Panic Unison 2 £19
28th Mar 2010 | 08:00
Can this updated Usenet client rehabilitate one of the internet's oldest services?
Usenet has become the ageing, drunken uncle of the internet family. It used to be fun, but it's seen better days and most 21st century internet users ignore it.
Yet while much of its functionality has been superseded by web forums, social networking sites and torrent trackers, there's still some very good discussion and download groups there. Perhaps it's time to rediscover this most ancient of online facilities.
Unison 2 makes it really straightforward to access Usenet servers and navigate newsgroups. There's an easy-access directory for popular subjects, or you can pick your way through the server's entire range of groups using its folder tree and Unison 2's search field.
Managing your favourite newsgroups is simplicity itself, and you can set a group to always open with a specified server from your stored list, which is useful if you need a newsgroup that's not carried by your regular service.
Several posting profiles can be set up and the handling of binaries has been overhauled, making it much easier to find and download the files you want. It's amazing how much configurability has been crammed in without compromising ease of use.
On the downside, the useful facility to unthread a group and manage individual posts has gone, which is surprising. We hope it returns with the next update.
But that's the only (very minor) fault we can find with this comprehensive, capable and very easy to use newsgroup application.
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