 will let you install extensions that are compatible with Firefox 2.
  • Sidebar Mini Browser - You've always been able to have bookmarks open in the sidebar, but we've improved this functionality and extended it to all links, not just bookmarks. Additionally, we've added a navigation toolbar to the sidebar for even easier split-screened browsing. Just right-click on a link and select "Open Link in Sidebar" to get started!
  • Restart Netcape - A smalll but oft-requested feature: you can now restart Navigator (and keep your current tabs intact) by selecting "Restart Navigator" from the File menu.
  • Resizeable Textarea - Drag the bottom-right corners of text fields in forms to add more typing space.
  • Tab History - Opening a link in a new tab will give the new tab the same history as the source tab for a more seamless tabbed browsing experience.
  • OPML Support - Netscape Navigator supports importing and exporting your bookmarks in OPML, a popular format for sharing lists of newsfeeds.
  • Throbber - By popular demand, the Netscape 7-style throbber is back. Click on it any time to visit
  • Combined Stop/Reload button - To save space in your toolbar, we've combined the stop and reload buttons. Because you never need both at the same time, the toolbar will only show the relevant half of the pair.
  • Friends' Activity Sidebar - If you are a member at, you can keep tabs on what your friends find interesting. This sidebar lets you view your friends latest votes, comments, and story submissions.
  • Sitemail Notification - This icon will sport an exclamation point when you have new sitemail messages waiting for you.
  • Since Navigator 9 is based on the newest Mozilla technologies, there are additional features in Navigator 9 that were not available in Netscape Browser 8.x. You can read about those new features in these release notes from Mozilla.

Version adds/changes the following:

  • These security fixes included in Mozilla Firefox have been included in Netscape Navigator

Netscape 9 is as fast at loading and viewing/navigating pages than just about any browser available for the Mac - even though the interface elements are somewhat clunkier. Even so, Netscape Communicator 4 (updated on 8/20/2002 to version 4.8) is still available (see below) for those who might prefer its quirks.

I have chosen not to review the non-browser components of this release, but I generally recommend people use separate, dedicated email and newsreading software (although the email component has gotten rave reviews in many publications). The Swiss army knife approach just doesn't cut it for me (pun very much intended) when it's not a matter of my pockets feeling bulky.

User Reviews

"Impressive, this new Netscape version (7.0). I was still using 4.76, seeing that version 6 was not well reviewed. This new version draws fast and does not redraw (so far). I like the look and feel of it. After only about an hour with it, I can say I will adopt it. I'm using a PowerBook G3 (Firewire) with OS 9.1 and 384MB of memory. Consider this browser."
—Alain Thibault

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Current Version: alpha 12

Newsflash is a free Usenet newsreader featuring:

  • A user-friendly Aqua GUI.
  • Multi-threaded (non-blocking) operation.
  • Multiple NNTP server support.
  • True (by-reference) article threading.
  • Multiple NNTP server support.

As of June 2002, Newsflash is still in the early alpha stages of development. The current release may contain serious bugs, so use it at your own risk. Alpha 12 adds/changes the following:

  • yEnc support courtesy of updated AJRFoundation/AJRMessage frameworks
  • Support for posting using US-ASCII, ISOLatin1, ISOLatin2, ISO-2022-JP (Japanese) and ISO-8859-7 (Greek) character sets
  • Fixed bug decoding multi-part MIME articles
  • Clicking on progress indicator opens Activity Viewer window
  • New cleaned-up crisper icon
  • Left/right arrows now work for keyboard navigation
  • Newsflash can be set as the default handler for news: and nntp: URLS
  • Started Swedish Localization
  • Fixed bug which let you drag-n-drop a favorite item inside itself
  • Fixed memory leak while reading a .newsrc file
  • Remembers and re-opens the previous selected server
  • Size and date columns remember their (in)visibility settings
  • Browser remembers its height and column widths

Newsflash is a 100% native Mac OS X application developed with Cocoa and Objective-C. Newsflash is an Open Source project released under a BSD-style licence. Visit the Newsflash project page at SourceForge for the latest developer news or to join the Newsflash project.

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Home Page Release Notes License:

Current Version: 3.0.1 (August 10, 2006)

NewsWatcher-UB is an unofficial "Universal Binary" version of John Norstad's NewsWatcher program. It runs under Mac OS X 10.2.8. or later. No new features have been added.

Version 3.0.1 adds/changes the following:

  • Fixed some byte swap errors (x86/ppc)

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Home Page Screen Shots Release Notes License:

Current Version: 2.2.3b2

NewsWatcher-X is an unofficial "Carbonization" of John Norstad's NewsWatcher program. It runs under Mac OS X or with CarbonLib 1.0.4. No new features have been added; this is just to get the OS X folks up and running with a decent newsreader. Version 2.2.3b2 addresses the following:

  • Native OS X helper applications now work.
  • Copy and paste fixed.

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Home Page Release Notes Screen Shots License:

Current Version: 10.0 (September 2, 2009)

Opera, the browser that has been a favorite of PC users for years, has finally arrived on the Macintosh in recent years. Similar in scope to Mozilla, Opera includes not just a web browser, but an email client and Usenet newsreader as well. Both of these are quite capable, and worth a look if you prefer an all-in-one application to suit the bulk of your Internet communication needs.

Version 10.0 makes the following enhancements from version 9.64:

  • Auto update - Opera now includes the ability to update itself automatically when new releases become available. By default, Opera will notify the user about available updates. Users can specify that snapshot build releases of Opera should be downloaded by enabling "Download All Snapshots" in opera:config. Users can also choose not to check for updates or to automatically install updates by going to Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Security and changing the "Opera update level" (select box) to the: "Automatically install updates" setting.
  • Crashlogging tool - An integrated user interface for built-in crash reporting has been added to Opera. This feature automatically appears when Opera has suffered a crash and enables a user to easily report the event directly back to Opera.
  • Inline spell checker - Spelling errors are now indicated as you type via a dotted red underline in all places where you can input text: form fields, Opera Mail compose windows, Notes, Chat, etc. Only single-line text fields do not check spelling automatically. The spelling checker can be enabled/disabled from the context menu (right-click a text field to open this menu). The context menu also includes spelling suggestions, the ability to change dictionary languages, and the ability to select additional dictionaries for automatic download and installation. Opera uses the Hunspell dictionary format, and a US English dictionary is included by default.
  • Opera Presto 2.2 rendering engine - The Opera Presto rendering engine has been updated to version 2.2 further enhancing its reputation for stability and security.
  • Opera Turbo - This new Opera feature increases your internet bandwidth speed on slow connections using data and image compression technologies. Opera Turbo uses Opera proxy servers to compress the traffic before it reaches the Opera browser on the client computer.
  • Pretty-printing of unstyled XML - Opera 10 incorporates "pretty-print XML", which is now the default styling for unstyled XML and uses the unstyledxml.css style sheet in the Styles sub-directory of the Opera installation directory.
  • Skin elements - New skin elements crafted by our acclaimed Web designer Jon Hicks have been applied to the Opera 10 user interface.
  • Visual tabs - The Opera 10 Tab Bar can be used to show all open tabs as thumbnails.
  • Acid3 test = Opera 10 scores 100/100, pixel perfect on the Acid3 compliance test.
  • Opera Dragonfly - Additions to Opera Dragonfly developer tools include HTTP header inspection, DOM editing, and automatic selection of the current tab.
  • Opera Mail - Delete After X Days - POP-only - Delete after X days automatically removes messages from POP servers after the specified number of days, which is particularly useful for users who have limited server space. This option can be enabled for POP accounts on the Incoming tab of the account settings dialog by checking "Remove from server after #days" (7 days by default). It is also possible to specify that only read messages and/or only fully downloaded messages should be removed. Warning: Disabling the latter option is dangerous for those that use low-bandwidth mode, as messages that are not completely downloaded will be removed from the server, making it impossible to retrieve the complete message.
  • Opera Mail - Rich Text Message Composition - HTML authoring
  • Regular expression engine - Opera 10 has an improved and faster regular expression engine that uses a stack-based bytecode instruction set. This type of instruction set is based around a stack of values, where most instructions "pop" input operands from the value stack, process them, and "push" the result back onto the value stack. Some instructions simply push values onto the value stack, and others rearrange the values on the stack. This results in compact bytecode programs with code that is easily generated. It is a typical backtracking regular expression engine, but does some tricks to avoid redundant backtracking. These usually avoid the severe performance issues a backtracking regular expression engine can have on specific regular expressions.
  • Speed Dial configuration options - You can now easily configure how many speed dials will fit comfortably on your Opera desktop. Click "Configure Speed Dial" in the lower-right corner of the Speed Dial page to open the configuration dialog box.
  • Support for the CSS3 color:transparent value has been improved.
  • Full RGBA and HSLA opacity support is now included for an easier way to make Web page features transparent. This is accomplished by the addition of a fourth argument to HSL and RGB, namely alpha transparency and results in RGBA and HSLA values. See this Opera reference.
  • Support has been added for the CSS Selectors API. This feature makes the selection of DOM elements a lot simpler. It includes partial support for namespace resolver features which allow you to work with mixed namespace documents and select elements based on their namespace; see this Opera reference.
  • CSS files must now be served with the correct MIME type ("text/css") in Strict mode, or they will be ignored.
  • HTML 5 algorithms have been implemented for detecting charsets in HTML.
  • HTML 5 end-tag and start-tag parsing, whitespace parsing, and DOCTYPE parsing have been added.
  • HTML 5 <canvas> elements can now export images to the JPEG format.
  • HTML 5 <canvas> transforms are applied when building a path, not when painting it.
  • FPS (Frames Per Second) support: Opera enables you to manipulate the speed (frames per second) of your SVG animations using JavaScript by supporting the SVGElement.currentFps and SVGElement.targetFps properties. These properties respectively read and control SVG frames per second; see this Opera reference.
  • SVG fonts in HTML support: Use SVG font files to style your text using CSS (in both HTML and SVG files); see this Opera reference.
  • Web fonts - font specification (@font-face CSS at-rules) with the font-family descriptor
  • Web fonts - src descriptor with local and remote
  • Web fonts - TrueType (TTF)
  • Web fonts - OpenType (OTF)
  • Web fonts - Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) font support

The online release notes have much more detail about these new features. I would daresay that, as of the 9.0 release, Opera has become a browser that is worthy of attention on the Mac once and for all. It's quite stable, capable and customizable, and it renders pages very well - on a par with Safari and Firefox. Its breakthrough feature remains its ability to magnify and reduce pages (graphics and all) to just about any size of your choice, which is a real boon for those with disabilities. Its RSS reader is much more thoroughly developed than that in Safari and Firefox as well. Be sure to come back here again for more thorough review soon.

Opera is entirely free, eschewing the built-in advertising that was once its hallmark. Competition in the browser space is a good thing for Mac users. Let's hope that Opera can shake up the Mac browser world in a big way.

User Reviews

[9.0.1] "I've been using Opera 9.01 for just over an hour and I'm already certain there won't be a second hour of testing. In this short space of time I've found the delete button in the download prefs does nothing (I wanted to delete the application/zip prefs to force Opera to ask for new settings), when I set zip files to be opened after downloading, nothing happens, and Opera corrupted all the zip archives I was downloading from a sound clip site. Camino downloaded them fine. Something else that bugged me, yet wasn't an actual bug - when I went Opera->About Opera to get double-check the program version before posting this review, Opera opened the about page IN PLACE of the MacOrchard submit a review page :-( Not good behavior. Opera also touts itself as the fastest browser ever - not in my testing! Camino and even Shiira are faster loading pages. These bugs and annoyances (and this is just what I've encountered in an hour... I wonder what I'd find if I stuck with Opera longer?) are nothing compared to how un-maclike the UI is. If only because Opera uses non-standard and un-maclike UI elements and practises, I will not continue using this program."
—Jamie Kahn Genet, August 12, 2006

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Download the Mac OS X 10.3+ (Carbon / Universal) version.

Version 10.10 beta 1 (Carbon / Universal, for Mac OS X - October 15, 2009) is available, introducing support for Opera Unite, which allows you to download and run Web applications and to share content with others in a quick and easy way.


Home Page Release Notes Screen Shots License:
Shareware; $40-$45

Current Version: X 1.2 (December 18, 2003) / PE 1.1b (June 12, 2006) / PE 1.2 (March 30, 2010)

From the Info-Mac abstract file: PictureSnooper is an application that searches Usenet newsgroups for binary files, while you are having dinner, at the movies, or even sleeping. These binary files are usually pictures (and sometimes executables and HTML files). After finding a binary file, PictureSnooper downloads the file, decodes that file, and saves that file to the directory of your choice for later viewing.

PictureSnooper X version 1.2 (Carbon, for Mac OS 8.5 - Mac OS X) made the the following changes:

  • Improved Performance On Message Parsing
  • Fixed An Issue With Pre-G4 Processors
  • Various Bug Fixes

PictureSnooper PE version 1.1b added "Universal Binary" support for native performance on both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs running Mac OS X 10.4.

PictureSnooper PE version 1.2 - the first new version in almost four (!) years - adds support for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6.

PictureSnooperX and PictureSnooperPE are shareware, $40 and $45, respectively. (Upgrades from previous versions are $5.)

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Company Page Home Page Release Notes Screen Shots License:
Commercial; $39.95

Current Version: 1.1.2 (March 9, 2010)

Postbox is an interesting commercial email client and Usenet newsreader based on the email technology that underlies Thunderbird. However, it adds a refined user interface and provides advanced message analysis and cataloging functions that make it easier to search and retrieve information on demand. It also includes some social networking features, such as direct integration with Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, and Flickr.

Version 1.1.2 introduces the following enhancements over the previous release (1.1.1):

  • Support for Things (version 1.2.11)
  • Support for OmniFocus (version 1.7.5)
  • Support for the IMAP COMPRESS extension which makes accessing Gmail faster
  • Topics are now exposed via AppleScript
  • Migration from will now import all of the folders located under "On My Mac"
  • Fixed an issue where certain calendar invites from Exchange were not showing up as attachments
  • Fixed an issue where the signature was not being placed in the correct place when forwarding
  • Fixed an issue where sending to a mailing list could fail
  • Fixed an issue where indented text wasn't displayed properly
  • Improved automatic detection of account settings for various ISPs
  • Incorporated Mozilla Firefox security updates through version 3.5.8.

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Home Page Release Notes License:
Shareware; see text

Current Version: 1.8.4 (May 31, 2009)

Thoth is another world-class newsreader from Brian Clark, author of the awesome-but-discontinued YA-NewsWatcher newsreader. Thoth has all the features that made YA-NW so great, including an attractive user interface, power-user preferences, automatic FAQ retrieval, queued article and header downloads, quoted text coloring, reference-based article threading (with a handy view of the thread available while you're reading its posts), multi-threaded connection to the news server (up to 4 connections), sophisticated filtering with regex support, comprehensive multiple character set support, binary posting and built-in binary viewing, finely integrated support for multiple news servers (even simultaneously) - and, like YA-NW, hundreds of other small features too numerous to mention here. Thoth is an astounding piece of work.

If Thoth has not been registered then it will stop working 30 days from when it was first installed. There's also a limit of 50 queued transfers or inline attachments displayed per session until Thoth has been registered. Alerts reminding you that Thoth is shareware will be shown at startup until the program has been registered and you have entered your registration key. These are the only differences between registered and unregistered copies of Thoth. The nag alert, 30 day expiration, and queued transfer/inline image per session limit serve as incentives to register Thoth without preventing the program from being fully evaluated and all its features fully tested prior to registration. Version 1.8 adds/changes the following from version 1.7.2 (the previous public release):

  • The OS X only version of Thoth now offers spelling checking for message windows. In message windows misspelled words can optionally be displayed in a distinct color and underlined (similar to URL styling, and enabled or disabled the same way in the "Fonts and Styles" pane of Preferences) to make them more obvious. When a single misspelled word is selected and there are guesses available, the contextual menu will have a submenu listing the guesses to paste in to correct the spelling. The Messages pane of the Preferences and Newsgroup Settings dialogs now allow you to set the default spelling check language for message windows. That setting, along with the one to display misspelled text in a distinct color and underlined, can also be adjusted for individual open message windows via the "Message Options" dialog opened via the appropriate toolbar button.
  • Added support for SMTP authentication (PLAIN and CRAM-MD5 methods). Note that for mail sending to work, you probably must specify a valid email address for your email address (which you'd want to do for a private email message anyway) and not one that ends in .invalid or which is otherwise invalid or nonexistent. Note that will reject email if the From address isn't your email address. Other SMTP servers may impose comparable rules.
  • Tried to work around an OS X bug with drawing checkmark and other special system symbols on non-Roman systems.
  • Fixed a problem with the column formatting of the thread view in article list windows.
  • Added detection and support for JPEG2000 image files (viewable only under OS X with QuickTime 6). JPEG2000 images may not display correctly due to possible problems with non-standards compliance by the encoding application or QuickTime, since JPEG2000 is a new and evolving standard.
  • The View menu Resort command can now be used with the Queued Transfers List to re-sort items alphabetically by the name of the article being downloaded or posted. Holding down the shift key resorts only the selected items. Holding down the option key causes reverse order sorting. This command was also added to the contextual menu for the Queued Transfers List window.
  • When using the option to add new binaries to extract to the top of the Queued Transfers list (by holding down the shift key), the items are now added in such a way that their order in the article list window is maintained. Previously, since each item in succession was added to the then-top of the list, the newly added items would appear in the reverse order of how they were shown in the article list window.
  • Fixed a problem with background window updates when editing a filter from the "Matching Filters" window.
  • Added "Show Post Info" command to Special menu for article list windows to display a text window with header information for the selected posts. This is similar to the Export command, except the headers are shown in a text window as they would appear in the original posts, in a more human readable form that the tab-delimited table of data produced by the Export command. The main keyboard short for this new command is 'h.' This command was also added to the contextual menu for article list windows.
  • Modified the 'm' shortcut key to also work in locked size image windows to change the magnification so that the image is as large as possible (while not zooming the window larger as is done with non-locked windows).
  • Added Date and Newsgroups headers to the post information text (optionally) saved with extracted binaries.
  • Changed how decoder and queued transfer error sounds are played to try to work around an OS bug that sometimes causes crashes when playing the sounds.
  • Fixed a bug that erroneously caused filter actions to be done for article list windows opened from a search window (they should only be done for article list windows opened from a subscribed group list window).
  • It is now possible to set a long "Expire Active Connections After" value to deal with news servers that abruptly close connections that have been open and active a long time.
  • If the connection to the news server is lost while downloading a binary attachment, an attempt to try again with a new connection is now done automatically.
  • After clicking on the Reset button in the Statistics pane of the "News Server Settings" dialog, the displayed start date wasn't updated to reflect the change. Fixed.
  • Shift-clicking in an image window now works like Ptah to create a selection rectangle that can then be used to change the magnification of the image to make the rectangle fill the window, etc. Previously the change in magnification would happen immediately as soon as the shift-click and drag was completed.
  • Added a work-around for the changed behavior of the Drag Manager in OS X 10.3 that causes TrackDrag to block when the mouse is not moved, which interfered with dragging something to the top of bottom of a view and having the view autoscroll unless the mouse was constantly wiggled.
  • Modified how Date headers are parsed to handle the most common forms of non-RFC compliance. When filtering on dates it is now possible to specify a filter that just matches such bad dates without also specifying that the post be older or newer than a specified number of days. With these changes it's still possible to filter on bad dates (most often found in posts by spammers) while still showing a date (instead of a question mark) in article list windows.
  • Renamed "matches the pattern" style live filtering and group Find searches to "starts with the pattern" to more clearly indicate what it is supposed to do, and added the similar "contains the pattern" style live filtering and Find searches. Also, formerly if a newsgroup didn't match the pattern but did include the pattern in literal form as part of its name, that group would count as a match (i.e. if the pattern was "a.b" then both "aaa.bbb.ccc" and "xxa.bbb.ccc" would match, as the first matches the pattern, and the second name contains it as part of its name). This is no longer the case, since it was inconsistent and would lead to unwanted matches, and because the "contains the string" option is available when this type of matching is desired.
  • Fixed a problem in how sorting reply threads by subject was performed and also ensured than in non-threaded mode replies will follow non-replies with the same subject.
  • When editing multiple selected filters in the filters list window, if the expiration settings for a filter are changed, the filter will now also be unexpired if it was previously expired by removing the leading '•' character from the filter group name. This means it's now easy to batch unexpirations of filters (if the option to keep expired filters is enabled, and you find that you wish to again use some expired filters. When editing a single expired filter, it is still necessary to manually change the filter group name to remove the leading '•' to unexpire the filter.
  • Modified scrollwheel support. Now holding down the control key while scrolling will accelerate scrolling by a factor of 4 (previously the option key was used for scrollwheel acceleration). Holding down the option key while using the scrollwheel now acts the same as holding down the option key while clicking in the scrollbar arrow buttons, typically causing page by page scrolling.
  • Added a graphical tree display to the thread list in article windows (when reference threading is enabled). This works with the indenting to help show the relationship of the various posts in the thread, as does the preexisting feature of bolding the parent and child posts for the currently displayed thread. Also, since a single-click is always used to choose a new post from the thread list, which is always drawn selected in the list, the asterisk that was formerly used to indicate the current post in the list is no longer drawn. Finally, when the graphical thread tree is drawn, any gaps in the thread caused by a missing parent post are indicated by a gap with an x in the tree's horizontal limb rather than prefacing the author's name with an ellipsis.
  • Worked around a bug in OS X 10.4 which caused incorrect word boundary finding, causing words with apostrophe's to be treated as 2 separate words when doing a spelling check or double-clicking in the word.
  • Temp files are named ending in ".noindex" to prevent Spotlight indexing and possible file deletion errors. However, under OS X 10.4 and later, Spotlight can still cause a variety of problems with Thoth and other applications, so it makes sense to disable Spotlight indexing for folders that don't benefit from such indexing. In the case of Thoth, it is strongly recommended that you disable Spotlight indexing for the "Thoth Outbox" folder for each news server you use (or perhaps better yet, for the folder used for each news server and its contents) and the download folders you've configured Thoth to use to save articles and binaries.
  • If you hold down the control-key while doing an Extract Binaries command, the posts are added to the Queued Transfers list but are marked as done/canceled, so that they can be downloaded at a later time.
  • Changed how random signature files are recognized to eliminate the test for a file type of 'TEXT' but note that it's still important that the files be saved as plain text files and not RTF or anything else. Files with unix-style end of line breaks are now also handled properly.
  • Updated the work-around for a Carbon bug Apple still hasn't fixed that sometimes keeps windows from being shown when switching back into Thoth after Thoth's windows have been hidden via the Application menu Hide command/Hide Others command. Any window that is updated or rebuilt while hidden may fall prey to this bug, and now the work-around tries to unhide all types of windows that could be affected, including article list and message windows.

Version 1.8.4 makes the following additional changes:

  • Worked around a problem with some news servers such as Giganews that return an unexpected 503 response code for the XHDR command for unavailable header types. The 503 response is defined for the newer HDR command but is not a standard response for the XHDR command. Also modified XHDR command handling to allow 225 as a successful response code (the correct command successful code for the newer HDR command) in addition to the standard 221 response. Thoth has also accepted the 224 response that is erroneously returned by some Microsoft news servers for many years (224 is the correct response code for the XOVER command).
  • Modified the wording of the checkbox in the "Maximum Number to Fetch" dialogs from "Mark Unshown Posts Read" to "Mark "Maximum Number" Unread and Older Posts Read" and updated the User Guide to explain what this option does.
  • Worked around an OS X problem that could cause ever increasing RAM use when doing lots of file reads and writes (especially binary downloading).
  • (May 31, 2009 edition) Worked around a problem with some news servers such as Giganews that return an unexpected 501 or 503 response code for the XHDR command for unavailable header types. Also modified XHDR command handling to allow 225 as a successful response code (the correct command successful code for the newer HDR command) in addition to the standard 221 response. Other changes were made so that a filtering failure caused by this type of server problem should no longer prevent opening an article list window.

User Reviews

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Home Page Release Notes Screen Shots License:
Open source; $0

Current Version: 3.1.1 (July 21, 2010)

The point of Thunderbird - as with Firefox, the new standalone Mozilla web browser component - is to take real steps toward simplifying all the great stuff that comprises the Mozilla project, allowing you to download what you need and nothing more. After Mozilla 1.4 came out, new implementations of the two main Mozilla components (web browser and newsreader/email client) have been be offered as separate downloads. Mozilla Thunderbird is the standalone email and Usenet newsreader client, available for Mac OS X.

Thunderbird is now a mauture, stable, and very capable email and usenet client, offering just about every major feature you might expect, from message and junk filtering to spell checking and beyond. Part of Thunderbird's maturity is due to the fact that Thunderbird really isn't new; it's based upon the email client and newsreader that have been included in Mozilla for quite some time. However, Thunderbird benefits from the same streamlining and interface improvements that are making Firefox so desirable: by focusing solely on standalone mail, the development team can make some dents in the overall footprint and performance of the mail client by removing components and user interface elements that they don't need. On top of that, the UI becomes much cleaner in the standalone application as opposed to being part of the Mozilla suite.

In addition to the feature set found in Mozilla Mail, Thunderbird has several new features and improvements to make your mail and new experience better. Highlights include:

  • The ability to customize your toolbars the way you want them. Choose View / Toolbars / Customize inside any window.
  • UI extensions can be added to Mozilla Thunderbird to customize your experience with specific features and enhancements that you need. Extensions allow you to add features particular to your needs such as offline mail support.
  • A new look and feel. Thunderbird also supports a large number of downloadable themes which alter the appearance of the client.
  • An addressing sidebar for mail compose which makes it easy and convient to add address book contacts to emails.
  • Online help includes a FAQ, tips and tricks and other useful information.
  • Simplified preferences UI and menus.
  • Footprint and performance improvements.

Apart from fixing a large number of bugs in the 2.0.x release, Thunderbird 3 made the following major enhancements:

  • New Search with Advanced Filtering Tools - Search results now include advanced filtering tools. You have the option to filter your results by sender, tag, attachments, people, folder, and mailing list. You can also filter your email using the timeline tool.
  • New Global Search Field with Autocomplete - When typing in the Global Search field, Thunderbird autocompletes against your address book. You have the option of searching everywhere or filtering against different parts of the email such as by subject or by sender.
  • New Mail Account Setup Wizard - The new Mail Account Setup Wizard matches against a database of email settings from popular mail providers so that you will only need to provide your name, email, and password to set up new mail accounts.
  • Redesigned Mail Toolbar - The Mail Toolbar is redesigned to include the new Global Search bar. Buttons such as reply, forward, delete, junk are part of each email message. You can add those buttons back to the main toolbar by customizing the toolbar.
  • Tabbed Email Messages - Double-clicking or hitting enter on a mail message will now open that message in a New Tab window. Middle-clicking on messages or folders will open them in a Tab in the background. When quitting Thunderbird, visible tabs will be saved and will be restored when you open Thunderbird the next time. There is also a new Tab menu on the Tab toolbar to help you switch between Tabs.
  • Smart Folders - The folder pane offers a Smart Folders mode which combines special mailboxes, like Inbox, from multiple accounts. Smart Folders is now on by default.
  • New Message Summary View - Selecting multiple messages will give you a summary view of the emails you have selected.
  • Column Headings - The column headings that are displayed and the order in which they are displayed can now be set on a per-folder basis.
  • Message Archive - You can now file messages from your Inbox or other folders into the new Archive folder system.
  • Activity Manager - The Activity Manager records all the interactions between Thunderbird and your email provider in one place.
  • New Add-ons Manager - The new Add-ons Manager (Tools > Add-ons) can now be used to find, download, and install Thunderbird Add-ons which includes Extensions, Themes, and Plugins. Note that few Add-ons are compatible with this beta at the time of release, as Add-on developers need to upgrade them.
  • Improved Address Book - If someone is in your address book, it is indicated by a new star icon which you can click to edit contact details inline. If they are not in your address book, you can add them with one click of the icon. A new birthday field allows you to keep track of your friends' birthdays. You can also add a photo for contacts in your address book.
  • Improved Gmail Integration - Better recognition and integration of Gmail's special folders such as Sent and Trash including non-English versions of Gmail. Thunderbird also uses All Mail as the Archives folder.
  • For Windows Vista users, Thunderbird 3 is now integrated with Vista search results. On first start, Thunderbird will prompt to install its indexing system into Windows Vista and you can choose to see Thunderbird email and news messages in Windows search results.
  • For Mac users, Thunderbird 3 is now integrated with Spotlight, can import from, read your OS X address book, and use Growl for new mail alerts.
  • IMAP Folder Synchronization - Thunderbird will download IMAP messages by default in the background to allow for faster message loading and better offline operation. This feature can be enabled on an individual folder basis via Folder properties, or for all folders in an account via Account Settings / 'Synchronize & Storage'.

Version 3.1.1 provides additional enhancements:

  • Several fixes to improve stability and security.
  • Several fixes to the user interface.

User Reviews

"After being totally frustrated with Eudora, Netscape, and the various of MicroShaft Outlook, I tried Thunderbird. This email client is the absolute fastest, cleanest, most stable email system I have ever used in my 15+ years online. I use Thunderbird on my home system and on a business email system where it collects email from several different email addresses, all flawlessly. Outgoing mail is easy to compose, attachments just Work, and I have never had a complaint from anyone who has ever received and email generated from Thunderbird. This is the only/last email application you will ever need."
—Bill Shilling

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Home Page Release Notes Screen Shots License:
Shareware; $29

Current Version: 2.0.5 (March 23, 2010)

Unison is an interesting new newsreader from Panic, the people who brought us the fantastic Transmit FTP client for Mac OS X. Unison offers a very clean, threaded, "Cocoa" user interface, as well as a few unique features, such as:

  • MP3 streaming
  • Image thumbnails
  • File grouping
  • Dock-based status
  • A Download Manager

Unison is, perhaps, the most "progressive" and frequently-updated newsreader for the Macintosh, and it's particularly worth a look if you want a newsreader that feels similar, in many ways, to Apple's own Mail application.

Version 2.0.5 address the following:

  • Fixed automatic recovery for stalled / interrupted downloads
  • Fixed sporadic crash due to threading problem in operation queue
  • Improved database performance
  • Added "Save Attachments" and "Save Messages" to File menu
  • Double-clicking an NFO or image file now invokes "view as message"
  • Fixed lag when flushing deleted messages and files
  • Fixed random crash after creating par set containing a file under 16KB
  • If all messages and files are deleted from a newsgroup, we now clear out the database file
  • Fixed problem with uploads using the wrong encoding for file names
  • Fixed problem where newsgroups from "check for new newsgroups" action were unusable
  • Menu items and actions for message/file list are now available when search field is selected
  • Fixed CPU usage problem when search view is active
  • "Hide incomplete files" works now
  • "Use server" in newsgroup info works correctly now
  • If font size in HTML post is smaller than font size in prefs, we scale it up
  • If message has only one font, change it to user's preferred font
  • Deleting an expanded file group now moves selection to next item
  • Source list no longer changes size when resizing window
  • Changed "Currently Selected" in group info newsgroup selector to "Active Server"
  • Fixed possible database contention on source list selection change
  • Transfers status in sidebar tracks paused status better
  • Added warning when dragging stuff out of source list
  • HTTPS works in search now
  • Added the SSL lock indicator to the window title bar
  • Unison now warns you if you quit while unPAR/unRAR is running
  • Sorting by Name column now puts 2 before 10, ignores "re:"
  • Added "Server" popup to message composer if user has multiple servers configured
  • Message composer now warns before promoting post to HTML
  • Fixed possible crash when target files are deleted during unRAR
  • Fixed problems with music player stopping early, starting up again when changing newsgroups
  • Fixed decoding of multipart/partial file posts
  • Can now reply to extremely long threads
  • Downloads now use selected string encoding
  • Get Info now shows newsgroup name
  • Rules now apply colors to file groups
  • Fixed problem with ">" characters in replies
  • Newlines now stripped from upload description
  • "Move To Bottom" contextual menu item in Transfers no longer throws exception
  • Fixed problem with sidebar items having wrong index path after deleting an item above
  • "Canceled" files no longer restart when when the queue is unpaused
  • Periodic header check no longer starts while a previous load is still active, doesn't run after group is deleted
  • Fixed some memory usage issues
  • Fixed slowdowns when 100,000 files are queued, if you really want to do that
  • Image load operation no longer cancels when thumbnails are scrolled off screen
  • "Show in Finder" in Transfers is no longer available before the file has started downloading
  • Fixed problem with group count showing more posts loaded than total
  • We now don't delete stored data for a newsgroup if another copy is still in the source list
  • Fixed "full keyboard access" tab problems in preferences
  • Fixed slowdown reloading newsgroup list
  • Transfer group error is now cleared on retry
  • Fixed problem with PAR files losing indentation after postprocessing
  • If download group has only one file on finish, error message is no longer lost
  • Ran ShrinkIt on internal resource PDFs, shaving a few MB off the binary file size

Panic also offers a Usenet newsfeed service for an additional monthly fee. The software itself is shareware (15 day full trial; after 15 days, favorites are disabled and sessions are limited to 10 minutes), at a price of $29.

User Reviews

"Simply put, Unison makes the gathering of anything that is broken into parts much easier to decipher than anything else out there. I know *before* I download if a file will recombine into its whole state. Unison is a giant leap forward for large file downloaders and music enthusiasts."
—Ben Munson

"This is the first real native Mac OS X Cocoa Usenet newsreader for text. Finally there is a smart dev. that knows there was no decent Usenet newsreader (text) for Mac OS X. OK, you can say there is Unison... Unison from Panic is good, but only for binaries; it has no multi server support, auto update of groups, etc, etc, etc. The support from the dev. is also OK. It's still beta, but it's very promising! Try it out."
—Wim De Smet

Submit another review!


Home Page Release Notes Screen Shots License:

Current Version: 0.7.4 (June 26, 2009)

Xnntp is a new (2008) newsreader written in Cocoa for Mac OS X. One of its distinguishing features from other newer Cocoa-based newsreaders is its multi-window layout, which should make long-time Mac users feel more comfortable than single-windowed newsreaders that appear to becoming more popular these days.

Xnntp is under active development, so there are still a few features that the author is still working on:

  • Administrative commands
  • SSL
  • X-Face
  • Import/Export to mbox
  • QuickLook plugin for multimedia messages

Version 0.7.4 adds/changes the following:

  • Now also stable on slow PPC.
  • QuickLook generator for preview.
  • Quick navigation in threads.
  • More predefined filters.
  • CoreData optimized.
  • Vertical scroll to expand threads.
  • Growl integration.

User Reviews

Currently, no user reviews have been submitted. Send me yours!

Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Related Links

Andrew Starr has another marvelous page about Usenet newsreaders that you simply must check out.

Key Mac Newsgroups

There are several Usenet newsgroups dedicated to Macintosh-specific topics. Here are the most essential ones:

comp.sys.mac.announce is a moderated newsgroup that contains important general announcements to the Macintosh community.

comp.sys.mac.apps is the place to go when you have questions about specific Macintosh programs.

comp.sys.mac.comm is the place to discuss all things involving Macintosh telecommunications and Macs on the Internet.

comp.sys.mac.printing is for all printer- and printing-related discussion.

comp.sys.mac.hardware.misc is for discussion of all other Macintosh hardware-related questions.

comp.sys.mac.system is the place to go for MacOS-related discussions.

comp.sys.mac.misc is the place to post when other Macintosh-related newsgroups don't fit the bill.

Note: If you'd like to search the Usenet for Macintosh-related information, you really only have one option (but it's a good one): Google purchased the old DejaNews ( Usenet archive, and now offers sophisticated searching of all mainstream Usenet newsgroups, both past and present.

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!